How Do You Park Nice Cars So People Don’t Mess Them Up?

Good day ladies and gentlemen of Jalopnik and welcome to Letters to Doug, your favorite weekly column wherein you provide the letters and I provide the Doug.


If you’d like to participate in Letters to Doug, you can! Just send me an e-mail at, and please note that it’s the number TWO and not the word TO because some bastard named Doug already registered the one with “to.” I will find that Other Doug, and I will poke him with a grill scraper.

Anyway, on to this week’s letter, which comes to us from a reader who signed his note “S” in an attempt to disguise his real name, even though his entire first and last name is contained in his e-mail address. I have decided to nickname him Melvin. Melvin writes:

Hi Doug,

This month I got a new AMG, love it. I’m a lot more cautious with it than other cars I’ve had, mainly because I don’t want to know what body or paint work would cost.

I daily drive it as much as I can, but one thing I’m trying to figure out is how to park it large shopping centers.

I’ve had other cars get hit by doors, stray shopping carts, I’ve even ended up with handprints like someone was twerking on the hood.

I could obviously park it at the end of the parking lot, but I always think that makes the owner look like a douche. But mainly because people, almost always civic hatchback owners, troll you and park all close, so I can see how being alone makes it more of a target. Also, there are no other cars to take a runaway shopping cart for the team if I’m parked by my lonesome.

I’m very confused & saddened; almost feel alienated. This dilemma is costing significant time since I have to drive a much slower vehicle to errands. Please share any insight you may have on parking your toys so people don’t fuck them up.

Thank You,

Well, Melvin, you’ve asked an excellent question. For those of you who don’t want to read through Melvin’s many sentences, one of which includes the word “twerking,” then please allow me to explain: Melvin has purchased a new AMG Mercedes, and he wants to know where to park it, because he’s worried about scrapes and door dings.


Well, Melvin, here’s what you do: just park across three spaces.

Ha ha! I am kidding! Do not attempt this under any circumstances, no matter how empty the parking lot is, because it enrages people. What I have learned is that even if you go to an empty parking lot, an abandoned parking lot that was once used for a Circuit City megastore, and even if you juuuuust find yourself on the line between two spots at the very edge of the lot, and even if the lot doesn’t include a single other vehicle, someone will find your car, take its picture, and angrily post it on Reddit with the title:


Never mind that the other spaces are occupied by a) tumbleweed, and b) discarded appliances.

So if you’re trying to figure out what to do instead, you basically have two choices. They are:

CHOICE NUMBER ONE: Just park really far away from everyone. This is what I do in my Aston Martin and it’s what I used to do in my Range Rover before I ran it through Blue Book and discovered it’s worth no more than a standard household surge protector. Now I park it right in front, in the fire lane, and I hope they tow it.


If you park far away from everyone, you have very little chance of getting hit. However, the downside is that you have to walk a little further than you normally would. To me, this is a pretty good deal – take an extra 40 steps, don’t have your car damaged – but some people just refuse to do it. And that’s why there’s a second choice, which is:

CHOICE NUMBER TWO: Get over the anxiety. I used to be very anxious about parking my cars among normal vehicles. Now, I’m not so anxious. I know what you’re thinking: How did you get over the anxiety? Well, I’ll tell you how. I ran my car through Blue Book and discovered it’s worth no more than a standard household bathroom towel. Now I park it in reserved spots, and I hope they crush it into a cube the size of a melon.


That isn’t the only reason. I also decided, after weeks of soul searching, that most human beings can be trusted, when it comes to parking. So occasionally, I do leave my car unattended, near other vehicles, in a parking lot, or on the street, and I walk away from it without so much as a glance back to make sure it’s fine, because I am proud to say that I, Douglas DeMuro, have rid myself of the anxiety that comes with parking a nice automobile in a public space.

Then I think about it every second until I return.

@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars, which his mother says is “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.

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Option 3 is to find the Alpha car in the parking lot first thing, and then crash into it, just beat the hell out of it...then the other cars know to respect you.