Unfortunately, having your car keyed is a common occurrence. ‘Keying’ occurs when someone damages your vehicle’s paintwork using a sharp object, like a key. It’s technically an act of vandalism, and if your car has been keyed, there are a number of steps you can take.

What to do if someone has keyed your car

Notify the police

As keying is an act of deliberate vandalism, you should report it to the police – but don’t call 999. Report it to your local police by dialling 101 – the non-emergency number.

This ensures that a record of the offence is made, meaning you’ll be given a crime reference number. You’ll need this in the instance of an insurance claim.

Check your insurance cover

Next, you’ll need to check whether your car insurance policy covers vandalism. Some providers cover it as standard, but others don’t. If your policy does include vandalism, then you should consider whether or not to make a claim.

Note that some insurance providers will uphold a no-claims discount, recognising it’s not your fault that your car was keyed. However, not all providers take this stance, so you’ll need to check this and then factor it into your final decision.

Remember that you’ll still have to pay any excess, regardless of whether your no-claims is protected or not. If your excess is greater than the cost of your claim, then it may not be worth making the claim in the first instance.

Gauge the damage

Whether you want to repair the scratch yourself or leave it up to a professional is entirely up to you – but more intense damage will inevitably be repaired more skilfully by an expert. If the scratch is minor, you may be able to handle it yourself. There are products to help with a DIY repair job.

Bear in mind, though, that deep scratches may lead to rust and corrosion down the line. Similarly, there’s always a risk with DIY repair that you may exacerbate the damage.

The cost of a professional repair will vary depending on several factors. This includes the location and scale of the damage, as well as the car itself. If you shop around for a quote, you’ll be able to find the best deal.

How to prevent a car being keyed

There are clear steps that can help prevent vandalism like keying. Parking somewhere that is populated and well-lit helps, particularly if there’s CCTV around. Leave more space between your car and others, as this gives vandals less cover.

At home, park your car in a garage, or install an at-home security system for greater peace of mind. Always ensure that your vehicle’s alarm system is working properly too.

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