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£10,000 bill for hire car, insurance won't pay


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Hi all,

 

(I have posted this on another forum in the hope that I might find someone to help)

 

I am really angry. Somebody hit my car back in 2008 and did not admit liability. I ended up having to settle 50/50. During the repair of the vehicle I was offered a hire vehicle, which I had for about a month. The third party insurer queried the use of the hire vehicle as I had received an injury in the accident which meant I could not drive the hire vehicle for approx 2 weeks. However, the other driver on my insurance did drive the hire vehicle during this time.

 

Now, over two years later I get a letter stating I am liable for the cost of the hire vehicle as the additional driver was not entitled to drive the vehicle. This just seems silly, if there are two people insured to drive a vehicle if that car is involved in an accident and a replacement car is given then obviously that person may require use of that vehicle.

 

From my recollection when all of this was gone through over the phone I stated that the other person would require use of the vehicle, as they had to go through the details of the insurance with me. But I cannot remember the exact conversation as it was two years ago.

 

What can I do? I certainly don't have £10,000 and I am already heavy in debt, I would have to declare bankruptcy. Can I fight this? Is it their error in not quering whether the other driver on the policy required use of the vehicle?

 

Please help, I am literally pulling my hair out.:-x

 

Thanks

Ebony

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£10,000 is steep for a month's worth of hire - £333 pounds a day. Presumably if this is correct it will have been a luxury car i.e. range rover etc?

 

Anyway, turning back to the hire. You will have signed a consumer credit agreement. Scan that to see what it tells you although it probably won't help you much as they are often complex. If you didn't sign one then you should be fine. Technically under the terms of the GTA agreement between insurers, hire companies have to ensure that any hire vehicle given out is a) needed by the person and b) that the hirer has mitigated their losses to a minimum and cannot afford to hire a car from a dealer. This all has to be explained to you and you have to sign a statement that you do need it etc.

 

To be honest you need a lawyer to help you out. See if you have legal expenses cover on your home, car or any other insurance you have that might be able to help you instruct a lawyer without having to pay their fees. If not you may be able to get a no win no fee lawyer to do it on a CFA as it will be in the fast track and so they can recover their fees if you win.

 

I would also request a copy of the telephone conversation you had with the person who went through the hire with you.

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Clearly this needs to be challenged, the hire company will have an awful lot to prove to a court to get their money from you, most companies fail outright, with the courts taking a view that whilst a CCA agreement has been set up, the hire company took on the risk., the only time they succeed is if they can prove that you have not been honest with the information you have provided them and in someway mislead them into providing a vehicle. If the named driver had use of this vehicle only, then you have a case, if they were a named driver and had use of another vehicle without need for the hire vehicle, you may have a hard time.

The hire companies are having it harder than the insurers at present, they are scrambling for money, or at least to show their board that they are making attempts at recovering it.

Good luck.

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