That piece of material at the Front and the rear of your Car is still known as a Bumper.
Once upon a time it was built of an absorbent, or flexible, material that was designed to protect the main bodywork from minor damage.
Now-a-day it seems to be built of a material that disintegrates at the slightest touch, offering not the slightest protection for the rest of the car's bodywork and requiring to be replaced at great expense.
When I lived in Chelsea the form was that, when parking, you reversed into a slot that appeared large enough but, of necessity, giving the car fore and aft a little nudge to get yourself in. How do you metropolitan Folk do it now?
do as john bunyan says - we park without bumping the cars at front and back. Often we do it with parking sensors, but if they aren't fitted we do it by knowing the length of our vehicles to the nearest millimetre.
My Primera has a parking camera just above numberplate I can get that into smaller spaces than I can my daughters fiesta. It also scares people when they see me reversing towards their pride and joy without even looking out the back window.
Modern car seat design makes it almost impossible to turn round to look over your shoulder. When I learnt to drive in the early 70's you turned around with your left arm over the back of your seat when reversing but the height of modern seats makes this almost impossible, so its now the norm to use the mirrors instead.
When I lived in London the folk in the areas I lived and frequented didn't bother who they bumped. My car looked like it had been in a banger race after a very short time. Since I've lived in Norwich there's not been a single extra mark on it in 5 years.
The US export spec MGB GT in the '70s was the first car I can remember having a soft bumper instead of the old chrome channel type with shin breaking overriders click here The body contoured soft bumpers that we have now have evolved from those early US export spec models with the help/interference of the EEC/EU...