a wrecked black ford sedan

What to Do if Someone Hits Your Parked Car?

November 8, 2023

Coming back to your car to find it damaged - with no culprit in sight - can be both incredibly stressful and confusing, especially when it comes to getting your insurance provider on your side to cover any necessary repairs.

So, what steps do you need to take if someone hits your parked car? In the following guide, we’re going to outline a methodical approach, and take a look at how you’re protected both legally and financially if such an incident occurs. Let’s get started!

Assess the Damage

First and foremost, you’re going to want to assess the extent of any damage to your vehicle - but make sure to proceed with caution if your car is parked on a busy street. Once you've taken all necessary safety precautions and ensured you can get a thorough look at your car while it’s parked, closely inspect the damage. Look for any dents, scratches, and don’t forget to consider any potential structural damage that might not be immediately visible.

Look for Witnesses

Before leaving the scene, it can also be useful to look around and see if there are any potential witnesses; this can include pedestrians, other drivers, or residents nearby. If someone claims to have seen the accident, gather their contact information and a brief account of what they observed - just make sure to approach them politely! Their testimonies can be pivotal, especially when it comes to making a no-fault claim.

Ask Nearby Businesses for Camera Footage

With CCTV pretty much installed everywhere across urban areas in the UK, there's a chance that a nearby business or property might have surveillance cameras that captured the incident. Politely approach business owners or shop managers and ask if they have footage from the time of the accident - although do note that some may require an official request or the presence of police.

Document the Scene

Having a comprehensive record of the scene can make a significant difference when you're processing a non-fault claim. Here are some of forms of documentation that can help you build a solid case:


Take clear pictures of the damage from various angles. Ensure you also capture the broader scene, showing where your car was parked, any road signs, and the surrounding area.

Written Account

While the incident is fresh in your mind, jot down a written account detailing where you were when the accident likely took place, the time you found the car, and any other relevant observations.

A silver volkswagen sedan crashing into a red car

Contact the Authorities

For minor scratches, you might be hesitant to involve the police. However, for more significant damage, or if the responsible party hasn't left any contact information, it's advisable to inform the local police; they will create an official report, which can be valuable when liaising with insurance companies or pursuing a claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Even if the damage seems minimal, always inform your insurance provider about the incident: they will guide you on the steps to take, and keeping them in the loop ensures that you maintain a transparent record. This will also allow you to understand your coverage and the implications of filing a claim. Remember, you may be eligible for a non-fault claim if someone else is responsible for the damage.

Filing a Claim

When deliberating whether to file a claim, consider a few factors:

Extent of Damage

If the damage is minor and the cost of repairs is less than your excess, it might be more practical to handle the costs out of pocket. On the other hand, substantial damage might necessitate going through the insurance process.


Familiarise yourself with the specifics of your policy. If you have comprehensive cover, damage to your parked car should be included, but it's always a good idea to double-check.

No-Claims Discount

Be aware that making a claim can affect your no-claims discount, although this shouldn't be the case with a non-fault claim. Check with your insurer for clarity.

Unidentified Culprit

If you're in a position where the individual responsible hasn't left their details and can't be identified, your claim would possibly go under "uninsured loss". The specifics of how these are handled can vary, so consult with your insurance company.

The Bottom Line

Overall, while it's undoubtedly distressing to find your parked car damaged, it's crucial to remain calm and systematic in your approach. The most important thing to do is to meticulously document the scene: seek witnesses, CCTV footage, and photograph all damage to your vehicle.