Drivers warned of major backlash for leaving a note on someone else's parked car

Note on a car

Leaving a note on a parked car is becoming more common with angry drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 01/10/2023

- 11:00

Experts are urging motorists not to escalate matters with an angry and potentially harmful note

Drivers are being warned of serious punishments if they leave an angry note on their vehicles in response to bad parking.

Road users around the country would likely consider parking to be one of the most frustrating facets of motoring, with people often taking matters into their own hands.

This could range from someone stealing their space, parking their car over the white lines or even taking up too much room on the pavement or in a car park.

To combat this, some Britons will choose to vent their frustrations by leaving a note on their windscreen rather than confronting the person to their face.

However, experts are now warning that motorists could be hit with consequences if they leave an angry note on someone else’s car.

Drivers can receive harsher punishments for their actions if they leave threatening or abusive messages on the car.

Graham Conway, managing director of Select Car Leasing, warned drivers, saying that leaving an angry note on someone’s car windscreen could leave them open to libel action.

He said: “When it comes to perceived behaviours on the road or in car parks, responding in an aggressive manner - either through verbal or physical gestures, or by leaving notes - is rarely a recipe for a productive conversation.

"And while leaving a note on a motorist's car to vent your anger might be tempting, we'd urge people to think twice.

“If you touch someone else’s car, perhaps when lifting up a windscreen wiper to leave your note, you could be accused of damaging or scratching that person's vehicle."

Dominic Smith, Director at Patterson Law, reiterated Mr Conway’s warning, highlighting how particular insults could result in serious consequences.

He said: “If the note was threatening, or abusive - especially if that abuse was racially, religiously or sexually motivated - then that might be an offence.

“If you are going to leave a note, it's best to leave out threats and abuse to ensure no offence is committed.”

Incidents like this have become more common in recent years with drivers responding with fury to someone being parked in their space or blocking their exit.

Some drivers could get in even more trouble when leaving notes as they could damage the windscreen when attaching it to the car.

Two drivers in Manchester were horrified when they saw notes left on their car which had been stuck down with silicone, leaving huge marks on the windscreen in 2021.

Graham Conway added: "If the motorist you're targeting drivers for a living, you could also end up defaming them, or their business, by making accusations about the way they behave which could cause reputational damage.

“That's particularly true if the note you leave is clear and visible for other people walking past to see and to read.


Parked cars

Experts are urging drivers to remain calm at the wheel


"What you should do when confronted by any sort of poor behaviour on the road is to remain calm and stay non-aggressive so there's no escalation of conflict.”

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