Blog : An annoying hit ‘n’ run

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Not liking the look of what's been done to my Rover 75.
Not liking the look of what's been done to my Rover 75.

Came in from a nice afternoon with ‘er indoors to find the mirror cap of my Rover 75 resting playfully on my kitchen work surface. Beneath it, are a couple of pieces of mirror – a familiar oval one, and a strange rectangular one. Puzzled, I wonder what’s going on – and ask a family member what’s going on. ‘I sent you a text message,’ he said. ‘I saw someone run into your car, stop, have a look and drive off.’

And then, the golden bit: ‘I have the number and car details’.

Annoyed, I wander out to cast an eye over my Rover 75, only to find that the driver’s door mirror has been written off, and there’s a gouge in the front wing that runs into the driver’s door. Considering my car was parked outside, on the street, minding its own business, this is a rum do. But the more I thought about this, the angrier I became – not because the damage is significant; I can buy a door mirror and repair or replace the door and wing easily enough; but because the person who did the damage didn’t have the decency to even stop and let us know what had happened.

In fact, as acts of stupidity go, this one’s up there, because said person even left their own door mirror glass on the road next to my car as a parting gift. I suspect what happened was that the driver clouted my car, had a quick look to see if anyone had seen the incident, saw the coast was clear and drove off into the sunset. But as a family member just happened to be looking out of the window at that very moment (and that’s bloody lucky), we’ve witnessed the whole thing.

Knowing I’d have to tell my insurers (and why wouldn’t I, as I’m fully-comp, and pay through the nose for the privilege), I set about reporting the incident to the police. After a quick chat over the ‘phone with my local police constabulary helpline, it transpired that as the person failed to stop, I needed to report it in person at my local station. So off I toddled, witness and documents in tow (in another car, obviously, as now the 75 isn’t legal to drive, with no door mirror), and set about getting the incident reported.

This process took me 45 minutes, as I needed to fill-in a pretty comprehensive form, hand over my details, and get a witness statement completed. But we went by the book, and I now have to wait to tell my insurers, as the claims office was closed.

Interestingly, on the way home, I saw the car that damaged ours (a small world, eh…) We were on a main urban thoroughfare heading home, when the traffic backed up. The source of the problem was the car in question, which was making a meal of backing out of their drive and into the road. But the driver, a young woman, headed off down the road (her passenger mirror still missing), weaving as she went. She then crossed a roundabout, missing all the lanes before entering the by-pass to my village. As there’s roadworks on this road, she decided not to bother waiting in the queue, but instead executed a clumsy U-turn, heading off the other way…

Ordinarily I’d catch up, and sort things out, but as I’d already reported it to the law, I left her to it.

It’s annoying, but repairable – but call me old-fashioned, the big deal here is that someone damaged the my car and didn’t even have the courtesy to stop and try and find out who owned it. Heck, even a note under the windscreen wiper would have been okay. But instead, she probably thought it’s just an old car, so it doesn’t matter.

And that’s what really rankles…

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

75 Comments

  1. I know how you feel, Keith – that’s what happened when our Honda Jazz was parked on the road outside a friend’s house last November.

    Mind you, one of my contacts in the local Motor Trader told me that he and his wife were on a visit to London and came out of one the major Shopping Centres there to find that their car had been hit. However, the driver of the other vehicle had left a note with his contact details under a windscreen wiper.

    Unfortunately, on checking with the Police, my friend found that the address and telephone number on the note were false… No wonder Motor Insurance premiums have been increasing so fast.

  2. I had somebody open their car door into my Montego’s wingmirror in a car park…whilst I was still sitting in the car and had my window open! As it was very gentle and seemed not to leave any damage I decided not to bother asking what she was playing at. Then her passenger pointed out that she’d done it, and the response was “oh?”

    Then I actually got out of my car to examine my mirror minutely for damage. Making any more of a scene would have simply served to make me look like the idiot…

    I understand your point – again, my incident shows a lack of courtesy. Hope you get her, mate.

  3. The most annoying thing is that it’s completely avoidable damage. Just a little more care and attention would have avoided it. People who do this should have their licence endorsed.

  4. Judging by your account of her driving style when you caught up with her, it strikes me she’d had a few shandies – or worse. It’s a shame the Boys in Blue weren’t around to witness that.

    I admire you for just calling it “annoying”, Keith – similar incidents have left me seething for a week or more! Chin up and pour yourself a large one (having put the car keys away for the day…)

  5. A female hit my offside mirror while we passed breaking both mirrors. Hers broke the mirror from the door, mine only broke the glass costing me £15.00.
    I reported the incident to my insurers, stressing that I was not making a claim on the insurance, but they reverted that since their were no witnesses and her version differed from mine, they would split responsibility 50/50.
    I am waiting for my invitation to renew my insurance later this year. I have also impressed upon them I do not want automatic renewal.

  6. I feel for you keith, sadly it’s the world we live in now; no respect for other people or their property.

    Back in October 2006, I’d had my blue 75 18 hours when a car-park hit and run put a scrape in the entire passenger side from headlight to tail light. Sadly, no-one witnessed it and I ended up with a £700 bodyshop bill.

