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oh god it looks like my ds scratched a neighbours car I should just count my losses and pay up really

(16 Posts)
espares Sun 26-Oct-08 11:16:26

My 7 yo was out playing on his bike with a friend yesterday and they both went and called for another friend of thiers who they regularly play with.
They of course both went up the drive and past a car parked on their drive and it got scratched.
The next thing I am sitting in my house and my ds comes in telling me that I am wanted.
I go out to find their friends mom and her brother in law standing outside my house with the car in question parked outside as they had drive it down to show me.
I am met with come and take a look at this one of these two have scratched my brother in laws car and they are both denying any blame and are pointing the finger at each other and I wish to know who will be paying for this.
She then saya to my ds's friend a 8 yo girl that her mom had better get out here as well instead of avoiding the situation apparently she had already been to this girls door.
I wa sort of taken aback by the situation and wasn,t sure how to deal with it at first but I took s look at the scratches and there are two small fairly deep scratches to the side of his car.
The other girls parents evntually came out to examine the scratches it was then I realised that it most likely my ds who had scratched the car as his bike which we had just been given has no handle bar grips on it so its just metal showing where has the friends has got rubber on.
I took my ds inside the house to speak to him telling them I would be back out and asked him if he thought he had causesd the scratches and I could see really from his reaction that he probably had he was quite upset about it.
So I wrote my name address and phone number down and asked the brother in law to get tow or three quotes and then contact me.
The other girls mom and dad didn,t say too much but only commented on the attitude of the woman whose daughter my ds and their dd play with and how they had called for when the car got sctrached.
I was rather appalled at her attitude myself and I have told my ds to not call for her dd on his bike again.
I have now got to get him some tape or rubber grips for his bike so it doesn,t happen again.
Have I dealt with this properly I reckon the repair will probably cost around £150.
Has anybody been in a similar situation.

Freckle Sun 26-Oct-08 11:31:21

To be honest, for a couple of small scratches, I think the BIL should have sucked it up. The way they dealt with it also seems very aggressive and confrontational, for what was, after all, probably a complete accident.

Were the scratches very deep? Chances are a bit of T-cut would have rendered them almost invisible. Have you checked your household insurance to see if you may be covered for third party liability?

espares Sun 26-Oct-08 11:39:17

The brother in law seemed an okay sort of chap but the woman wasn,t very nice about it at all. I have gone right off her and my ds plays with her dd I feel as though she has put us all in a difficult situation now.
I will look at my home insurance thanks for that.
I don,t know if just a pot of paint may do the trick I think she may have lynched me if I had of suggested that.
The other girls mom said that she also thought that this woman was going to lynch her when she came to her door.
She doesn,t seem happy to let her dd play out anymore with this woman dd what a shame just because of some persons tactless way of dealing with it.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Sun 26-Oct-08 11:42:59

unless your child was stood next to their car with a screw driver manically gouging out the scratches, they really dont have a right to have such an attitude and be so uptight about it. It was an accident.

elliephant Sun 26-Oct-08 11:47:51

Think you handled it very well. It was an accident, they're only kids. You've accepted responsibility, taped the handle bars so it can't happen again and agreed to pay. What more can you do? ( Make sure you see a few quotes btw and not one from a 'mate'.) I think the fact that your ds and his friend blamed each other etc at the start is normal defensive behaviour for children, particulary when they were confronted by hostile adults. Taking your son out of the situation and talking to him yourself was a very good idea. However, while I think the car owner can't expect to be out of pocket for this either, I think they( as adults) should have called for you straight away instead of confronting the children.

espares Sun 26-Oct-08 11:48:02

The thing is is that the children in our street have scratched my car loads of times coming up and down my drive with their bikes and this womans dd had prbably done her share but I don,t make a song and dance about it its not in my nature.

elliephant Sun 26-Oct-08 11:50:57

Meant to add that wouldn't ban DS from playing with other child - seems a bit mean to visit the sins of mother on child iykwim. However would probably encourage DS not to play in or around her house- let the other child call over to yours.

espares Sun 26-Oct-08 11:52:17

Yes this womans attitude to young children was awful.
Not sure if its a good idea to let my ds play with her dd I mean what if he ever breaks something of hers.
Crikey her dd has been in my house playing hide my ornaments admittedly so was my ds so her dd has been no angel in my house.
I just don,t believe in getting so confrontational where children are involved

elliephant Sun 26-Oct-08 11:53:15

Maybe you should suggest a street rule that all kids leave bikes at gate when calling for other kids

childrenofthecornsilk Sun 26-Oct-08 11:59:30

I worry about this. I think that most people would let it go unless the car was dented. What a horrible situation to be in.

bellavita Sun 26-Oct-08 12:09:36

This happened to me about 4 years ago.

My DS1 went to call on another boy a few doors up and took his bike down the drive - although the mother does ask all child callers with bikes/scooters to leave them at the top of the drive, he scratched the mothers car. Her DS had opened the front door just at the time of the said scratching so my DS was caught doing it.

She came to my door - I hate confrontations and said for her to get some quotes, which she did but it still cost us £140.

I always tell my boys not to ride up and down our drive with their bikes as they seem to lose their handle bar grips all the time and I get annoyed with them if any scratches appear on my car, so I can kind of see where your neighbour is coming from but there are ways of handling these situations.

TskullsScreaming Sun 26-Oct-08 12:25:03

I agree they handled it badly and you have done the correct thing, but I don't think they are wrong to seek payment for the repair.

Ripeberry Sun 26-Oct-08 12:37:09

My DH's car has loads of scratches and bumps and he has never bothered sorting them out.
One day a young lad from down the road, somehow slammed right into the back of the parked car and the other kids went to get his mum.
I went out anyway to see if i could help the boy and his mum came up and was more concerned about the state of my DH's car!
She thought the boy had done all the damage.
I had to reasure her as she was going to faint or someting.
The boy was OK in the end and the mother was VERY relieved.
The car is still in a state but we know the history of every bump and scratch and we know when new ones appear.

MuAHAHAHAHAHmi Sun 26-Oct-08 13:39:17

"The next thing I am sitting in my house and my ds comes in telling me that I am wanted."

Why didn't they knock on your door themselves instead of sending your DS? is what I'm wondering...

Their attitude stinks as it is. I can only assume it was a flashy car but regardless, they should accept that accidents do happen and suck it up.

MadamDeathstare Sun 26-Oct-08 13:51:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wingandprayer Sun 26-Oct-08 14:22:36

I think you handled it well. Unless the car was in poor condition and already scratched before it is right to pay for the damage even if accidental. Check out your local Yellow Pages and see if there are any of those mobile scratch repair companies locally. They usually cheaper than sending into a garage, usually helpful at fixing something cheaply and will go to his home/office to sort it out, so he has n o further grounds for complaints about time off/hassle etc.

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