Beware the dangers of automatic car washes

On a recent trip to France, we decided to put our car through an automatic car wash at a supermarket in Brittany, close to our second home.

We checked that the height and width of the car wash was suitable, both of which were fine, so imagine our horror, when there was an horrendous crashing and tearing noise from the rear.

A manager came rushing over to make sure we were okay. Our spoiler had been torn off the rear of the car.

The manager was sympathetic and asked us to get an estimate for repairs and suggested the supermarket would pay.

We later informed the manager of our intention to get the car repaired in the UK.

We were in for a rude shock however, when we were told the supermarket was not prepared to accept any responsibility for the damage.

He pointed out a notice, which outlined a list of disclaimers, including a warning that the store would accept no responsibility for damage to cars with spoilers, wing mirrors, windscreen wipers, aerials, roof racks, bike carriers, etc.

Repairs will cost us £500 and I wish to warn other car owners of the risk of significant damage when using automatic car washing machines.

Viv Bevan, by email

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