A recent PetrolPrices.com survey has revealed that over 71% of drivers have had their cars damaged whilst parked. In the vast majority of cases, these were “hit and run” incidents, with the perpetrators driving away instead of confessing to their mistake.
Our survey was answered by over 8000 motorists, with 71.4% saying that their vehicle had been “damaged whilst parked/stationary.” This amounts to nearly 6000 damaged cars from our research sample alone.
While this in itself is a worrying statistic, what’s far worse is that in 85% of cases, nobody stopped and took responsibility for the damage, making the lion’s share of these incidents low-level “hit and run” incidents.
Dents are the most commonly caused damage, accounting for about 54% of the incidents. Scratches are next at 40%. In nearly 7% of cases, however, the damage is seemingly far more malicious, involving a “part of (the) car physically removed.”
The sad reality of these incidents is that they’re often extremely costly for car owners. Even superficial dents can prove very expensive to fix. Furthermore, drivers can be hit with a triple-whammy of expenses: fixing the damage, taking a hit on the car’s resale value, and possibly even seeing an increase in future insurance costs. The latter is compounded by recent reports that insurance costs can rise after superficial incidents even if the insured person opts to repair the damage themselves instead of claiming. Have a read of this recent news article to find out more on that.
Hitting back against hit and run
So what can you do, as a driver, to protect yourself against your fellow drivers? Based on our statistics, they seem a rather dishonest bunch!
Ultimately all you can do is catch them out. Thankfully the technology exists to do so. Your first option is a fixed security camera outside your property – if this is feasible and likely to catch out the perpetrators. It’s worth taking a look at the products available from Y-cam, which fit the bill perfectly.
Another option is a dashcam, which records what happens around your vehicle. Some of the latest models from companies like Nextbase have a “parked mode” which uses motion-sensing technology to capture evidence. This has the added benefit of keeping an eye on your car in car parks and elsewhere when you’re away from home. This Nextbase 312GW has a parked mode and is an economical choice. Alternatively, if you really want the “gold standard,” and the best chance of catching the crooks, the DUO HD model has twin rotating cameras.
It’s undoubtedly pleasing to be able to go after people who think they’ve damaged your car and got away with it.
These gadgets don’t cost very much in the grand scheme of things, and even buying both could cost significantly less than replacing a door panel!
I was the victim this year of firstly an incident where a car hit my car whilst it was park. fortunately the lady who hit my car stayed at the scene and accepted liability for the accident. Unfortunately the day after my car was repaired I was parked in a supermarket car park in Romford and the car was keyed from end to end on one side resulting in damage in excess of £900.00. I reported this to my insurance Company CO-Op they classed this as a fault claim and I had to pay the excess which I did not mind. Just prior to my renewal of policy this month they wrote to me stating that due to my current history they could not offer me insurance stating they were not refusing me insurance just unable to offer, a decision made by their underwriters, so for all beware.
My son had his car scraped in a Sainsbury car park in Farnborough. The perpetrator must have known as there were judder marks from the wing mirror and bumper. It’s only an old Passat but even this has devalued it even more. Taking their licence off them would deter other, perhaps! Or maybe more lessons in parking while learning.
parking bays too small, ’cause of a lot of them.
I went to stay at the MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel in Bath with a friend for a long weekend in February 2015. My car stayed in their car park from Friday lunchtime to Monday morning (not moved at all because we went everywhere on foot and had no need to go out to the car for anything) and after check out I discovered it had been clearly hit in the back bumper by another driver causing £350 worth of damage. Despite liaising with the hotel manager over many weeks, who promised me their Reception Manager would look at their CCTV to try to find the culprit, they clearly did nothing. In fact, when I called the last time to find out what was going on because the hotel manager was supposed to call me with a definitive answer and hadn’t, he claimed he’d lost my number (er, stroll along to Reception and look it up!) and then informed me he was busy handing his job over to the new manager because he was moving on! So, that long weekend turned out to be very expensive for me. I’d love to meet the vile, dishonest b****** who did it – not to get the money back (I’ve written that off a long time ago) – simply to shake them warmly by the throat!!!
