Damage to vehicles left on the pavement

19 Jan

Drivers often say that they park across the pavement to protect their cars from damage from other vehicles using the road, however is appears that the pavement isn’t that safe either as was nicely explained to a owner of a vehicle who was mystified about the scratches on the side of his car:

“Before I changed locations, I used to live within 200 yards of a primary school. I remember having a conversation with one of my neighbours about mystery scratches that kept appearing all down one side of his black Astra car. The penny dropped for him when I told him that they almost certainly  caused by his stupidity of parking on the pavement almost blocking it. The scratches were from the various prams and buggies being pushed along by the parents walking their children to school. Why he parked on the pavement, I do not know as there was plenty of room to park at the kerbside. He did get the message in the end.

Be aware that damage to a vehicle is a criminal offense regardless of contrary claims made below as highlighted in the prosecutions section at the end of this post.


Here was the question which provoked all the suggestions and confessions: “Hello all, I need to rant about this. On the way to nursery every morning we have to circumnavigate the sheer volume of cars parked on the pavement. We haven’t used a buggy for ages but I know people who do and it is damn near impossible to squeeze a buggy through the gap left on the pavement once the cars are in place.

  • “If it happens again after my baby arrives, I will not be pushing the pram out into the road. Instead, I will squeeze/scratch past if possible, and hopefully that will teach the bastards a lesson”
  • “I would need squeeze my buggy through the gap -too dangerous to push it on the road- and wouldn’t it be unfortunate if the cars all got scratched??”
  • “Well, if they just HAVE to leave their car on the pavement, I think you just HAVE to leave a dirty nappy face down on their bonnet. Clearly, that is what is easiest and most convenient for you to do with the nappy, just as it is easiest and most convenient for them to park on the pavement”
  • “Funnily enough was walking to school this morning imagining myself setting up a guerilla group to egg cars that do this unecessarily. “
  • “Scratch the cars and you’ll get done for criminal damage – you can bet someone will ‘see’ you do it. Far better to give DS something nice and gooey to accidentally drag along the sides of the cars as you squeeze past. You can help him if he can’t get the aim right. Ice cream is good, but if it’s early morning a nice peanut butter sandwich should do nicely. Sticky Nutella toddler-handprints would probably be a lovely fashionable addition to the nice cars


And the question on Babycentre. “Okay so I have just had a run in with a guy from my mum’s street. The street is quite narrow so a lot of people park half on the pavement and half on the road but this guy for some reason has 3 people carriers.

  • “This guy sounds like an idiot and I would purposely scratch the car to prove a point or at least knock the wing mirror!!!
  • “Did you know that if you scratch a car with your buggy that is parked on the pavement, the owner has no leg to stand on?!!? Due to the fact he is obstructing a public footpath which is illegal.
  • “Hi, sorry I’m crashing here, but I’m so filled with rage by people who park on the pavement that I had to post!.. so I get really irate when I have to walk on the road with my son.”
  • “it’s so good to hear that if I ‘accidently’ scratch someone’s car (perhaps the repeat offender down the road….) it’s not my problem.

BBC – Ouch, its a disability thing

A reader posted that “a blind man who claimed police were not doing enough about motorists parking illegally on pavements is angry that he was arrested when he decided to take action” (as reported earlier on this blog).

  • He should have let the tires down and never said a word. Don’t threaten, DO! As my Grandad used to say “Never point a loaded gun unless your going to fire it”.
  • Hmm, alternatively, as letting tyres down is difficult and timely and you might be seen, there is always the accidentally squeezing past the obstacles and … oooops my harness handle has scratched the paintwork. Oh and there it goes again! And heavens, my arm got caught on something, was it really your wing mirror? Accidents DO happen
  • My wheelchair has ‘grown’ some very rough and sharp edges. You know, the type that wouldn’t be kind to the bodywork of, let’s say, a car obstructing my path. Add to this the poor control I have of my wheelchair on some terrain; and, crunch shriekkkk…whoops.
  • I knew someone who when he came across a car parked on the pavement he’d rip the wing mirror off! simple as that, no threats, no warning, just did it!!


Sometimes people completely loose it, and pay the price for criminal damage:

A 64yo ‘grandmother’ found by the owner scratching the side of the vehicle in Watford having already left a not ‘pavements=people’ on the winscreen was fined £2,000 and found her picture all over the Daily Mail..

The 84yo man who ‘lost control’ and scratched two cars in Chiddingford and was fined £2000.

