The worst thing for any car owner is to find out that their car has been keyed. A keyed a car is a major inconvenience, and it gives rise to many questions. Questions like whether your car warranty would cover the scratches from the incident, or if you should tell the police, are the most common. Apart from these, there are several other questions that all of us would ask.
In this blog, we will be looking at what to do if your car has been keyed, and everything that you need to know if you have a keyed car.
A keyed car means that someone has deliberately taken a sharp object and scratched your car, which might look like key scratches on your car, resulting in damage to its appearance. While this may not be a huge damage to your car, it nevertheless impacts the appearance of your car, and warrants for you to get it fixed as soon as possible.
If someone keyed your car, it can be reported to the police. Intentionally damaging someone’s car is an act of vandalism, which you should report to the police, using the non-emergency number 101. If this has happened to you, then ensure that you report it to the police.
In case the police have not been able to find the culprit behind the action, they would give you a crime reference number, which is necessary to make an insurance claim.
While some insurance policies do cover scratches, some do not. The level of cover you have taken will affect whether your insurance covers scratches. Third party insurers do not usually cover scratches.
Also, if your excess is more than the cost of your claim, you may decide against claiming. Thus, you would then have to pay to cover up your scratch. Moreover, wanting to cover up your scratch is a matter of choice. If the look of your car is really a concern for you, then you would want to cover it up, otherwise, you could just ignore it.
While a lot of us wouldn’t mind a little wear and tear, some of us would still probably want to get it sorted, and as soon possible.
If you are certain of what you are doing, then DIY repairs are a good idea. Otherwise, a DIY would lack the professional touch of a garage or body shop.
Here are the steps you can follow if you want to cover up a minor scratch yourself.
1. To avoid making the scratch worse by letting any debris or dirt into it, wash it and dry it first. Use warm, soapy water and then rinse before drying with a clean, dry cloth.
2. Check for a budding tool or a pad that might be sold with the scratch remover to use on your paintwork, before you apply any scratch remover.
3. Normally, 2ps worth of scratch remover needs to be applied to the buffing pad, evenly.
4. For an even covering, rub the product into the scratched area, in circular motion, never changing direction.
5. Clean any excess scratch remover with a clean microfibre cloth, and make sure you do so, as excess scratch remover could affect the paintwork of your car.
Also Read: How to Remove and protect from Car Rust?
There are a number of scratch removal products available in the market, which you can use to remove any minor scratches from your car’s surface. The cost to repair a keyed car scratch at home starts from £12 to £30.
Here are a few steps that you can follow, which can help you avoid your car from getting keyed:
1. Park your car in an enclosed garage
2. Choose well-lit areas to park your car
3. Ensure that your car’s alarm is in proper working condition
4. Have a CCTV installed in your property, to monitor your car
5. When parking your car, ensure there is plenty of space between your car and others
Yes, charges can be pressed if your car has been keyed. As mentioned earlier, someone intentionally keying your car is an act of vandalism, and the culprit - can be prosecuted for they are found. This makes protecting your home with security cameras very much advisable. Here is what you can do if your car has been keyed:
In case your car was keyed in public, check the CCTV in the area to know more about who may have done it. There’s an id number near the camera most of the time, which you could use to get information from the council or business owner, who may have the footage related to the crime.
Councils or business owners usually require for your lawyer or insurance company to provide them with your name and identification, the date, time and place of the incident, and the details of the incident as well, along with the make, model and registration number of the car involved in the crime.
Additionally, some local councils have online maps that show you which parts of the borough are covered by CCTV. Check your council’s website for details of how to get hold of footage.
Based on the value of the damage, the penalty for keying your car can vary. If the damage is less than £5,000, the penalty could be £2,500 in fine, with a three-month prison sentence.
If the damage is over £5,000, the penalty could be £5,000 in fine and a possible prison sentence of up to six months.
The penalty for vandalism committed by someone aged 17 or younger is usually an on-the-spot fine and community service.
If you ever encounter a keyed car situation, then it is important for you to understand and know what it could mean for you and your car. Depending on the damage, you can choose whether you want to claim from your insurance. It is important, though, to ensure your insurance covers scratches. Warranty Direct offers a comprehensive extended car warranty, which covers a lot of damages to a vehicle.
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