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NYC parking garage tips

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NYC parking garages, or any other big city parking garages for that matter whether you are in Chicago, Boston, or Washington D.C., etc. are all notorious for two things, cost and carelessness. We at EuroBumperGuard.com want to help you as must as possible with tips and tricks on how to find a good (or at least as good as possible) parking garage in the city you are visiting and advise you on the right bumper guards for your needs.

Larger Garages vs. Smaller Garages
In most cases, the larger capacity garages, which can accommodate upwards of 200 cars are a better choice than the smaller “boutique” garages, which are capable of housing less than 100 cars. Usually these garages have more open space, with less columns, and divisions, significantly lowering the risk of the attendants smashing your car, or at least giving them fewer objects they need to avoid. If you find yourself in a situation where the “smaller” lot is the only option for you...protecting your bumpers is a necessity. Check out our Indoor Parking Garage Bumper Protection products that we offer for exactly this reason!

Separate Entrance & Exits
Beware of the garages that have siren lights posted at their entrances, this usually indicates there is only one way up and one way down to the garage, so cars cannot enter and exit at the same time. This is usually a sign that the garage has a dangerously narrow or at least limited vision entrance/exit, making it very difficult for cars to maneuver safely. And what happens if you find yourself face to face with another vehicle while you are trying to get into the parking garage? You better hope at least one of you has incredible reverse driving skills!

It is best to look for a nice and wide parking garage, with a separate entrance and exit. You do not want to find yourself face to face with another car having no option but to back up into oncoming traffic. The same principle also applies with larger vs. smaller garages… larger garages usually have a separate entrance and exit for vehicles because they have a larger space to begin with. Hopefully appealing to the customer’s desire to protect their car from unnecessary bumper damage by either the parking attendant or oncoming vehicles.

Beware of Parking Garage Flaggers
For those of our customers who do not park in NYC on a regular basis, please beware of the parking garage attendants who stand in the street and waive flags. They are trying to get you to park in their garage, but some drivers get confused and mistake these “flaggers” for people in an official capacity directing them to a detour. These “flaggers” are not your friend nor are they police or transit officials. You do not have to obey them or follow their flags…just keep driving!

Open Lots vs. Indoor Garages
When making the decision between an indoor parking garage or a outdoor parking lot, there are a few factors to consider. First, you usually run a higher risk of bumper damage, dents or scratches when parking in an indoor garage. You also face the possibility that the parking garage attendant will have to move your car more frequently to juggle others entering or exiting the facility. Last but not least the indoor parking garages have a higher likelihood that the attendant is going to take his break, take a nap or even eat his dinner in your vehicle. On the other hand, parking in an outdoor lot leaves your vehicle more susceptible to the elements (rain, snow, heat, etc.). If you are only parking for a short time, this may not be a huge factor for you. However, the average vehicle retrieval time for an outdoor parking lot is significantly higher than an indoor parking garage, especially if the lot is operating a hydraulic lift system to increase their capacity by storing cars vertically. While there are significant risks with both options, its still best to take precautions and protect your bumpers…with the proper bumper protectors.

Tips to Avoid Damage
The best single piece of advice we can offer to anyone who wants to protect their vehicle from bumper damage caused by parking garages or parking lots is…leave your car at home! Just kidding, sort of. If you are going to be parking in NYC, Boston, Chicago or Washington D.C. in a parking garage, parking lot or even on the street, you need to protect your vehicle, because no one else is going to do it for you. Depending on where you are parking you may want to invest in rear bumper protection products like the Bumper Bully or Parking Armor; wrap around parking garage protection products like the Bumper Blockers; or even car door protection products like DoorShox. Remember; if you care about your car…protect it!

Best Deals on Parking Garages
A lot of our customers ask us how to find the cheapest parking garages. There really is no simple answer; there are a lot of great resources out there to find deals for NYC parking garages. You can use our Parking Garage Locator, or Best Parking NYC, which actually provides rates for you to look at and compare in the areas where you want to park. But, the most important thing to remember is…cheaper isn’t always safer. Be sure to take a look at the potential parking garages you are considering with Google Maps to see how they compare when considering all of the important things to look out for we mentioned above.

Hours of Operation, 24 hours?
Finally, be sure to pay attention to the parking garage hours before you leave your car there. You do not want to find yourself standing on a dark street, by yourself, in front of a closed garage at 2am with no way to get your car. A lot of garages are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but be sure to double check those details and ask the parking garage attendant before you leave.