So about a month ago I was getting my car washed at my local garage. I had used the carwash before with no problems. When it finished I went to put some air in the tires and check the car. I saw a number of chips on the bonnet and one or two on the spoiler at the back.
I have spent a fair amount of time on this car and I know where every little scrape or chip is, and these were clearly new. Before the wash there were 4 small chips on the bonnet, which had a tiny bit of rust in them. After the wash there were about 15-20 areas where the paint had been stripped off. Most of these were small but there are a few big ones.
Knowing that giving out to the staff would be pointless, I informed them of what had happened and they gave me a form to fill out. After this I went home and took pictures of the damage. Instead of filling out the form, I rang the number supplied with it and got through to their insurance company.
A few days later an engineer came out to view the car and said that it was clear that I looked after the car and that the damage in question was new.
After contacting the insurance company about once a week and getting nothing out of them, I have now received a latter saying that they are not accepting liability and that there are warnings up stating that it is a high pressure wash and can cause damage to parts of a car that are already damaged. Now I could accept this if the only damage was that the pre-existing chips had gotten bigger, but I refuse to accept this as their reason for all the new damage.
Can anyone advise me on what to do next?
You can instruct a solicitor to issue proceedings against them. A sign does not absolve them of liability.
I'm no expert but unfortunately I think you don't have a leg to stand on, unless you can prove that it was the machine that caused it, with video evidence or before and after dated pictures they can just deny it. As far as any court is concerned anyone could have done it. It could have even happened from loose stones on the road while you were driving to the car wash. I don't think any solicitor could find a way to hold them responsible.
The engineer's report is promising.
You can give your own evidence as to what condition the car was in when you brought it to the car wash.
Go to a solicitor.
wow. didn't expect that many quick replies.
Unfortunately I dont have any pictures from before.
The parts where the paint has come off could not have been caused by loose stones as all the paint looks like it has been peeled off rather than something hitting it at one point.
I will get in touch with a solicitor tomorrow. Thanks
I didn't specifically mean stones, I was just pointing out that anything could have happened and it would be hard to pin on the car wash.
A few years ago my dad took paint off the car with a new power washer, after he could have gone through a car wash and blame it on them. To any legal person that would look the exact same as your case would.
I'd still go and seek legal advice though. They probably know something we don't.