Fleet News

One in five UK drivers have committed a ‘dent and run’

One in five UK drivers admit that they have damaged another car and left the scene without making the owner aware of the incident – despite it being a criminal offence – new research has revealed.

The study, commissioned by Motors.co.uk looked into how many people accidentally scratched, dented or damaged another car and how they reacted to the incident.

Out of the 1,057 people surveyed, 100% of respondents had damaged another car by accident, but some people dealt with the mishap in a very different way to others.

Of the drivers who ‘dented and ran’, over a third (37%) admitted that they didn’t feel guilty about their oversight, despite over a quarter (26%) doing a medium amount of damage, such as creating a noticeable dent in the car.

Men were much more likely to knock a car and flee, with 28% of males confessing to this compared to just 16% of females.

Younger people aged 18 to 24 were the least likely to own up to the damage, with just over a third (34%) denting and running. They were also the least likely to feel guilty about the incident.

Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: “Doing damage to another car without owning up and exchanging insurance details is an important issue and people need to be aware that it is, in fact, a crime to do so.

“Accidents happen, especially in packed shopping centre car parks, but people should not be afraid to own up when they damage another person’s car.”

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  • Bianca Castafiore - 07/08/2015 13:14

    This is one of my pet hates. You spend your hard earned money on a car, or in my case pride yourself on the chosen company car, and then find some low-life has damaged it by parking so close that they open their door onto it or scrape the corner because of their inability to be able to park. Unless there is a sign to the contrary, I generally park my car over two spaces or seek out a wider, end space such that damage is unlikely. I'm fed up with the number of times I park in the middle of an empty car park and return to find loads of spaces left, yet the 4 wheel drive with child seats is parked right next to me. To the people who 'dent and run', I wish you could be strapped to the outside of your car and let someone 'dent and run' over you! Note to the editor: Please can I have my John Lewis voucher now please? I see to be the only one replying to these features...............

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  • Darren - 07/08/2015 14:27

    Over Christmas I took my family out for a meal, my thank you for this was someone totaling my rear bumper in their ham fisted attempted to get out of the next space. However, I don't actually completely blame that person as the parking spaces were tiny and crammed into a small car park (should have left a note though!). Ever been to America? Ever seen the huge car parks with angled parking spaces and 'safe' gaps marked between the spaces? Take a look at some of the Costco car parks in this country, you'll get the idea. Our car parks are a joke, they often invite damage to cars as they are so tight with parking spaces at a stupid 90 degree angle to the (often) one way route around the car park. Build bigger car parks, align the spaces better, make the spaces bigger and we would see less of this kind of thing. Also, what happens if you do admit you damaged someones car? You put a small dent in someones door, leave a note, then get a quote from a body shop into the thousands of pounds mark. So you go through your insurance and pay for it for the rest of your life as you've lost some (if not all) no claims bonus, plus your premium goes sky high as the insurance company treat you as a high risk driver now. I'm not saying bump and run is the right thing to do, but you will be excessively punished for doing the right thing. Maybe the insurance company could do a free car park bump per year plan? That way people might be more likely to do the right thing and not feel like they are being punished for it. Anyway, rant over...

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  • Mike D - 07/08/2015 14:37

    It seems that Bianca thinks she is the only one replying. She is probably also one of the few that would own up if she hit someone’s car. I once clipped a wing mirror and took the trouble to knock on doors to find the owner who looked at the minimal damage and told me to forget about it. This is in sharp contrast to incidents where drivers have touched another car’s bumper to subsequently learn that apparently 5 people had supposedly been in the car and all suffered severe whiplash!

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  • Stephen Oldham - 07/08/2015 16:02

    I can't believe how blasé people are about this. Doing a "dent and run" is a criminal offence. If the police investigate it almost always leads to a court appearance for failing to stop or failing to report an accident. Magistrates have to impose 5-10 penalty points. The offence is also worth up to six months in prison although cases with minor damage usually result in a fine.

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    • Graeme - 07/08/2015 16:51

      I guess you are quite right, but with the reduction in police budgets & personnel, it seems likely that in practice this sort of work will be way down their list of priorities, rightly or wrongly.

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