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CREDIT HIRE CASE LAW TRAINING

What is Credit Hire and how can it help you get back on the road?

Credit Hire may not be a term you’ve come across before, but you may actually be aware of the concept without realising it. Putting aside the initial trauma of a road accident that isn’t your fault, one of the biggest problems that motorists can face is a loss of mobility especially if their car has been badly damaged in an accident.

While some insurance companies offer the use of a courtesy car while your own vehicle is being repaired, a car that has been so badly damaged that it is considered to be a write-off by the insurance company can leave you stranded with no alternative transport. This is where credit hire comes in.

Protecting the innocent.

Credit Hire is a service set up to protect drivers who are innocent victims of accidents. The service is supplied either from the ‘at-fault’ party’s insurance company or from the victim’s own provider. This is particularly important for people who rely on their car for their job, such as sales representatives. In today’s economy, more companies are abandoning the ‘company car’ ideal so drivers are often forced to use their own vehicles for their work. If their car is damaged in an accident that wasn’t their fault then it can put their very job at risk.

Credit Hire operates under General Terms of Agreement, which is an agreement that has been reached between credit hire companies and the insurance industry. This means that standard daily hire rates are agreed under the Association of British Insurers’ General Tariff Agreement, so that insurance companies are charged the same rates regardless of which credit hire company they work with. Under this agreement the at-fault party’s insurer is invoiced for car hire at an agreed daily hire rate and the bill is settled directly. This means that the accident victim does not have to worry about paying for a hire car and then spending months trying to recuperate the expenditure from their insurance broker.

The small print…

However, there are some restrictions. Any claim for car hire charges can only be made against the at fault party in a non-fault accident where:

The general rule is that Credit Hire companies will supply a replacement vehicle on a ‘like for like’ basis – so if your usual car is a Mini then that is what the Credit Hire company will supply you with.

So if you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault and your insurer does not provide a courtesy car as part of your insurance package, it may be worth talking to your solicitor to find out if a Credit Hire company could get you back on the road quickly. If your job depends on you being mobile, it could be an important part of getting your life back on track after an accident.

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