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Nearly one third of motorists would consider leaving the scene after damaging another vehicle


Scottish drivers are the most likely to be honest, while motorists in the North East are the most likely to be dishonest

A new poll released today, commissioned by, found that a shocking 30% say they would consider leaving the scene of an accident after only causing minor damage. Another 4% said they would leave even if extensive damage was caused.

The research also showed that honesty among drivers varies extensively between age, location and income groups.

By region, Scotland was found to have the most honest motorists, with 63% reporting they would make sure they could be contacted about repairs, while motorists in the North East appear to be the most dishonest. In this region, 7% said they would leave the scene of the accident if they damaged another car, compared to just 1% in Wales.

A further 36% in the North East said they would consider fleeing the scene of an accident without passing on their contact details if the damage was only minor, compared to just 22% in Scotland.

However, the UK population also appears to get more honest with age. The poll found that younger motorists are most likely to consider making a getaway from an accidental bump or scrape. In the 25-34 age bracket, 7% reported they would fail to stop after damaging another car, compared to just 1% of the 65+ age group. An impressive 63% of this latter age group said they would wait for the car's owners to return or leave their contact details - the highest level of reported honesty of any group.

Breaking this down further into cities; residents in and around Glasgow were the most honest, with more than two thirds (70%) reporting that they would own up to the damage caused. Residents in Southampton (65%) and Hull (64%) ranked second and third, which is in stark contrast to just 43% of motorists in Bristol and 46% in Oxford and London. A shocking 12% of motorists around Brighton said they would make a hasty retreat, closely followed by-motorists in Oxford (10%), Milton Keynes (8%) and Newcastle (7%)**.

Oddly, the income of the perpetrator of the damage seems to have little influence over whether they behave admirably or not.

Those on some of the lowest incomes as well as in one of the highest earning brackets were the most likely to say they would try and escape after damaging a car, polling 7% for those in the £7k-14k per annum and the £48k-55k bracket, compared to just 3% for those in middle-income brackets such as the £21k-28k and £28k-34k income groups. Furthermore, these middle-income brackets were most likely to say they would ensure being contacted at 53%, compared to just 44% of those earning up to £7k per annum, or those earning £48-55k.

David Timmis, Managing Director at commented: "Although we are generally a nation of honest motorists, it is sad to see that nearly one third of motorists would try to avoid paying for repairs if no-one was around to witness their accident. It is easy to scrape or hit another car whilst driving, especially with larger cars having to squeeze into tight car parking spaces, but the regional variances may indicate historical trends in those areas, where bad experiences of vehicle damage mean individuals are less likely to report an accident if they in-turn damage another vehicle. As ever, the older British generation are showing the rest of us the right path by being honest no matter who may, or may not, have seen the accident."

On the whole, the UK is a nation of honest motorists, with more than half of us (52%) stating that we would own up if we accidentally damaged someone else's car, even if no-one was around to witness it.


Notes to Editors:
* commissioned Populus to ask 2021 GB residents aged over 18 years: ‘Thinking about if accidentally damaged another car while no-one is around. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?' The results were:

  • I would wait for the owner to return of leave my full contact details on the car: 52%
  • I would make a hasty retreat, and hope no-one catches me, even if the damage was extensive: 4%
  • Depends on the level of damage, if it was only minor, I would scarper: 30%
  • Don't know: 14%

** full regional and city breakdowns of the research, available on request.

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