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Aviva: £2.4 million wasted each year on car park prangs

19 September 2007
Car parks are accident hotspots, with Brits shelling out £2.4 million a year on scrapes and prangs that occur there, according to new research from Aviva.

The survey – commissioned by RAC Direct Insurance – found that more than half of all UK motorists have been involved in a car park prang one way or another, either by damaging another car, or having their own bumped into by someone else, with supermarkets being the most common hotspot.

Hit and run car park prangs are also a regular occurrence, with almost three quarters returning to their car to find that someone has damaged it and the culprit has failed to leave their contact details.

Indeed, one in ten UK motorists admit to causing a prang and driving away without leaving their details, and this figure rises to one in five amongst those aged 25-34. The reasons given by men and women vary, with more men than women thinking that a prang is not a big deal, and twice as many men as women failing to admit their guilt because they do not want their insurance premiums to go up.

A quarter of men and ten per cent of women do a runner because they have been victims of hit and run prangs themselves, and therefore feel vindicated in giving the same treatment to some other hapless driver. Women are also more likely to use guilt and a fear of confrontation as an excuse for making a hasty departure from the scene.

While these low-speed mishaps do not often cause serious injury, they are quite costly to the driver. Fixing a car-park prang costs an average of £293.57, and for more than 800,000 drivers the figure is much higher, costing more than £1,000 to repair the damage.

Rob Wilson, from RAC Direct Insurance, comments: “Our study may shed amusing light on typical car park prang situations, and the people who suffer from and cause them, but it does have a more serious message. Often regarded as minor accidents, this study shows that the financial impact of car park bumps and scrapes is incredibly damaging.”

Mr Wilson also warns drivers to check their insurance policy to make sure they’re covered because, often, “many minor car park prangs cause damage that falls below the excess on a driver's comprehensive policy, so RAC Direct Insurance recommends that motorists check whether their car insurance policy includes “Legal Expenses” cover, which can be used to help claim back the cost of minor repairs from the culprit's own insurers.”

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