The way some people park no wonder their cars get hit. Total idiots how 40% if people park. I see it every day as a bus driver. The police do nothing not even when cars are parked on crossings and if zags
A few weeks ago I had 3 car park dents removed from doors of my car at a cost of £75. Two weeks later, whilst parked at the side if the road in the Lake District I returned following a walk to find my car being headbutted by two sheep! The multiple dents are so bad it will probably require a new outer doorskin.
I don’t think a camera would have helped. Most sheep look alike!!
Several years ago whist stationary my wife had a wind hit her and the door gently knocked the guys nag parked up next to her at a chip shop.
I had rubber door guards on my doors at the time.
He claimed I had done major damage and wanted my details.
I took pictures of the cars and door positioning and noticed this guys car had already bee. Hit before.
The door didn’t open to were he claimed I’d hit his door and being honest I reported it to insurance along with my pictures of evidence.
Well now here’s the best part they looked at them and saw my door guards didn’t hit were he claimed I’d hit they saw the rust on the door and scratches and said it wasn’t possible for my Car to have caused the amount off damage his door showed on pictures 10 in total.
They thanked me for being honest and said if he claims within the next 3 months they will fight my case.
3 months went by nothing so i rang them to confirm this and I was told they hadn’t been approached by anyone about an accident.
Well 3 months later I renewed my insurance and they told me that it was an accident that has made my insurance jump up in price.
Every web site had it down as a accident unresolved.
This was to me unfair I’d done everything in my power to babe honest even admitting the door touched his car door but suddenly I became the victim. Within a few months
THIS BEHAVIOUR BY INSURANCE COMPANIES NEEDS TO BE STOPPED ASAP.
JUST LIKE THE RENEWAL QUOTES BEING 5 TIMES MORE THAN THE YEAR BEFORE DISPITE HAVING FULL NO CLAIMS AND NO ACCIDENTS ON FILE.
CANT SOMEONE TRY AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BEHAVIOR BY THESE COMPANIES PLEASE ITS SO WRONG AND UNFAIR FOR INOCENT PEOPLE WHO RESPECT THE LAW AND Keep to it.
Yes our car has been damaged twice so far parked in a residential car park £800 damage first time second time £320
Hope we can get a garage soon.
As if you claim of your insurance it goes against you for the following year
I have had 3 incidents where my car was damaged at different stores, 1st at Sainsbury’s at Wednesfield, the second was at Asda Bloxwich, the 3rd was at Poundstrecher, Lichfield Rd, Wednesfield, and NONE had the guts to admit it, there was not a mark on my car when I had it, they were probably uninsured, OR worried about THEIR insurance going up because they would have to pay for the damage.
Thank you for the information. I have a netbase 312gw fitted but did not know about the park mode. Will check up on that and will make use of
Yes I had a hit and run done by a so called respectable member of society,a school teacher who did hit and run on my car.He denied all knowledge then condescendingly offered me £50.00 towards repair which is nowhere near what it would have cost,I had no choice but to ring the police and my insurance,and luckily my insurers believed me even though the perpetrator would not admit liability,he incidentally had an old banger back then.Thankfully his insurers payed up the cost.
That is sweet but even if I manage to record who is damaging my car, how do I then trace them and get them to pay for the damage?
I was in a similar situation. Rodents according to the garage had eaten my fuel tank and it cost me almost £1000 to have it replaced by a used one. I claim on my insurance the first time since holding a licence. My insurance went up by £100 and stayed up every year since. My claim has been refunded to the insurance company . Beware.
I drive an older car, so not bothered by scratches….got to keep an eye on the premium.
I have had my car “doored” a few times in the local supermarket, and actually witnessed a woman hit a car twice, once on the way in, and when she pulled away again, as she had the wheel locked and scraped the same car. I was working Security at the time, questioned her when she got out after parking, and she denied hitting the car. I showed her the mark left, with her paint actually on the other car.
She denied it, again, and left, scraping the same car, to leave.