  7. Did you note down the details of the other car when you later spotted it? Forwarded it to the police? Without a reg number they’ll probably just shelve the case.

    I had the opposite happen to me once, i was reversing a lorry into a very tight delivery point. Only a couple of inches gap either side of the wagon, but it was a smooth road so no problem. Suddenly became aware of some angry woman hammering on the cab door. At this point i’m thing “oh shit i’ve hit something”, but then couldn’t think what, as i’d had a couple of inches gap. So i open the cab door and get a barrage of abuse “you nearly hit my ******* car!”, i asked which car and then replied “well i had a good 2in clearance”. So she started ranting along the lines of “what not even an apology?!”. So i replied with “So you’re saying you’d like me to apologise for NOT hitting your car?”
    At which point she swore and stomped off. “Ok bye then”, haha.

  8. What make, model and colour of car did the culprit drive, Mike?

    Go on, tell all as these individuals are just a complete menace and have no respect for anyone else or their property.

  9. I would say the current climate of sky high insurance premiums is making such hit and run incidents more frequent.

    The culture of bogus or ‘milked’ whiplash claims needs to end, so that premiums can fall.

  10. “Ordinarily I’d catch up, and sort things out, but as I’d already reported it to the law, I left her to it.”

    Not me, I’d have hunted down the ignorant cow!
    & demand an apology at least! 🙂

  11. I went to my local tesco’s on a windy day, parked the car and went inside to shop. On returning to my car, the car next to mine’s rear door was left open and as it was windy and slamming against my car then close a bit and slamming again. This was not on, this was like waving a red rag to a bull. Rather than wait and confront the owner, i looked around to see if anyone was watching and i gave the car door a bloody good kicking for good measure, felt a lot better after that. couldnt do that today, cctv spoils everything…..Today you have to tow the line even if others dont,agree……

  12. Parked on a main road near a side road, I’ve had the front three-quarters hit-and-runned, and despite always carefully parking the centre of a parking bay I am slowly collecting mysterious dents and scratches along both sides of the car.

    I lived abroad for 10 years and I NEVER had any such unexplained dents and scratches on the two cars that I owned there.

    Reading this blog just makes the blood boil!

    People are so sloppy in what they do and increasingly have no empathy or consideration for anyone else, and this naturally manifests in their driving habits too.

    So nice to know that this particular nob is going to get done and hopefully you won’t be out of pocket.

  13. Sorry to hear about this Keith, about 11 years ago I was still living at the family home upon my return from an evening out I noticed one of the gate pillars had been knocked down and was lying in the middle of the 2nd driveway (we’d had it made years ago so we could park more than 2 cars off the road) but we’d never got around to having the kerb lowered. We lived at the end of a cul-de-sac so it was easy to see what happened but for the life of me could not understand HOW as in order to hit it the driver would have had to have mounted the kerb and reverse the full width of the pavement. Just like your incident Keith the incident had been witnessed also the witness reckoned he knew where the car came from, I went the next day and had a look around and found the car in question. An L reg R8 saloon would you believe! Local gossip suggested he was a drink driver but he claimed he struggled to turn round in the street. When I queried this with the Police Officer I was pretty much told to ‘shut it’ I also got a load of verbal for finding the car (even though I’d resisted the urge to confront him) and was told to accept the ‘very kind offer’ of having the pillar rebuilt as he apparently was a builder!

    Claim for everything you possibly can its the only way some of these people learn.

  14. Our vw touran was hit by a git in a merc…… My mum was in the shop and saw it all….. Naturally the man didnt own up so we used cctv to pin it on him – he got nailed- slimy bastard

  15. I know the feeling. I parked my mint 20,000 miler 12 year old Skoda Felicia outside my mums one Sunday and came back out to find someone had literally gouged the entire length of the car right from bumper to bumper, and I mean gouged deep. How they even managed it was mind boggling but to just drive off was unbelievable.

  16. I’m sorry for your troubles, Keith. Bloody infuriating.

    I had some idiot in an Omega go into the back of my Mazda 323F after a BMW driver pulled right out in front of me. I managed to stop, on a wet cross-hatched road (right outside Gloucester fire station) without ABS, but the Omega behind (presumably with ABS) didn’t stop in time. Not a lot of damage to the Mazda, but because of its age it was a right-off (and it was a pretty good car too so I was pretty miffed).

    The guy in the Omega agreed to pull into the fire station forecourt to exchange details, so I pulled in first, and he floored it. I was left standing there, gaping open mouthed and feeling extremely foolish, but luckily the vehicle behind was a bus- the driver stopped and let me get on board (‘Follow that car’) and we at least managed to get the registration. She’d also witnessed what happened. I didn’t even have time to take the keys out of the ignition! However, when I called the Police they said they’d not be following it up that night as it didn’t count as a ‘hit and run’ as no pedestrian was involved. So the driver could have been driving under the influence, but there would be no evidence as they weren’t prepared to speak to him that evening.

    Gloucestershire Police then spent three days trying to have me believe that they had no record of the 999 call, but eventually when I proved persistent they discovered that they did have that call logged after all.

