So you’ve just hit a parked car. Don’t panic. And don’t just drive away. Follow these steps.
What To Do If You Hit a Parked Car: Step by Step
- Take a picture of any damage on your car, and on the other car.
- Leave a note on the windscreen of the car you’ve hit. Include your name and a contact number. You could also offer a bit more information about how the accident happened. Be as open and honest as possible.
- List as many details as you can of the other car – the make, the model, the registration number, and so on. Also list any factors that may have made the accident more likely. Is it raining? Is the road slippery? Are any streetlights out of order? Are any cars sticking out? Take as many pictures as you can, to back up your notes.
That’s the best you can do, at the scene. Once you’ve left your details and gathered your evidence, you can drive away.
Do I Need to Tell My Insurance Company?
Maybe the damage is minor, to your car and theirs. Maybe you’ll decide to cover the cost of repairs yourself. But you should still tell your insurance providers about the accident because many insurers will make it a requirement of their policies that you tell them about any accidents, no matter how minor.
What If I Don’t Tell My Insurance Company About Hitting a Parked Car?
It may count as an offence, which may invalidate your policy. So if you ever have to make a claim for a more serious incident, you could be out of luck and you could end up having your policy cancelled or declared void, making it more difficult or expensive to get insurance in the future. That’s why you should tell your insurer about the accident even if you don’t intend to make a claim. It’s just good practice.
For more information, please check your policy wording.
Should I Tell the Police?
If you caused any damage, either to another car or to someone’s property, then you should tell the police as well as leaving your contact details. Again, this is just good practice. The police will appreciate having a record of the incident. And if the person whose car you hit decides to call the police (instead of getting in touch with you), then they’ll already have a grasp of the situation, and they should help you reach a settlement.
If the incident did not result in any damage or injury then you don’t need to report it to the police.
What Happens If I Just Leave the Scene of the Accident?
We would never recommend that you leave the scene of an accident without leaving your contact details. You may have been seen by another driver, pedestrian or on CCTV and if caught, you may receive points on your licence, and a fine.
Also, abandoning the scene of an accident doesn’t exactly demonstrate that you’re a careful and a conscientious driver. This sort of thing could result in higher insurance premiums. Or you could invalidate your policy completely.
Imagine how upset you’d be if someone hit your car and just drove away. Think of all the inconvenience you’d face, and all the expense. It wouldn’t be very nice, would it? Don’t be that driver. Do the right thing.
So What Should I Do If Someone Hits My Parked Car and Drives Away?
We wrote a complete guide to what you should do if someone hits your parked car and doesn’t leave a note. Find it here.