It was only a small accident, I don’t need to report it do I?

So you’ve collided with that car that was sticking out in the car park or bumped in to the back of that car that stalled in front of you at the lights. Both parties get out to see little damage and both of you decide unanimously that there’s no need to bother about it and go on with your daily lives.

But wait, are you not going to exchange details with this person or even report it to the police. You might think that this is unnecessary in this situation, but you would be wrong and could potentially face further complications in the future.

The Road Traffic Act (1998) states that if you are involved in an accident while under in control of a motor vehicle and this accident causes any damage or injury to another person, animal, property or vehicle that you must stop and exchange your details with anyone who was involved who has reasonable grounds to do so.

Most of the time it will be another driver that you will have to give your details to and if you are not the actual owner of the vehicle at the time you will need to provide their details as well.  If you do not give your details at the scene the least you can do is to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

Failure to do either of the 2 previously mentioned can make it look like you have failed to stop at the scene of the accident, this can result in a minimum 5 points, a fine or even in some cases going to prison.

This all applies even if on private property such as a petrol station forecourt or supermarket car park but in this instance you are more likely to be the one who cause the accident and the other driver will not be in his/her vehicle. In this case you should make a good effort to leave your details with their vehicle and report it to the police and mention the fact you are unable to exchange information.

It could come back to haunt you if you do not declare to your insurer that you have been involved in an accident. It is generally stated in an insurer’s policy that your responsibility is to report an accident no matter how insignificant and whether you consider making a claim or not.

You might think that your minor ding with another car doesn’t even justify you giving it the time of day but then later down the line it appears that the ‘little ding’ is in actual fact causing more serious  underlying problems. This is when you make your claim as you don’t want to fork out a large lump of your cash on the repairs, well it’s too late now and your insurers will not pay out.

This is why, even if both of you agree that there’s no need to bother, you should at least do one of the three, swap details, tell police or tell your insurer and if ever in doubt if you should report any collision its always better safe than sorry and at least report the incident to the police.