    Luckily I was with Direct Line insurance and they are pretty good about uninsured third parties- although despite not losing my ‘no claims’ they quoted an astronomical figure for renewal. And the day of the magistrates hearing was postponed three times- eventually he stopped contesting liability- the fool.

    My advice is not to have an accident or have your car broken into in Gloucestershire- the Police are useless. So the last time my car was broken into I didn’t bother reporting it since I’d only be punishing myself by incurring a higher renewal premium.

  17. I knocked the front bumper off an Auris in a car park once. It was raining heavily so couldn’t leave a note. I waited ONE HOUR for the owner to return and owned up. It cost me 2 years no claims but my conscience is clear.

  18. Many years ago (1981) after a friend and I re-built a 1965 Midget, we were out for a test drive near Durham, friend driving. We were waiting behind another car to turn right at a tee junction (Bek Road into Pit Lane) when an Ital turned into the tee from our right and hit the rear rhs wheel arch, actually pushing us sideways across the road. The driver simply drove off. I jumped out to try to get a witness from the car in front but it just drove off as well. We turned round and gave chase but lost sight of the Ital after if dodged down a road to the left. So we returned to the scene to see if there were any more witnesses, but there were none to be seen, just some debri on the ground which I picked up for evidence. Off to the Police Station to report the “failing to stop at the scene of the accident”. The Policeman behind the desk looked bored and sighed and said “did you get their number?” I passed him the debri, which was the front number plate with a big smile. He looked bored again, sighed and shook his head. Both of us were then interviewed and the policeman accidently had a piece of paper in good view on the desk which read:
    Morris Ital – OEX855X – Mrs Hilda Chr???ie, ?? Featherstone Road, Newton Hall, Durham. We went round there, but it was locked up tight and we didn’t have the nerve to call. The Police were very decent in what they did, but as the car had only cost £100 they weren’t too bothered about chasing her up. The bent wheel arch was pushed back out with a scissor jack in about 5 minutes. Still it is the principle of the matter. And looking back at the map, she knew what she had done and by going left, that took her away from her house and then she looped round to get back there – definitely “shake off tactics”. If I ever see here, I’ll give her a piece of my mind.
    Ian
    PS ask me someday about the incident when selling a kit car I had made – Quite funny!

  19. “I lived abroad for 10 years and I NEVER had any such unexplained dents and scratches on the two cars that I owned there.”

    Depends where you live, in southern France/Spain they routinely bump into each others cars when parking, which is why you see so many cars with unpainted bumpers.

    “My advice is not to have an accident or have your car broken into in Gloucestershire- the Police are useless. So the last time my car was broken into I didn’t bother reporting it since I’d only be punishing myself by incurring a higher renewal premium.”

    Well not really, just because you report it to the police doesn’t mean you have to report it to your insurers (ie. make a claim). However reporting it to the Police does mean that their performance on car crime goes down, so they’re more likely to focus on it in the future to make their figures look good.

  20. An incident happened when I had my SD1 back in the 90’s when some bozo reversed into my door. Of course, no note on the ‘screen. I was gutted as it was my pride & joy & I was quite poor at the time. Had a word with my boss & ha let me cash in some annual leave so I could the door fixed.

    So for all of us that have written our tales of woe, you owe it to us to make sure you get a result on this.

    Go get ’em Keith!

  21. The more times I read about things like this the more I lean towards buying a £500 banger covered in dents.

    Another example of the selfish society we all live in. Keith, I hope you manage to get it sorted at a cheap price.

  22. Reading this enraged me too Keith! I expected the offending motorist to be a male, not a youngish woman (obviously an incompetent driver) and uncaring in her other road manners aswell. I could never do such a thing to someone’s car and would always own up and make amends.

    As other contributors have said here, it reflects on the current standards, behaviour and morals in our British society. At least you’ve gone by the book in reporting it and the Police should follow it through with your insurers. Good luck with the repairs, you have my sympathy & support.

  23. A couple of years back, I came back to my car to find the wing-mirror hanging off. Under the windscreen wiper there was a note along the lines of:-

    ‘The people watching me think that I’m leaving my name and address…..but I’m not’

    I never did find out who damaged my car.

  24. I once had a halfwit reverse a Renault 21 with a towbar into the drivers door of my Ital (AVV 376X) at Texas Homecare.

    This was a couple of days before I scrapped it thanks to rampant rust and a dwindling MOT, the guy was adamant he diddnt want to go through the insurance. All he did was leave a large tennis ball dent in the door, but getting to the point, I lifted £100 from him for getting a used door and fitting it.

    And off it went to the breakers yard and I spent the £100 on sweets & pop!

