Credit Hire

Case Law and Commentary

Credit hire is a particularly technical and case heavy area of law.  The information below sets out some of the more common cases that are relied upon along with the frequently associated arguments made in court.

 

 

CLARK v ARDINGTON - View Judgement

 

Court dicta suggested at para 154-156 that, as there was no duty on the claimant to obtain competitive tenders, the engineer’s fee was not recoverable as an item of special damage.

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BURDIS v LIVSEY - View Judgement

There is a strong presumption that, absent misrepresentation, the claimant is bound by their signature on the credit hire agreement.  (Para 111).If a delay was caused by the garage to the claimant's vehicle being fixed then it remains the defendant’s responsibility as the garage is not the claimant’s agent.  (Para 121). ​

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LAGDON v O'CONNOR - View Judgement

If the claimant is able to establish that they are ‘impecunious’ to the satisfaction of the court then they will be entitled to recover at the credit hire rate (although not automatically for the full period, subject to the general principles of mitigation).

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COPLEY v LAWN - View Judgement

Where the defendant insurers send letters to the claimant stating that they will be able to provide a replacement vehicle and/or repairs for the claimant’s vehicle and the Court finds that the claimant acted unreasonably in refusing to accept the defendant’s offer, then the claimant will be limited to recovering the amount that the defendant insurer can show it would have paid for the hire of the vehicle. 

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ZURICH INSURANCE PLC v UMERJI - View Judgement

The burden is on the claimant to both plead and prove that they were impecunious at the time of hire.

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PATTNI v FIRST LEICESTER BUSES LTD - View Judgement

Interest should not be claimed on credit hire charges.  Advocates should be aware that interest will be recoverable in those cases where the charges have already been paid and will run from the date on which the charges were paid (persuant to Clark v Ardington, para 162).

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STEVENS v EQUITY - View Judgement

The claimant is only entitled to recover hire charges at no more than the lowest reasonable rate quoted by a mainstream supplier or in the absence of this, a local reputable supplier within the claimant's geographical area.

It would not be reasonable for the claimant to incur the cost and inconvenience of the vehicle being re-assembled once disassembled, particularly during a short period of hire.  (Para 7).

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BENT v HIGHWAYS AND UTILITIES CONSTRUCTION & ANOR - View Judgement

Non-contemporaneous evidence of the basic hire rate evidence are admissible as evidence.

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NEIL MCBRIDE v UK INSURANCE LIMITED - View Judgement

Key Case - It is not unreasonable to consider and seek a nil excess, however, the Court must treat the nil excess separately from the comparison exercise between the default credit hire rate and the basic hire rate with an excess.

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