More than 3.5 million British motorists have been a victim of car vandalism in the past 12 months and of those a third had their vehicle attacked twice.
The most common form of damage identified in the survey is a car being keyed, which accounted for 39% of incidents, followed by smashed windows (17%) and broken wing mirrors (also 17%).
Carried out by Direct Line, the study also found that vandals are more likely to attack vehicles outside drivers’ homes because of the plethora of CCTV cameras now monitoring car parks and town centres.
Since 2002, the UK’s biggest leasing company, Lex, says the number of vandalism incidents across its fleet has more than doubled.
Managing director Jon Walden said: ‘We estimate these costs to be in the region of £1 million and because most fleets have an insurance excess of £500 upwards across their company car fleet, any costs for repairing damage caused by vandalism are met directly by the company themselves.
‘The average cost of repair was more than £65 each without taking into account the cost of a replacement car while the damaged car is off the road or any related loss of earnings.’
Body glass damage is identified as the most common form of vandalism on its fleet, accounting for 40% of all problems, while scratches/dents and mirrors/all other damage account for 31% and 28% respectively.
Dent Wizard, which specialises in the removal of dents, creases and other bodywork flaws, estimates that about 18% of its repair work for the motor trade is a result of vandalism, a percentage that is increasing month by month.