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to think this woman is trying to screw me?

(66 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 18:35:43

Okay, so on the weekend I very stupidly reversed into someone's car in a parking lot. The bumper, or just above, was cracked. It was my fault, I felt dreadful as I would have been gutted if it had been my car. I left an apologetic message with my full name and phone number.

Two days passed and I heard nothing. Then I had a text to ask for my full name (?) and registration. I immediately rang back and chatted to the woman. At first, she was rather stiff ('I fail to understand how you hit me...').

Understandable, that. I apologised, signified I was happy to pay damages, but would also understand if she wanted to go through insurance. She would take the car to the garage and see what they said.

Two days after this, nothing. Tonight I texted as nicely as possible, and asked if she had heard, reiterating I was happy to try and make amends.

Her reply: 'My mechanic is concerned due to the age of the car and the fact that the whole back wing has to be replaced that the car is a write off'.

Me: 'Really?! It did not look that bad, but then I am no mechanic. I take it you'd prefer to go the insurance route.'

Her: 'I will decide overnight as I will be out of pocket. I have to decide whether to let u get away with hitting me. I may ask to see the camera footage from XXX car park.'

Now, I felt terrible at first and would happily have paid any halfway reasonable repair bill. I said so several times. But I feel like she is upping the ante and kind of.... playing with me.

For some reason that text has really fucked me off and I am minded to go straight to the insurers myself and accept losing my no claims bonus. AIBU?

YouTheCat Thu 10-Oct-13 18:37:20

Don't engage with her at all and go through insurance. That way she can't fleece you.

Tell her you will only deal with them via insurance and let them deal with it.

Go through the insurance.

Spirulina Thu 10-Oct-13 18:39:45

go through your insurance,but she might be right...

holidaysarenice Thu 10-Oct-13 18:40:27

Let her go through the insurance. Also as this is private property, she may find it more difficult than you think.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 18:40:59

Thanks. Will be prepared to accept if IABU, but for some reason that text has given me the fucking RAGE. I made a mistake, we all do, I tried decently to make amends, and the whole 'I'll decide overnight... I may let you get away with this...'

I haven't fucking asked to get away with anything.

Should I make it clear to her I will now only go through insurance so she doesn't keep texting me?

yes

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 18:42:21

Spirulina - you mean about the damage? Yeah, she might! That is why I didn't contradict her. Although I doubt it, as we did photograph the damage and unless there was some massive damage underneath, it did look like a cracked bumper.

It was just the tone.....grr.

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 18:47:55

could it be a text miscommunication issue

ive got images of her looking at her obviously old car and thinking it isnt worth it so she may let you off with it - ie not do anything at all

but it coming across all arseholeryish iyswim?

solveproblem Thu 10-Oct-13 18:48:49

How old was the car?

Bellts Thu 10-Oct-13 18:48:51

I think she's trying it on. she sounds like someone who will end up telling the insurance company that she was in the car (just for the money). did you take any pics? was there any cctv nearby? hope she won't con you

Renniehorta Thu 10-Oct-13 18:50:26

In future if I have any incident at all involving my car touching another car I am going to take photos of the whole area involved of my car and the other.

It is too late for you as it was for me recently. There was no damage to my car or the other when my car touched another in a car park. The other driver had a shouting match with me and then reported me to the police for leaving the scene of an accident.

You cannot trust anyone in these events. There are so many ways to screw you over. So to you and everyone photos, photos, photos!

The police investigated and dismissed the whole claim by the way.

cakehappy Thu 10-Oct-13 18:53:49

Hi OP
What a cow! I'd feel the rage as well! You can get your own back by sending a message to her, very cold but polite text saying she must only communicate through your insurance company from now on. She won't be expecting it, but even though you lose your no claim insurance it'll be worth it!

cakehappy Thu 10-Oct-13 18:54:47

Sorry, not finished. As it sounds like she is going to try to take you to the cleaners anyways!

MsWilliamTheBloody Thu 10-Oct-13 18:55:19

People are wanky over their cars, aren't they?

