As shopping trips crank up in the January sales, so too do reports of car park confrontations, dented New Year pride and crunched panels. According to research, car parking leads to more claims than any other single source as woeful stories of parking scraps and scrapes are relayed.
The AA-Populus study shows that over the year, almost half (47%) of nearly 30,000 motorists who responded, have seen damage inflicted on their parked cars over the past 12 months. Most (42%) said that their car had suffered a dent or scratch caused by someone or something else. They include careless parking, vigorous opening of doors, parking spaces that are ‘too small’ or shopping trollies let loose in the wind or on sloping surfaces.
This comes at a time when Milton Keynes City Council announced that it is going to increase its number of car parking spaces – by making them smaller.
Yet only one in 20 (5%) admit that they have suffered damage that they caused themselves. Just 3% say that their car was deliberately vandalised while it was parked. And, while the numbers are small (less than 1% of the total), of those reporting that their car had been broken in to and items stolen while parked, this was more likely to have happened around Christmas time.
Thefts of property from cars is most likely to be covered by home insurance if it includes property outside the home. If it is included, there is usually a low upper limit on comprehensive car insurance policy claims for stolen property, although car damage will be covered.
In a previous survey by the same pollsters, it was found that more than one in ten drivers (11%) admitted that if they accidentally hit and damaged another parked car, they would drive away or even leave a note with false details. Reasons for the peak in Yuletide and New Year parking prangs and misfortunes are thought to boil down to motorists’ patience being sorely tested at this busy time of the year, as well as a scarcity of parking spaces.