If you scratch a car and do a runner you're the worst sort of person

I got a brand new BMW M235i Gran Coupe in May. This morning it doesn't feel all that new anymore.

26w ago

I thought I'd attempt to make the world a better place this morning. So if you were expecting my normal Engine Economics weekly analysis? Maybe wait until the weekend when I write something of substance and intelligence. Today? I'm ranting.

I've learned over the past 5 years after driving multiple owning multiple expensive exotic and European sports cars and SUVs that there are some people in this world who just resent you for even walking into a Land Rover dealership.

I've learned over the past 5 years after driving multiple owning multiple expensive exotic and European sports cars and SUVs that there are some people in this world who just resent you for even walking into a Land Rover dealership. They just want you and every part of you to die. But failing to go to prison for murder, they instead just chose to be totally and negligently ignorant to their surrounds.

Knowing this I've bit by bit and happily changed my younger driving day habits of parking at the front of a supermarket or city carlot to being a bit more patient and parking further away from where there are exactly zero cars. There are a couple of reasons for this, for starters there are no cars anywhere, but secondly it actually and ironically saves time. Instead of being one of those muppets who circles the front of a parking lot for half an hour you've got a park and are happily strolling to your destination.

Every now and then though, there's that one person. That one person who sees your car in an otherwise empty row or parking lot and goes "well f**k me dead, that guy has an entire parking lot to himself. I can't let that happen." and parks right beside you. Meaning in an otherwise stadium-sized parking lot, there are two cars in the centre of it side by side. And worse still? They normally park within 10cm of your door like a muppet.

This happened to me last night. But something much worse happened to me. I parked at the top of a parking lot with no cars in sight and one other driver with a KIA Picanto parked within 10cm of my driver's side and scratched the door on my 4-month-old black BMW M235i Gran Coupe. A car which I didn't think I'd love as much as I do but I practically adore.

It was a 4cm X shaped scratch meaning that someone had gotten out of the car, scratched my car with metal on the back of their pants, realised they'd left something in the car and repeated exactly the same thing again. It also makes the scratch 300 times more noticeable.

Now I'll get the scratch repaired, there's no doubt about that. It's probably not going to cost me anything either and will very very quickly buff out. But even so, I spent an entire night last night wide awake with the knowledge that my driver's side door was scratched. It was basically an obsession.

I spent an entire night last night wide awake with the knowledge that my driver's side door was scratched.

Because of the cost of getting it repaired there was almost zero reason for me to wait there and berate the unsuspecting victim of my wrath, I simply upped and left, completely unsatisfied with the unresolved result of the whole ordeal. One which made me just hate the world non-equivocally.

The pain that you take the time to find an empty parking lot to just rest your car in and people still bugger it up makes knowing what happened so much worse. It's like patience has not been rewarded and I think everyone should be patient. If everyone was a bit more patient about parking there would be spare parks for every car and there'd be far less scratched up or damaged doors out there.

I hate to know what it feels like for this to happen to a classic or supercar as well. I mean my car, when compared to a friend's Aston Martin which was damaged in a similar vein a few years ago, is practically nothing. And he was ropable. Yes, Andrew spent days ranting about it and I'd be surprised if he didn't have a good little cry to himself. Alike to me, Andrew always parked a million miles from civilisation. You might as well be a time traveller and park your cars in the stone age. Even then I'm sure a Corolla driver would find a way to park door handle to door handle.

So I feel like I want to ask everyone here. Which side of the line do you fall on? Have you scratched someone's car and done a runner before? Has your car been scratched before and you've lost sleep over it? Do you have someone close to you in your life who doesn't understand the epic anxiety that comes from knowing your driver's side door has an X on it bigger than the X Captain Hook was looking for in Peter Pan? Leave your comments down in the dog house. And this is the one time I feel like I need to give the chat free-reign.

We'll return to our normal Engine Economics programming in the coming days and just in time for Christmas. And there's a bit to talk about in the leadup to the holiday season.

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Comments (25)

  • It's like when there are 10 urinals, all empty and that one dude comes up and uses the one right beside you

      6 months ago
  • I agree, its your pride and joy and somebody doing this is like violating you and that’s not acceptable.

    I had a similar experience once and despite it getting fixed to what looked perfect, in my head it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t long before I sold the car as it was just not the same anymore to me.

      6 months ago
  • I think the standard car spaces are too small especially with larger vehicles because disabled and police car spaces have to be bigger. There’s also usually nowhere to walk safely across car parks when you park away from the store. To dent a car door and do a runner is despicable and “grinds my gears”.

      6 months ago
  • I've had to repair my share of smudges and scratches to my rides, and it angers me every time. I'm glad that over the years I've learned a lot on how to deal with these mishaps on my own, but it still burns me that someone would be that disrespectful toward another person's belongings. I attend car shows with some frequency, and I see the general public treat show cars as if they only exist to entertain them. At a concours event, when people touch what isn't theirs, there are luckily enough owners around to chastise them into behaving themselves. Out in my neck of the woods, however, car shows are less formal, and you'd not believe the nonsense in which people will engage. Now, I tend to keep a fair watch on my truck, so it doesn't happen often, but I've had to provide manners lessons to a number of bumpkins that can't figure out that every vehicle isn't theirs to abuse. Luckily, I've gotten to the age where I haven't any hesitation in tearing into someone for poor behavior.........it's just lousy that their behavior happens in the first place.

      6 months ago
  • It’s part and parcel of vehicle ownership or in fact life, there’s always a risk of inviting resentment from another. I’ve long adopted the “shrugging it off and getting on with life” attitude since I can’t dictate another’s abhorrent behaviors.

    These are instances when I appreciate having a fleet/company car and good insurance coverage.


      6 months ago