Has someone hit your parked car? Whether they’ve left a small scratch or done a lot more damage, there are a few things you need to do now. But the exact steps you take depends on one thing – did they leave a note, or did they drive away?
What To Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car – If They Left a Note
So you return to your parked car and find a note on the windscreen. It’s from another motorist who accidentally hit your parked car. What should you do now?
- Assess the damage. Whether it’s a tiny dent or something more substantial, you’ll have to do something about it before long. At this stage, though, you should take some pictures – you might need them later.
- Contact the other motorist. They should have left a contact number. Give them a call so you can exchange insurance details. They may even offer to pay for the damage there and then. If the other motorist is still around and you’re able to talk to them immediately, take pictures of any damage on their car too. Again, you might need this evidence later. Be as polite as possible at this stage. Remember that we all make mistakes!
- Contact your insurers. Regardless of whether or not you want to make a claim for the damage, you have to let your insurers know of any damage your car sustains. If you don’t notify your insurers, it could invalidate your policy.
- Head to a garage. No matter how small the damage seems, you should still head to a garage. There’s a few reasons for this. First, even a tiny scratch can eventually get rusty, and rust can spread in cars until it becomes a major problem. Second, even if things seem fine on the outside, there might be more substantial damage to your car’s bodywork or systems that you just can’t see. It’s best to be sure. Finally, visible damage could cause your car to fail its MOT. So get it fixed as soon as you can!
What To Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car – If They Didn’t Leave a Note
It might still be possible to catch the culprit. So look around for any CCTV cameras that might have captured the incident. If you’re in a public car park or parked outside a shop or other business, there’s more likely to be CCTV footage than if you’re parked on a residential street or a rural road.
If there are no cameras around, and if you don’t have a specialist dash cam with a parking mode, then unfortunately you may never catch the other motorist.
Whether you can catch the culprit or not, you should call the police. Hit and runs are against the law, so you need to record the crime. The police might also be able to help you reach the other motorist, so they could help you get the compensation you need.
Beyond this, you need to follow the same steps as we outlined above: Assess the damage, contact your insurers, and head to a garage.
Should I Make a Claim on My Insurance?
Though you need to tell your insurers when someone’s hit your parked car, it’s up to you as to whether you make a claim on your car insurance.
If you make a claim, you might have to pay your excess, and you might lose your no claims bonus. So get a quote on the price of repairs. In the long-term, it might prove less costly to pay for the repairs yourself than to claim on your insurance.