Manchester's Vice City Part 1
Saturday 2nd May

The following is part of a report sent to the insurance company.

It's 7:45pm and I'm driving from the car park on Chester Street, which is near the T-junction with Oxford Road, in Manchester city centre. I turn right onto Chester Street heading away from Oxford Road, straighten the wheels so I'm driving in a straight line. Just as I'm about to accelerate, a car reverses from the right into the side of my car, scraping it down the side near the front wheel. It's a scrape a sliding motion rather than an impact. I press the brake to stop the car, take the gear selector out of drive and put it into neutral. The car which hit my car is facing the opposite way to mine but at an angle. The right rear bumper has contacted my vehicle's right wheel arch. The man in the car is shouting.
I put my car into reverse and back away from his car.
I reverse and then stop, I see the driver shouting.

I reverse my car into the car park area so as to not block the road. I wait for the person who drove into my car to move his car into a convenient place so I can park and swap contact details. He turns his car in the road so it's facing away from my car and parks it on my right on the single yellow line, but a distance from the next car, with no space for me to park my car. Then when he's stopped he gets out. I don't know why he turned the car all the way around possibly indicating he could have been performing a turn in the road and reversed into my car, not watching where he was going. Possibly he was being hectic turning to go and find a space that was free, having reached the end of this road and not found any. Maybe he was trying to reverse backwards down the road.

At this moment I'm starting to become concerned that people will want to use the car park and I'm blocking the barrier. My car is still stationary with the engine running.

He starts looking at the damage to his car and acting annoyed. By now I've been here for 2 minutes blocking the barrier. He starts shouting in a way trying to make himself sound tough, as if copying a gangster rapper off television "Get out. Get out of the car. Look what you've done.!" This attracts the attention of a large seemingly drunk man walking down the street, about 16 stone wearing a T-shirt and jeans, he decides to add to the person shouting who drove into my car. The large man as he's approaching and walking around my car, which is in the route between pavements, he shouts "Look what you've done!" He's half smiling and carries on his way to another drinking establishment.

The person who crashed into my car starts saying
Him: "You can't drive away. There's CCTV cameras everywhere."
If I was going to drive off I wouldn't have stood here blocking a car park for 3 minutes.
Me: "Move your car so I can put it there."
Him: "Ok, I'll move it."
He moves it and I park the car on the yellow line behind his as now there's room for another car. I turn off the engine and step out onto the pavement.
Him: "It was your fault."
Me: "It was your fault because you reversed into my car."
He goes quiet.
He looks around and noticed a group of people leaving Nando's restaurant. They look like they are the same nationality as him. He goes up to them while shouting back to me
Him: "Look, I've got witnesses, they saw what happened!"
The group look around at him.
Him: "You saw it. It was his fault."
They walk off in the opposite direction. They couldn't have seen the incident anyway because they were in the restaurant.
Him: "I'm meant to be selling the car in a few days and now it's damaged. Look at this. I can't believe this."
Me: "It can be fixed."
Him: "Look at this, the light doesn't fit right."
I inspect the damage and the light looks out of alignment with the metal of the car. Most of the damage is paint scraped off. I also notice a streak of black from my mirror down the rear side of the car. This demonstrates how it was a scrape rather than an impact.
On my car a small section of flared wheel arch behind the wheel is pressed flat, there are some paint streaks and scratches between the wheel arch and indicator.
Him: "I'm selling it next week, what am I going to do?"
Me: "Get it fixed on Monday."
Him: "We'll have to swap contact details."
Me: "Have you got a pen and paper?"
Him: "Yes."
He takes a pen from inside his car. He opens the boot of his car which has a piece of paper with something like a list. At a glance it looks like someone's setting up a business, as it's about directors. He tears a piece of paper off it. I write my contact details down and then he starts saying:
Him: "How do I know these details are real?"
Me: "They're real. Am I going to make up details like that?"
Him: "Do you have any ID?"
Me: "I've got a cashcard and, no, wait a minute." I say looking in my wallet "I've got a library card.
Him: "You're a student!" he exclaims because the card says Manchester University on it. I don't reply because I'm not getting into an argument about what I do and continue writing the details.
Him: "How do I know the number is real? People keep giving me wrong numbers when this happens."
This makes me wonder later on if he has accidents regularly.

Him: "Give me a missed call."
He has two mobile phones in his hands now. He reads the number off one of them. I dial the number and give him a missed call. Then he starts to get into his car without giving me his details.
Me: "Give me your details."
He writes his details. I later realise he doesn't write his registration number.
Him: "We'll have to contact insurance companies."
Me: "The damage isn't that bad. We could go through insurance companies or settle it cash. It's up to you."
Him: "Cash."
I remember a friend who said he settled cash when he had a scrape.
Me: "It might only be 100" I say, not knowing how much cars cost to fix, although not expecting it to be too much.

I'm considering how he's a young person who was whizzing around, went over the top when he drove into my car. He's possibly starting a business. Maybe he's selling the car to fund his business. Being his fault he could lose a lot of money on the insurance. I'm ok getting my car fixed, there's not much damage.
Him: "How much have you got on you?"
Me: "130 pounds. What? You want money off me now?"
Him: "There's probably 300 of damage there. At least 300. Do you have a cash card?"
I realise he's expecting me to pay for repairs to his car!
Me: "I don't have one."
Him: "I thought you said you had one earlier?"
Me: "I thought I did but I left it at home."
Him: "What's your excess?"
Me: "350, maybe 500, I don't know."
I've been phoning and negotiating quotes a few weeks ago as the renewal is due soon, they were saying something around that range.
Him: "You're better off cash. When can you get the money? Tomorrow?"
Me: "Just because I'm from Altrincham doesn't make me rich."
I want some time to work this our so I say
Me: "We'll sort it out on Monday. Are you at home all day?"
Him: "I'm around somewhere, yes."
I go towards my car.
I get into my car and drive off.


Summary and venue reviews: Saturday 2nd May



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Alex Remizo