They're design to crumple on impact. It's so the peeps in them don't die.

hmm

Accidents happen. Get over it!! Her, not you. ( <blows kiss> ).

OP, I wouldn't engage any further. I'd go through insurance. She sounds like a really awkward person to deal with.

I agree - let the insurers deal with it. I have, in the past, owned up when I have bumped someone's car, and in both cases the other person seemed to appreciate that I had been honest, and we settled things amicably. It is a shame that it wasn't that way for you, OP.

wickedwitchNE Thu 10-Oct-13 19:07:17

This exact same thing happened to us - barely a dent in the woman's door and she was insisting there was a lot of work needed, including to damage underneath apparently. She was even asking for money for being without her car for a week when she had kids to ferry around.

Told DP to refer her to his insurance and then ask her to stop contacting him (she kept pestering him even when he handed it over to them). In the end she didn't even make a claim!

FreeWee Thu 10-Oct-13 19:11:44

What does she expect the cameras in the car park to show her? Someone else hitting her old banger?? Seriously, you've owned up. What is she trying to achieve with all this pissing about? She's got a name, access to their insurance details so what's she playing at? Either you pay her mechanic to fix it privately at a cost agreed by you both or you go through insurance. What's this nonsense about letting you get away with hitting her. If her car is a write off I appreciate you don't always get the full value from the insurer but surely that's more incentive for her to go privately with you at an agreed cost? YANBU to have the rage with this tit.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Thu 10-Oct-13 19:23:06

I should let it go through the insurance.

But a word of warning. You must report it quickly or you might get grief from your own insurance company as they will want to take the lead on repairs etc.

I'd tell her tonight that unless you and she come to a firm agreement by the morning as to the damages then you will be forwarding the matter to your insurance company by midday. Then do so. The longer you leave it before getting them involved the more complicated it becomes.

You've paid your premiums. Let someone else deal with it.
You might not even lose all your no claims if it is protected.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 19:29:13

Thanks everyone. I have been driving since I was 17 (started overseas) and am 34 - never had so much as an off glance from a parking warden before this. A first I felt so bad, because I thought, what if she is really badly off and this car is everything to her.... But I offered to do everything I could, and I said repeatedly "it's your choice to go thru insurance, of course" so she didn't feel like I was trying to game her.

notyomamma thanks. That is a much nicer way of looking at it. I am going to hold onto that and discuss it with DH when he gets back.

I accept the damage may be worse than it looks but then her insurance will pay for it.....

Car was fairly old - either T or W reg (can't remember which it started with) and had other dents, one of which was quite large and visibly rusted, suggesting it had happened some time ago.

starfishmummy Thu 10-Oct-13 19:30:28

Go through your insurance.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 19:31:23

Lady, do you think I have left it too long if it happened on Sun and it's now Thurs? Bit worried about that.

My NCB is not protected but I think (!!!) I can afford a rise in premiums as mine were quite high till recently due to haing lived outside the UK for a long time.

MsWilliamTheBloody Thu 10-Oct-13 19:32:01

what if she is really badly off and this car is everything to her

Then she'd have sorted it out really quickly and not dithered for days.

Don't feel bad.

Viviennemary Thu 10-Oct-13 19:38:27

That's the thanks you get for being honest. She sounds a bit of a sharp one to me. I'd go through insurance and have no more dealings with her. By the sounds of her she is not to be trusted an inch.

Bogeyface Netherlands Thu 10-Oct-13 19:39:40

Sounds like she is trying to claim that the damage that was already done to her car was actually done by you.

Does she know that you have taken photos? She may back down when she realises that you have evidence.

forumdonkey Thu 10-Oct-13 19:43:39

Go through the insurance - it won't cost her a penny. This happened to me a few months ago in car park but the woman who ran into my car spoke to my witness (an employee of the supermarket) and then drove off. I got the police involved because it was basically a hit and run and only the police can request to see the cctv, data protection, so I doubt she be able to just take a look like she thinks (but that may depend who is running the cctv). Her insurance covered everything, including a hire car that I had to have for work business and it didn't affect my NCB or cost me a penny.

