According to You: Where do you refuse to take your vehicle?

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Once again, the fine folks who make up the Hagerty Community ran with our question and gave us some fantastic answers. We wanted to know of places you wouldn’t take your car or truck, and perhaps why you chose them. Some are pretty obvious, but you provided us with some interesting curveballs that we didn’t consider. So let’s get right to it!


Gravel roads

Chevrolet IROC-Z Camaro front three quarter
James Morrison

@Jeremiah: Gravel roads, and I also dislike car shows on dirt or grass if it has been really dry—hate the dust.

@NOVASteve: Gravel roads. And that’s non-negotiable for me.

@Eric: Car shows on gravel lots.

Big box stores

Google Maps

@James: WallyWorld parking lot.

@Miami Mike: I won’t go to Walmart, Publix, or any place there are loose shopping carts and/or tight parking spaces. This is what I have a beater for (old Honda), because everybody ignores it.

@Bill: I always park far away from the crowd and walk; it will do you good!

Quick service shops

RayWest DesignBuild

@Eric: I will not take my 2021 Audi RS6 to a Jiffy Lube or any other drive-through oil change place. It either gets serviced by the dealer every 10,000 miles or by a very reputable German car specialist in between. I wouldn’t take any other car to a “quickie” oil change place, for that matter.

@Bill: I will never use fast oil-change places, too many horror stories.

@Mike: A tire shop. Or any instant lube place. Too many horror stories and personal bad experiences. I change my own tires and oil.

@DUB6: Sadly, my “favorite guy” sold his tire shop and retired (the nerve!), and I haven’t yet worked up the courage to visit the new owners and check ’em out. I’ll take a ranch vehicle in so if there are scratches in a wheel, I won’t care (or likely even know)!

@isaiah: +2 on lube shops: It’s sorta about the car care, but it’s also about their obnoxious attempts to upsell me. Full disclosure, I spent five years working in lube shops.

@Dodge: The stealership, whoops, I meant dealership.

Anywhere with bad weather

2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition track test wet rain
Cameron Neveu

@Paual: I won’t take my ’55 Bel Air convertible anywhere if the weather threatens.

@Jeff: If it looks like it’s gonna rain, I know that everyone’s gonna drive like the world’s coming to an end the moment a drop of water hits the road. No thanks!

Any time it is dark

Illustration of a deer in front of a car
Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

@RedRyder: Anywhere out after it’s dark. You see, I live in the land of giants … giant whitetail deer that is. Imagine hitting a 200-pound deer in a Cobra roadster or any classic car at 65 mph. Umm … no.


Traffic on the IH-10 Katy Freeway viewed facing west near Loop 610
Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle/Getty Images

@TG: Anything without overdrive in its gearbox doesn’t go on the highway. In my part of the country, you are getting run off the road if you aren’t cruising at least in the 80-mph range.

Car show/cars and coffee

@964c4: Car shows, or cars and coffee–type settings.

@JA: Car show.

@Paul: Car shows. I’ve had a ’68 Camaro RS/SS convertible and a ’70 big-block convertible, took them everywhere. But dogs, kids, people on bikes, etc always want to touch them.

Car washes

car wash night rollers and headlights
Unsplash/Jakob Rosen

@Paual: I definitely won’t take it to car washes. In fact, I have only washed mine with water once in the 23 years I’ve owned it, and that was on day one. When I first bought it, I washed it thoroughly, buffed it by hand, polished it with carnauba wax, and buffed it again. Since then I’ve cleaned it only with detailing spray and soft rags. It’s a 30-year-old paint job, but for the most part, it looks like it was painted last week.

Anywhere with a valet

@Ralph: Valet parking: I don’t want to pay a stranger to screw up my car. I will tip them to stay away, or I will park and walk to the event.

@BMD4800: Valet LOL … I like walking, back of the lot.


Scoundrels Field Guide

@John: Parking lots for establishments that serve alcohol, because people lose their ability to drive.


Ford Escape Hybrid Travels New York City
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

@PerpetuallyUnimpressed: Nowhere. It’s a car. It’s made to be used up. Drive, break, fix, repeat.



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    You know there are places I avoid or more situations I avoid but I try not to let things dominate me.

    Based on this list you folks only drive to church or just sit at home and wipe the fender with a diaper.

    I show my car and I have driven it to a number of National events. Not always easy in a Fiero as bump steer for 500 miles will wear on you.

    But I don’t own a trailer and driving can be fun.

    Yes I dodge blind spots on semi trucks. I try not to linger or get gas in Detroit and I find parking carefully.

