Friday, 4 November 2011
On Tuesday I went to the car (to check I could still remember where I'd parked it two days before).
There was a note in a plastic cover under the windscreen wiper. It couldn't be a parking ticket since I was parked legally. On opening it I found it to be a note from a neighbour. It read "Hi, I believe someone may have hit your car last night..." the note went on to give the registration number of the car, its make and colour, and the telephone number of the meerkat neighbour.
Sure enough on the driver's door was a long white stripe. I was annoyed as I headed home to ring the neighbour when I saw the suspect vehicle parked a few feet away. I rushed home and wrote a note saying I had information that the owner's car may have hit mine and gave my telephone number asking the owner to call. I stuck the note under the suspect car's wiper blade.
I spoke to the neighbour who left the original note and he explained that he'd seen the car trying to reverse into a parking space and in so doing hit my car. He said he watched the driver try to park a number of times, and thought the driver must have realised he'd hit my car. He said, if needed, he'd be happy to make a statement.
The next day the car owner phoned. He didn't admit anything. I explained that I had a witness, that I had taken photographs of the damage to my car and scratch marks to his bumper . I suggested they matched the height and colour of the marks on my car. He suggested that the marks on his car were already there when he purchased it.
Since he wasn't admitting that he had been responsible; I said I'd be forced to report the damage to my insurer and they'd sort it out with his. He said that wasn't necessary and could we meet - he'd like to see the damage I claimed he'd caused.
I met him today. I showed him the damage to my car; and he agreed he could have hit it. I said I'd get a quote and he said he'd do the same. The car repairers who I use are close by and I decided to go there staight away. I asked if he wanted to come as well.
We arrived at the garage, I parked up the car and asked for a quote. Whilst the mechanic was taking a photo of the damage the garage owner turned up. He appeared with his estimate sheet, a can of T cut and a cloth. Two minutes of gentle rubbing removed the "damage". There was a slight, almost imperceptible dent and a few scratches - which to put right would have cost about £250.
To my eye, the car looked as it was before the scrape so I left it at that. We weren't charged for the remedial work and I drove a very happy passenger home.
I phoned the neighbour who had left the note in the first place and described what happened. He thought it was a great outcome. I could not disagree.