Tell her to take a running jump. I wish the woman who'd scraped down the side of my car had been like you.

And to add - the police didn't prosecute her for the hit and run. They just got her insurance details and passed them on to me

zower Thu 10-Oct-13 19:44:15

Can I ask OP - you definitely took photos, is that right?

That should help you re. the insurance issue, no?

Wannabestepfordwife Thu 10-Oct-13 19:44:32

Yanbu I would definitely go through insurers from now on.

When I was working insurance, if you weren't using and insurers approved repairer they would want a quote from 2 different garages, just in case a garage or claimant was trying to pull a fast one.

eggyhead Thu 10-Oct-13 19:46:10

Never ever sort out repairs directly with another driver. ALWAYS go through the insurance company. It always costs more than you anticipate and people normally get the arse.

My Dad worked in Insurance all his life and this was his number one rule.

ModreB Portugal Thu 10-Oct-13 19:53:41

I would agree to go through the Insurance.

BUT if you decide not to, make sure that you get quotes for the damage as well, as she could easily inflate the cost.

Tiredmumno1 Thu 10-Oct-13 19:54:36

I do agree with everyone else, you need to report it to your insurers.

But do at as soon as you can.

Tiredmumno1 Thu 10-Oct-13 19:54:54

it not at

mum11970 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:05:16

What make of car was it? Being a very old car it wouldn't take much to make it an insurance write off. Thing that sounds odd to me is she's saying it needs a new wing. The wing is on the side not the rear and unless you hit towards the corner of the bumper it would be unlikely (not guaranteed) that the bump damaged the wing. Do you have pics of the rear and the sides.

AlbertaCampion Thu 10-Oct-13 20:05:24

Just wanted to add: if she is driving a banger and you go through insurance, they may well write it off. This is what happened to me when somebody put a sizeable dent into the rear of my car. Insurance wrote it off and I got a paltry £200.

So if you do go through insurance, it won't necessarily be a good thing for her! Something to bear in mind if she is being an arse...

asmallandnoisymonkey Thu 10-Oct-13 20:14:03

It will be a condition of your motor insurance policy that you must report any incident involving your car that may give rise to a claim.

It could affect your policy if you don't. If you don't and your failure to do so prejudices your insurers position they may seek to recover any damages from you in the future.

I understand your no claims bonus is an issue for you but you pay your insurance premiums precisely so you don't have to go through this hassle.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Thu 10-Oct-13 20:34:16

OP. I've been trying to get back online to answer you.

I think it will be fine. But don't leave it much later.

I was in a similar position once - though rhe other woman was a parent at an activity my DD1 attended and was perfectly decent - but it looked at first that it was a minor dent. A week later the estimate (entirely genuine) was for £350 and I decided to go to the insurance. It was ok. But they did ask why I hadn't reported it sooner and bleated a bit about my not making any arrangements direct that would 'invalidate my insurance'. I certainly wasn't going to let them wriggle out of paying up and to be fair they didn't try.

I'm just warning you not to leave it too long. Don't agonise over it anymore.

Best of luck. I'm sure it will all be fine.

rockybalBOOOOa Thu 10-Oct-13 20:37:12

Insurance all the way. Do not engage any further with her. Have you got her registration? Contact your insurers, pass on the info you have. Don't stress, stuff like this happens all the time, it's what we pay insurance for.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 10-Oct-13 20:37:28

I don't think she has insurance.

I wouldn't trust her, go through your insurance.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 20:52:03

Thanks all smile esp Lady for coming back specially!

I am going to pick DH up but will ring right after. Yes I have photos of the damage. Tbh I'd be prepared to believe it was a whole wing and pay for it if she were just straightforward.

Hope ins won't be too cross with delay, but there's only one way to find that out!

RevoltingPeasant Thu 10-Oct-13 20:52:37

Forty that did also cross my mind.....

