Many times we're guilty of "Target Fixation" & all we "see" is what is right in front of us as we fly our image into the ground-air interface.
Fighter pilots are taught to scan from near to far, to see that the kill zone is clear, & then to look at threats outside the kill zone. You need to learn to do that too, & not get caught in the target fixation trap.
How does that apply to cars? How many times have you seen a shot with a light pole sticking out of the roof? Or someones white t-shirt & knobby knees reflected in the side? How about a big white parking permit hanging from the mirror? And while a group of trees might make a nice background, one or two growing out of the body are a distraction that's easily avoided.
I try to take a shot of possible locations when I see them. This doesn't look like the most inviting location for a car shot, does it? But if your objective is to make a car, or anything else, look good instead of a "Car in Landscape" or "Car in Cool Environment" shot, just how much background do you really need?
I used it for these shots: UBNXOUS Beast! part #2.
The other night the sun had set & I decided to put my (filthy) Malibu into this location I'd saved, to make the point to look before you shoot.
Move the car. Look at what the light is doing in the hood & the side. Take a shot of each view if you have to to help you remember the light on it & the reflections, both good & bad that you see there.
NOTICE the reflection from the sunset in the rear quarter of the body below. Compare that with the shots above.
You'll get the best reflections in the body if you angle it to pick up the brightest area of the sky. This is especially important in light colored cars that don't have the contrast of a dark body to show the reflections.
There was a tree (to the left of the first shot) reflecting into the hood when I first parked, so I MOVED THE CAR to the right. Seems simple, doesn't it?
This was after the move. Notice that the reflections in the side look better, too.
What do you see wrong with it now?