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…
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.