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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    For some of us with manual shift survivors not living in the hinterland, the answer is anywhere after 8 am weekends, other than Stupor Bowl Sunday, on which traffic refreshingly light.

    I own a gen 2 Ford Lightning. It’s been everywhere! I got a couple home boys that live in the hood. Driven it over to their house plenty. Everybody knows me and my truck, has never been a problem. The main issue is potholes over there honestly. It’s lowered but I use it to haul leaves to the compost every fall, which is a dirt and gravel road, I just drive slow through there, as to not kick up rocks on the paint or scratch the gloss black wheels. Couple years ago, when I crashed my dd I had to daily it for about 3 months before I bought my Kia Stinger. Driving it daily definitely took some of the fun outta driving it. Part of the “mystique” is daily driving something new with all the bells, whistles, cameras, sensors then stepping into a 20+ year old truck with creaks, rattles, exhaust and blower whine. At the end of the day, it’s a pickup truck.

    Here on the left coast it’s hard to avoid gravel as the moronic minions’ concept of road maintenance is to spray a coat of heavy oil over the road, then cover the oil with crushed rock and call it good, resulting in untold thousands of paint chips and cracked windshields plus potential injury to riders and pedestrians from rock chips flying like shrapnel. Meanwhile they delineate narrow city lanes with ‘suspension destroyer’ concrete blocks which render some intersections impossible to turn at for longer vehicles.

    ANY fast oil change shop…and NEVER TO the evil empire known as walmart…I have watched them screw up too many tire repairs/new tire installs…one guy made it literally 10 feet before his wheel fell off.

    Bonneville Salt flats.. i took my scooter there to get around and it never recovered even though i washed it with vinegar repeatedly after getting home… corrosive salt

    When and if I take my car, 1954 Ford Coupe, on a big ferry I ask to be put with the semi’s where there is lots of room. If I am in a parking lot I will be away from all things and…ok, rudely park in the middle of a spot with the white line down the centre of my car. I think people understand that.
    I had an experience once at a fast lube joint and I watched in horror as the idiot in the pit was turning the wrench on the oil nut the WRONG WAY with an 18 inch bar. I yelled at him then when the car was done another idiot walked past the car and slammed the hood closed as he went by. NEVER AGAIN !!!

    I built my hot rod specifically so I could drive, and park, it anywhere. I went to college to paint, and ive done a few show cars and bikes. I don’t want the headache of a “perfect” car. I want to be able to drive and park it and not worry about the dingbat at the grocery store with their buggy.

    Finally a sympatico soul! I bought my ’04 GTO with the stick because I wanted to drive a newer FI car with an independent suspension that I could tinker with, and ‘Vettes are everywhere. If it’s not snowing, I’m Goating. In North Dakota, gravel roads are a fact, can’t always be avoided, slow down. Don’t shop at Walmart anyway, and the Tahoe is for errands and snow. Cruises, car shows, cars’n’coffee always. I take good care of the GTO; on my second LS motor, working on the 7L that’s next, and I wash/wax and ceramic as needed. Does it compare to the never driven museum pieces I’m often placed beside? No, I show as a greatly loved daily driver (even to work)- which was my whole reason to buy it in the first place. Winter is for the Tahoe and tinkering. The rest of the year I’m racking up pleasurable miles & smiles. Drive ’em, don’t hide ’em! And save the manuals!

    It’s all mountains and forests around here. One night a few years ago I hit a 500-lb Elk at 90km/h. My VolvoXC60 was totalled. Front end crushed, airbag deployed – the whole show. I thought about the results if I’d been driving my low-slung MGB. So it does not go out at night. (..or rain, or the other stuff mentioned above)

    I drive my Hotrods and Classic vehicles anywhere and everywhere I drive. I do all my own maintenance, including mechanical and interior/exterior work. I drive to work, I drive to the store, to movies, to cruise nights, car shows, everywhere as long as it’s not snowing, raining, or there’s salt on the roads. I like and prefer driving stick, I don’t care for an automatic. I would never take it to a car wash, drive through oil change shops, or questionable areas. I do like to be able to keep an eye on it when in a strange place.

    I live in Brantford Ont and belonged to the Buffalo Thunderbird club.I used to drive My 1957 Thunderbird to Hamburg New York stay in a motel any time there was a interesting club function.Even my every day driver I park at the back part of the mall.Enjoy your cars you’re just saving them for someone else to enjoy.

    My BMW e36 M3 and Oldsmobile Eighty Eight go anywhere at any time. My Jeep Comanche and Austin Healey Sprite will go anywhere as long as there isn’t salt in the ground. Particularly the Jeep as it would be just about impossible to find another Comanche like it.

    Yes, I drive an e36 M3 through the salty lake effect snow winters of Erie, PA and don’t think a second thought about it. It was a rusty car when I bought it, it is now a high mileage rusty car and I drive the wheels off of it.

    Cheers John P. I needed a winter beater for Fargo’s 6 months of Ninth Circle arctic weather. Bought a company used ’04 Tahoe with barn doors, a rebuilt 6.2, new transfer case and rebuilt transmission (it was a snowplow rig & towed plow/blower tractors on a trailer, so I made sure to get receipts). I rebuilt the front end, lifted it 3″ for some better tires, put in a good audio system/auto start and now winter is conquered. Oh, it’s that GM white that chips at a hard look, and occasionally I get the “Liberian flagged tramp freighter” rust streaks to rub out, but I didn’t buy it to look at, and shopping carts? Bah. Unless they’re traveling at 40+mph when they hit, I probably won’t notice.

    I heard a new one the other day. A friend said he never parks his car in a parking lot facing downwind as doors can be taken by the wind when opened making dents in the side of his car! Always parks into the wind.

    Apparently, someone off camera intended to have a conversation with the idiot in the Mustang, who seemingly unapologetically, nearly killed some children and their parents.

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