Valeters ruined my car

dannius

Well-known Member
My 18 month old Renault Clio went in to a local car wash today for a full valet. When my wife picked it up she noticed a large dent on the bonnet, she challenged the manager who said that it was there when she brought the car in.

Then the manager opened the bonnet and when he closed it a small metal pole fell out from underneath!

What has obviously happened is they have dented the car, then tried to prise the dent out using the metal pole or a screwdriver. You can see about 5 or 6 sharp lumps around the dent where it has been pushed back up from underneath, and also a hole in the framework inside has been bent out where an implement has been pushed in. :mad::mad:

I went down there and had a right go at the manager, he still maintained that it was already there. I threatened to take him to court over it, he then said he would get a dent man in to fix it later this week. He's still not admitting liability though.

I know a dent man won't be able to fix it, it needs to go into a proper bodyshop. What do you think I should do? :lease:
 

F1Boy

Active Member
Hi Dannius,

That sucks :mad:

I reckon first thing to do is put everything in writing ASAP to the manager. As long as it's in writing to them, they can't deny receiving advice of the damage. If it's a national firm maybe 'cc' head office...?
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
@ the op , i dont want to annoy you anymore but i fear it is going to be your word against theirs , you have no proof that they did it , i do feel for you though :( , i suppose you could take the fact that they have offered to remove the dent means admissioin of guilt but i dont think that would get you far in court , as for the dent repair bloke , you might be surprised at what they actually can achieve , i know i was :eek: , the only other thing i can think of is going to a solicitor and getting them to issue a strongly worded letter and mention small claims court , hope that helps :thumbsup:
 

Layne RIP

Active Member
Ummm i wonder if they have cctv at that place!!!

Mind you it'd probably be recorded over by now.... that really sucks, the main bit of the dent would be able to be removed but the sharp bits where they've tried to prise it out i doubt would come out.... if they'd have left it alone and called a dent repair bloke it probably would've been better.

I'd love to give a great bit of award wining advise, solving all your probs but i feel... quite sick that they're more than likely gonna get away with it.... i know how i'd feel, it'd take 5 or 6 people to drag me off of the guy if they'd have damaged my car... and refused to take responsibility.
 

Londondecca

Active Member
Any decent valater/detailer will walk you around your car and agree what damage has been done prior to any work, some will take photos for proof.

I would send them a strongly worded but polite letter and give them 7 days to respond.

Make as many notes as possible today, contemporaneous notes are often valuable pieces of evidence
 

riget

Banned
Like what's been said, write a letter, and take photos of the damage.
Are they in any motor associations? If so contact them (look on the receipt)
Also are you in the AA or RAC, you could contact them and ask for assistance. Or any legal assistance from your insurers.
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
That's shocking mate, Threaten them with legal action. they'll soon cave in.

Was it a valeters though or one of these eastern european car washes that are springing up all over the place?

If it's the latter then I never let them near my car; I've seen the way they throw there sponges and cloths on the tarmac between washes.
 

IanWilky

Active Member
really feel for you mate, hope you get it resolved.

I know this doesn't help but best bet is to always wash it yourself if you can, most paintwork and bodywork damage is caused during washing, i wouldn't trust anyone else to wash my car. I don't even use a sponge (aka sandpaper!)

Just leave the valet to the inside :(
 

mij

Well-known Member
A long shot...see if there any CCTV cameras nearby that could show your car's condition as you drove in.
 

dannius

Well-known Member
Cheers for your advice chaps.

I took it to my local Renault garage who have inspected the damage and written a report saying that the damage is fresh. It says that if the damage was old then there would be corrosion where the paint has been chipped off underneath, especially after the car has been valeted.

I've contacted my insurance company and they are dealing with it. They will try to establish liability with the car wash (or their insurers), if they manage to establish liabiliy then it won't cost me anything for a proper repair. I don't know how much joy they'll have because like you say it's my word against theirs, but at least I won't have to have any further contact with them myself.

Your right though Ian, i'll do it myself next time!! :rolleyes:
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
I'd stand outside with a big sign saying "they damaged my car and refuse to admit it" and see how long it takes to sort it out then...
 

Layne RIP

Active Member
I'd stand outside with a big sign saying "they damaged my car and refuse to admit it" and see how long it takes to sort it out then...


Personally i'd beat them with the sign... but i'm an angry man :D
 
Ruined is a bit strong is it not...I'd never leave my car alone in places like that, besides doing it your self is so much cheaper as well...Talking about which, not certain whether involving the insurance company at this stage is such a good idea....I mean do you know how much it is going to cost to get fixed yourself? Because it may end up to be a lot cheaper to do it that way for a dent on the bonnet...I mean doesn't sound like there is external paint damage, and if there was it is an easy panel to do....Also to replace the whole panel is much cheaper than you think if it was that bad and will take less labour so might be cheaper overall....An insurance claim can be expensive for many years, so be aware and do your sums...
 

dannius

Well-known Member
The main reason I involved the insurance company is because I want them to try and get some joy out of the valeters or their insurers. I don't see why I should have to fork out for anything really. :mad:

If the insurance company can't establish liability with them then it may cost me in the long run, but I can live with that.

Yeah I suppose ruined is a bit strong, but I was a bit upset when I first posted!
 

Layne RIP

Active Member
Umm... from the way dannius has described the damage, it wouldn't be an easy fix... more than likely it'd be a new bonnet, at probably £100-£200 pounds plus paint, plus labour (prep, paint and finish)... plus v.a.t.. i doubt you'd get much change out of £500.... but saying that i haven't actually seen the damage!!

Still not a good situation.
 

dannius

Well-known Member
Umm... from the way dannius has described the damage, it wouldn't be an easy fix... more than likely it'd be a new bonnet, at probably £100-£200 pounds plus paint, plus labour (prep, paint and finish)... plus v.a.t.. i doubt you'd get much change out of £500.... but saying that i haven't actually seen the damage!!

Still not a good situation.

Your quite right mate, I think it will need a new bonnet. Where they tried to bash the dent out they have made a number of sharp dents which I don't think will come out.

£500 is about what I guessed at. If it ends up as a claim against me my no claims will drop from 60% to 40%, but hopefully that won't be the case.

Funny, its only just over a year since the very same car had about £2k worth of damage caused whilst parked in Sainsbury's car park. The car was only about a month old at the time!

I get all the luck..... :suicide: :rolleyes:
 

Nimby

Member
If this carwash is near a garage forecourt it is almost certain they have cameras.

I was able to identify a car and driver which reversed into my own car while I was parked on the forecourt.
 

PhilNUK

Active Member
I had something similar... had some work done on my motorbike.. got it home and saw some cracks on the panels... rang them the next day and told them it had happened at their place... they quizzed the mechanic and he said he hadn't done it... but the manager said they will get it repaired for me.. turned out it would have been cheaper to replace it with new.. which they did.. no problems... guess it depends what the manager is like eh?
 

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