First there was cow tipping.*

Now in San Francisco, we have car tipping.


Four owners of the ultra-compact cars awoke Monday morning to find their vehicles tipped over. A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson said the suspects in the incidents were described as seven individuals in hooded sweatshirts.  Authorities aren’t sure if this is just plan vandalism or a coordinated campaign against Smart Cars.

Turns out Smart Car tipping this is not a new phenomenon. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the first reported incident was in Canada in 2005. The Dutch weren’t particularly friendly to the micro-vehicles either, with reports of vandals pushing them into canals.

David Early of the San Jose Mercury News managed to track down one of the victims. Andrew Smith heard a loud racket outside his apartment in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, but he didn’t think anything of it. Then a neighbor knocked at his door. That’s when he saw that his wife’s 2009 Smart Car had been rolled onto its roof.

“It was pretty hard to believe,” Smith told Early. The prank will be costly for the Smith family, but Andrew managed to keep his sense of humor about the whole situation.

“Actually, I thought it was kind of funny,” he said. “It is just an object. I have lived in San Francisco for 20 years and I am not immune to the insanity that takes place in this city.”


Smart Cars come in four models with a starting price of $13,270 (an electric version starts at $12, 490). Most models weigh less than 2,000 pounds, which may be part of its appeal to this new breed of urban tippers.

*Cow tipping is an urban legend that has since been discredited.