The car

On the 1st April I came out of capoeira to discover a police car with blue lights flashing and blocking the road. I saw a couple of cars smashed together and thought 'oh dear, I hope my car's OK'. Sadly not - I turned the corner to find this:

Somehow, the person responsible (a former driving instructor, the police told me) mistook his accelerator for his brake and when turning in the road he instead drove straight into my car. The car behind me was also damaged. I still don't understand how exactly he damaged two cars that were parked at the side of the road.

This happened around ten minutes before I came out - I'm thankful for this as I had the boys with me and they would have been in the back or getting in. Luckily my capoeira instructor was around to take the boys home, whilst I stayed to call my insurance company and deal with the aftermath. The other driver was still there dealing with the police - he admitted liability but I didn't get a single apology out of him. My insurance company arranged for someone to pick up the car but somewhere along the way a postcode was changed and I got a call from someone in Bristol looking to pick me up. In the end I had to wait five and a half hours for the car to be picked up which was not a happy time - my phone battery was practically dead and I was tired and sweaty after capoeira. I finally got home at 12.30 after the tow truck driver kindly offered to drop me off en route.

The main thing I've learned from this experience is that you'd better hope that a driver that hits you isn't insured by the Co-op. The car was a write-off (there was structural damage). I wasn't happy with the amount offered (I'd had the car less than six months and paid £7,000 for it, I'd driven less than 2,000 miles and had a new towbar and front tyres fitted in the previous two weeks) - they originally offered £5,300 which was increased to £5,830. I still felt this was unfair (the towbar and tyres had cost arouund £500) so escalated it from the third-party claims company to the Co-op themselves. They were extremely unhelpful and the person I spoke to was very patronising when telling me that they had 'treated me fairly' and I couldn't escalate it any further. They kept parroting the 'treated you fairly' line even after I asked them to stop saying it. I don't think I've ever been angrier than when I got off that phone call. Imagine having a job which involved you ripping off people as much as possible and gaining satisfaction from it?

There was nothing I could do about it short of going to court, and I had neither the time, money or patience to take it further, so I accepted the £5,830 payment and vowed never to shop with the Co-op ever again. I'll have to return my membership card at some point.

I now have a replacement car which is similar to the first car but with more mileage and a lesser trim. I also had to get another towbar fitted. I reckon the whole experience has cost me £1,600, and all I have to show for it is a new definition of the word 'fair' and a brand new addition at the top of my vendetta list (the Co-op).

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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