Michaela Merz

Car body damage

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587264_web_R_K_B_by_Dominik Pöpping_pixelio.deI have my driving licence since I am 18 years old. An eternity. My penalties and car damages can be counted on one hand and I am incredibly proud of that. But this June was like bedevilled. I come to my car and notice that someone touched it when parking and slightly damaged it. With my excess of CHF 500 it means that I have to pay it myself. That’s annoying. Very much. But I am strongly disinclined towards leaving damaged things damaged. I am of the opinion that one behaves differently in a flawless environment than where something is damaged. From a little untidiness then a large chaos results. Consequently I brought the car the same week to the car body painter in order to have it repaired. It cost CHF 443!! Incredible.

My car was repaired, spotless and without scratches. Two days later when driving out from the parking garage a truck was in front of the exit. He did not block the exit entirely, just partially and more or less left a gap so that one could just drive by. I was unsure and the gap seemed rather tight and I was late for my next appointment. Out of my insecurity and when trying to squeeze the car through the gap I came too much to the left and heard a noise that drove like a knife into my heart. I froze and cursed myself at the same time. I had managed myself to get a scratch. I could have slapped myself. But that would not have helped. I felt like crying. I was angry and mad with myself. What had happened, could not be changed. The insurance saw it pragmatically. Finally they don’t do anything else than dealing with damages of all kinds. And this damage was not the end of the world. The responsible person suggested that they would do the repair themselves. I agreed. On the second day someone came to fetch the car. He brought a little red VW which was labelled all around. This way I became a driving advertisement for a garage for the next days. And that non-paid. Respectively I was paying for it since I had a daily lump sum for the use of the replacement car. The little red VW was Spartan equipped. There were no extras or any other gadgets. Also no navigation system. One realises what one has if one does not have it anymore. That was here the case. Without navigation system and without air condition it was an ordeal to visit clients in the hot summer. I had to calculate more time for driving in order to find the place at all and regularly arrived sweaty. After one meeting on this hot day without any cloud at lunch time at 1pm I was stopped in a traffic control. All papers were okay but I was fined CHF 40 for using the wrong light. No, I was not driving without light, I was driving with parking light. I tried to explain to the policeman that this is a replacement car and I simply did not know it. Mistake is mistake. Discussions were not allowed. At this sunny midday I really did not harm anyone with my parking light but I violated the law. Nevertheless I felt like an involuntary donator. I have a very positive relationship to the Swiss police and trust their work very much. But with this fine I did not perceive them as a helper but as a cashier for the city treasury. I paid on site.

On the next day the garage returned my repaired car. Wonderful. I suggested to the driver to drive it to the underground parking (the same where I had damaged the car one week earlier) and to park it next to the replacement car. Then I could transfer the things from the trunk and he could drive away with the replacement car. I was standing next to the red VW and was waiting until he had finished parking when I heard the noise of scratched metal. It hurt but not as much as the week before. The newly repaired car this time touched with the right side the post when parking. The driver turned pale and green. The change of colour in this face was really impressive. I felt sorry for him but could not help him. What had happened could not be undone. And thus he asked me whether he should take back the car. Yes, of course, what else. And thus I stayed behind with my driving advertisement. Hopefully only June was so bedevilled and is already over.

Bildquelle: Dominik Pöpping  / pixelio.de

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