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!

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