Kerb your enthusiasm: ŠKODA reveals potential cost of UK's kerb-damaged alloy wheels

More than a third of UK motorists could be driving cars with damaged alloy wheels, with over half of these caused by hitting a kerb, research from ŠKODA UK has shown.

The problem, which is often caused when parallel parking, accounts for more than 13 million damaged alloy wheels in the UK – the single biggest cause of alloy wheel damage.

Based on an average repair price for a single alloy wheel of £67.50* the total collective expense for UK motorists would come to more than £890m to fix all alloy wheels damaged by kerb impact. Thanks to features such as the intelligent Park Assist on the all-new fourth generation ŠKODA Fabia, parking will become safer with a lower risk of damaging cars.

The system, which uses sensors to find a suitable parking space, steers itself into the space as the driver focuses on braking and accelerating, ensuring the car is parked a safe distance from the kerb, reducing the risk of damaged alloys.

Motorists can’t blame fellow road users for the scuffs and scrapes on their wheels, as 83% of drivers said the damage had been caused by someone in their own household, according to ŠKODA’s data.

As well as affecting the appearance of the car, the impact of a wheel on the kerb can lead to further issues such as tyre damage and even tracking problems with a car.

Risk of impacts with kerbs during certain parking manoeuvres isn’t the only issue which can be minimised with Park Assist 3.0. The technology, which can also be used to guide the vehicle when perpendicular parking, will activate the automatic emergency braking if the system detects a risk of collision during parking, something 30% of drivers acknowledged had happened to them when parking their car.

Despite the high number of damaged alloy wheels, a third of drivers claimed to be very confident when parking. Part of the problem could be down to their preferred type of parking manoeuvre, with almost half (45%) saying they would rather bay park compared to just 18% who see parallel parking as the better option.

The fourth-generation Fabia opened for order in the UK this week (12 October 2021), with prices starting from £14,905 (OTR) and first UK deliveries expected early next year.

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ŠKODA’s study of alloy wheel damage was made up of 2,000 drivers nationwide.