I had her reg number, and gave it to the other car owner when he returned.
We could not use the CCTV evidence, as we didn’t have a trained, and SIA CCTV Licenced officer on site at the time.
The Supermarket owners would not release the footage anyway, as it was on private property. They don’t get involved in traffic incidents.
A couple of years ago my wife returned to her car, which was parked alongside a busy town road, in a parking bay. The X5 had a very large gash down the side facing onto the road. She had the presence of mind to ask at a couple of shops nearby if anyone had seen anything and was told that a delivery lorry had been parked for a few minutes. She then went to the police with this info who examined CCTV footage and was able to verify the delivery lorry had shunted her car. The police contacted the parcel company that owned the lorry and were able to determine who the driver was. He said he hadn’t realised he had hit a car, however the CCTV footage showed he had got out of the lorry, then back in and moved it so he was clearly lying. It turns out he had recently hit another car with the lorry. The good news is the damage was paid for by the courier company. I’m not sure what happened to the driver but he didn’t deserve to keep his job as he was clearly a poor driver and crooked.
I’ve also got small dents on both sides of my car thanks to other drivers opening doors onto it, despite always trying to park away from other parked cars. Some people just have no conscience and shouldn’t be allowed to own a vehicle. I would never dream of driving off after damaging someone else’s property.
While I sympathise with people that have had their vehicle damaged, one of the main reasons people drive away is because insurance companies rip motorists off when they report an accident/incident. Not only does their insurance premium rise, but they have to declare the accident (and get ripped off) for the following five years. If insurance companies limited the declaration period to, perhaps, one or two years, it wouldn’t be so bad. Additionally, the reduction in NCD when it’s not protected also costs, and it takes a heck of a long time to build it back up again.
The upshot of all this is that people don’t want the hassle or the cost for what can be a minor mistake for which the consequences outweigh the incentive to be honest. It’s similar to minor road traffic offences, one mistake and you get hammered. Perhaps a root and branch overhaul of the way insurance companies work is needed. For example, incidents that are not the policyholders fault are disregarded when it comes to calculating premiums, and those who are responsible for petty incidents only have to declare them for a shorter period of time.
I was insured by Church hill. Beware of their so called experts and loss adjusters, ok; they’re there to save Churchill money, not you, ok.
Beware of auto renewal on Churchill Insurance. When I phoned to cancel and said I can get the same insurance £100 cheaper from another insurer, they offered me a re-newal at £100 less than their original offer. If I had let the auto-renew go through, I would be paying £100 extra which was 20% of the premium. I too have been the receipient of unwanted damage to my car.
THATS TODAYS SO CALLED MOTORISTS FOR YOU
WHEN I LEARNED TO DRIVE IN 1961 IT WAS A MUCH PLEASANTER EXPERIENCE
NOW I HAVE TO COTEND WITH TAILGATE DRIVERS BY THE SCORE BUT I STILL REMEMBER MY INSTUCTOR SAYING DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEM THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES I THANK THE LORD HE SAID THAT !!!!
Even when you know who the perpetrator was, or their vehicle that caused the damage, it is difficult to find the contact details unless you fork out more cash!
Having been dented in a car park by the usual 4×4 with no regard for the size of the parking space or their wheels, and knowing the vehicle registration I contacted the police who would not do anything.
Of course it would have been different if it had been one of their vehicles?
The date was 14th November 2014 the car was a VW Touareg registration number AE14 XYJ in Bitterne, Southampton. I still have the photo of the inconsiderate parking.
having an 08 car i was hit when parked. when i took to the body works i was told that there was so much damage it would be a insurance write off.they pointed out damage i did not see. If I had repaired myself an did not mind second hand parts they could repair it for £400,00.Since the write off falue was £600.00 and I would lose the first £300.00.I had it repaired at my cost as it was in good condition .
I too had this problem with the co-op insurance and had to seek insurance elsewhere
Their action appears to be totally unreasonable.and I suggest you make a formal complaint to the relevant insurance regulatory body.
