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Hire Car Charges - Third Party Insurer


alexmoore90
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Hi,

I was involved in an accident on the 26 December 2013. The other driver admitted liability and my car was written off. I have had a Claims company acting on my behalf and i have received a full and final settlement for my vehicle which i am happy with. However, as a result of my car being written off i was given a Hire car from Vehicle Assist Ltd via the claims company. I have since bought a new car and I am waiting for Vehicle Assist to collect the car on Monday 21st January.

 

Today i have received a letter from the third party's insurers that reads the following:

 

"We have received the invoice from the company who provided your hire vehicle.

In order for us to consider paying the hire invoice, please provide a response to each of the questions, sign and date this letter and return it to us"

 

 

  • What do you use your vehicle for in a typical day?
  • How far do you travel (miles) in a typical day?
  • Do you use your vehicle on the motorway?
  • How much motorway driving do you do in a typical day?
  • Did you require a hire vechile? If so, would a smaller vehicle be suitable for your needs e.g Ford Fiesta 1.2cc?
  • Would you have been able to use public transport?
  • Do you need to use your vehicle as part of your work, whilst at work? (Like a salesman, not commuting)
  • Please confirm if there were other vehicles in your household that could have been used?
  • Do you have provision of a courtesy car under your insurance policy? If so, was a suitable vehicle available to you?
  • Were you aware that you had entered into a credit hire agreement with Vehicle Assist?
  • What is your occupation?

Is this standard practice? I am concerned that they have mentioned about a credit agreement and that i maybe liable to pay the costs of the hire vehicle.

Could anyone shed some light on the subject?

Many thanks

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

I would assume that the hire car would of been provided under the same terms as your own insurance schedule. As such, I'm not sure that the questions need to be answered. BUT before doing anything, I would speak to either your own insurers or the claims company that you used.

 

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i'd ignore it to be quite honest.

 

 

the car hire charge isn't your responsibility if you weren't at fault, and all the time you've got it it costs the other insurer.

 

 

They are liable so let them pay, what you do during the day with a car is your business and not theirs.

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I would not recommend you ignore the letter as doing this could potentially cost you a serious amount of money.

 

The car provided to you was provided under a credit agreement at higher than standard hire rates, in theory you would be liable for the costs if the other Insurers did not pay although this is fairly unusual now days as the credit hire companies tend to take the loss. However you will have agreed to assist the Credit Hire company where needed to recover the money from the other Insurer, if you do not assist and they cannot recover their money you will be liable for the costs of the car hence why I strongly recommend you do not ignore the letter.

 

As with any court case, you as the injured party have a duty to mitigate your costs, the purpose of the letter is to check whether you did mitigate your losses and whether you actually needed the credit hire car.

 

Credit Hire companies have a serious mark up on the hire prices and have a tendency to hire cars where they are not needed so the letter is asking questions to establish whether the CH company have been acting correctly.

 

I would recommend you refer the letter to the claims management company for their advice.

 

Do not be tempted to lie with your answers as your replies could potentially be used in a court case.

 

If you tell us what car they provided we can tell you how much they are claiming from the other Insurers which is likely to be in excess of £3000 which is why the other Insurers are raising the questions

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Firstly, if you still have the hire car I would give it back ASAP. These companies can and will come to you for the charges if they can't get them back from elsewhere. You may be able to defend yourself against them but if you don't want the shock of a potentially huge bill, my girlfriend got one for over £15000, just get the car off your hands. What you must show is that you needed the car, that you have kept your losses down as much as is reasonable. Insurance companies don't want to pay these bills, they will do whatever they can to get out of them

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dis you have to give your debit/credit card details to take posession of the vehicle? They normally claim they do this for "security" or or "identification" purposes but are quick to charge you (hence credit hire) and then let you claim it back when it is really down to the insurer to make the correct arrangements in the first place.

The sooner claims management companies get the bum's rush by insurers the better, they just complicate things and push up costs

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i'd ignore it to be quite honest.

 

 

the car hire charge isn't your responsibility if you weren't at fault, and all the time you've got it it costs the other insurer.

 

 

They are liable so let them pay, what you do during the day with a car is your business and not theirs.

 

 

 

This is not great advice to be honest. The questions asked are standard. The OP has to show a need and that the hire car was used. The OP also has a duty to mitigate their losses by not keeping the hire car for longer than necessary.

 

The credit hire remains the OP's responsibility at all times. However, it can recovered against the Defendant.

 

Credit hire law is quite complex so I would speak to your insurer.

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Ganymede is right credit hire law is complex.

 

As with any civil claim there is a general duty for the claimant to reasonably mitigate their losses. The questions are trying to determine whether you have or not. Unfortunately (or not depending who you are) the courts have been very relaxed about what mitigation is reasonable.

 

They're trying to work out whether you really needed a car (did you have another one in the household, how much did you use the hire car) and at some point they may try to ascertain whether you could have afforded to hire one without entering a credit agreement (e.g. could you afford to just hire one from say Enterprise or Europcar).

 

What is unusual is for these questions to be posed directly to you. Normally the insurers will deal directly with the credit hire company and ask similar questions (often times the CHO's simply refuse to answer them and say they will go to court instead).

 

Probably would suggest you discuss with your credit hire company because you don't want to prejudice any potential court action by answering their questions... (e.g. if you told them you only used the hire car for two 5 mile round trips in 20 days hire they'd probably not pay anything).

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Oh and I forgot to add if you are going to say that you could not afford to rent a car on spot rates from your own pocket and wish to pleade impecuniousity then be prepared to disclose your wage slips, bank statements and credit card bills etc.

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@ Op

 

I was in the same position as yourself and got one of those letters although mine was from the accident management company that was supposed to be on my side.

 

As others have said don't ignore the letter.

 

Just be honest and don't tell any fibs.

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