Our cars are our pride and joy, so it can be heartbreaking (and expensive!) if somebody intentionally damages them.
From slashed tyres to car keying and smashed windows, there are all kinds of ways in which vandals may look to damage your vehicle. And they can all add up to a hefty repair bill if you aren’t fully covered with car insurance.
We’ve looked at government figures to find out where and when you’re most likely to be at risk of having your vehicle damaged, as well as the most likely offenders and how much the damage could end up costing you.
The figures show that the vast majority (76%) of instances of vehicle vandalism take place at the victim’s home, with just 5% taking place at work and 17% taking place in other settings out and about.
However, just 2% of cases took place when the victim’s car was safely parked in a private garage, showing just how much of a difference off-street parking can make.
Unsurprisingly, your vehicle is more likely to be targeted in the evening or at night, with 76% of cases of damage taking place after 6pm.
The most likely time for your car to be vandalised is at night (between midnight and 6am), with over a quarter (32%) of offences taking place between these hours.
The figures also show that offences are much more likely to take place in the week than at the weekend, with 64% of cases of criminal damage happening from Monday to Friday.
However your car has been vandalised, whether the paintwork’s been scratched or a window smashed, you’ll be more likely to make a successful claim on your car insurance if you have comprehensive rather than third party cover.
But just be aware that if you make a claim it’s likely to affect your no claims discount. It’s always a good idea to shop around for car insurance and if you’re looking for cover for vandalism, check it’s included in your chosen policy.
The majority of cases of damage to vehicles cost between £200 and £499, with the average incident costing exactly £200 to fix.
While a small amount (3%) of cases were able to be sorted at no cost, some instances (10%) came at a very high cost, with damage totalling over £1,000.
We took a look at the profile of people most likely to carry out these types of offences.
Figures show that car vandals are most likely to act alone, with 67% of offences carried out by one person, although in 16% of cases, the damage was caused by as many as four or more people.
In terms of gender, three-quarters of those reported to have vandalised cars were male, with just 17% of perpetrators identified as female (12% of offences involved a combination of men and women).
Keying cars and letting down tyres might be the sort of behaviour you’d expect from teenagers, but many car vandals are actually older, with a third aged 25 to 39 and 23% aged 40 or older.
However, figures show that over a quarter of offenders are under 16, while 3% are even younger, at less than ten years old.
And, while the majority of vandals were complete strangers to their victims, just over one in five were well acquainted with each other, suggesting that more than a few instances of car damage stem from personal feuds!
When we look at which regions car vandalism is most likely to happen in, the results show that London has the most offences by far, at just over 20,000. This is almost more than double that of the next highest areas, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands.
Number of Crimes
All data sourced from the Office for National Statistics’ ‘Nature of Crime: Criminal Damage’ dataset, which is compiled from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and relates to the most recent period for which data is available (April 2019-March 2020).
Crime figures by region taken from the Home Office’s police recorded crime and outcomes open data tables and relate to 2019/20. Note that following the implementation of a new IT system in July 2019, Greater Manchester Police have been unable to supply data for the quarter July to March 2020.