  25. A few years ago I was driving home from a Christmas party (stone cold sober you understand) when a car side-swiped mine whilst we were passing on a sharp bend. I stopped, the other car didn’t. I turned my car around, and just managed to see the other driver pull into a pub/hotel car-park. I stopped my car behind his, blocking him in, then got our, phone in hand. The guy was furiously trying to lock his doors, but I could see at once that has was completely blotto! I knocked on his window, and motioned to him to get out. He eventually did, and my, was he p*ss*d! I showed him my phone, and said ‘we can do this the hard way, where I call the police, and you get done for drink driving, or you can give me your address details so that I can get my car repaired’ He gave me his address, and I wrote his numberplate down, and the next day, called his home number, and spoke to his wife – I took great pleasure in describing how drunk this chap was! Got my car repaired at his expense a fortnight later! Thinking back, I should have shopped him as well – he could have killed someone……

  26. @32 I can’t say that I agree with your approach given the information you have made public. What’s to say this was the first time the bloke had driven while clearly unfit to do so? He was clearly happy to take the risk of drink driving, and “getting away” with a few hundred pounds of a bill probably did nothing to dissuade him from doing it again.

    Still, I wasn’t there, so I can’t judge.

  27. I’ve had three bumps like that.

    1: Peugeot 205, waiting at junction to turn right, In correct position on the road, a Mk V Cortina Estate turns left into the road, smashes into my rear passenger door hard enough that the window wouldn’t wind down anymore.

    Leaves a bumper corner covered in green metallic overspray. I run after it, but they don’t stop.

    Next day, go to every garage in town. There’s the ‘tina, at a local dodgy one, missing a bumper corner. I know the garage owner, do the “OMG a Cortina! Wow! Not for sale is it?”, get owner’s details. Visit owner. Owner denies all knowledge. Owner is rather shocked when presented with glass slipper… I mean, bumper corner.

    Get given lots of cash to get the door fixed, Police investigate too.

    2: Driving uphill, parked cars opposite, someone blasts downhill and smashes my mirror off. U-turn, catch up, pull into carpark, call garage, get price for new mirror, get money from other driver to repair mirror. Driver initially denies doing anything wrong, again!

    3: Overtaking a line of traffic, halfway down without signalling a C-class pulls out INTO the side of my car. Their mirror is smashed off. Pull in, make sarcastic remark about them clearly not needing it anyway as if they’d used it, they’d have seen I was already passing them! My mirror is undamaged.

    And yes, I have bumped a car in a carpark when I was a young driver. I left my real numer, and a note explaining that whilst reversing in a multistory, my front corner had clipped their rear corner. It did look like an “it’ll polish out” scuff, but I never got a call otherwise.

    I’ve done worse to my own cars a couple of times.

  28. Mike: Oh, that reminds me of my Citroën Dyane!

    In Berwick, I’m in the swimming pool coffee bar, my Dyane is outside. I glance out, at see a Rover 800 reversing into the space in front of it, rather clumsily. Thud! My Dyane visibly moves backwards. I rush down, pick up the bumper off the ground, and am rather calm but irritated.

    “Oh, god, I’m sorry! What do I owe you?”

    “Um… I can probably get a bumper fixed for £50”.

    In fairness, the entire car had cost me £50… and I tied the bumper back on with wire ties.

  29. Common Couresty along with their cousin Common Sense died years ago, murdered by ambulance chasing solicitors.

  30. Dont mention the Police – theyre about as useful as tits on a bull.

    A recent highlight went as follows…

    I followed a Golf through the backs towards Stanway along the road that passes the quarry. Its a fast road on a 60 limit and long flowing bends with clear vision.

    This bright spark was doing about 35mph, so I decided that if it was safe I would overtake down the hill onto the straight. There is a clear 1.5 mile stretch.

    I got into position, snicked the gearbox into ‘s’ mode, and made the maneuver… only to find this idiot had hammered his accelerator and was racing me! Given enough distance I could probably have outdragged him – but that would have been downright lethal.

    I had to back out of it, on the wrong side of the road, completely wrongfooted. The guy could have easily caused an accident – and there was damage on the Golf.

    I called the cops and reported his driving. Their response was sorry, we need more than one person reporting it?! Whoever that person is, he is going to end up killing someone, and the Police are powerless (not to mention utterly disinterested) to stop it.

  31. Hope you get it sorted out Keith. The trouble is these days, is that someone else’s carelessness often results in good cars being written off as the insurance companies don’t bother repairing older cars.

    The upside used to be that you could take the payout and buy the car back for pence – an ex-colleague of mine was gutted that someone ran into his utterly faithful 10 year old Nissan Sunny, denting the door and writing it off (gaining a payment of about £800). I advised him to buy it back, which he did (for £60). One door from a scrapyard later and he was back on the road and over £700 in profit! Don’t know if this is still possible these days, but it might be worth considering Keith if the insurance write it off – value of car back less the cost of a new mirror and a bit of filler and paint.

  32. I probably shouldnt mention the 92 year old that did fewer MPG on Port & Whiskey than his BMW 750il did on Petrol. The highlight of his driving career that I saw was the part where he reversed around a roundabout just off the A12.

    Then there was the 80 year old that bought a 80’s Jaguar V12 XJ and used it to go from the pub to his house and back. Around 2000 that car had done 11’000 miles – and had been bought on the sole basis that if he hit anything/anyone while he was bladdered – he wouldnt notice.