Tiredmumno1 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:57:34

Good Luck Peasant, I am sure it'll all be fine once you get the ball rolling with your insurers. At least you won't need to have anymore contact with her.

HarryPotterMadMum Thu 10-Oct-13 21:36:15

A similar thing happened to my MIL,I luckily,was able to to take pictures and verify the whereabouts of the lady that hit her and where I saw her when she had come to a stop. The other lady scraped down the side of MIL car and wasn't going to stop til MIL got out and made her. Then she tried to claim it was the MIL fault (even though she was stationary) and made up a load of rubbish about her car! Some people will try to get away with so much. They are just idiots.

Grotbagstwin Thu 10-Oct-13 21:47:03

It could well be a write off, Someone reversed into my car 3 weeks ago, the car is worth £1000 - new door resprayed and fitted is £1200.
I gave the lady the option of if she wanted to go through insurance or through a garage and she chose insurance, if its £50 or £5000 claimed on your insurance the premium will go up the same amount.
My advice is ask her for a written quote from the garage (all garages offer this for free, I got two quotes for mine) then if she wants to get it fixed away from insurance you pay the garage directly not through her, then there is no way she can pocket some of the money. Or just call your insurance and give them her name, reg and number and let them deal with her and if she messages you say the imsurance is dealing with it.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 10-Oct-13 21:56:28

This happened to me a few months ago. I caught a car in a car park. Scraped down two doors and just caught the wing. Took pictures and left my number.

Lady rang a couple of days later. Was a bit snotty about it but couldn't blame her, wasn't her fault and she now had to run about getting quotes, making phone calls and getting her car repaired. Gave her my insurance details and she said she'd ring me and let me know what she was doing.

Insurance company wrote to me a week later. I rang and they just wanted to confirm that a claim made against me was genuine. I said sorry but it was and would this invalidate my policy? She said no they just needed the details. I emailed them the pictures and never heard anything back. She never got back to me to tell me she was definitely going through the insurance. They didn't seem to mind that I hadn't told them.

Luckily I've got protected no claims. I paid a mate with a bodyshop twenty quid to touch up the small scuff on my bumper and that was it.

You might not be so lucky if your no claims isn't protected, it might cost you next year when you renew your insurance.

"'My mechanic is concerned due to the age of the car and the fact that the whole back wing has to be replaced that the car is a write off'."
My understanding is that a car is considered a write-off if the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of the car post-repair. So I would interpret that text as a snottily-worded 'my car is so old the garage laughed out loud at the mere idea of repairing it.'

Lora1982 Thu 10-Oct-13 23:02:19

Id wait and see what she decides. I couldn't afford to lose out with higher premiums. She might not have meant it how its come across in the text

microserf Thu 10-Oct-13 23:08:30

Definitely deal with your insurers only from now on. My nanny had someone lightly graze her car and then try to claim for all sorts, and started personally harassing her. Both employers had to get involved to make it stop, which it did because basically it was fraud. Your insurers will put her to proof, sit back and let them sort it out.

tropicalfish Thu 10-Oct-13 23:49:53

perhaps someone has already said this but car damage is very expensive to repair. She is probably not trying to fleece you but is frustrated through no fault of her own she is in this position.
You think it is only a crack but that crack could cost £2000 to repair. Her car might only be worth £1000 , which is what she was referring to.
Certainly I would go through the insurance as that way you will not have to deal with her directly.

volestair Fri 11-Oct-13 02:01:19

Don't really like all this emphasis on "old bangers" some posters seem to have. My car might be old and a bit battered, but it is my car, and you're just as much in the wrong if you damage it as you would be if it were a brand new SLK.

I am fed up with people leaving dents in my car and not giving a shit because in their eyes it's only a shitty old Ford. The reason it's a bit shitty-looking is because other people have dented it while it was parked and buggered off leaving no details, meaning I either pay hundreds or thousands for a cosmetic repair, claim on my insurance and lose NCB and get a premium hike, or leave it looking ugly.

