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94% drive off after car park damage

Planning a drive to your local shopping centre? Hit and run damage to parked vehicles is widespread in the concrete jungle of modern car parks.

Unlike the more relaxed shopping atmosphere inside, the car park of a typical shopping centre can be a seething cauldron of tension, tempers and frustration.

Our personalities can change behind the wheel of a car. In a busy car park we're confronted with those personalities up close and in cramped surroundings. No wonder recent statistics released by Suncorp Insurance paint a less than friendly picture of car park etiquette.

The survey found that 38% of those surveyed had their car damaged while parked in the last year, and, in 94% of those cases a note was not left by the offending driver.

It seems bad motor manners are commonplace. 58% of those surveyed had experienced another motorist stealing their car space while they were clearly waiting for it in a car park, while 80% had seen other drivers using disabled car spaces without a permit.

What to do?

"We can start by making a conscious decision each trip to be both careful and courteous" says Suncorp Insurance Executive Manager Martin Weatherhead. "Good manners and a calm attitude can make the difference between a pleasant shopping trip and a stress-filled day."

Tips for safer parking

  • If it's not busy try a spot where there are no other vehicles surrounding your car.
  • Avoid parking near trolley collection bays.
  • Navigate your park carefully as you drive into the space, within the white lines and with enough room either side to allow for other car doors opening.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles that aren’t parked correctly - clumsy or lazy drivers are more likely to hit you when backing out.
  • Avoid parking next to large 4-wheel drives - they block visibility and can cause more damage when involved in an incident.
  • When reversing always look over your shoulder and drive slowly.
  • Help keep the car park free of hazards by returning your trolley to the bays.
  • Watch your speed. Think ahead and look for potential hazards like pedestrians, reversing cars, children and trolleys.
  • If you cause damage to another vehicle do the right thing and leave your details.

Suncorp Insurance offers comprehensive car insurance to cover you when accidents happen. Visit

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decisions. Contact Suncorp for a copy.