A Dunedin couple were woken by an "almighty crash'' as an alleged drunken driver's car ploughed through their fence and scraped against their house.

The driver managed to free his car before speeding off.

However, it was far from a clean getaway. He left the car's exhaust and bumper, complete with number plate, behind.

Pauline Overton said she was woken about 2.30am on Sunday as the car sped down Perth St.

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"I'm a light sleeper and heard it screaming down the road and thought 'just another idiot' and then we heard this almighty crash.''

The car went through the property's fence and hit the outside wall of the couple's bedroom.

"He just plonked his foot down to get around the corner and didn't make it,'' Mrs Overton said.

Mrs Overton and her husband, Bill, were unable to get a look at the car before the driver freed it and fled.

"I just can't get over what an idiot he is,'' Mrs Overton said.

"He touched our wall of our bedroom. Our bed is up against that wall. He could have killed us easily.''

The couple called police, who traced the alleged driver from the number plate he left behind.

Police told the couple the man tried to explain away the damage to his car by saying someone had vandalised it, before admitting he had been drinking at a nearby house and then attempted to drive home, Mrs Overton said.

The house had a black mark where the car had hit it, the fence was smashed, plants were torn up and outside lights were damaged by the vehicle.

"He made a heck of a mess,'' Mrs Overton said.

The driver's brother visited the couple yesterday morning to offer his apologies and help clean up.

"His brother said 'I'd belt him up, but I have to answer to Mum','' Mrs Overton said with a laugh.

Her husband was left quite shaken by the incident but her elderly mother, who lives with the couple, slept through it.

The couple had only lived at the address for three months. They met many of their neighbours for the first time when they came to offer support.

A police spokeswoman said the driver was arrested and taken to Dunedin Central Police Station for processing.