    And they say the older generation is more matire and adult…

  33. @Steve Bailey, It’s big a problem with old MX5’s, if someone slashes the roof it seems to be an automatic writeoff. I think it’s because Mazda UK quote £2000 to replace and fit one whereas you can do it youself or about £300. So lots of good cars are being sent to the crusher because of that.

  34. up until this year, we had a mint condition, family owned from new 12 year old low mileage car, without a mark on the bodywork. In the last 6 months someone has scraped the bumper in asda, and not owned up, gouged the rear hatch, quarter panel and door whilst speed striping the entire side of the car outside our house, and something like a 4×4 or pick has backed into it punching a hole dent in the bonnet. not one perpetrator left their details or came/waited to see me. now we are left witha mechanically sound car, that was worth about £600 looking tatty with a £500 repair bill to sort out all the damage.

  35. Had one of these on the wing top of a bright red FIAT myself sir.

    Keith considering our banger rally exploits, we’ve never ripped a mirror off yet!

  36. Keep your mobile handy for the photographs.

    Back in the early ’60s, when my daily driver was a 1938 Jowett 8, I had driven into a parking space in a rather rough council car park. Later, as I was backing out the N/S front wheel mounted half a brick I hadn’t seen, dropped behind the bumper of the Mini parked next to me and bent it and the mountings. I had a camera with me, so I took a photo of the damage. I jacked the car up so that my bumper was clear of the Mini’s, took another photo, then pushed the car off the jack and took a third photo. I then left a note under the windscreen wiper with my details.

    I wrote to my insurance company with an accident report, only to get a reply saying that my account did not match that of the driver of the Mini. I telephoned my insurers to find that the ‘lady’ owner of the Mini was claiming for a front wing and headlamp as well. They were very pleased to hear that I had photographs of the incident and requested copies which they could present to the other Insurance Company. I later heard that the ‘lady’s’ insurers refused to pay for her damage and had cancelled her policy.

    Needless to say, I now always back into a parking space.

  37. I used to have a company car. I was sitting in it at our local shops waiting for my wife to come out of the shop. I became aware of someone trying to reverse in to the space next to me on my right (I had gone in to the space forwards)Suddenly there was a scrape and he had dragged his bumper along my r/h real wheel arch and door. He straightened up and finished parking. He clearly had no idea I was in my car. I waited until he got out of his car and then said ‘Oy, you just scraped my car’ He at first denied it, but not for long when I pointed out the white paint on my car and blue on his. I made him give me his details etc and told him that My company always use the police to investigate such cases and there was nothing I could do to stop it – I do not know if that was true or not but his face was a picture and it was worth it.

  38. This really annoys me.

    I will admit in my younger days to having nudged the car next to me while parking. The sort of mistake you only make once (and I hope that instructors these days don’t just rely on empty car parks to teach!). Left a note with my name and number (it was a multi-story so no need to worry about the rain). Expected an angry/annoyed phone call but didn’t get anything.

    Had a Citroen ZX I bought from my uncle as he couldn’t be bothered selling it as someone had left a dent on the rear door and drove off. I used it as a student, hammered and polished out the dent as best I could but still a ripple. Nonetheless a great car. Back home, ill with flu, next door neighbour raps the door, they’ve put a small dent on the other side. Got a sat nav sucker and pulled the dent out. No harm done.

    Worst recently was actually some wanton vandalism. The other half’s little car was parked up on the drive, though its one of these developments without fences, all open. We arrived back home one Saturday night to see her wing mirror hanging off. Then, a group of youths running back past. Would’ve cornered them but they’re likely to carry knifes these days. Phoned police who seemed disinterested. Gaffer taped the mirror up until we move to a less dodgy area when it’ll get a proper repair.

  39. About 10 years ago I clipped a Mk3 Fiesta’s wing mirror whilst driving my trusty old Triumph 2500TC, there was no dicernable damage to the fiesta apart from a cracked mirror glass. However I was so racked with guilt I tried the nearest house but know one was in, so left a note under the wiper blade asking the owner to contact me so I could re-imburse them. They did call later day to thank me for my honesty and told me not to worry about the wing mirror glass as it was already cracked!

  40. People should of course be honest, but sometimes you take a lot of trouble for nothing. I once saw a parked HHR 420 hatch written off by a carelessly driven beer truck (scrape along side, door mirror knocked off, hole in C pillar; 8 year old car). I followed the truck, noted the registration, owner, place and time of delivery, and wrote up a witness statement. The owner was very pleased – no-one else had come forward – and asked what he could do for me. I suggested he could buy me a pint – six years later, I’m still waiting. Like the Murphy’s, I’m not bitter.

    Another time, I was accused of leaving paint on a colleague’s car. My reply was that it was a different colour, and the wrong height on the door; and there was no mark on my door. Apart from that, of course he was right.

  41. The coupe is full of parking dings and my heart sinks when I park away from the door only to see an SUV beside it or a fresh door ding.

    Some people have no respect and are happy enough parking up their urban assault vehicles and letting their offspring fling an armoured door at your car >:(

  42. Yeah. i try to never park next to bloody 4 wheel drives. they fill the space up and the only place for the doors to go is in to yours. I hate coming back to the car and finding one parked next door.

