Fleet News

Nearly one third of motorists would consider leaving the scene after damaging another vehicle

A poll by ContractHireAndLeasing.com has found that 30% say they would consider leaving the scene of an accident after causing minor damage to another vehicle.

Another 4% said they would leave even if extensive damage was caused.

The research also showed that honesty among drivers varies extensively between age, location and income groups.

By region, Scotland was found to have the most honest motorists, with 63% reporting they would make sure they could be contacted about repairs, while motorists in the North East appear to be the most dishonest. In this region, 7% said they would leave the scene of the accident if they damaged another car, compared to just 1% in Wales.

A further 36% in the North East said they would consider fleeing the scene of an accident without passing on their contact details if the damage was only minor, compared to just 22% in Scotland.

However, the UK population also appears to get more honest with age.

The poll found that younger motorists are most likely to consider making a getaway from an accidental bump or scrape. In the 25-34 age bracket, 7% reported they would fail to stop after damaging another car, compared to just 1% of the 65+ age group.

An impressive 63% of this latter age group said they would wait for the car's owners to return or leave their contact details - the highest level of reported honesty of any group.

Residents in and around Glasgow were the most honest, with more than two thirds (70%) reporting that they would own up to the damage caused. Residents in Southampton (65%) and Hull (64%) ranked second and third, which is in stark contrast to just 43% of motorists in Bristol and 46% in Oxford and London.

A shocking 12% of motorists around Brighton said they would make a hasty retreat, closely followed by-motorists in Oxford (10%), Milton Keynes (8%) and Newcastle (7%).

Oddly, the income of the perpetrator of the damage seems to have little influence over whether they behave admirably or not.

Those on some of the lowest incomes as well as in one of the highest earning brackets were the most likely to say they would try and escape after damaging a car, polling 7% for those in the £7k-14k per annum and the £48k-55k bracket, compared to just 3% for those in middle-income brackets such as the £21k-28k and £28k-34k income groups.

Furthermore, these middle-income brackets were most likely to say they would ensure being contacted at 53%, compared to just 44% of those earning up to £7k per annum, or those earning £48-55k.

David Timmis, managing director at ContractHireAndLeasing.com commented: "Although we are generally a nation of honest motorists, it is sad to see that nearly one third of motorists would try to avoid paying for repairs if no-one was around to witness their accident.

"It is easy to scrape or hit another car whilst driving, especially with larger cars having to squeeze into tight car parking spaces, but the regional variances may indicate historical trends in those areas, where bad experiences of vehicle damage mean individuals are less likely to report an accident if they in-turn damage another vehicle.

"As ever, the older British generation are showing the rest of us the right path by being honest no matter who may, or may not, have seen the accident."

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  • mark robson - 31/07/2014 12:14

    With the rising cost of insurance and the fact that most drivers have to have a high excess, its not surprising that that some drivers decide not to be honest. Why would they when they can save their premiums by passing the problem over to the owner whose car they have damaged. I experienced this a few years ago with a hit and run driver who when the police finally got their arse into gear, decided that it was down to us to pursue the driver through the courts rather than bother to ensure that the driver was bought to book for dangerous driving. If you have a nice and expensive car then you can afford to get it repaired, seems to be the culture nowadays

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