Watch that space – car park catastrophes peak in December and January

10th December 2015


As Christmas shopping trips crank up, so too do reports of car park confrontations, dented Christmas pride and crunched panels.

According to AA Insurance, car parking leads to more claims than any other single source as woeful stories of parking scraps and scrapes are relayed to claims staff.

A new AA study shows that over the past year, almost half, at 47% of nearly 30,000 motorists, have seen damage inflicted on their parked cars over the past 12 months.

Some 42% said that their car had suffered a dent or scratch caused by someone or something else and judging from insurance claims they include careless parking, exuberant opening of doors, parking spaces that are ‘too small’ or shopping trollies let loose in 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 5% admitted that they have suffered damage that they caused themselves.

Just 3% said that their car was deliberately vandalised while it was parked.  And, while the numbers are small, at 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.

In a previous study AA found that 11% of drivers admitted that if they accidentally hit and damaged another parked car, they would drive away or even leave a note with false details.

Mike Lloyd, director of AA Insurance, commented: “Patience is sorely tested in busy car parks at the best of times but in the run-up to Christmas when parking spaces are even more scarce, tempers can be frayed and parking mishaps are more likely than at any other time of year.

“AA insurance statistics show car park catastrophes peak in December and January.

“And, although the numbers are small, there is a clear increase in the risk of cars being broken in to over Christmas.  It’s hard to think of more miserable act than stealing just-bought Christmas gifts, making shoppers go through the whole trying and costly shopping experience for a second time, if they can afford to.”

He adds that thefts of property from cars are 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.


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