It stayed pristine for ages originally, but as soon as it had a couple of dents and scrapes on it, people started assuming my property doesn't matter, wanging their doors into it in car parks, swiping it while driving down the road too close to parked cars, etc. .

volestair Fri 11-Oct-13 02:06:41

Sorry, my post came across really arsey; obviously you're exactly the opposite sort of person to the ones I'm complaining about, OP! I hope you get it all sorted okay.

Posted too soon after yet another ding appeared on my poor car.

Mimishimi Fri 11-Oct-13 02:18:45

My husband had a prang a couple of months ago. It just looked like a dent in the drivers door and near the front wheel but apparently it damaged the post section which is welded in and it could not be repaired for less than the car was worth so a write-off. She might be right about the damage even if it looks minor. If it's damaged a structural welded part, rather than just an easily replacable component, the cost of labour is such that it doesn't make repairs worthwhile.

superstarheartbreaker Fri 11-Oct-13 03:59:38

My car was written off by a minor dent...airbag popped. If it is more expensive to replace something than the value of the car then its a write off. New airbag for eg = £2000. Old car = £1000. Might be the same for this.

BraveMerida Fri 11-Oct-13 04:28:03

I wouldn't trust her at all by the sound of it.

I had a very similar incident couple of weeks ago here in a foreign country, as an expat who the locals obviously think are made of money and is there for the fleecing, it created a lot of stress thinking of the worst case scenarios in my head....OMG they are able to find me on FB from my name, things about where I live, where my child goes to school etc....they suggested meeting me in some garage way out to get the quote/estimate and I was thinking kidnap/no way....all sounds a bit dramatic I know but It's just horrible feeling when you feel you cannot trust someone.

Fortunately, I corresponded by emails and was able to draw a line under it within a few days after depositing the agreed money into her bank account.

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 04:44:20

Go through your insurance and inform them now.
If she doesn't contact them then it won't matter - but if she uses her insurance company (if she has one) and they find yours through your registration number, then they will not be happy if you haven't contacted them yourself.

THis happened to me once - I offered to pay for the slight scratch (as I thought) to the car I slid into in the snow, to avoid my insurance company - but the people who I hit called their insurance company, who found mine, etc etc. Net result, the company agreed to pay the cost but terminated my insurance contract with them for failure to tell them about it within 30 days, so I had to start with a new company and lost my NCB anyway.

daisychain01 Italy Fri 11-Oct-13 04:58:57

Revolting, it is critical you go through your insurance company. The process is simple

1. You provide a truthful, accurate account of the incident

2 the other driver shoukd also have reported it to her insurance co, irrespective of who was to blame. She can choose whether to or not, but she is well advised to, in order to protect her own interests.

3. your insurance co will appoint an assessor to inspect your vehicle and her vehicle.

4. Based on the evidence, your insurance company will pay for the damage to her car.

If you only ever deal through insurance, it is not down to opinion or conjecture, it is down to the law. For example, the law is clearcut that anyone in a reversing manoevre is always in the wrong if they hit someone. No ifs or buts. Even if a car speeds round the corner in a carpark, if you are reversing at point of impact, no argument, the law is black and white, it is your fault (just saying, I know you said in your post you agreed it was your fault, so that is understood)

Some advice

1. Never ever admit liability under any circumstance. Dont say sorry, dont say anything. You are not legally obliged to. It is good practice not to. Only say "here are my details, please may I have your details. Thank you". Never discuss what happened. If they engage in dialogue, dont be forced to engage. Stay polite friendly, to the point. Dont pre-judge anything. Just try to remember in your own mind what happened and dont be influenced by their version of events.

2. Your only legal obligation is to exchange insurance details. So is the other party obliged to.

3. ALWAYS take a quick photo of damage to other vehicle. Normally people wont stop you, they may get funny but do it anyway. Nowadays it is good practice. It helps insurance cos if they have back up evidence

4. ALWAYS make a note of the vehicle registration. In case someone plays silly bs and gives you false details or withholds their details, your ins co can trace the vehicle on their computer system and can immedicately know their insurance details, so would proactively get in touch ins co to ins co.

