What To Do If Someone Keys Your Car

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Keying‘ refers to the deliberate act of damaging your car’s paintwork with a key or another sharp object. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your car keyed, there are effective steps you can take to address the issue.

Someone Keyed My Car

Discovering that your car has been keyed or deliberately scratched is an incredibly unpleasant experience.

The damage itself is concerning enough, but the realisation that someone has intentionally caused this harm can be particularly upsetting.

Someone Keyed My Car

The Shocking Discovery

If you come back to your vehicle only to find it has been keyed, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one who has faced such an ordeal.

Car keying is surprisingly common. In fact, scratched bodywork represents the most frequent form of deliberate car damage, making up 41% of all such offences.

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Who to Tell When Your Car is Keyed

When you discover that your car has been keyed, it’s crucial to know the appropriate steps to take in reporting this act of vandalism.

Reporting to the Police

First and foremost, keying falls under vandalism, which is a criminal offence that should be reported to the police.

However, it’s important not to use the 999 emergency number for this. Instead, contact your local police using the 101 non-emergency number.

While they may not be able to act immediately, having the incident officially recorded is beneficial.

The police will provide you with a crime reference number, essential for proceeding with an insurance claim.

Checking Your Insurance Cover

Next, verify whether your car insurance policy includes vandalism cover. While many comprehensive policies do cover vandalism, it’s not a universal feature.

If you’re uncertain about your policy’s specifics, consult your policy document or contact your insurance provider directly.

Deciding to Claim

Whether to claim on your insurance for the damage depends on several factors. Consider the extent of the damage, how much the appearance of your car matters to you, and the amount of excess you would need to pay. These considerations will help you decide the best course of action for your situation.

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Who To Tell When Your Car Is Keyed

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Paintwork Repair Options

When your car’s paintwork has been compromised by scratches, assessing the depth and severity of these marks is crucial to determining the right repair approach.

DIY Repair Kits

For superficial scratches that haven’t penetrated deeply, a DIY scratch-repair kit might offer a viable solution.

These kits can be purchased online or from a car accessories store. They provide a means to buff out scratches or significantly reduce their visibility.

However, it’s important to manage your expectations regarding the outcome. A DIY approach is unlikely to restore your car to a professional-quality finish, and there’s always the risk of inadvertently worsening the damage.

This route should only be considered if you’re confident in your ability to achieve a satisfactory result.

Paintwork Repair Options

Professional Repairs

If the damage is more severe, especially if the metal beneath the paint is visible, it’s time to consult a professional.

Deep scratches not only detract from your vehicle’s appearance but also leave it vulnerable to rust and corrosion, which can cause further damage over time.

Seeking out a professional to sand down the scratches, reprime the panels, and apply a fresh coat of paint might seem expensive initially.

However, it’s worth shopping around as prices can vary significantly between providers.

Additionally, it’s possible that your car insurance may cover some or all of the repair costs, reducing the financial impact of getting your vehicle back to its best condition.

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How to Prevent Your Car Being Keyed

Concerns over vandalism can be alleviated by adopting certain preventive measures to safeguard your vehicle against being keyed.

Secure Parking Choices

  • Park in a Garage: Whenever possible, keep your car in a garage. This not only shields it from potential vandals but also from the elements.
  • Choose Busy, Well-lit Areas: When parking in public spaces, opt for locations that are busy and well-lit. High visibility and foot traffic can deter potential vandals.
  • Maintain a Buffer: Leaving space between your car and others reduces the cover for vandals to operate unseen. A little extra room can make a significant difference.

Enhancing Security at Home

  • Install CCTV or Smart Home Security: For an added layer of security at home, consider setting up CCTV cameras or a smart home security system. These technologies allow for remote monitoring via your smartphone, offering peace of mind even when you’re away.
  • Utilise Dash Cams: While a dash cam may not stop a determined vandal, it can play a critical role in identifying the perpetrator. Some dash cams are designed to operate while the car is parked, capturing footage that can be invaluable in the aftermath of vandalism.

By taking these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of your car being targeted for vandalism, offering both protection and deterrence.

Use A Dash Cam

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Someone Keyed My Car – Can I Press Charges?

Discovering your car has been keyed naturally leads to questions about legal recourse and whether charges can be pressed for the vandalism.

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Someone Keyed My Car – Can I Press Charges

The Challenge of Prosecution

Although vandalism is indeed a criminal offence, the main obstacle to pursuing charges is identifying the perpetrator.

This difficulty underscores the importance of security measures, such as home security cameras, which can provide crucial evidence.

Seeking Evidence in Public Spaces

If the incident occurred in a public area, it’s advisable to look for CCTV cameras nearby. These cameras often have an ID number displayed, which can be used to trace the footage back to the controlling authority, be it the council or a business owner.

To request CCTV footage, you will likely need the assistance of a lawyer or your insurance company.

They must supply the council or property owner with your name and identification, as well as specific details about the incident, including the date, time, location, and the make, model, and registration of your car.

Using Online Resources

Many local councils provide online maps detailing the areas under CCTV surveillance within their jurisdiction.

For information on accessing such footage, check the website of your local council. These resources can be invaluable in gathering evidence to support a case against those responsible for the damage to your vehicle.

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Frequently asked questions

Claiming for a keyed car may or may not affect your no-claims discount, as it depends on the policy of your insurance provider. Some insurers understand that vandalism is beyond your control and may offer protection for your no-claims discount in such cases.

However, it’s important to contact your car insurance provider directly to confirm their specific policy regarding vandalism claims and the impact on your no-claims discount.

The cost of repairing a keyed car can vary depending on several factors, including the extent and location of the damage, the type of car you drive, and your location.

On average, repairing a light scratch may cost around £90, while a deep scratch could range up to £300.

However, these prices are estimates, and it’s recommended to obtain multiple quotes from reputable repair shops to get an accurate cost assessment before making a decision.

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