Leaving your car parked while shopping in the New Year sales could be risky as well as expensive, warns What Car?
According to a whatcar.com survey, only 37% of motorists polled would definitely confess to damaging a parked car, 18% would hit the accelerator and drive away quickly, with the remaining 45% in two minds depending on how much damage they caused.
Steve Fowler, What Car? editor, said: 'We're shocked by the lack of honesty among some drivers. Yes, repairing some parking dings can run into hundreds of pounds especially with more cars having painted bumpers and parking sensors. However, there are some clever repair systems that can cover up scrapes for a fraction of that cost these days.
'Either way, it's a criminal offence not to stop and leave your details at the scene of an accident and you could end up with points on your licence, a large fine or a maximum penalty of six months in prison!'
What Car? tips for safe parking
Whether you park in a multi-storey or at the side of the road, follow our guide to help ensure that you don't fall victim to damage or thieves:
• Park in well-lit areas
• Don't be frightened of a short walk! Rather than go for the parking space nearest the shops, park farther away where the spaces around you might be empty and you're less likely to get bumped
• Don't just rely on your parking sensors look over your shoulder
• Use your mobile phone to take photos as evidence - or keep a disposable camera in your glove box
• Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behaviour
• Always lock the doors and close the windows, however short your stay
• If your radio or sat-nav is removable, take it with you
• Don't leave any valuables in the car. If you absolutely can't take them with you, lock them in the boot out of sight
• Use locking wheelnuts on alloy wheels