  43. I was in the post office a few months ago, and I had parked outside it, so could see the back of the car from the queue. A woman was trying to reverse her XC90 into the space in front, and after 3 or 4 tried I saw my car move (I leave it in gear without handbrake on). I was just finishing in the PO at the time, and as I walked out a guy came up to me to tell me that she had hit the car.

    Now, there wasn’t any damage (her tow ball had hit my number plate), but I stood looking at my number plate as she got out, making a point that i’d seen it. She said nothing.

  44. I just remembered an incident that occurred when I was borrowing someone else’s Alfa 164. I had just had a lovely Shiatsu (thats a massage, not a type of small dog), and was very relaxed as I drove back towards Gloucester.

    The traffic stopped briefly at Walls Roundabout, a large roundabout named after the famous nearby ice-cream factory. There was a Citroen Saxo ahead of me. I watched him enter the roundabout, and as there was a break in traffic, I followed. Being a large and fast roundabout, and having seen Mr Saxo go over the line, I was looking right to check that there was nothing fast coming round (as often happens). I then looked round to find the Saxo stopped, for no apparent reason, in the middle lane of the roundabout. I slammed on the brakes, but too late, and gave the Saxo a ‘love tap’.

    The guy got out and informed me that I’d knackered his subframe. I found this peculiar, as how was it possible to diagnose that without looking underneath the car? I informed the insurance company of his strange behaviour, and that I thought I’d been ‘set up’ (he’d no doubt damaged his car previously) but they refused to consider it- and even refused to provide me with a garage accident report. The Alfa was fine, apart from one of the fog lights had popped out of the bumper.

    I had no previous claims, and had Protected No Claims, so I decided to put that down to experience. However, in the following few days after the Alfa prang then bought an Audi A4, which I crashed at 15mph on virgin snow shortly after, then a couple of weeks after that I was about to return a brand new Fiesta courtesy car loaned by the accident damage people, so I put it through an automatic car wash in order to avoid the £20 valetting charge. The carwash ate the Fiesta! There were two parallel grooves down the roof where the overhead transverse beams with the water jets passed over, it tore out the aerial boss, and ripped out one of the mirrors.

    The garage spent three years lying through their teeth- claiming that the manageress was driving to work on the day and noted a Fiesta, identical to mine, being driven ahead of her, with an intact aerial and roof panel (oh yeah…), and when I personally went to see her on the monday the aerial was clearly erect (despite by then driving my own Audi A4 which has no external aerial, the rear window heating elements serve that purpose, albeit very poorly). I was so looking forward to hearing them perjure themselves in court but sadly they decided not to contest (without admitting liability) before it ended up there.

    Of course, all that cost me dearly with insurance renewals, despite 2 of the 3 incidents not being my fault.

  45. “I informed the insurance company of his strange behaviour, and that I thought I’d been ‘set up’ (he’d no doubt damaged his car previously) but they refused to consider it- and even refused to provide me with a garage accident report. The Alfa was fine, apart from one of the fog lights had popped out of the bumper.”

    They wont, because it’s your word against his and it costs the insurer more to contest it in court than to just pay out. Although the assessor would have looked at the subframe when he visited the saxo owner. As i remember they don’t actually have a subframe to bend, just a beam axle, which would need a side impact to bend it.

  46. @56- yeah I thought that might be the case- the staff I spoke to were rather less than helpful and clearly saw me as a ‘nuisance’. Needless to say, I didn’t renew with them.

    Saxo’s do seem remarkably tinny though- I once considered buying a VTR (or VTS- whichever was the quicker), and sat in it hand had a good poke at the trim whilst waiting for the salesman to come out with the tradeplates. But I was so unimpressed by the poor grade interior that I handed the keys back without bothering to drive it.

  47. Sorry to hear about this Keith. I hope you get it sorted with no expense and minimal aggrovation.

    As a student in the mid 1990’s I once parked my beloved TR7 in a supermarket car park where I worked to pay for keeping the TR7 on the road. A work mate who was in the car park on trolley duties came to see me to tell me to stop work get out to my car quick. What had happened was a bloke had left his 14 year old son in his white escort van while he went shopping. Son all alone and sitting in the passenger seat and needed intellectual stimulation so released the handbrake, (like you do on a slope when you are in the passenger seat)! My poor car was in the path and got hit. The cheeky lad claimed it wasnt his fault and that I had parked incorrectly and the Dad on his return was clearly emabarrased but thought he could tough it out and would not give me his details saying I could not prove that it was even my car he’d hit let alone if his son had hit it (?) Luckily my work mate who raised the alarm had gone and got reinforcements so with 5 of us standing there he eventually caved in and my legal insurance saw to it that I got the repairs done at their expense.

    My wife’s car was hit in a similar manner to Keiths a few years ago – £ 800.00 of damage but sadly no witnesses. What were the Police like with you Keith?

  48. @ 58 Mike Humble- your comment about ‘Other types of snow being available’ tickled me.

