Our French Life

Tales Of Ram Raids In French Car Parks

bumper car

Okay so following on from my post on being ram raided, I have discovered that there are many of you, Normandy Lifers, that this is old news. This is talk to the hand. If you missed this exciting, enthralling tale of living the good life, then you can read it here. 

After my first brush with car parking French style – I happened to mention it on a Normandy forum.  It was at this point, I had to question where on earth I had been for nearly 2 years? Why hadn’t it crossed my mind that my car was not in anyway safe in a supermarket car park – or any other car park for that matter.

At what point, when I witnessed a huge camper van reverse without a care in the world, (whilst the wife was stood outside navigating by the way) bending its own wing mirrors, whilst crashing into a parked car, did I think this is okay? This seems like normal behaviour. Did I think best I stop parking next to cars at the front of the car park? Did I heck.

My brain had still not engaged to the potential insurance claims and increase in premiums, when I had nipped into the supermarket, came out and saw that my back light had a crack in it. Nope. Alarm bells had not rung. Not until that fateful day where arrows were ignored and because I hadn’t gone out the wrong way as the man expected me too – he just kept reversing when I couldn’t move.

I really don’t know why they bother with them if truth be told. Arrows that is.

Only this week, I went to Lidl. I entered and waited at the give way sign as a woman was going down the wrong way of the car park. Get this. She stopped and waved me on. I waved her on as I needed to go left – the way she was coming up. I pointed “I’m going that way (you dick)” she got angry and speed off like a mad thing. When I did park up – at least 5 cars away from other cars (it was pretty empty) – another car parked right beside me. There were tons of spaces but nope, he was parking right next to me.

So without further ado, over to people who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you are moving to France you might want to reconsider buying some fancy pants car with your equity – spend it on heating your home and get yourself a fully functioning old banger.

“We had 3 hit &runs last year in car parks in Vire– not only did they not leave details but each one cost 250 euro for the excess & now insurance has doubled because we claimed– Annoyed does not get close to how i feel about it!”

“You will always get some one telling you it’s your fault wherever you are, I had someone park right next to me in an empty car park, they then opened their car door onto my car, my son was in the back and came to tell me.”

“That’s why we only park in the Leclercs bottom car park as not so many people park there.”

“They do seem to like 50/50 here, even when it’s not your fault.”
“Vire car parks are risky places we’ve seen plenty of crazy over the years especially in the Leclerc car parks”
“Yes, I always carry the form with me. I have also heard of other experiences. The French are not a culture that sue. I backed into a car, that was parked too close behind me and they were not within the parking lines. I have this beeb beeb thing that lets me know if there is something or someone behind me. She was so close the beep thing did not get to work. We both filled out the forms, it was torture. In the end it was just a scuff mark. I produced the form to my insurance office just in case. They said the damage was so minor a cloth could clean it and her insurance company would give the same advice. I heard nothing more. I advise anybody to ask their insurance company, to give you a copy of this form and keep it in the glove box.”
arrow 2
A real life arrow in a car park. Its purpose I do not know!
“A bloke reversed into the side of my car in brico marché in Vire last year, reversed 5+ metres more than he needed to. I was walking over as it was happening…. Best bit was when he got out he said ‘that’s strange normally bleeps when I get close to something’ then he said ‘why didn’t you tell me I was about to hit your car’ (even though I was trying to wave with my hands full of materials and screaming) as I was walking away he said ‘ that’s why you’re walking away as you know its your fault! ……. My car never had a mark on it and his had a slight dent in the bumper…justice!”
So there you have it folks. If you go into a French car park today, you better not go alone, if you go into a French car park today you better not go alone….or at the very least have your accident claim form, mobile phone camera and arguing vocab at the ready.
You have been reading Our Normandy Life!

9 thoughts on “Tales Of Ram Raids In French Car Parks”

  1. We had some pretty stressful parking experiences on holiday before we moved here so were well-versed in those sorts of parking shenanigans. So far we’ve avoided any damage, but I have seen an elderly couple attempting to bounce their car out from the centre row of three rows of cars. They had been completely boxed in (car parking on market day, so for some reason there were three rows of cars parked, with the middle one sandwiched on both sides, so no idea how else they were supposed to get out) but still.

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    1. Blimey!! I wish I had thought about this a bit more! Yes there’s no such thing as using your bleepers is there!

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  2. Really – Do stop whinging – nobody asked you to move here. If you don’t like it, move back to the “” unbelievably perfect”UK.

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    1. Ah ah, gotta love the name indeed 😉 Personally I like to see Brits around… I mean come on Frank (let’s pretend you’re really Frank) they’re exotic from our perspective… do you really want to live a dull life? :p

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      1. Ahh thank you Fabien – I’ve never been called exotic but am going with that from now on!

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