Supermarket car parks are the worst places for vehicle damage, according to RAC Insurance. In a survey of 1,464 RAC members carried out in August, more than a third (35%) of drivers reported that they had experienced damage at least once and 31% said they had had it happen on several occasions. Of those who had been affected multiple times, 28% said it had happened to them three times and nearly a quarter (23%) more than five times.

The number-one place for car damage is a supermarket car park; with half (48%) of those surveyed saying this was where their car picked up a scratch or dent. Public car parks such as those in town centres, at leisure centres and at libraries were named by 16% of drivers, whereas shopping centre car parks were blamed by 11%. Work car parks and privately operated car parks were only mentioned by 8% and 4% of those surveyed respectively.

In the majority of cases the extent of the damage was small, with 44% saying their vehicle ended up with a little dent or scratch about the size of a golf ball. But a fifth (21%) reported their damage was the size of a tennis ball. Luckily, less than one in 10 (8%) had returned to their car to find a large dent or scratch the size of a football. And a quarter (25%) said their car suffered some type of bumper damage ranging from small to large.

While the cause of car park vehicle damage in seven in 10 cases (70%) was thought to be accidental, the chances of someone owning up to it are extremely rare with only 9% of motorists saying they’d found a note on their car from the person responsible.

This, however, was not a surprise to most as 38% said ‘They wouldn’t expect anyone to do the right thing and leave a note these days’. Forty-five per cent were ‘disappointed’ that the perpetrator didn’t have the decency to leave a note and 35% described their reaction as ‘angry or upset’.

Of the 70% who felt the damage was accidental, half (53%) felt it had occurred as a result of another vehicle hitting or scraping theirs while a third (32%) believed it had been caused by a car door being opened onto it. Among those who thought the damage was deliberate, 46% thought a car door was the cause and a third (32%) said it had been ‘keyed’ with a car key.