    The road I crashed on was adjacent to a railway line, so it is entirely possible that it was specifically ‘the wrong kind of snow’- to use the old British Rail excuse…

  49. Done a hit and run myself in the dim and distant. Let me say now thats its not worth it! Someone will almost allways see you. 5 points and a £300 fine was my punishment for damage I caused to an unattended motorbike, not to mention 6 months of bricking it wj=hilst I waited it to go in front of a magistrate.

    Just leave a note and sort it out with cash.

    Keith, with such minimal damage you would be best advised NOT to claim on insurance, your premium will go up (even if you have NCB protection).

  50. Car now not at my house, as my insurers’ approved body shop has removed it. Interestingly, that body shop is 53 miles away…

    And they wonder why premiums are so high.

    Still, they have supplied a hire car in the meantime.

    /K

  51. A similar thing happened to me way back in 1990. I left my immaculate Russet Brown T-Reg Allegro 1750HL parked outside an Oxford pub situated on a busy side street. I met a friend and was just about to order a drink when a chap came running in asking who the owner of the Allegro was, as it had been hit by another car and the driver had driven off. The chap that had witnessed the collision had the offenders name, telephone number, car reg and address details. I asked him how he knew the offenders exact details and he explained to me that he was a student and shared the same house as the female student offender. The shared house was located on the same road as the pub Apparently the offender was a heavy drinker and would regularly drink & drive, and that day she had had a copious amount of alcohol and decided to go out in the car. I went outside and saw a 60ft skid mark arcing into my car then back out into the road clearing all the other parked cars on either side of the road. The damage to the car was a smashed in off side wing, bent steering rack, broken drive shaft, damaged wheel and tyre together with red paint and a Volkswagen golf bumper end cap. I thanked the witness and he said that he would provide a statement to the police.
    My Dear father was called and he towed the car back home for me. During the tow a friend was out in his car and was puzzled to see why I was being towed, he followed me home. Both my Father and friend said that I should go straight to the police station and report the offence. I did just that and stated to the police that there would be a strong likelihood that if they went to the offenders house they may well see them drunk or catch them driving the car. The police went to the house but the offender was still out. The next couple of days they returned to the address but the offender and car were not present; the third day the offender and golf with damage had returned. When questioned the offender admitted to causing the damage to my car they were charged with causing an accident and failing to stop. The offender some months later went to Court and was prosecuted, fined and had points added to their licence.
    My car was only insured TPF&T so I bit the bullet and repaired it with the help of friends & parts from the breakers yard.

  52. I used to have a gold coloured SD1 V8S (now rare as hens teeth) and came home one day to find that it had a scrape that started halfway along the drivers door and got deeper as it headed toward the front wing. The wing had an even deeper gouge which then stopped and it was clear that whatever did it would have ripped off the wing if it has continued. There was no way he didn’t know he’d done it.

    Now it just so happened that I knew it was Dustbin day and my neighbour confirmed they’d been earlier. A quick trip to the corporation yard and a chat with a very helpful geezer there and we located the lorry that had been down my road that day. Sure enough, gold paint on the wheel nuts and an explanation from him that they were using contract drivers.

    Southwark council ended up paying £1200 (in 1987 money) for a main dealer repair and I was very lucky that the man at the yard was so co-operative. I did not leave a tip for the binmen that year though and was actually pretty disgusted that every one of them though it was ok just to drive off.

    Actually, that SD1 was the most disappointing car I ever owned – so much potential let down by dreadful build quality. I’d have another one tomorrow though, just not as my daily driver. I still have an NOS wiper headlamp wiper blade for it, but since they’re almost extinct now, it’s useless to anyone but me for sentimental reasons 🙂

  53. I doubt the distance to the body shop has much of an impact on premiums, Keith. I wonder how much your insurer is being billed for your courtesy car – about double what you could pay retail for a little Fiesta, I’ll bet.

    And I hope you’ll be claiming for whiplash, despite being nowhere near the car at the time; everyone else seems to…

  54. Loving all the Daily Mail style indignation on this thread – “I left my £50 12 y.o. Skoda in a car park and when I came back it had a massive scrape on it – cost me £850 to get it sorted! (insert angry face emoticon here” – Why bother? Just do what I do – if it doesnt impact on how the car drives then ignore the damage and just keep on driving around in it. Surely the whole point abt driving a 12 yo car is you dont care what it looks like. When kids were throwing stones at my car I was just glad they landed on the roof and the bonnet and didnt hit the glassed areas – price to sort? £3 for a touch up paint off ebay – the glass even from a scrapper wld have been a lot more.

    There are a lot of people on here who really need to get some perspective – yes it is annoying when someone hits yr car and drives off without leaving any contact details – but thats the way of the World these days and all getting angry will do is give you a heart attack – just shrug, let out a sigh and be grateful the damage wasn’t more serious – and to be fair it sounds like most people are driving jalopies anyway!

  55. @66 Just because a car’s 12 years old doesn’t mean the owner doesn’t take care of it, and isn’t pissed off when some inconsiderate idiot takes a chunk out of it.

