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You got a brand new car. Or maybe a used, new-to-you ride. It might be your first car or your fiftieth. No matter, you are in love with that vehicle. It’s a supremely engineered work of technological ingenuity that gets you from point A to B. How can you keep it looking nice?

You’ve probably been to the car wash, maybe even gotten it waxed recently. You might have looked into ways to polish and take care of your headlights. But have you ever considered protecting your bumper with a bumper guard?

At first, the idea might seem ridiculous. A bumper is there to absorb shocks and protect the rest of your car, and you, during an accident. But according to Western Auto Body, the average cost of replacing a bumper is between $935 and $1580. Just the part alone can cost $300.

A bumper guard might save you some serious money. Especially if you live in an area with high traffic and do a lot of parallel parking.

What to Look For

Bumper guards are vertical bars or foam pads that can be placed on either the back or front of your car. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Many are made to be stored in your trunk, then quickly flipped out when you park your car to protect it from damage that other vehicles might inflict while you are parked. Others are permanently mounted and serve the same purpose, with the added benefit of guarding your vehicle against damage while you are parking. Bumper guards are generally designed to protect your car during low-speed impacts only. 

There are options out there to protect your front bumper and your rear. When choosing a bumper guard, be sure to consider the size and whether it will fit your car. Not all are adjustable. Below are some of the best bumper guards available on the market.

Just the license plate please – Bumpshox 

The Bumpshox front license plate protector is a bumper guard made from an all-weather foam rubber, which the company claims is tougher than steel. Unlike many bumper guards that hang an unsightly plastic ribbed plate across your entire bumper area, the Bumpshox is a discreet license plate frame. 

Bumpshox sells four models of the license plate frame protector – the Bumpshox 2.0 is a slim model at 1.5 inches thick and the Bumpshox 3.0 is a little larger overall and 1.75 inches thick.   

The slightly more expensive and “audacious” Bumpshox XL and Bumpshox Max are 2.25 inches thick. All of the Bumpshox models are build with a pyramid design and recessed screws to protect not only your bumper but the bumper of the vehicle that makes contact with you.  

Flip-out style – Bumper Bully

A common pick for lots of people concerned about protection from bad parking jobs, the Bumper Bully is the type of bumper guard that you flip out of your trunk while parked. Bumper Bully comes in 3 different models. They all measure 46 inches wide by 12 inches high, and all are made out of all-weather foam rubber to protect them from the elements.  

The Bumper Bully Black Edition is a foam rubber pad that flips out of your trunk while parked and hangs by straps. The Gold model has steel reinforced straps to prevent theft of the pad, and a similarly reinforced pad to protect against higher impacts.

It also adds 3M reflective strips for greatly improved visibility. The Platinum Edition includes all of the features of the Gold while adding “10mm thick cushion impact pads for extra impact absorption and protection.”

Full protection – Luv-Tap

The company Luv-Tap makes more expensive options to protect both the front and rear end of your car.  

The company describes the Luv-Tap rear bumper protector as a stylish option for protecting your car. It provides full coverage of your rear bumper and it is meant to remain attached to your vehicle while driving. It is removable and easily adjustable to allow you to use it for other vehicles you might purchase in the future.  

The Bumper Thumper front bumper protector can be purchased as a license plate protector only, or with additional corner pads. Like the Luv-tap, it is made of all-weather impact-absorbing foam and can be custom sized to fit most vehicles. It is also removable for future reuse. Poolarity-Life Hacks puts the Luv-Tap Bumper Thumper up against the Bumpshox in this video.   

It’s risky driving in the city, not to mention the parking. Do yourself, and your car, a favor, and look into getting some bumper protection. You will rest easier after that long search for a parallel parking spot knowing that your car is protected.