Someone Hit My Parked Car and Drove Off: What To Do Next
Unfortunately when some people hit a parked car, rather than waiting around for you to return, or even leaving a note, they just drive away.
Some cars are fitted with dashcams, and sometimes the area’s covered by CCTV, so the incent may be recorded. If anyone around witnessed the incident, they might have taken the trouble to record the offending car’s registration for you.
Someone Hit My Parked Car and Drove Off – First Steps to Take
First, check to see if there’s a note. Drivers are required by law to leave their details if you weren’t present at the time of the incident.
The bad news is that, according to RAC Insurance, only 9% of drivers leave notes after hitting cars. So if you get back to your car to find damage and a note, you are in the minority.
But if the incident took place somewhere with people nearby – on a crowded high street, for instance – if you feel comfortable and safe in doing so you could ask a few people around if they saw what happened. If the incident happened outside your house, you could try asking your neighbours.
Take as many pictures as you can, as well as pictures of all the damage.
Make sure that all the pictures are clear and in a high-resolution. You’ll more than likely be using your smartphone, so it’s a good idea to add a location, time and date stamp to any photos you take.
Next Steps – Make Some Decisions and Some Phone Calls
The biggest decision you have to make – are you going to pay for this damage yourself, or are you going to claim on your insurance? We’ll look at the pros and cons of each below, but first, there are other steps you can take.
If you have the contact details of the third party who hit your car, give them a call..
If the third party opened their car door onto yours, or if they drove into your car while you were parked. They may offer to pay for the damages for you. In which case, it’s time to get a quote for the repairs.
But if you have nothing to go on, call the police and file a report. After all, the third party broke the law when they didn’t leave their details!
Someone Hit My Parked Car and Drove Away – Should I Claim on Insurance?
If you do choose to claim on your car insurance, bear in mind that you may need to pay the excess amount, and you may also lose your no claims bonus. If you have no way of knowing who caused the damage in the first place, your only alternative is to pay for the damage yourself. This is why it’s a good idea to get a quote for repairs before you make your decision.
However, even if you don’t want to make a claim, you must still inform your car insurance of any damage your car receives, no matter how minor! Some insurance policies are invalidated if you don’t notify your insurance of any damage.
One Last Thing…
If someone hits your parked car and drives away without leaving a note, it’s understandable that you’ll feel frustrated. Don’t put anyone else through this. If you ever hit an unattended parked car, be a good person and leave your details! It’ll make everything easier for everyone. And if you don’t do this but eventually get caught, you’re looking at points on your licence and a fine. It’s not worth the risk!
Finally, the fact that this sort of thing happens at all just goes to show that even the most careful of drivers will likely be involved in an incident at some point. This is why it’s not only a legal requirement but always vital to make sure you’re covered by comprehensive car insurance.