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Two in five drivers ‘suffered vandalism’

Scratched paintwork most common, says survey

More than two in five motorists have fallen victim to car vandalism, a survey out today showed.

And more than 7% of them have suffered at the hands of vandals in the last 12 months, the survey from insurer Direct Line found.

The victims’ total vandalism bill in 2007 is estimated at £659 million – a rise of more than £100 million on the 2006 figure.

Scratched paintwork

The most common acts of vandalism against cars last year was scratched paintwork and keys being run along a vehicle. These two acts accounted for 43% of all incidents in 2007.

The next worst incidents were damaged wing mirrors and smashed windows.

Based on responses from 4,042 adults, the survey also showed:

  • two thirds of vandalism incidents are at night
  • 49% of incidents occurred to cars parked outside owners’ homes
  • 58% of victims over the last 20 years have not reported the most recent incident to police
  • 77% did make a claim on their insurance for the damage caused.

Growing crime

Tony Chilcott, head of car insurance at Direct Line, said: ‘Car vandalism is a crime which often goes unreported as many victims believe that doing so is a fruitless and frustrating exercise.

‘Official figures show that vandalism overall is a growing crime, but as our research shows many acts of car vandalism go unreported, meaning that the actual number will be significantly higher.’

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