Credit Hire success

30/09/21

LHF

Credit hire success - Defendant's BHR not accepted.

Lujzka Halsall-Fischel successfully represented a Claimant company, a national provider of health and social care support with its own fleet of vehicles, in recovering charges in full for the hire on credit of a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for 71 days.

The Defendant's case was that that the Claimant company did not need to hire a vehicle, owing to its own fleet. In any event, the Defendant argued that the period should be reduced as a result of an alleged significant delay in inspecting the vehicle and/or in off-hiring, once it knew that the damaged vehicle was a total loss, and that the rate should be limited to the lowest set out within its BHR report.

Lujzka Halsall-Fischel robustly opposed the Defendant's arguments and recovered the hire charges in full. Principally, the Judge accepted submissions that the rate relied upon by the Defendant, being 44.5 miles away from the Claimant company, was not within the Claimant's broad geographical area, and was lacking in detail as to the information that should have been provided. This was despite reliance by the Defendant on the case ofBunting v Zurich Insurance Plc[2020] EWHC 1807 (QB). Accordingly, the Judge preferred the rebuttal report of the Claimant and awarded the full commercial credit hire rate.

Lujzka Halsall-Fischel also successful argued against any reduction of the 71-day period claimed. The Judge did not accept either argument on behalf of the Defendant in respect of period; he did not think that there was an obligation to replace the vehicle within 14 days and was not satisfied that there was any undue delay on the part of the Claimant.

This was a particularly good result, given the risk posed by a pre-litigation offer made by the Defendant based on its rates evidence, and given that the dismissal of the Defendant's BHR meant a difference of £10,000 in the award made.