The priest who scratched cars in Middleport, Staffordshire and was fined £200 as reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Some are more lucky. This is London reported that a dog walker had smashed a wing mirror off a car parked on the pavement in broad daylight causing £100 of damage but was never caught. The article explained that the driver had gone to deliver a birthday card to her brother-in-law’s home, which is about a mile up the road from their house, but his driveway was full so she ‘had to park with  two wheels on the kerb’ to avoid blocking main road.

19 Responses to “Damage to vehicles left on the pavement”

  1. Alan Hampson October 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    No-one should be prosecuted for this – any vehicle left unattended on a public highway has, technically, been abandoned (1847 Town Police Clauses Act – you are only permitted to stop a vehicle to load or unload) and is therefore left entirely at the owner’s risk. Such a vehicle is not covered by insurance and police have the powers to remove it – this was common knowledge up to the 1980s – many firms, for instance, would not allow employees to take company vehicles home unless they could show they had secure, off-street parking. What has changed? The law still exists, but everyone, including the police and unsurers, seem to have forgotten all about it…

    • Peter Miller October 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      thanks for the comment. Clause 28 of that act is indeed very interesting – I hadn’t read it before. Thanks. Here is the clause for anyone interested http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/10-11/89/section/28

    • Andy D September 16, 2016 at 10:22 am #

      oh come off it, some streets have only one-street parking and insurance companies ask you about that. Some terraced streets have bays marked on the road and residents parking schemes exist for on-the-road parking. Not every one has a drive, but most people require a car. I presume that the people prosecuted for criminal damage were not able to use your argument, there have been many test cases for criminal damage, including a man who scratched scaffolding poles (it was ruled not criminal damage as they did not have any aesthetic value) many people damage cars, so I can only assume your argument has either never been tested, failed in court, is wrong, or would not be considered viable.

  2. Gemma January 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Well I am one of the people that park half on the pavement, if I didn’t the likes of emergency services would not be able to get past on the road!! Do you people think about this or are you more concerned about yourselves?? There is a pavement at the other side I’ve the road which is more that ok for walking on as it’s the exact same as the one on the side that I park my car! My wing mirror has been excessively damaged due to a woman with a twin pram continuously banging it in! I’m absolutely fuming! Think about the peoples cars your damaging!? Would you like it if it was your personal property!?? Stop thinking about just your own problems and think about others!

    • livinginabox September 17, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

      “Stop thinking about just your own problems and think about others!” – Do you understand irony? Because it would appear that you do not.
      Pavements (technically the footway) are for pedestrians, they are not a parking-space.
      Furthermore, parking on the footway is impossible without driving on the footway, which is illegal and kills and injures pedestrians.In Great Britain, from 2009 to 2013: 34 pedestrians were killed on average each year by vehicles on pavements/verges, that’s a total of 170 pedestrians killed by pavement drivers.
      If you can’t park in the road, then either park it off-road in your drive-way, or park it in the road. Please do not block the footway, because it is selfish and could force pedestrians and disabled people into the roadway, which is selfish and exposes them to dangerous traffic.

      • A SToddart July 28, 2019 at 11:54 am #

        Agree.Have had a problem with a neighbour who when I said if you don’t park properly then the children may scratch your car if they have to squeeze through. He reported me to the police for threatening to cause damage to his car. It’s a busy road and because of inconsiderate parking the children were forced to walk on the road. The police came to my house and more or less blackmailed me into agreeing I would cross the road avoiding his car and back again otherwise I would have to attend for a voluntary interview and if I refused they would arrest me.

    • Andy D September 16, 2016 at 10:24 am #

      could it be that there is not enough room for the pram? In any case, you can’t really expect pram users to look out for misparked cars. could it be that the street you describe is unsuitable to park on?

  3. timperleysunset March 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    On a narrow one-way street, sure. Emergency vehicles *do* need to get past. But in my experience, most pavement parkers are not, as you clearly are, Gemma, pure-at-heart, socially-responsible citizens. I live in a suburban area where, just because their driveway is full, people park fully on the pavement (sometimes not even parallel, blocking the whole path) so I have to haul my son’s buggy down the kerb, into the road and then up the kerb again. I should not have to keep crossing roads, busy or otherwise, to get out of the way of parked cars. There needs to be a place where my daughter can ride her mini-bike alongside me without me constantly having to say ‘watch out behind that car!’ (the driver won’t see such a small person). There needs to be a place where pedestrians (and that’s you too, Gemma, when you step out of your car) can walk in safety without having to worry that a car will mount the pavement at any moment.
    We are *all* pedestrians (or wheelchair/buggy users). We are *not* all drivers.
    Find a place where you can park without blocking the road or the pavement, and then WALK to your final destination.
    If you are disabled, leave the sign prominently in your car windscreen, and then your car won’t get scratched.

