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Neighbour's car rolled into mine damaging rear wheel arch panel


9000Lumen
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Hello all fellow forum members,

 

I've been driving my 3-series (2011 320D Automatic) for over 5 years and haven't had to deal with insurance ever before until now.

 

Few weeks back my neighbour's car rolled into back of mine (car wasn't left on hand brake or hand brake was faulty) no one was in the car at the time of the incident, but I've got a CCTV of driver getting out. He's denied any wrong doing, as I've approached him prior to discovering CCTV footage, he's mum is a main driver, he must be named driver.

 

The damage isn't bad, as it could have been much worse, but it hurts too see it every time I get into my car. You can see the CCTV footage here.

I had to watch 2 weeks worth of CCTV recordings to identify the moment this had happened and take it to the insurance, as he's denying any wrong doing. My insurance apparently send the evidence to his insurance, who's asked him to confirm, but almost 2 months later and I'm still waiting for an answer.

My insurance has asked me to get a quote for the repair. 

 

Do I take it to the BMW dealership? Who will do a good job, but then charge a fortune or do I take it to the small garage?

If the cost of repair too high, will my car be written off, am I able to buy it back then or do I just leave it and repair it out of my own pocket?

 

Never dealt with car insurance before and would appease if somebody could advise on the best actions here or what they would do to get the best of my situation?

 

Thank you in advance,.

Lumen

 

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Take it to a proper authorised repairer and get a quote for a proper job.  

 

Are you friends with your neighbour and does it bother you that you will probably fall out?

 

What is the value of your car? - replacement?

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Thank you for your reply BankFodder.

 

The car is worth about £3,500-4,000

I am not friends with the neighbour, when I approached and asked him in person as I wanted to sort it without claiming through insurance first, he has looked me in the eye and lied that it wasn't him, I then see the CCTV footage of him running for his car bare foot in the middle of the night, so all I care for now is the dent being fixed properly.

 

If I get quoted about £800 for the repair (as this is what my mechanic said it will cost roughly to fix) what will instance company do given that my car is worth about £3,500

Write it off, car will also get a category?

 

Lumen

 

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Get the quote - at least one.  High quality repair and monitor this thread for a further reply later or tomorrow

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You can either do this through the insurance or you can do it yourself directly.

If you do it through the insurance then it will take a long time, they will try to cut down your quote and if they consider that the quote is more expensive than the write off value of the car, they will try to shortchange you by saying that they want to write off the car and then attempt to get away by paying you a smaller amount of money than it would cost to replace.

On the other hand, you could simply go directly against your neighbour for the full amount of a proper repair – and it wouldn't matter about how expensive the repair was – as long as it was all done fairly and transparently, with two or maybe even three quotations. As long as you gave your neighbour notice of the quotes that you are obtaining and gave your neighbour an opportunity to carry out their own inspection so that they can challenge the quote if they wanted.

You say that the mechanic said that it would cost £800. Is this the mechanic of the authorised BMW garage? There is no reason for you to get any job which is less than top-quality – assuming that the car was in good condition – which by the photographs, it appears to be.

The purpose of a claim against your neighbour would be to return you to the position that you would have been in had the accident not happened. This means that you had a car in a certain condition – and you are entitled to have it returned to exactly the same condition. Nothing less.

If the area which was damaged was originally perfect then you should have it restored to the same quality.

After that is between your neighbour and their insurance.

Of course they won't like you doing it that way and you will probably hear from your neighbours insurance telling you that you must deal with them and not with your neighbour. You should ignore this. Deal with your neighbour. You have no dealings with their insurer and you should understand now that people only start dealing directly with insurance companies because it is industry practice. It is not the most effective way to go. Furthermore, the insurer will not only try to shortchange you, they will also try to negotiate a price with the garage so that they get discounts all round.

Because you have got your neighbour bang to rights on this because the video – and also because your neighbour tried to tell porkies about it, you are in a perfect position to control the matter and to make sure your car is perfectly restored. We will help you do that.

