Poor parking leads to spike in vehicle damage

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 11:00
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51% have suffered some damage to their car in a car park

Half of motorists’ cars damaged in car parks over past year, AA study shows

Car parking can be a source of frustration at the best of times but car park crunches during the post-Christmas sales extravaganza will have tainted the holidays for many drivers.

According to AA Insurance, claims for cars damaged in car park incidents rise over the pre-Christmas period as car parks are often filled to capacity, while annoyance spills over to frayed tempers and dented cars. But most car park prangs result in minor scrapes or dings that don’t justify making an insurance claim.

The study, conducted among 19,887 AA members, suggests that over the past 12 months 51% have suffered some damage to their car in a car park.

Two-thirds (66%) say that if they accidentally damaged another vehicle they would make an effort to notify the owner. But a sly 8% admitted that they would drive off, especially if they weren’t spotted causing the damage. Of those, one in eight say they would leave a note – but giving false contact details.

Commenting on the findings, Janet Connor, managing director of AA Insurance says: “Parking a car can be extremely trying, especially if spaces are on the tight side – after all cars are getting bigger but car parking spaces aren’t. But that over half of drivers have suffered some car damage in a year is extraordinary and it shows just how hazardous car parks are.”

AA Insurance claims records show that the majority of claims are collisions with other vehicles or with inanimate objects such as bollards, lamp posts or trolley shelters. Other claims include damage caused by rogue shopping trolleys, vandalism and break-ins and thefts from cars.

Summary of car park crunches

Of all respondents, 51% reported that their car had been damaged over the past 12 months when in a car park (52% male, 49% female).

In which of the below ways has your car been damage whilst it has been parked in a car park in the past 12 months (all those whose car ad been damaged)?

  All% Male% Female%
Dent or scratch caused by someone else 91 92 90
Dent or scratch I caused myself 9 8 10
Vandalism 6 6 6
Broken in to and items stolen 1 1 1
Broken in to and nothing stolen 1 1 1
Other 2 1 2


In what type of car park did the damage occur?

  All% Male% Female%
Supermarket 59 61 55
Open air 12 13 12
Multi-storey 11 11 10
On-street 11 10 13
Workplace 7 6 10
All others incl. don’t remember 22 19 20



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