BUMPER damage tops the list of the most common type of car damage, according to a survey by fleet management group Arval.
Other minor prangs in the top five most common are knocks on alloy wheels, chipped glass, dents in doors and scratched boot lids.
The survey, which analysed thousands of vehicles, showed parking and manoeuvring accounts for most of the damage, with the average cost of repairing a minor bump notching up at £200. Spread across a large fleet, this can run into thousands of pounds.
A spokesman at Arval said: ‘Three of this top five come from minor impacts caused by tight manoeuvring, so it’s clear that motorists need to brush up on their parking skills.
‘Because the damage is not critical, it often gets ignored. However, even negligible problems can grow into much more expensive ones if left unrepaired.’
How to ensure minimal damage
Carry out the appraisal 10 weeks before the vehicle is due for return. This will allow time to have undue fair wear and tear faults rectified
Appraise a vehicle as honestly as you can – be objective. Ask a friend or colleague to help
Choose a time and place with good natural daylight. This is how the leasing company will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults
Before appraising the vehicle, make sure it has been washed and is thoroughly clean but remember to allow time for it to dry. Water on the paintwork masks faults
Walk all the way round the vehicle and examine closely each panel, including the roof, bonnet and boot/hatchback. Observe where the light is reflected differently from dents and scratches
Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along each side. This will help pick up marks and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot
Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks or holes
Check the tyres (including the spare) for
damage and ensure the wear on the tread across each tyre is even. Inspect wheels and wheel trims for scratches, dents or gouges
Clean and valet the interior
Check upholstered areas for tears, burns,
excessive marking or wear
Inspect all controls, including audio equipment and accessories, for damage
SOURCE: British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association