So decide whether you want to go through the insurance company or whoever the want to do it yourself with our help.

If you do it with us, it will mean that once you have obtained the quotes for the work, you will write your neighbour with copies of the quotes and tell them that you want the money. You don't hear from them within about seven days – or if they don't agree within seven days then you will send the letter of claim giving them 14 days and then you will sue them in the County Court.

It's very straightforward. If you haven't done it before then read up on this forum about the steps involved taking a small claim in the County Court.

You will warn your neighbour that because the bill is going to be more than £600 – that when it comes to enforcement you will send the High Court enforcement officers round to their home and this will be very serious as well as incurring up to another £2000 enforcement fee.

If you want to do it this way then it will be quick and very assertive and we won't muck around.

Get the quotations that I have suggested.

Does your neighbour know about the video?

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The repairs are unlikely to mean a write off, if you decided to go through Insurance.

 

But the merits of going with the approach Bankfodder suggests, is that the driver of this car may not have been Insured to drive the car concerned.  Which may be the reason for the way they have behaved. 

 

Because the driver was not Insured, if you claim via your Insurance, your Insurance company will have to make a full recovery of the claim costs from the third parties vehicle Insurers or you will have a paid out claim showing on your Insurance, which is going to increase your premium for several years.  And you will have to pay your excess showing on your policy towards the repair costs and may struggle to receive this back from the third party Insurers.

 

You could speak to the neighbour again saying that you have CCTV and may involve the Police, as they have caused damage to your car, but have not owned up to it.  And you believe they were driving uninsured committing a driving offence.   You may find that the neighbour decides to pay for the repair costs, which would save you from suing them.

 

 

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Where did this happen private driveway or public road?

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Hi 

 

Just my opinion but as you have the CCTV Footage of the car rolling out their Driveway then damaging vehicle but also blocking a Public Highway them coming out bare foot and putting the car back in their Driveway and when approached by yourself some time later denying this ever happened.

 

I would take all your evidence to your local police station for it to be recorded and to get a reference number from the police to pass to your insurance company if the police say it is a civil matter then you ask to speak to the senior officer in charge as you want this recorded as what they have done amounts to hit and run which due to their denial they have done hit your car and drove away back into their driveway irrespective if their cars handbarke wasn't on or faulty.

 

You then pass that reference number from the police to your insurance company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear BankFodder,

 

I really appreciate how much time you have taken to write the above post, so massive thank you for reading up on my situation and giving me detailed answer. It is this sort of insurance knowledge I'm lacking and I was hopping to get on this forum, but got more information than I ever hopped for. Following your advise I have taken today's afternoon off to drive to official BMW body workshop to obtain a quote and I will also stop by couple other local shops. I will report back once I get the quotes.

 

Dear unclebulgaria67,

 

Thank you for your reply.

This is exactly what I wanted to avoid, paying premium in case it turns out that he was never insured to drive it. I take his mother is, as she came around to my next door neighbour telling them that I made false accusations against them, as I don't think her son has owned up to it even to his mother.

It's a fairly recently installed CCTV (just before Christmas, as our neighbours had attempted brake in November) to cover the front entrance and luckily it has captured the incident too. The CCTV has proper signage and I got approval from neighbours. I got a feeling the driver might have been high at the time, (I honest won't put it past him) and doesn't remember any of it happening, or he just uninsured to drive, but then again I see him driving the car now again. 

 

Hi dx100UK,

 

My car was parked on a public road, you can see the footage here

Not sure if this fact significant or not, but my car wasn't parked at my registered address, the road where this has happened, is my mother's address, as I went to deliver shopping to her that evening.

My insurance is for social use only, if that is of any factor?

 

Thank you.

 

Dear stu007,

 

Thank you too for your reply.

