Wild ponies in Dartmoor have reportedly caused £1,200 worth of damage to a car — by licking its paintwork.

The unsuspecting driver parked his car in Dartmoor National Park to embark on a hike around the moors.

When he returned to the car park later that day he found that 12 ponies were licking the vehicle.

News of the ponies’ antics has caused a stir on Twitter.

“Having just bought a new car and about to move to Devon for a while, I’ll make sure my car tastes yuck,” said Malcolm Oakley.

“There are ponies on Dartmoor that actually eat cars,” added another user.

It seems the ponies’ behaviour was not a one off, as Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team said that two of their volunteer’s cars has been “chewed” by ponies.

The group’s rescue vehicle Dart52 “had also been a victim”.

Insurance claims

The bizarre incident came to light through analysis of Saga car insurance claims.

The ponies were among other animals that caused £1 million of damage to vehicles last year.

Saga handled around 500 car insurance claims involving animals.

Earlier this year a cow caused £800 worth of damage to a parked vehicle, also insured by Saga, after breaking loose at a cattle show.

Another Saga customer was on his way to a boat yard when they spotted a low flying duck. The driver swerved to miss the duck and drove into a stone bridge, causing more than £1,500 worth of damage.