    No I don’t drive it to work unless we have a company event.

    But the key is I get out and drive.

    Awesome … Couldn’t agree with you more!

    Just did a week long 1200 miles r/t to Springfield, MO’s Route 66 Festival in our 65 El Camino.
    Aside from no Cruise Control, it was great!
    We covered it at night at the hotels but we were not afraid to cruise the local streets, visit local eateries or stores, or run the interstates at speeds up to 87 (while passing on the I-44 Toll Rd).

    Now, driving on Detroit roads …. well that’s another challenge we won’t be returning to anytime soon 😉

    hyperv6 has the right attitude, enjoy your car and drive it. When I pull out of my driveway I just point and go, usually with no destination in mind, just shift, drive and have fun.

    I didn’t include gravel roads but yeah that’s a big no. As far as parking lots, it really depends on where you park. I always park in the Back 40 anyway. Mine go to work from time to time unless it is raining or it is going to be 90+ and blazing sun all day

    I used to drive my classic to work occasionally and all sorts of other places – even just to the store or to pick up meds. Then I retired to the ranch and kind of lost out on some of those “errand trips”. We take a pickup on a weekly trash run and to the feed store, and an SUV to town once a week to get groceries or visit the pharmacy. So, I’m almost as limited on places to go as places to not take it. I do go to some small show ‘n’ shines and cruise ins, and of course take grandkids for lunch or ice cream when they visit. But when the urge strikes, I take it wherever the road leads (no particular destination – just point it and go)… 😋
    HyperV6 has the right point-of-view: no need to abuse it or be stupid about it, but it’s a car – drive it.

    Two places I would never take my vehicle: American fast food drive thru in a right hand drive car and low-income neighborhood in ANY vehicle. The latter category is typically inhabited by low-class individuals who don’t respect nice vehicles they didn’t steal for themselves. Not worth getting keyed or vandalized.

    Any inner city. Not looking to need to defend myself a second time in court after having to do so with a firearm. Completely lawless these days, nothing there worth the chance.

    Some things are non-negotiable. No quick service place for any car. But for other things, it depends on the vehicle. The Bronco isn’t afraid of gravel roads, or any off-roading. But I don’t take it to automated car washes because the brushes are harsh. I park away from other people.

    For the sports car, I try to avoid following others, for fear of rocks, and avoid rain because it would be a pain to clean ducts and vents and Lexan, etc. If I go somewhere I have to park, I will take two spaces. But I only do it at the back of the lot where it shouldn’t matter to anyone else that I did.

    I parked away from all the cars in a large Home Depot lot, but unfortunately I was far enough away for one of those heavy carts to get up a good bit of speed as I found one resting against my 67 cougar with a good dent. So beware of slopes. I always try to part uphill of other cars so that their doors don’t inadvertently swing hard into my car, and I also learned not to park off the side of the road across from any driveway.

    Sporting events: too many drunken tailgaters, or the chance for a foul ball to find my car, or mischief because some no-good knows I’ll be in the stadium or arena for a predicable amount of time.

    Cities should be avoided at all costs. I remember when we visited Rome, Italy we kept a tally of all the parked cars with a front wheel tilted and a bumper hanging from someone slamming into it while it wasn’t even moving ….

    Deep water and anywhere within 20 miles of Los Angeles- freeway or surface streets. And anywhere there’s gravel.

    I have a relatively rare Ferrari (~300 imported to the U.S.), but it’s still just a car and I drive it anywhere I can reasonably be sure it is safe. I drove it to work at least once a week (indoor secure garage) before I retired, and have taken it to dinner many times at nice restaurants and let the valet park it (which guarantees they will take care of it). I know I am a lucky SOB to own such a car. Share the wealth and enjoy your car by driving it like the manufacturer intended.

    Absolutely agree, where is the fun if you do not drive it and let other people see the amazing vehicles that once was the norm. Cars and trucks were built to be driven. I do avoid gravel roads at all cost, other than that I drive it and enjoy every minute behind the wheel.

    Brampton has become reputable for insurance fraud, and very poor driving standards. (Not to sound bigoted, but a certain demographic of immigrants possibly does not share the local norms for driving habits and courtesies.)

    Ha, this is just common sense, like I also avoid driving directly into a tornado. Brampton is quite simply a non-negotiable liability.
    Thanks for the public service announcement!

    I tend to drive my cars anywhere and any time but try to avoid gravel roads. I did hit a deer on the freeway in Michigan at 75 mph – VW Super Beetle. Almost totaled the car but is fixed and back on the road

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