  4. Petlover 33 October 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    The law states it is illegal to ride bikes on a pavement unless it has a shared cycle lane sign, this is for all ages, so if it means I have to park on the pavement down my avenue after my car has been scratched by kids riding on the pavement then so be it, will the parents pay up for criminal damage to my car, I doubt it.

    • PeterEastern October 11, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      To be clear, Were you parked on the carriageway, or also on the pavement?

      • petlover33 October 11, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

        Well because if the cars are parked correctly on the road other cars can not pass to go down the avenue so most park on the pavement but I don’t like doing that as it is not fair for mothers and prams so I was parked on both but leaving plenty of room on the pavement. The problem is that to the left of my house is a large tree which due to the roots swelling it has caused a hump in the pavement which attracts kids of all ages to speed along the pavement and jump the hump but today have scratched a foot long scrape down my door and panel, nobody owned up to it which is typical of the situation.

      • PeterEastern October 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

        Sure, but given that you, and every motorist who is parked on the pavement in your street, even those who only with two wheels of the pavement, has broken exactly the same law against driving on the pavement that you are blaming the kids of breaking I have very little time for your issue. For a child it is a matter of life and death, for you it is a scratch. I don’t think you aren’t going to get a lot of sympathy here, and probably not from the local parents and children either. Why not work locally to reduce the parking pressure. Car clubs such as EasyCarClub (https://carclub.easycar.com/) are a great way to do that btw.

      • petlover33 October 11, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

        Thanks Peter for your comments but believe me they are safer on the road in this avenue as they weave into the road from parked cars which you have probably researched is the biggest cause of injuries to kids on bikes, but if you were to hit one that pulled out in front of you after Racine down a pavement would you be to blame or the child for being on the pavement, but hey you may of wished that that child could not of been able to ride on the pavement and maybe wished somebody had parked on the pavement to stop not only a scratch but maybe a fatality. Until you experience this frustrating subject you will take the opposite option, I moved my car back when the kids have gone home so not in anybody’s way, I have had children who were bought up to respect other peoples property and to be honest, it is a shame some are not of the same up bringing, yes it is only a scratch as you put it but councils won’t put signs up or enforce the law for either party so I am just trying to solve my issue the best way possible. I have had my say and will not be replying anymore about it.

    • Andy D September 16, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      you’ve got to stop thinking in terms of your car being the be-end-and -all-of-everything. Kids will be kids, and accidents happen – of course no one will own up, they’d be hit with absolutely exorbitant fees for body work repair – I bet most active kids have caused some sort of car damage somewhere by accident – I know I must have done when I was a kid. It’s like dings in car parks, unless you never park in a car park, sooner or later your door will get dings in it – but jeez, it’s only a metal box. My teacher said he lived in south america and he says motorists used to overheat and start pumping cars during traffic jams.

  5. Don March 7, 2018 at 7:06 pm #

    Many years ago, probably ten/ fifteen or so a car owner took a pedestrian to court for walking down the full length of a driver’s car, which was fully parked on the path. He caused damage to three areas of the car by doing so. So, what do you think the judge rule ? Not guilty , the judge stated he was in the right for doing so. I guess one of you out there could either remember, or indeed dig it up.

    • A Stoddart July 30, 2019 at 12:14 pm #

      Have looked in vein for this. Does it really exist?

      • Don April 22, 2020 at 11:03 am #

        Hi, Mr, Ms Stoddart, I can fully assure you this incident did happen. It was reported in the paper?? no idea now which one, and was a long while before I even thought of having a computer. It was reported as I said. Pedestrian could not get past either side, thus he did exactly as I have stated a couple of years ago. I`d totally forgotten about comment I put on this site. He started at the bonnet, slid down rear window, and jumped off boot.

  6. Simon Anderson December 18, 2018 at 4:40 pm #

    Yesterday I came onto my estate but couldn’t get threw as a car was parked on the pathway next to a lamppost in front of the drop down kerb I had to use. I tried to go forward and got stuck and had to get my scooter free. The owner has now accused me of scratching their car. They have 2 cars and always parked on the pathway. There are no white lines giving them permission to park on the pathway and there was a single yellow line where they parked. They are now intimidating me saying I need to pay for their car to be fixed. I though pathways were for pedestrians not cars…

  7. Richard Willis February 19, 2019 at 7:49 pm #

    I am severlely disabled , but cars park on the pavemenent where i live . I might walk past & acccidentily knock a few wing mirrors off ! WOOPS ! Whos wrong? The assoles who own the cars ! Take me to court , & we will see !😂

Leave a Reply to Simon Anderson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: