As more and more cars join British roads good parking spaces have become a thing of luxury. If you're not lucky enough to have private parking or a driveway/garage then every day is a challenge. If you live in a busy terraced street it can become a nightmare getting any decent parking.
Because of this, more and more drivers are forced to park on kerbs and pavements to avoid blocking a street. This has led to the question of whether or not parking on a kerb damages your car, suspension and tyres as a result of uneven weight to one side.
Well, if this is something you've been wondering then wonder no more as we've written this handy article to put this question to bed once and for all.
Does parking on a kerb damage your suspension?
There are two questions we will answer here which are 1. Whether or not leaving two wheels on a pavement can lead to mechanical issues with the suspension and 2. Whether or not the impact of hitting the kerb to get on the pavement can damage your suspension.
1.You won't find any jobsworth scare stories here on the All Car Leasing blog but we have to say that repeatedly parking on a kerb on one side can slowly cause uneven suspension issues, especially on older models with tired suspensions. In general, though, parking on a kerb really won't do much to any harm to your car unless it is abandoned.
Roads with high kerbs are more likely to cause issues for your suspension but in reality there's not much to worry about.
2. The impact of mounting a kerb without the use of a dropped kerb to park on it can definitely cause damage to your car's suspension. With enough force, the whole suspension spring can be displaced and cause alignment issues as well as causing damage to the rods and shocks.
Minor impacts will probably cause negligible damage but if done repeatedly over time can cause some serious issues and a big bill from your local garage.
Our advice is to avoid mounting kerbs altogether but on many public roads this seems unavoidable, in this case find a dropped kerb to mount it gently. Alternatively, you can contact your local council about the parking issues but don't hold your breath.
Does parking on a kerb damage your tyres?
We're going to answer two questions again here which are 1. Does the impact of mounting a kerb damage tyres and 2. Does leaving a car one half on the pavement and one half on the road damage tyres.
1. The impact of hitting a kerb can of course damage your tyres. Gentle impacts, perhaps not, but forceful hits at speed can dent the tyres and cause bulges on one side which makes them dangerous and risky to drive on.
Hitting a kerb with the sidewall can cause cuts in the rubber which can eventually get worse and ruin the tyre completely. Rubbing against the kerb with the sidewall can also erode the rubber away and cause uneven wear,
If you absolutely need to mount a kerb to park then find a dropped kerb and go up the pavement or take on the kerb gently and at low speeds.
2. Leaving a car one half on the pavement and one half on the road won't really do much to a healthy tyre other than slowly cause uneven tyre pressures between two sides. However, tyres with existing problems such as a slow puncture and worn down tread will potentially have their problems worsened by having extra pressure placed on them over a period of time.
Does parking on a kerb damage my car?
Parking your car on a kerb/pavement can damage your car for a variety of reasons. However, we know what it isn't black and white and that many feel forced to have to do it to not block a public road.
Both the impact and the uneven weight distribution can cause your car problems over time and it's best to avoid it completely or take a gentler approach and switching which side is mounted every other day to at least spread the damage.
The letter of the law states that it is illegal to park fully or partially on the pavement in every case leaving many drivers confused and frustrated about what can they possibly do and unfortunately we do not have the answer to that question other than speaking to your council about the issues or simply parking elsewhere.
We'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this sensitive subject - have you had damage from mounting the kerb? Do you live in an area where you are effectively forced to do it? Have you ever been stung by parking enforcers over kerb/pavement parking? Please let us know in the comments below.