I have had my current car from new about 31/2 years ago. It was hit on the second day by someone who must have been parked behind me so I parked round the corner on a cul-de-sac and it was keyed on the 8th day. I then parked opposite my home (double yellows my side) which is a very narrow road but the garbage truck drives up and reverses without a touch. Since parking there it has been hit at least 6 times ranging from minor scratch on the folded wing mirror, to hitting the same mirror so hard it knocked the cover off and it won’t go back in place and a bad loss of paint on the off side rear bumper. I actually heard the Ford Transit which did for the mirror but he had reversed round the corner before I could get out to see and I just saw him drive off.
I recently had bad damage inflicted to my car while it was parked on my own driveway (repair estimate for a new door panel, about £1,200).
I have no evidence but I am convinced it was by ‘white van man’ delivering to our house that morning on behalf of amazon. My car has stood in the same spot for the past 40 years (different cars of course in that time) with no trouble, then along comes a delivery from amazon and I suddenly and mysteriously have a dented door.
They deny everything of course and will not correspond sensibly, passing it on to their ‘contractor’ which it seems is a management company for individual owner-drivers and even less chance there. They told me they have cameras in all their vehicles and would let me know the next day whether there was anything on the camera; two days later they told me the camera was not switched on.
What chance, no chance.
My fairly new Ford Focus has dents and marks on both bumpers and on almost every panel, all caused by other car drivers in car parks and also by supermarket trolleys. Most of them are small but one of them is a long narrow dent the full length of a rear passenger door. It’s strange, but when I had an old banger I never seemed to have this problem, have parking bays gotten smaller, or are people worse drivers now?
Unfortunately none of the marks individually were big enough to justify an insurance claim, and anyway, it would only have put my premiums up. It looks like I’ll just have to drive round in my new car that looks like it’s been in a demolition derby until I sell it, it’s so disappointing when I was so excited to be able to afford an almost new car for the first time in my life after 30 years of driving.
A couple of years ago I was advise that my company car had been damaged in an accident at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, by my boss she phoned to say that my car had been see to hit another vehicle and drive off. I pointed out to her that on the date the accident occurred my car was in Arnold Clarks in Stretford as there had been a problem with the engine warning light coming on. No one at the garage would admit to it being used although nearly £40 of file had been used and inside was filthy. Clearly someone had been using it as their own.
For those having issues from insurers, you best bet is to handle the claim yourself, it is not difficult, approach their insurers with evidence and make the claim direct to them, do not tell your insurers, most will pay out if not go to the small claims court and issue proceedings against the driver and the insurance company, 90+% of the time they will just pay up as it is cheaper than going to court, I have done it 3 times and have had all repairs done and even got costs back. I can still claim in all honesty that I have never made a claim on my insurance if asked!
I was hit by a DFS lorry in a DFS car park in New Malden, Surrey in 2006 causing hundreds of pounds of damage to the rear of my otherwise clean BMW that I’d only bought the year before. He’d clearly reversed into me, but no witnesses, no CCTV and of course the gutless twat just drove off.
We need a large MPV to cope with the needs of my disabled wife. After having one damaged by an incompetent “nose in parker”, I have joined owners of like vehicles in the supermarket PFA section (parks far away!) It is the only safe solution.
Seems to me we are missing the point. No damage no problem. Car parking spaces are too small and in multi story car parks frequently have a pillar just to add to the chalange. I would bet that the incednce of damage is lower in the mother and baby and disabled spaces.
Even if you don’t intend to make a claim and are in no way to blame, never report an incident/accident to your insurance company as there’s a fair chance it will be logged and affect your driving record/next premium.
