woman on her phone while touching the light scratches on her car

What to Do After a Minor Car Accident with No Damage

February 27, 2024

Getting into a car accident, even a minor one, can be a jarring experience - even for those of us who’ve experienced bumps and scrapes on the road before. And while you might initially feel relief if there appears to be no immediate damage to your vehicle, it’s crucial not to underestimate the importance of following certain steps afterward. From exchanging key insurance information to checking that your car is still functionally safe for the road, post-accident etiquette is important.

So, whether it’s a slight bump in a car park or a gentle collision at a slow junction, here’s what to do after a minor car accident with no damage.

Safety First

First and foremost, ensure everyone involved in the accident is safe and unharmed; safety should always be your top priority, even if the incident seems insignificant. If possible, move the vehicles to a safe location without obstructing traffic - this initial step prevents any additional accidents or injuries from occurring as a result of your minor collision.

Exchanging Information

Next, exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance company details. While you might think it unnecessary for a minor scrape with no apparent damage, having this information can be invaluable if any issues arise later on, such as unnoticed damage or if someone experiences delayed physical symptoms.

Reporting the Accident

In the UK, certain accidents must be reported to the police within 24 hours, and although your incident might not meet these criteria, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with them nonetheless. If in doubt, it’s better to report - this provides an official record of the incident, which can be helpful for insurance purposes or if legal issues emerge.

Documenting the Scene

car with light scratches on the front bumper

Take photographs of the vehicles’ positions, the surrounding area, and any marks or lack of damage on both cars. Just like having a police report, this documentation can be crucial in resolving any disputes about the accident's circumstances or outcomes. Even if there's no visible damage, having a visual record supports your account of the incident - don’t forget that there are different car damage classifications to take into account, so having physical evidence of any damage is key.

Seeking Medical Attention

Sometimes, injuries from car accidents aren’t immediately apparent, and symptoms can develop hours or even days later. For this reason, it’s always prudent to get a medical check-up after an accident, especially if you start to notice any discomfort or unusual symptoms. Again, this is not only important for your health but also for any potential car accident claim you might make, as it establishes a record of your condition following the accident.

Communicating with Insurance

Even if you decide not to make a claim, informing your insurance company about the incident is a good idea; some policies may even require notification of any accidents, regardless of whether there’s a claim. Providing your insurer with details about the minor accident can preempt any surprises if the other party decides to claim, and will potentially keep you in line with your provider’s policies.

Will a Minor Car Accident Affect My Premium?

A common concern after any accident is how it will affect your insurance premiums, and the simple answer is this: While a minor accident with no damage may not necessarily result in higher premiums, the specifics depend on your insurer and the terms of your policy. It’s important to discuss with your insurer how the incident might impact your policy, especially if there were no claims made by either party.


What if the other driver doesn't want to exchange information?

If the other driver is unwilling to exchange information, try to note their vehicle's registration number and make/model. You can report this behaviour to the police, especially if you feel the situation could escalate or if the other driver leaves the scene without providing details.

Can I leave the scene of a minor accident without reporting it?

Leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging information or reporting it, when necessary, can have legal repercussions. It's important to follow the correct procedure, including exchanging details with the other driver and reporting the accident to the police if required by law.

How do I know if I need to report the accident to the police?

You need to report the accident to the police if anyone is injured, if there's an obstruction to the road, or if the other party leaves the scene without providing their details. It's best to err on the side of caution and report any accident that might require official documentation.

Will seeking medical attention after a minor accident be seen as an overreaction?

Not at all. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. Seeking medical attention ensures your health is prioritised, and it provides a record of any injuries directly related to the accident, which can be important for insurance or legal purposes.

What should I do if there’s disagreement about the accident being 'minor'?

If there's a disagreement about the severity of the accident, your documented evidence (photos, notes) and the exchange of information become even more crucial. It may also be necessary to involve your insurance company or legal advice to resolve disputes, especially if there are claims of damage or injury later on.