Just like you described, I wanted to report this matter to police, as just before the car rolled back, there was a dog walker who passed it 10 seconds earlier, and could have been easily killed. I was fuming when I actually discovered the entire footage after spending 2-3 days watching the whole recording minute by minute. When I mentioned this to my insurance company, they told me it's up to me where to report it to police or not, so it sounded like it wasn't significant and I didn't want to escalate things.

The car stayed "parked" at the back of my vehicle for about 35 minutes, blocking off entire road, until somebody has nocked at the neighbours door and pointed it out, I then see a pointing gesture and him running bare foot to put the car back into their driveway.

 

Given the fact that I suspected it was him due to silver markings on my car and only him having a silver car form all the neighbours, I approached him and told him that "I know it was one of the neighbours, as my car was parked here and want to sort it out as we all neighbours here" he then looked me in the eye and said that it "no, it wasn't me" and I believed him, as I haven't seen the CCTV at the time. Not sure if he was high at the time, intoxicated or just didn't realise that we've put up the CCTV, but given the fact that their insurance wrote to them, asking about "accusation" of vehicle damaged, not sure even if my insurance has passed on the CCTV footage to 3rd party, as it's not an accusation, but a fact given the CCTV evidence, but now once the 3rd party know that I have put this through insurance, they've made no attempt to speak to me directly, apologise or even try to make things right.

Maybe I shouldn't let them gate away with any of it after all.

 

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I'm using a telephone so this is just a short post.

 

I'm afraid that you're making a mistake getting one quotation from an authorised BMW repairer and the other one from a local garage.

 

You will end up with two quotes one very expensive and one very cheap but the quality will be very cheap. Then you will be pressurised to take the cheap quote for the poor quality work.

 

Your quotations must be quotations from equally authorised and reputable garages doing an equal quality job.

 

It's important that you compare like with like

 

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Please will you acknowledge that you have seen this post and that you are not getting quotations for different quality work and sending off to the defendant in this willy-nilly.

This needs to be done carefully and with some thought.

It's essential that you obtain competing quotes but from repairers of similar quality.

This might well mean obtaining quotes from BMW specialists in different cities – but it has to be done.

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Rodger that Bankfodder,

On my way to BMW specialist in another town now. As I popped into local BMW dealer where I get my car serviced, they’ve taken pictures and sent it off to their body workshop, I just had a call from that body shop and was asked to pop in so they can give me a close estimate, as the initial video apparently doesn’t show 100% extent of the damage.

I will let you know what the BMW specialist Worksop (this is BMW approved workshop) estimates the cost of repair.

 

Today was quite an interesting experience. Everyone I talked to wanted to know if this was going though insurance or not. BMW authorised repair place have quoted £1,200 plus VAT verbally, when asked for written quote, I was told a full quote will be £60, plus VAT. The bloke at BMW also wanted to know my insurance claim ref. so he can send it straight to them and charge them too I take it? I didn’t share they info with him. He also said that, I should have not told my insurance company, as now my premium will go up, even though I never made a claim apparently, would you happen to know if this is true?

 

I have also stopped by a local body shop as it was literally on the way home, even though you said not to, as I wanted to see how much non affiliate body shop would charge, once again they didn’t want to give me a written quote, as that was £50 plus VAT, but quoted me £800 verbally, so exactly as what my mechanic quoted me too.

 

The biggest kicker is that neither of them wanted to just pull the dented panel out and touch up/colour match the paint, as this is what I wanted to get done, both body shops wanted to fill and paint whole rear panel including the back door to fade/colour match it.

 

This is something I really want to avoid, as if was to see a car with a rear quarter sprayed, I’d never buy it on the second hand marker, as I would suspect it was in a serious rear collision, no matter what the owner would tell me.

 

BMW specialist, said that they could replace the rear panel, by cutting it out and getting new one in, but due to the age of the car, they won’t do that.

 

So I’m not to sure what to do now, take it to PDR specialist, to see what they say/quote?  