As for scrapes in car parks, etc., There’s one particular pub I visit regularly where over the last 12 months my car has acquired several scrapes and dents because of the modern trend to mark out ridiculously narrow white lines defining a parking space where often you can barely squeeze out of the driver’s door without touching the vehicle alongside (and I’m pretty slim!) and any passenger has to get out before parking, otherwise they would not be able to open their door. And there only needs one 4 x 4 over-spilling into the next slot to make it impossible for another vehicle to squeeze in between it and the next car as the space has become too narrow to be used! Obviously, most sites want to park the maximum number of vehicles but it makes no sense to keep parking lanes so narrow that vehicles are randomly at risk of involuntary and unavoidable damage and in spite of there probably being management disclaimers for accidents in car parks, maybe there should be a class action to see if the management of narrow parking slots can be made responsible for scrapes., etc. by them creating unreasonable and impractically spaced slots. Is it not now time to bring in a nation-wide minimum width for parking slots? This would reduce car park scrapes and dents all over the UK and perhaps help keep vehicle insurance premiums down.
I agree with Dave Partridge, parking spaces are getting smaller and vehicles are now growing in size, back where they were 20 years ago.
What is really annoying is that as far as insurance companies are concerned it’s YOUR FAULT and charge accordingly. I had my car Keyed a couple of years ago I knew who did it but couldn’t prove it. So the system says it’s my fault?
My car was a victim of a hit and run in February this year and even though it was caught on CCTV I was unable to get the other vehicles registration. The matter was reported to Thames valley police but no Joy there they didn’t even bother to speak to me face to face so I claimed on my insurance, having no claims protection only to find that they increased my insurance by 85%. The insurance companies in this country are conning scum, they take your money and find ways of not paying out and to make matters worse they are backed up by the law of the land. Thanks for nothing Ford insure you will NEVER have my business again.
Just happened to me! Someone clipped the front of my Micra in a NHS car park, yes one of my colleagues damaged my car, no CCTV either and my dashcam was set wrongly and didn’t trigger, waiting for the hit from insurance co!
Insurance is a con. u pay over the top to keep within the law as these company’s know u need insurance, then as soon as u make a claim that is not ur fault ur premium rises,u have to declare it for the next 5 years,whilst these company’s profit!!!!!
Like all drivers where every mark is done by somebody else I can happily report that while shopping in Mill Hill a request came over the tannoy of the store for me to come to customer services. An apologetic female driver was so sorry that she had hit my car. On examination there were three nasty scratches along two panels. We exchanged details. I went to my usual garage who quoted me £400 + VAT to do the job. I told the lady by phone and received a cheque for the full amount two days later and got the repair done later that week. Human nature is fickle – I was fortunate to be bumped by an honest, respectful lady.
My local Aldi, opened a couple of years ago has car parking spaces that are sufficiently wide to accommodate modern cars. Most other car parks still have spaces just about big enough for a Reliant Robin. Fer cars get doored in this Aldi car park, maybe other parking providers could rehash their white lines?
I always try to park where I have an empty space on either side. Returning to my car I noticed a woman rummaging about in the back seat of her car which she had parked next to mine. She was talking on her mobile and her door caught my wing mirror and she furtively looked around to see if anyone had noticed. She then looked at her car door and my wing mirror to see if there was any damage. As I approached she said she thought she had hit my car and set the lights flashing, but realised that it was my pressing the key fob to unlock the car which had caused that. I told her that she had hit the car. I examined my mirror which was undamaged, and her door which had a large dent in it and several scratches – obviously from previous incidents.As I got into my car, my door lightly touched hers and she went ballistic.I pointed out that I had seen all of the scratches and the dent prior to this and if she thought I was taking the blame, she could jog on. Said she couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of reporting it and drove off, still talking on her mobile phone!!!!
My car was hit in a Tesco car park and they refused to release the CCTV footage that they had, even to my insurance company. My insurance company paid for the repair but it cost me a £400 excess plus an increase in premium the following year, even though I had paid more to protect my No Claim bonus. Insurance companies never lose out.
My car was a week old when I parked it in a supermarket car park well away from the other cars. Although there was still plenty of room in the car park, some nice person parked their car so close to mine that I had difficulty opening my door. when I did I noticed that some one had scratched the side as though with a shoulder bag. It could have only been the person whose car it was. GGRRRR!!!
