The average UK motorist clocks up 7,400 miles a year – but what are the parts of your car most likely to get damaged along the way?
The experts at LeaseCar.uk have researched online search data to find which are the most likely car parts that need replacing, whether through a collision or accidental damage. Failure to repair damaged headlights could result in a £1,000 fine.
Knowing which car parts are most vulnerable can help you regularly look out for faults, get them mended and enable you to get back on the road as soon as possible.
A spokesman for LeaseCar.uk said: “Everyone wants to take good care to protect their vehicle, but from time to time, incidents and accidents happen.
“It is useful to be able to highlight which parts of a car are most vulnerable to bumps, scrapes and other incidents in order that they can be repaired speedily to get you back on the road and save further expense down the line if repairs are not made in good time.”
Here are some of the most likely car parts to be accidentally damaged:
Wheel well frame – also known as ‘fenders’, these parts of the vehicle body frame the wheels. They are designed to ‘fend off’ dirt by preventing tyres on the move from throwing mud, sand, liquid, or other road debris. Can be susceptible to front and side impact accidents.
Front and rear bumper – Bumpers are designed to protect the car from shocks, so it is no surprise it is one of the most likely parts of a car to be damaged. Ensure it is replaced speedily in the event of an accident as it is designed to protect. A foam layer behind the exterior of the bumper acts as a shock absorber. Always slow down to prevent tail gating and ensuring there is an extra ‘safety bubble’ between you and the vehicle behind.
Alloy wheels – multi-million pounds worth of damage has been caused to alloy wheels which have been ‘kerbed’ or damaged in accidents in the UK each year. Often motorists do not address the damage but it is always important to get them checked out to stop further deterioration of the wheels and to check for any other hidden damage to the wheel axis or other parts of the wheel.
Grilles – these are at the front of your bonnet, and one of the first things to be damaged in the event of a front impact collision. They are vital for regulating air flow throughout the engine so must be fixed urgently in the event of a crash.
Bonnet and boot – Similar to a grille, a crumpled bonnet must also be replaced as soon as possible. The damage might be so extensive that an entire replacement part is needed from a similar vehicle or from the vehicle manufacturer. Collisions to the front or back of the car can result in damage to the bonnet or boot latch, so ensure these are checked at a garage to ensure they are repaired adequately, before setting off on the road again. Faulty latches can be a major hazard to the motorist and their occupants and other road users.
Tail lights and headlights – you can be stopped by the police and penalised for having faulty lights and being at the corner of the vehicle, they are a vulnerable feature of cars. They are also easily crushed in an accident as they are made of plastic. Have a maintenance routine where you regularly check the state of your car lights to look out for damage and faulty bulbs and prioritise getting these changed. You can be fined £100 for faulty headlight, rising to £1,000 if you lose a challenge in court.
Windscreen – insurance companies have protection policies for your windscreen for an important reason – because they are susceptible to damage from flying stones or other road debris and passing cars. Small dents should be treated as seriously as a huge crack, as these have a tendency to increase in size, particularly in weather temperature extremes. Always get damaged windscreens repaired as soon as possible.