Author Topic: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs  (Read 544 times)

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ghodrick235

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Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« on: March 29, 2024, 05:29:24 am »
Hi

This occurred in England:

The employee of an airport car parking business damaged my and another customer's car, moving mine out of a very tight spot they had parked it in. They are not affiliated with the airport and appear not to be part of any regulatory schemes.

They admitted liability for causing the damages via email and there are witnesses that have observed the incident.

I explained to the manager that I will provide them with a quote from a garage that will carry out the required repairs to the manufacturer’s standard and specification. They agreed to this in a phone call that was recorded by one of the witnesses.

I have since provided them with a quote by a dealership estimating the cost to repair my car at approximately £5k, possibly more.

In an email, they declined the quote, offering for me to drop of the car at their location two hours away to have it fixed at a garage of their choice, referring to their Ts and Cs.

Based on two separate dated copies & screenshots of their terms and conditions, it is evident that between the incident and sending that email they have:

- rewritten and amended the terms and conditions published on their website after the incident occured;

- altered clauses with the intent to retrospectively reduce their liability for the damage caused; 

- are deliberately trying to mislead me by falsely suggesting our contract is subject to those revised terms (which I was not presented with during the purchasing process via a third party website)

I have responded to the email highlighting this and set a deadline that expires soon to agree to fix the damage via my garage and let me know if they are a member of an alternative dispute resolution scheme.

What are my options / how would you proceed?

For those suggesting to go through my insurance: I have spoken separately to my car insurance to confirm this is not a claim that I should be pursuing with them as a) I was not operating the car nor b) do I want premiums to go up. 

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sparxy

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2024, 10:55:54 pm »
Quote
rewritten and amended the terms and conditions published on their website after the incident occured;

Please provide the web address or company name (via PM if you do not wish to publicly disclose the company name) and I will have a look to see if there are any historical snapshots that have the old T+Cs for you.

cp8759

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2024, 10:58:11 pm »
They must have insurance cover to allow their employees to drive customers' cars, so the most obvious step is to tell them you want to go through their insurance and ask them for details of their insurance policy. If they refuse, tell them you'll involve the police. If they still refuse, contact the local police force and tell them this company may be allowing their staff to drive customer vehicles around with no valid insurance in place (which if true would be a causing / permitting offence), there has been an accident and they are refusing to provide details of their insurance policy. The police will not rush to the rescue but they normally dispose of such matters by ensuring that the parties have details of each other's insurance policies.

Once you have got hold of the name of the insurance company, forget about the parking company and claim directly off the insurers, which you are entitled to do under The European Communities (Rights against Insurers) Regulations 2002. If the insurance company accepts liability (which seems inevitable based on what you've told us), they're not going to argue over quantum, and if they want to use their own garage you'd be entitled to require them to come and pick up the vehicle and drop off a courtesy car while you wait for the repairs to be completed.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister. Notwithstanding this, I voluntarily apply the cab rank rule.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

666

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2024, 06:12:54 am »
They must have insurance cover to allow their employees to drive customers' cars, so the most obvious step is to tell them you want to go through their insurance and ask them for details of their insurance policy. If they refuse, tell them you'll involve the police. If they still refuse, contact the local police force and tell them this company may be allowing their staff to drive customer vehicles around with no valid insurance in place (which if true would be a causing / permitting offence), there has been an accident and they are refusing to provide details of their insurance policy. The police will not rush to the rescue but they normally dispose of such matters by ensuring that the parties have details of each other's insurance policies.

Once you have got hold of the name of the insurance company, forget about the parking company and claim directly off the insurers, which you are entitled to do under The European Communities (Rights against Insurers) Regulations 2002. If the insurance company accepts liability (which seems inevitable based on what you've told us), they're not going to argue over quantum, and if they want to use their own garage you'd be entitled to require them to come and pick up the vehicle and drop off a courtesy car while you wait for the repairs to be completed.
Although the OP hasn't said so explicitly, the collision probably occurred on private premises, so are the police are likely to be interested?

cp8759

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2024, 02:41:26 pm »
Although the OP hasn't said so explicitly, the collision probably occurred on private premises, so are the police are likely to be interested?
If I crash into your car in a pub car park and drive off are you saying the police won't be interested because it's private property?
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister. Notwithstanding this, I voluntarily apply the cab rank rule.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

slapdash

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2024, 03:45:29 pm »
If I crash into your car in a pub car park and drive off are you saying the police won't be interested because it's private property?

Trying to get any real interest can be frustrating.

However, if this is an airport parking business it may well be a locked compound of some description with no general public access. Does that change anything?

cp8759

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2024, 03:56:44 pm »
However, if this is an airport parking business it may well be a locked compound of some description with no general public access. Does that change anything?
If members of the public drive their cars into an area of the locked compound where the staff then get into the car to move it, that's a publicly accessible area. I might drop off my car and get out and then get run over by an employee driving another customer's car after all. The fact that there might be some other area that is only accessible to staff would be irrelevant.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister. Notwithstanding this, I voluntarily apply the cab rank rule.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

ghodrick235

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2024, 05:35:37 pm »
Hi

First of all, thanks for all the replies.

This happened on private land (although as some have said, whether this means the police will be interested or not is debatable).

The company have not outright refused to provide their insurance details but will change the topic of conversation when I ask them for it - so they may have insurance, they may not. I will follow this up with the police.

Thanks for offering to find old copies of the Ts and Cs - I have got two separate versions that are dated and clearly show the edits they have made after the fact :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2024, 05:38:06 pm by ghodrick235 »

andy_foster

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2024, 09:53:53 pm »
Ownership of land is irrelevant.
As regards the criminal law requiring third party insurance - it applies to roads and other public places.
What is and isn't a public place is a matter of fact and degree. The question is effectively "is the place open to the public?". If there are signs or barriers intended to keep the public out, then it is unlikely to be a public place.

As regards civil liability, there was a European case some years back where a someone was injured by a mechanical vehicle somewhere that was very much not a road or open the the public, so the court took a purposive view of the requirement for insurance for road vehicles, as opposed to any other heavy machinery with the potential to cause serious injury, and decided that roads and public places were irrelevant to the liability.
I am responsible for the accuracy of the information I post, not your ability to comprehend it.

cp8759

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2024, 10:05:19 pm »
The case you're thinking of is Vnuk, which has been abolished in GB by the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Act 2022.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister. Notwithstanding this, I voluntarily apply the cab rank rule.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

H C Andersen

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Re: Car park damaged my car and retrospectively amended T&Cs
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2024, 09:52:22 am »
OP, pl go back. For all we know this has nothing to do with road traffic law and car insurance.

You delivered your car to a company pursuant to a contract for what, for them to care for the vehicle while you were away?  In this sense IMO the car could just as well have been a dog.

You returned to collect your car. Pl take us through this in detail. If you had not taken possession of the car then they were still bound by their duty of care to exercise proper care until your property was returned to you in the same condition in which it was received by them. If they returned it damaged, then your ultimate remedy would be to sue them. Nothing to do with car insurance as such. And if you were to sue them, then you would be obliged to mitigate your losses and IMO getting a single estimate does not meet that requirement.

So, precise details pl.