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10 September 2011

Wanted... the hit-and-run knitcase who battered my Betty

THE expression ‘hit-and-run’ immediately conjures up horrific images of maniac drivers and mangled bodies.
But what about the guy who accidentally backs into a parked vehicle, causing visible damage, and then drives off, hoping that nobody has taken his registration number? That’s hit and run, too.

And judging by the state of most cars in my part of Spain, there are an awful lot of people on the roads protecting guilty secrets.

Let’s be honest, a three-year-old car without at least one noticeable dent or scrape is about as common as free-flowing traffic on an English motorway.

I’ve had Betty, my little Kia Picanto, for four years, during which time she has been in one proper accident (the other guy’s fault, naturally) and been attacked by two hit and runners.

Oh, there was also the occasion last year when a family member nudged another vehicle while she was parking in Guardamar. Although there was little damage to his car, the owner insisted on going through the insurance because it was a business vehicle. Not clever – my premium has virtually doubled for the next 12 months. All of which makes it all the more galling that the two b******s who deflowered my Betty got away with it, while I face a bill of several hundred euros to get the damage repaired. If I ever get round to it.

Meanwhile, I’m driving round with my pride dented, along with a cracked headlamp and two mysterious holes in the top of the front bumper. My hunch is that the damage was caused by a pair of motorised knitting needles on wheels, which then tried to pull the wool over my eyes.

For all our frustration at careless drivers who damage our cars and then leg it (that can’t be right), how many of us have not done the same thing ourselves?

I nudged a parked car during a three-point turn in Manchester a few years back and still have a conscience over it, even though I have no idea if any damage was done. I could have stopped and knocked on the owner’s door but I was frightened what their reaction would be. And I guess fear does come into the equation.

  It’s a lot easier to go missing than to face the possibility of being attacked by a furious gorilla of a man. Particularly if he is armed with knitting needles.