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Well it's up to you what kind of job you want. We have advised you that you are entitled to get a job that is equivalent to the quality/condition of your vehicle.

Personally I agree with you that I wouldn't want dent simply filled either.

They are charging you £60 for the quotation. That's very reasonable.
They suggested that you should not have contact your insurance company. They are wrong because if later on it turned out that you had an accident and your insurance company discovered that they had not been informed about a previous incident, it could be a basis for declining liability.

I now suggest that you write a letter to the neighbour and tell them that as they know, they caused damage to your vehicle and that you are proposing to have it repaired and you are now seeking quotes.

Tell them that you will be providing them with copies of any quotes that you receive so that they can understand why it is happening and also they can comment. Tell them that there is likely to be a fee for the quotations and that you will be adding that the final bill and you are now giving them a few days to respond and to comment.
Tell them that you have already contacted the BMW repairer and they have told you that it will cost £60 for a quotation. You are letting the neighbour know in advance. You can tell your neighbour in the letter that they can avoid those fees if they are prepared to accept verbal quotations. However in the event that they don't reply or that they object then you will pay for those quotations and as you have said, you will be adding it to the bill.
It's very important that you lay down a paper trail so that they are informed every step of the way and they are made aware in advance of any expenses which you are incurring on their behalf.

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you for re-opening this thread and your previous reply BankFodder.

 

Dear all forum members,

Just to update everyone on the status of this accident.

 

I have obtained official BMW garage quote for the repair and it was £1,300 plus VAT, so around £1,500.

Equipped with this info, I have approached my neighbour in person and was shocked by his reaction, he refused blank to pay or cover any damage whatsoever, was very arrogant and quite aggressive, so it all spilled into an argument.

 

Not sure what he's playing at, it's either the car is on his mum's name (who is on social benefits) or he's on benefits himself and confident that he can get away without paying.

 

To make the whole thing even more worse, my insurance was for a renewal this months and I've just discovered that after declaring this non-fault accident my premium goes up by about £80-100 for the next 5 years. This just like adding salt to the wounds.

 

I'm super not happy with the entire situation and want to proceed with claiming cost of repairs and cost of insurance premium through the court now, as my insurance company have been useless. 

 

I'm not sure who's the vehicle owner, nor if the driver lives next door, he could be just visiting his mother.

How do I proceed with taking this matter to court's attention?

Any legal advise would be very much appreciated.

 

Best Regards,

Lumen 

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I'm a bit surprised that you were shocked at the reaction. Given what happened and the fact that they tried to deny it at the beginning, I think you should have expected it.

You don't need to worry about the ownership of the car. The important thing is that you have the video of the person who was driving it and he got out of the car and you left it with the handbrake off. That person is your target.

Do you know their name? Are they at that address?

If the answer is yes – and yes, then your next step is to send a letter of claim.

You can draft something and post it here.

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Dear BankFodder,

Thank you for prompt reply. I know his first name and will find out his surname too.

As for his address, I'm not 100% certain that he lives officially next door, as he could be visiting his mum on regular occasions, but resident of another address. Does that make much difference?

Best Regards,

Lumen

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If he doesn't live at that address and it complicates things if you don't know his address.

 

Of course the purpose of the service of the documents is to bring the claim to the notice of the defendant.

You would probably have to issue the claim on paper at your local court and when you were issuing the claim you would then have to do tell the court that you wanted to carry out a "personal service" and that means once that had been approved by the court, you would have to meet him face-to-face and put the claim form in his hand.

You would then have to fill out a certificate of service within seven days. I'm not quite sure how you would inform the court that the service had been executed that they will tell you about it.

Of course it would be much better if he lived there or if you knew his residential address so I'm afraid that this adds to the difficulty.

 

The County Court rules 

 don't make it awfully clear – and as I've suggested, you should probably go to your local court to find out as much as you can.

Unless you can think of some way of finding his address

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