When she woke to find her treasured Volkswagen Lupo gone from her parents' driveway, 19-year-old Zoe Smith assumed she was the victim of a car thief.
When she took a closer look, however, she was astonished to find her car had fallen into a 30 foot sinkhole which had opened up in front of her parents' house in High Wycombe.
"She could have been in it... The overwhelming feeling has been one of relief," her father told ITN.
The family have been asked to stay away from the property for the time being while investigators determine whether there is any risk of further damage.