I scraped an old van that was illegally parked - do I have to pay for the ridiculous amount he's claiming the repairs cost?

I accidentally scraped against a 2002 van with my van and knocked the rear light cluster off. It was parked in a 'Keep Clear' spot behind an auction house on a one-way street. The street was very narrow and manoeuvring was tight. The owner of the van says I did £480 worth of damage to his van, which I have disputed. He was very abusive on the phone and demanded I pay for a lot more damage than I will admit too. I've not given him my insurance details because he didn't ask for them at the time. His van is worth £200 when I checked it's value online. Where do I stand?

Asked on 24 April 2018 by jimbob nelson

Answered by Tim Kelly
You are legally bound to provide your insurance details, it's an offence not to. If he's asking for £480 then you're probably getting away lightly. You damaged his van, not the other way round. You are liable to be taken to court for the damage to his van, an alternative vehicle whilst his vehicle is being repaired and his loss of earning whilst he sorts everything out as result of your negligence. On what basis did you dispute his cost? Was it inspected by an independent engineer/bodyshop, or did you just decide it was too much? Advise him that you would be interested in paying for the damage yourself (if you are). Then ask if he would obtain a quote from a reputable bodyshop. However, regardless of whether you pay for it yourself or not, you must legally notify your insurer of the accident.
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