The Fiat 500 has the dubious honour of being Britain’s most vandalised car, according to an insurance company survey. If even this relatively cheap Fiat is targeted, are any of our cars safe from key-wielding vandals?
My car was ‘keyed’ a few weeks ago. Now, every time I look at it, I don’t notice the freshly-polished paintwork or smart alloy wheels. All I see is a three-foot long gouge along both side doors, along with a veil of red mist that descends gradually across my field of vision.
Still, it’s hardly surprising, is it Tim? You live in one of the shabbier parts of Croydon and you were probably driving a flash, fresh-out-the-box test car at the time. Well, I do live in Croydon, but actually this was my own car: a 2001 Ford Focus worth all of about, ooh… £1,300.
This wasn’t an attack motivated by jealousy, then. Nobody could mistake me for a banker on the way to collect my bonus in my 11-year-old Focus. And it’s the same story for owners of the Fiat 500 – revealed this week to be Britain’s most vandalised car in a survey by insurance company Swiftcover.
The most vandalised cars
Here are the top 10 most vandalised cars in 2011/12, along with their chance of being vandalised in brackets:
1. Fiat 500 (3.62%)
2. BMW Z4 (2.97%)
3. Peugeot 207 (2.39%)
4. BMW X5 (2.37%)
5. Land Rover Range Rover (2.15%)
6. Volkswagen Beetle (1.88%)
7. Audi TT (1.64%)
8. Fiat Punto (1.61%)
9. Mini Cooper (1.54%)
10. BMW 3 Series (1.52%)
I always assumed that expensive cars were more of a target for casual damage – and the three BMWs, Audi TT and Range Rover in the top 10 suggest there is some truth in that.
However, the presence of the 500, Peugeot 207, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat Punto and Mini Cooper shows that even ‘everyday’ cars aren’t immune. Clearly the ‘happy-scratching’ vandals who roam our streets aren’t fussy; they’re just out to cause damage for the sake of it.
Rising insurance costs
I doubt these vandals are unduly concerned about my rapidly rising car insurance premium either. But with the average cost of a vandal-damage repair at £972.75, they are indeed partly responsible.
So, what’s the answer? Move to a house with a garage, invest in a better security system, or err… instil a sense of moral responsibility into society? The latter option is probably the most sensible, though I don’t think I’d be in the mood after just having my car keyed.
In the meantime, I’ll keep daydreaming about busting out my best Jean Claude Van Damme moves on whoever scratched my car.
Has your car been keyed or otherwise damaged by vandals? Vent your spleen below and if you’ve got any ideas on how to tackle this problem, don’t be afraid to share them.