One I learned from my grandfather which is invaluable since I street-park my cars in New York City: the very first thing I do whenever I get a new car is to grab a towel and a ball peen hammer. I fold the towel up a few times, hold it over the driver’s side fender just behind the wheel well, and give it a nice solid thwack with the ball-peen hammer.

“There,” my grandfather would say. “Now you’ve got your first dent out of the way, and you won’t be constantly worrying about when it’s going to be dented or how much.” It’s so freeing to just be able to enjoy driving the car, rather than worry about all the dents and dings that are a regular side-effect of street parking in Brooklyn.