LAKELAND, FLORIDA (July 14, 2009) – Collector and classic car owners often invest a good deal of time and money in restoring their collectibles and protecting them from hazardous elements while driving. However, many owners may not realize the dangers that lurk even when their collectible isn’t moving. Heacock Classic, a leading provider of collector car insurance, knows the importance of caring for a vehicle even when it’s in park and offers a few simple “defensive” parking techniques to help owners keep their collectibles on the road, rather than in the repair shop.

1. Always Choose Covered Parking Whenever Possible

Though it seems like an obvious choice, many owners may not realize the importance of this decision. Covered parking provides protection from extreme heat and harsh sun rays, and other undesirable elements such as rain, hail, sleet, snow, bird deposits and tree sap – all of which can lead to a deteriorating paint job and possible other damage.

2. Try and Choose a Parking Spot that is Visible From Your Destination

Parking in a spot that you can see from your destination will allow you to witness any possible danger, before it happens. Because it also gives the impression that you are nearby, potential troublemakers will be more likely to stay away from your collectible or treat it with the respect it deserves.

3. Don’t Park Under a Tree

If you must park in open space, avoid parking under a tree. Bird’s live in trees and are not nearly as careful with your collectible as you are. Furthermore, parking under a tree may subject you to tree sap – a collector’s worst nightmare, since dripping tree sap can degrade a custom paint job.

4. Make Sure People are Aware of Your Collectible

If you frequently attend a particular special event or place of recreation, try to become friendly with any parking attendants or as many event regulars as possible. Feel free to tell them about your car, or even take them out for a spin. Giving them a reason to love your car as much as you do will help in the long run, because may ensure that they will look after your car, even when you may not be around. And don’t forget, giving the valet a bigger tip may make certain that he looks out for you.

5. Install an Anti-Theft Device

Any sort of sounding alarm can help ward off those who may be looking to damage or even steal your classic. Whether it is an in-car system or portable device, being prepared for the worst is always a good move. You may also consider having a tracking device such as Lojack installed for extra security.

6. Recognize a Compliment

Many other people may appreciate your car, so remember to politely acknowledge every compliment you receive. A simple courteous response can prevent future harmful actions to your collectible from someone who may have felt slighted by you. In addition, people who appreciate your car can also lookout for its safety. And remember, the kid you insult today is the car collector of tomorrow.

7. Cut Your “Ding Factor” by 50%

Whenever possible, park at the end of a row to prevent accidental dings done by lazy or careless drivers. If an end spot in not available, your best bet is to avoid any tight or compact space. Do your best to pick a space big enough for you and your car to move in and out of comfortably.

8. Try not to Take Up Two Spots

By taking up more than one space in an effort to protect your collectible, you could actually hinder someone else from parking his/her vehicle, which may ultimately lead to a driver taking out his/her frustrations on your prized classic.

9. Don’t Forget Your Car Cover as a First Defense

Your car cover is your collectible’s best friend and should be used whenever possible. Not only will it protect your classic from everyday elements such as extreme weather conditions, but it can also block hard objects such as bouncing balls, skateboards and shopping carts wheels from scratching the surface of your car.

10. Consider Street Parking

Just because there might be a parking lot available at your destination doesn’t mean you have to take it. Parking parallel to the street in a good area means that you avoid most of the congestion that comes with a parking lot, thereby avoiding numerous door dings and/or scratches.

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