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Published 26 agosto 2016
The credit hire team at international law firm DAC Beachcroft is urging insurers to challenge credit hire rates submitted by claimants and credit hire organisations, if research via the internet reveals that lower hire rates are available from car hire companies that are more than 10 miles from the claimant's home.
In a ruling handed down today (Friday 26 August 2016) in which the team successfully defended an appeal over a credit hire rate decision (Jonathon Grice v Atos Origin IT Services), the judge accepted that the hire rate should be £140.63, rather than the £362.70 claimed by Accident Exchange. This was even though the lower rate was from a branch of Avis Car Hire that was over 40 miles away from the claimant's home.
In his judgment at Bradford County Court today, Recorder Smith noted that in an era when the internet is the first resort for anyone researching anything, "the concept of locality is immediately enlarged".
Commenting on the decision, Emma Fuller, Head of Credit Hire at DAC Beachcroft, said: "This is the first recorded appeal judgment where locality has been considered and a credit hire rate accepted that was over 40 miles away from the claimant's home.
"The ruling sensibly encourages the use of the internet for researching the best prices for car hire," she added. "It should certainly be used by insurers to counter arguments by claimants and credit hire companies that the hire rates should be those available within a 10 mile radius from where the claimant lives."
Today's ruling also reiterated that hire rates can be awarded even if they come with an excess, as established by the case of Lawson v Mullen in 2015.
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