Is it a civil or criminal matter if your car is damaged by your neighbor playing tennis with a golf ball in England, and there are no witnesses? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
Is it a civil or criminal matter if your car is damaged by your neighbor playing tennis with a golf ball in England, and there are no witnesses?
After a little bit of advice as to what I can do here. So for context there's some individuals across the road from me in our small cul-de-sac who are roughly 20-25. These individuals live in a flat and seem to use the road as their garden. This includes ball games. And most recently they've taken up the wonderful hobby of playing tennis in the middle of the road with a golf ball, no less. Inevitably, the racketeer hit a rogue shot of the golf ball and ended up going into my car at some force, leaving behind a golf ball shaped dent in my company car. Now, the way my company car works is that it's on a short term hire/lease and gets changed every 6 months. Whenever the vehicle gets swapped it goes through an off-hire inspection, which involves ascertaining any damage (that's not fair wear and tear) and charging me the cost price of rectification (deducted straight from wages). I'm obviously now concerned that in 3 months when I hand this vehicle back, there's now a golf ball shaped dent in my door. Do I have any legal rounds to claim the costs back that I'll end up getting or is this just a civil matter? Any help would be appreciated. EDIT: In England EDIT 2: Neighbours gave the "it weren't us" line. Despite me seeing it but no witnesses By articles I've read the police would tell me it's a civil matter and won't help. Which is what I'm mostly curious about... Is this true? And as for insurance, if they can't prove the responsible party, I'd have to pay a £150 premium anyway, and the cost price for fixing the dent would only be £120 so totally pointless

Cruz Dalessandro

20th October 2021


Top Answer
NAL-had my work lease car damaged and no way am I paying for damage I didn't cause! I feel like I've missed something... You saw or otherwise know who damaged a car in your possession so either speak to them/their parents and have it sorted and/or report that to the non-emergency police, inform your insurance company. They will repair the damage and seek compensation from the responsible party. When you hand back the car it will be in acceptable condition and you won't be charged.

Lena Davis

11th February 2022



Firstly, I suggest that you do report this to the police; not in the expectation that they'd be able to take action, given the (probable) absence of evidence, but to create a formal record of the incident. It sounds as if your new neighbours are inconsiderate at the very least, and this may prove to be helpful at a later date if the situation escalates. Having reported it, if there was evidence (e.g. your having dashcam footage) indicating that your neighbours were responsible, then the police may choose to follow up a charge of criminal damage.

Mary Rencher

11th February 2022

1 upvote

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