January 27, 2023

The wrecked car, Sam Watkins and Chiara Ferri laughing.

Sam Watkins and Chiara Ferri, both 30, paid £55 for Maple Parking to look after their car (Photos: SWNS)

A couple returned from a city break to find their car vandalized after paying £55 to a car park at Luton Airport.

Sam Watkins and Chiara Ferri, both 30, claim they had to drive home on October 17 in their damaged car – with broken headlight and bumper.

Maple Parking insisted that both of Sam’s headlights were working when the car was returned to him and argued that the rest of the damage was cosmetic.

The company eventually agreed to pay £1,339.20 to repair the vehicle, but Sam is still furious about the way he and his girlfriend were allegedly treated.

When the couple, from Farnham, Surrey, returned from their trip to Edinburgh, they said no one was there at the agreed meeting point.

Sam said, “When we got back it was very late, and we were just hoping to pick up the car and drive home.

“We were confused until I got a call from Maple that there had been an accident involving our car and another vehicle.”

Sam Watkins and Chiara Ferri.

Sam said the couple stayed behind to drive their damaged car home (Picture: SWNS)

The damage to Sam Watkins and Chiara Ferri's car.  See SWNS story SWSYcar.  A couple returned from holiday to find that their car had been damaged for more than £1,300 after they left it at an airport valet.  Sam Watkins and Chiara Ferri parked at Maple Manor Parking at Luton Airport during a city break.  But when they returned, the front of the vehicle was heavily destroyed - damage that would cost thousands to repair.  Sam claims that Maple tried desperately to get out of covering the costs, lied to him and had to drive the damaged car home at night.  But the company claims the car suffered only cosmetic damage, making it safe to drive, and that it was Sam and Chiara's decision to travel home.

Maple Parking claimed the damage was cosmetic only (Photo: SWNS)

A driver then appeared with Sam’s Volkswagen Polo, which Sam said had a damaged headlight.

He continued: “When the driver dropped off our car, he had his hood up so we couldn’t see his face properly.

“He quickly put the keys in my hand, then jumped into another vehicle and drove off.

‘I called the office – [who] went on to say there was nothing more they could do.

“Then it became clear that we had to drive our broken car back home in the middle of the night, across the highway.”

Maple claimed the car was safe and drivable and that it was Sam’s own decision to use it to get home.

Sam contacted the company the next day, but claims they initially took no responsibility.

He said: ‘I am relieved that they have finally admitted their mistake and paid the cost of the damage.

“But it shouldn’t have taken this long, and it’s safe to say I won’t be using their services again.”

“The way Maple tried to duck and duck instead of taking responsibility is shocking.”

Maple Parking said: ‘We can confirm that when Mr Watkins collected his vehicle it was safe, drivable and had only cosmetic damage.

“This is confirmed by our CCTV footage and Mr Watkins’ own video. In addition, both headlights worked before he picked up his vehicle.

Mr. Watkins made the decision to drive the vehicle home and was subsequently given a free replacement vehicle (a brand new Rav 4) until his vehicle was returned fully repaired.

“We have now spoken to Mr Watkins, who confirms that he is pleased that the incident has been resolved to our full satisfaction.”

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