Returning to your parked vehicle only to find that it has been hit by someone can be quite stressful, especially if the driver who did it didn’t even bother to leave a note. Unfortunately, these types of car crashes are more common than you think, which is why it is important for drivers to know what exactly they should do in these kinds of situations.
Read our guide to find out what to do when someone hits your parked car in the UK.
Regardless of whether your car was parked in a parking lot, on the street or in front of your house, if a driver accidentally crashed it, you should treat it as any other car accident. If the driver remains at the scene, you should exchange information and contact your insurer so they can make a non-fault accident claim against their policy.
Alternatively, the driver may offer you to cover the costs for repairs and avoid premium increases from filing a claim.
If, however, the driver that hit your parked car has left the scene, follow these steps to ensure that the situation is handled properly:
Related: What size vehicle can you park on a residential street?
But what if someone hit my parked car and drove off? Well, this is where things get much more complicated. If your parked car was hit and the driver left the scene without leaving a note, the accident is referred to as hit and run.
After causing damage to another vehicle, drivers are legally required to stop and leave a note with their contact details if the car owner is not there.
Therefore, a hit and run on a parked car in the UK is considered a criminal offence under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act and can result in 5-10 penalty points, up to a 5.000 fine and even a potential prison sentence of up to six months.
However, according to RAC Insurance, only 9% of drivers leave notes after hitting a car, so chances are you won’t find any notes.
Fortunately, there are still some ways you may be able to get help. Here is what you need to do if your car was hit while parked and the driver didn’t leave a note:
If you can’t identify the hit-and-run driver, you can either claim on your own insurance or pay for the damage yourself.
If you do decide to claim on your insurance, check with your insurance provider to see which type of coverage will cover you for hit-and-run accidents. Depending on your policy, you may have to claim your collision or uninsured motorist coverage so that they can compensate you for the damage.
One thing you should be aware of, though, is that if you claim on your insurance, you may need to pay your excess amount, and you might lose your no-claims bonus, which will increase your insurance premiums.
Therefore, if the damage was minor, paying for the repairs yourself may turn out less costly in the long term than claiming on your insurance.
If you are wondering what to do when someone hits your parked car in the UK, the first thing do you should do is get in touch with them and discuss your options. If they have a valid insurance policy, you’ll be able to make a claim against their insurance and get compensation for the damage, or they may be willing to cover the repair costs.
However, if the driver didn’t leave a note and you’re not able to identify them, you’ll have to decide whether you want to make a claim on your own insurance or cover the damage by yourself. Regardless of your decision, always contact your insurer and inform them about the accident, as failing to do so may invalidate your policy.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.