Had this recently. Woman got out to look at damage then left! I was extremely lucky that another driver took her number. Claim paid. Great job by local repairer who new who did it how lucky!
I was unfortunate enough to be a victim of a hit n run also this year whilst parked in local supermarket car park. I was incredibly lucky to have had 3 wonderful people who saw what happened and all of them waited for me to come back to my car and give me the reg number of the car responsible. They could have easily turned a blind eye but I hope most of us on this forum are decent and honourable enough to do the right thing. Accidents happen, we’re only human and the car got fixed. But there is no excuse to drive off and play dumb. It’s important to also report these incidents to the police. A driver has 24 hours to report an RTC and it doesn’t matter whether its on a road or in a car park. Not only that but the police can help to trace the owner and who the vehicle is insured with so that you can approach their insurance company direct if you prefer not to go through your own.
The car insurance companies should be guided by honesty. I ask not there is a regulator that regulates the car companies in this country? Because that’s how it works should be there to present complaints of insurance companies that act dishonestly. In addition the court decides a lot of disputes between insurance companies and injured parties. It is true that small amounts not worth the court’s work, and insurers know this, which is why many cases are not resolved.
To be honest I have a car a few years and I always have respect for others. Only appearing risks in painting and small dents in my car. The best way that I decided to buy a camera there and I already installed. With motion detection and G – sensor. Everything is recorded in a micro card looping system. I advise all who want conclusive evidence is best way to combat dishonesty.
I had my car damaged twice within a couple of months in the car park at work. The first one did not own up, but the second found me and admitted what was done and paid for the repair. I went on to damage my own car when I caught a skip in the car park but have ignored the damage because I was fed up with repairing the door only to have it bashed again. That was years ago and I am still living with it! I am disgusted that if I tell my insurer that the car has been damaged, regardless of who pays for it, who was at fault and without making a claim, this counts as an incident and I become penalised by it. No wonder people keep quiet.
Many years ago now i was driving my girlfriends car (she was in the passenger sea)t and approached a T junction we were hit by a transit van turning left off a main road at such a speed that it pushed our car across the road onto the pavement. The van did not stop but witnesses had taken the number and passed it on to myself and the police. I being the driver of our car was breathalised by police but had not been drinking so was in the clear witnesses stated i was staionary waiting to turn when i was hit. This all happened on a Saturday evening and when the police took paint samples from my car and matched them to the van which was traced by its registration n umber you would have thought id have a closed case. The owner of the said commercial said the vehicle must have been stolen and returned as no one had permission to used it. The police could not prove otherwise so we were left with a claim to the insurance company who said i was driving on third party insurance from my own car insurance and refused the claim.This was now left to me to replace a door and whole rear quarter.
The moral being that insurance companies are a profit making organisation who have no conscience and the way they operate today means that your name and address is flagged up on any suspected claim against all your different insurance policies meaning that they will all cost more if the claim goes through against you and until a claim is settled to them you are a higher risk
What I find most digusting is the insurance companies.
They are the biggest bunch of ‘thieving’ T-leaf’s.
When the driver of the offending vehicle is insured by the same insurance company as yours they blame both of you and hike your insurance at renewal ! Or….they play buddy buddy and agree between themsleves to do a ‘knock for knock’ even if you were at fault, and then slam both drivers with a renewal hike.
For them it is always a win-win situation, so I agree…there should be an Ombudsman for them, or for them to be honest…but that’s like believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Good article on cameras which I have been thinking about for a long time. Problem is how secure is the camera left in an unattended vehicle. Is someone not more likely to target the vehicle to steal the camera – and all the evidence disappears with it.
Whilst driving in France 2 years ago a lady driver drove into the side of my car at a junction – no warning horn, no skid marks on the road. She admitted to being distracted and causing the collision. We all went to her car insurance company’s office where the staff helped me fill in the standard accident report form. My insurance company, AGEAS, accused me of not giving way to priority traffic and holds me responsible. 9 letters later and it will not budge: although it has magnanimously honoured my 9-year no-claims bonus (when I had paid for no-claims protection anyway)! You just cannot win!