Car park dings: AA In­sur­ance sur­vey re­veals who comes clean

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

You dam­aged some­one's ve­hi­cle in a car park, would you leave a note? How about if no one saw you?

It's quite the dilemma among Kiwi driv­ers, be­cause while most say they wouldn't hes­i­tate to leave their de­tails, the re­al­ity is that few do.

A re­cent AA In­sur­ance Driver Safety Sur­vey of 1068 Kiwi driv­ers found that al­though 58 per cent of driv­ers re­turned to find their parked car dam­aged, in 88 per cent of those cases, the per­son who caused the da­m­age didn't leave a note. How rude!

But it gets worse, be­cause the sur­vey then asked driv­ers what they would do if they dam­aged some­one else's car and no one had seen them. Turns out that while most peo­ple don't leave a note, only 16 per cent were pre­pared to ad­mit it. So, this all points to a huge dis­con­nect be­tween what peo­ple say they'll do and what they ac­tu­ally do.

Now, we know it can be in­fu­ri­at­ing to find your parked car dam­aged, but it's even more so when the per­son who dam­aged it wasn't hon­est enough to leave their de­tails.

So here are a few tips for what to do next: ● Re­port the in­ci­dent to the car park se­cu­rity or mall firm. They may have CCTV footage that has cap­tured the en­tire event, which can help iden­tify the per­son re­spon­si­ble. ● Look for wit­nesses. Not only other driv­ers but the per­son col­lect­ing the trol­leys, or even the busker out­side the mall. If you've wit­nessed some­one else dam­ag­ing a parked car, do your bit and pass on any in­for­ma­tion you have to the in­no­cent party. ● Talk to your in­surer. If you know who did the da­m­age, your in­surer will con­tact them or their in­surer to man­age the claim. If you don't know, you'll need to claim on your own in­sur­ance and pay an ex­cess. Or if the da­m­age is mi­nor, foot the re­pair bill out of your own pocket. ● It's worth know­ing that whether you find the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the da­m­age to your car or not, if you have com­pre­hen­sive in­sur­ance, your repairs will be cov­ered, so you can get on with your life.

If you're the per­son re­spon­si­ble for that nasty ding or scratch, th­ese are your obli­ga­tions as out­lined in the Road Code: ● If you da­m­age some­one else's prop­erty you're legally re­quired to give your con­tact de­tails and reg­is­tra­tion num­ber to the owner within 48 hours, un­less of course you can't be­cause of in­jury. ● If you hit a parked car or are in­volved in a col­li­sion, and don't know who the owner is or how to con­tact them, you should re­port it to the po­lice within 60 hours. Or do the right thing and leave a note with your de­tails tucked un­der the wind­screen wipers of the other per­son's car.

This ar­ti­cle was re­pro­duced with per­mis­sion from AA In­sur­ance.

Pic­ture / Supplied

It can be in­fu­ri­at­ing to find your parked car dam­aged, but it’s even more so when the per­son who dam­aged it wasn’t hon­est enough to leave their de­tails.

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