By Lauren Reid
Last updated on: November 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm
There are certain safety precautions you should take before using an automated car wash, which vary depending on the machine - and also the type and size of your vehicle - so always check the instructions and terms and conditions on any signage and your receipt before entering.
If you’ve followed these instructions and your car still gets damaged, report the issue to the car-wash owners as soon as possible. They may ask you to fill out an incident report so they can investigate and conduct safety checks.
Reporting also enables you to start the process for the car-wash owners to potentially pay for the damage if they’re deemed liable.
Take photos if it’s safe and practical to do so, as it can be useful evidence for lodging an insurance claim.
If you hold comprehensive car insurance, contact your insurer to lodge your claim, and make sure you have the details of exactly when and where the damage occurred.
Let them know if you noticed anything unusual – was the machine making a different sound; did the equipment work as expected; or did you notice any loose parts? No damage is too small: everything from small scratches to parts falling off deserves investigation.
To determine who’s responsible, insurers will need to work out the exact cause of the damage and whether the car-wash owners were already aware of any machinery faults.
These factors will help your insurer seek recovery for the damage. If the car-wash owners are deemed liable, you won’t have to pay an excess.
If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, you’ll need to make a claim directly with the car-wash owners, as you would if it were a crash between two cars.