Parking fails cost drivers £700m a year

Drivers are forced to foot an extra £716 million in repair bills every year as a result of car park collisions, according to insurers.

As a result, parking prangs are the second most common reason for insurance claims, with only rear-end collisions beating them to the top spot. Insurers say that the average cost of a car park claim is £1,428.

Even though the majority of car park collisions happen at low speeds, insurers say that the damage is often expensive due to vulnerable panels such as doors being hit, along with wheels, bumpers and lights.

A growing issue

The insurance industry also claims that the rise in parking-related smashes is due to the larger size of modern cars and the growing market for SUVs and crossover-style vehicles.

According to insurers, drivers who are unfamiliar with the size of their vehicles can try and squeeze into standard spaces, despite the increased risk of damage due to less room between cars.

Liz Fisher, director of sales at compensation company Accident Exchange, said: “Looking at the statistics, you’d think there is chaos in car parks up and down the country and that drivers are literally battling for spaces to park.

“The fact is, though, that drivers are having to squeeze their larger cars into smaller spaces and there are many more car journeys made than just a decade ago.”

She added: “On top of that, visibility from inside the cabin of new cars is compromised compared to older vehicles, which used far more glass and had lower sills and narrower pillars. That could be part of the explanation for the recent increase.”

Prang-and-run

This comes just months after a separate study revealed that nearly a quarter of drivers who hit a parked car simply run off if the owner isn’t there.

The survey, undertaken by 1st Central Car Insurance found that 24 per cent of British drivers have admitted to the so-called “prang-and-run” incidents, while nearly half claimed to be victims of such incidents.

Not only that, but the survey results showed that most drivers are shockingly lax about the offences, with only 12 per cent of women saying they would feel guilty, compared to just seven per cent of men.

Most of these incidents happen in multi-storey car parks, while other hot spots for prang-and-run collisions include petrol stations and streets unfamiliar to drivers.