VALETERS nationwide will no doubt testify to this – birds are hard work.But did you also know they’re costing motorists £57m a year?That’s the price of repairing damage caused by bird droppings – something that nine out of 10 drivers have been on the receiving end of over the past year, says Zurich Insurance.And a million motorists are ‘hit’ every singe day!But while this may sound lighthearted, there is a real issue here, too. Barely one in five drivers removes it immediately, with a third waiting until they next wash the car to remove the ‘bird lime’.That’s despite 38 per cent of motorists reporting permanent paint damage from droppings. Dull spots, permanent discoloration, even acidic bird poo eating away the car’s paintwork have all been reported by motorists. Over 10 per cent of motorists have also scratched the paint in trying to remove the droppings.With obvious effects on residual trade-in values. One in seven drivers report a residual loss of £200; more than 14 per cent have taken a £400 hit.Such an endemic problem makes it all the more vital you scour the paint condition carefully during pre-qualifying. Motorists’ insurance rarely covers such damage, and if they don’t quickly remove it, damage will be permanent.And it won’t be so lucky if you’re ‘hit’ with part of that £57m bill!