5. By doing everything through insurance, it may be expensive but you cannot be fleeced, it is out of everyones individual hands and they do the job professionally. It also gives the other person the message you wont be messed with. This is only in the case of a dispute of course. Normally people are decent not all, but most. Sometimes initial shock can change peoples behaviour but then they see reason.

6. Finally NEVER engage in text conversations with the person afterwards. If they try to, just a polite response saying everything is now in the hands of insurance, please contact your own insurance company should be enough to stop it. You are under no legal obligation ever to talk to the person again. Dont be friendly, dont feel guilty, detach. It was an accident -you didnt mean to do it.

Good luck

RevoltingPeasant Fri 11-Oct-13 08:38:43

Brief update - I spoke to insurance this morning and reported it as an incident which may give rise to a claim. They were lovely and pragmatic and got all the details quickly.

They logged it and gave me a reference no., which they said I could text to her. And an email address for me to send the photos to.

I have now texted her:

'Following your message last night, I have reported this to my insurance. They are XXX and the ref no. is XXX. You can make a claim by ringing XXX. I have sent them photos of your car. as the insurance is now dealing with this, it is best if we have no further personal contact. Best of luck with your claim. - RevoltingPeasant.'

That way if she really is on the level and just genuinely can't decide what to do, then it's not nasty, but it makes it clear that I have evidence of what happened and it's all official now.

Phew, thanks everyone smile

RevoltingPeasant Fri 11-Oct-13 08:40:18

And I am so grateful for the advice, but amazed at all the people who were on this thread at like 4 or 5am. I sincerely hope you all live in Australia and were not actually up at that time...... wink

Tiredmumno1 Fri 11-Oct-13 09:18:42

Good for you smile

I wonder if she'll respond to that?

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 11:59:42

I do live in Australia, yes grin but my incident was in the uk. Glad you've told your insurance co.

classifiedinformation Fri 11-Oct-13 12:07:52

My Dad is a mechanic and through experience (of damaging my own car myself...idiot) I can tell you that sometimes what seems like minor damage can be expensive to fix, so she's not necessarily lying.

However, she is being rude and childishly stroppy. Go through your insurer to ensure that she doesn't try her luck.

Good message OP.

DeWe Fri 11-Oct-13 12:40:40

Before you get cross with her, that may be exactly what she was told.

Someone came into me at low speed last year. There was a small dent (tennis ball size) at the bottom of the back door and the bumper clips were broken.
First garage I took it to declared it a write off from 10 yards away. shock

I phoned her straight away in shock-it's not a really cheap car (worth between £1k and £1.5k) although it's 10 years old. And I didn't want to lose the car either. I think we both sat on the phone in tears and completely speechless for about 10 minutes.
Then I said I would try somewhere else, and if she could recommend somewhere of her choice, not too far away I'd try them too, to confirm it.
Her place quoted about £1k, and I found a nice independant chap who did it for £500, so off insurance.

But I'd always had good recommendations of the first place so might well have just gone for them. I've since heard that they tend to replace rather than mend, and probably wanted to replace most of the back of the car. The job we had done was a mend, but you'd never know it happened and we were very happy.

But she's not necessarily trying to screw you.

2tiredtocare Fri 11-Oct-13 12:43:31

YANBU, well done for leaving a note in the first place loads of people don't and its so frustrating

daisychain01 Italy Sat 12-Oct-13 20:00:32

Revolting, brilliant outcome, good text!! I was awake at stupid-oclock the other morning and just had to post to you because it can be very stressful, having a car accident, even a bump is horrid, but you have done all the right things. I'm in England although Id love to be in Oz now its nearly winter!

Its only a bit of metal at the end of the day, albeit your means of transport, what I mean is at least nobody was hurt and it will all soon be sorted flowers

Drive safe!

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