    You might not be too bothered about your own car, but what if I were to break in to your house and spray obscenities on your living room wall? It’s not impacting on the use of your your house so you should simply put up with it.

    If you damage someone else’s car then you should be prepared to make good that damage.

  56. Yes, I agree with WJ if you’ve got an old banger it’s good to leave a few dents in it, and leave it dirty too. I had a Mk2 Golf a few years back, no one ever ran into it but I put a huge dent in the passenger door in B&Q car park, hit a bollard. Having a dirty old Golf with dented door meant that when in the right hand lane and two lanes merge into one, the nice clean new car to your left will let you in!! Used to work even better with a tatty P6 Rover.
    The reason I get few dents is because I always park at the far end of the supermarket car park, kids, old folks and fat folks don’t like walking far so will park their SUVs and MPVs nearer the door.
    One tip a mate told me years ago when you know who damaged your car and where they live, but they won’t pay up is to go round one night, and loosen their sump plug so it’s on the last thread. It won’t leak but will shake loose when they drive the car and after about 100 yard or so empty the sump. As the driver is likely to be a bit of a numpty anyway, they won’t notice until some real damage has been done!
    Keith most likely madam was texting her mates when she hit your car!

  57. Sorry to hear about this Keith.

    It is totally wrong to drive of from an accident. It annoys me very much to hear such stories, because, as always, it usually leaves the good honest folk paying through the nose for those who chose not to accept the rules we as a society have chosen to live by.
    I live on a dead end street, it is very busy because people often mistake it for a through road only to be confronted by a very narrow street lined with vehicles some one wheel on kerb, some off and some very badly parked. For most people, the street is something of a struggle to turn in, unless you are used to it and know the `spots` in which you may be able to swing a car around ( it is amazing how many people do not look and asses correctly). This, combined with people thinking it is a through road (until they nearly collide with a brick wall at the end) usually ends in cars getting scrapped and bumped.
    We had a entire garden wall(brick) knocked down by a van. As did a neighbour. Our beloved Rover 620SLI had her mirrors ripped off and a variety of other vehicles on the street have suffered. A large old Volkswagen van had its lower panels pushed in by a guest of a neighbour who drove off after checking the damage (which ripped part of her splitter out). A neighbour reversed over an old Lambretta parked on a small grass area totally crushing its engine cowling and scrapping its custom paint work. Said neighbour has also hit other vehicles as well as several bins and a garage door.
    It is not uncommon to find the woman speeding and stopping within a few inches of the Jazz or Punto we park outside out house.
    What is amusing though, is that on more then one occasion, members of the criminal fraternity have made the through road mistake and not too long ago, one of those older style, fast back Astra MkIIs flew down the street only to break just in time to turn what would have been a serious accident into a more gentle slide into the brick wall. Somewhat confused, they had an even worse day a few moments later when the occupants with tights on their heads where blocked in by a big silver Ford Galaxy and surrounded by armed police.

  58. Hi Keith – you are totally right going through the correct channels here wish you best of proper law and decency – I recently bought an pristine MG ZT 2.5 190 – what a car love it to bits – only the other day was driving through Slough when a load of road work metal fences fell on the car – took the windscreen N?S trim off aswell as the door mirror cover and made several ugly scratches to the wing and bonnet and pierced a 5mm hole in the window pillar – in all £660 worth of damage – luckily Skanska paid up – the road works company – but boy if they didn’t there would have been hell to pay – I could hear them saying @oh well its only an old Rover – write it off’ — NO CHANCE!!!!

  59. One tip a mate told me years ago when you know who damaged your car and where they live, but they won’t pay up is to go round one night, and loosen their sump plug so it’s on the last thread. It won’t leak but will shake loose when they drive the car and after about 100 yard or so empty the sump. As the driver is likely to be a bit of a numpty anyway, they won’t notice until some real damage has been done!

    Great- then someone innocent drives onto or rides a bike on to the resulting oil slick, causing an accident.

    Its bad enough out there as it is with diesel owners over-fuelling their vehicles and spilling derv onto wet tarmac without adding worse!

  60. Er, that last post was supposed to have the quoted bit (from 69) formatted as a quote- seems usual net coding doesn’t work on this particular forum!

  61. I can sympathise with the above experiences. January 2011 I bought my first ever new car,all mine to shower with TLC. Unfortunately on two occasions (at least) I have parked my car with consideration only to find someone has parked too close beside me and of course, she now has very small indents and marks as a result. The first time was in a practically empty multistory, but someone had decided to park right next to me. They were so close, i had to crawl across from the passenger side to get in. How can people be so thoughtless?!

  62. Something similar happened to me yesterday – a white van knocked my driver side wing mirror of clean whilst at work. I came out finding it spread all over the road. I was very annoyed as this is the third one in 2 years! Later that day however someone left a note on my windscreen saying they’ve seen the van that knocked it off, and gave me their number plate with a short description of the van. Problem is however, I do not know who left the note. Can I still report this idiot, or is the lack of witness a problem? Is there any way for me to find out who owns the van from only a number plate? If you have any advice could you email me: jacobusignus @ googlemail (dot) com

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