Not so smart
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Small cars such as Smart cars and Minis are most at risk from vandalism, including door scratches, a new UK research has found.
More than one in every 100 Smart cars falls victim to vandalism every year in Britain while Mini owners are the second highest at-risk group, with one claim for every thousand each year.
Alfa Romeos, BMWs and Mazdas round out the top five vehicles targeted by vandals. The analysis, by Churchill Car Insurance on claims from 2013-2017, also revealed 15 per cent of vehicle vandalism is through cosmetic damage, such as scratches and spray paint.
This is followed by front bumper damage and front door damage, which take up 12 per cent of claims each.
Motorists in the Northern Hemisphere have also been warned to take extra care of their vehicles during October, when the most claims for vandalism are made, with Halloween pranks being a potential factor for the increase.
Car insurance claims for vandalism in October rise by 8 per cent compared with the annual average, while December is the quietest month for claims, when they fall by 12 per cent.
Steve Barrett, head of Car Insurance at Churchill, said: “A moment of anger or mindlessness on the part of a vandal can cause victims long-lasting stress and, as our research shows, a large amount of money.
"It’s extremely unfair, and while not all cases will result in a conviction, we strongly advise victims report vandalism to the police, even if the damage is only minor.
"If repairs aren’t made to even small scratches and dents, the condition of the vehicle will deteriorate, which could significantly impact the resale value.”
In 2014, a spate of vandalism of Smart cars in the San Francisco Bay area saw vandals turning the cars upside down.
In Amsterdam in 2009, vandals tipped a number of Smart cars into the city’s canals.