How to claim against a cyclist who damages your car


If a cyclist hits your car, your first priority should always be to ensure that everyone involved receives medical attention if required, but you will also need to know how and if you can claim compensation. Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden looks into what you'll need to do.

If you believe a cyclist has caused damage to your car by riding in a dangerous or careless manner, then you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses - but you must first know what you'll need to do at the scene of the incident to ensure you have the best chance of a successful claim against the cyclist.

A cyclist rides rapidly through city streetsA cyclist rides rapidly through city streets (Credit:

Will the cyclist have insurance? 

They may, but it is not required by law so it certainly won't be guaranteed. However, If the cyclist has insurance, exchange contact information with them and proceed as normal by sharing these with your insurer. If they do not have insurance, be sure to get their name and address. If they refuse to give this information, call the police and take a photo of if it is safe to do so. 

Do cyclists have to give their name and address?

Yes, if you believe they have committed an offence as defined by the Road Traffic Act, under ‘Dangerous cycling’, or ‘Careless and Inconsiderate Cycling’. You should remember these and quote them as a reason to the cyclist as a reason for requiring their details. Failing to respond could leave them open to a fine under Section 168 of the Road Traffic Act for Failure to give, or giving false, name and address in case of reckless or careless or inconsiderate driving or cycling

What happens if the cyclist won’t give their name?

As mentioned above, cyclists who are believed to have committed an offence must give their name and contact details after a collision. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £1,000. 

If the cyclist refuses to give details, take a photograph of them if safe to do so and call the police immediately. Record any other details that may help to identify them. It is important that both drivers and cyclists adhere to the rules of the road. 

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What should you do at the scene of the collision?

If it is safe to do so, you should take photos and video of the scene. This will help to keep a record of damage, injuries and any other factors such as weather or obstructions. Collect as much photographic evidence as possible, as this will increase your chances of success in any subsequent legal action. 

You should also take the names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident 

Report damage to the police within 24 hours

If you have not reported the incident to the police at the time (you must do this if there are any injuries) then you should do so within 24 hours. You should also pass on details of the incident to the police - such as the name and address of the cyclist involved.

You should use the 101 non-emergency line to report the incident to the police if no serious injuries are involved. 

Will the cyclist have to pay for damages?

If the cyclist is at fault then they will need to pay damages. The cyclist may admit he/she was at fault and an agreement can be reached. However, if they do not admit liability then push the police to get involved - if the cyclist is charged with a cycling offence it will make your chances of winning damages far more likely.

It is likely that you will need to take the cyclist to court if they will not pay up, which could end up being very expensive if damages are awarded against them. You can find out more about how to take someone to court here

Speak to your insurance company about the options. 

What if the cyclist is under 18?

If the cyclist involved in the incident is under 18, then it will likely be difficult to claim damages, as most youngsters do not have any tangible assets, so would be able to ask to pay any damage in small monthly payments - making it pointless to claim against them. 

You could appeal to their parents, but they will be under no legal obligation to pay. It is also worth remembering that those under 18 will not have as much experience on the roads and should be forgiven for most mistakes - and be grateful if they escaped injury. 

Does it make any difference if the cyclist is riding an electric bike?

No. On the whole, most electric bikes do not require the rider to have insurance, or even a licence. As a result, the same rules will apply to electric and purely pedal cycles. Some high-powered electric bikes will need insurance, but these are few and far between.

What about electric scooters?

If you your car is damaged by an electric scooter, you should first make sure the rider is not injured, then ensure that they have a valid driving licence - as this is required to when using an electric scooter on UK roads.

Additionally, if they are riding an official hire scooter, then they should be insured. Take details of the scooter rider and any code numbers on the scooter itself. Once again, report to the police within 24 hours.

What offences can cyclists commit?

Here are offences that apply to cyclists, so if you believe they are guilty of committing any of these, then you are entitled to ask for their contact details and attempt to claim compensation for your losses. 

Dangerous cycling

£2,500 fine


Careless cycling

£1,000 fine


Cycling on pavement

£500 fine


You should seek legal advice if involved in a road accident.

  • Remember, a cyclist is a vulnerable road user, so please exercise extra caution when sharing road space with them. 

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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