The honesty of UK motorists has been brought into question in a big way following the release of a survey on drivers’ attitudes to minor accidents. A recent study has revealed that the cost of accidents caused by careless car parking is thought to have contributed to over one million pounds worth of damage every year that vehicle owners pay for themselves or have to claim on their own insurance policy. The research showed that 1 in 6 drivers would never leave their insurance details when scraping against another vehicle and 45% would only consider it if the damage looked serious, leaving the victim to sort out the repairs at his own expense.
The vast majority of the incidents take place on the public highway on side streets where motorists are either in a rush to get to work or to get their children to and from school and are forced to pull out of tight spots. The consequence of this is that victims on average end up paying out £1000 in repair costs for damage caused by so-called ‘prang and runs’ because they do not want to make a claim on their insurance policy. If they do claim they will also risk losing their no-claims bonus and have to pay what could be a hefty excess charge on top.
Experts who specialise in motorhome insurance are advising mobile home owners to be careful where they park and whenever possible, avoid tight spots where another vehicle might try to squeeze in, making it vulnerable to damage. The research also found that the majority of cases happened when the owner was not in the vehicle. Therefore, when the owner returns to the scene they are normally left with evidence of the accident but with no idea who caused the damage, and in many cases owners don’t realise they have been hit until hours later.
A spokesperson for the company who carried out the research said: “Most of the time these incidents are unfortunately unavoidable, as in busy built-up areas where parking is limited accidents can happen. However, if there is another parking option available or somewhere with more room for tricky manoeuvres, this is probably a much safer option for somewhere to leave your vehicle.” Even those who aren’t involved in an accident are paying the cost for these accidents as every case reported pushes up the cost of motor insurance.
Drivers who find their vehicles damaged in public car parks fare even worse with the report revealing that a massive 96% of motorists end up paying for the damage themselves.