Credit Hire Agreement Signed After Hire Ended: A Guide to Your Legal Rights
If you are involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to a credit hire agreement. This is an agreement between you and a hire company whereby you can rent a car while yours is being repaired or replaced. The cost of the hire car is then reclaimed from the at-fault party`s insurance company.
However, what happens if you sign a credit hire agreement after the hire period has ended? This can happen if you do not realize the full extent of the damage to your vehicle or the length of time it will take to be repaired. It can also happen if your insurance company is slow to arrange a hire car for you.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know your legal rights. Here are some key points to consider:
1. The duration of the hire period
When you sign a credit hire agreement, you will agree to a specific hire period. This is typically the length of time it takes for your own vehicle to be repaired or replaced. If you sign an agreement after this period has ended, you may not be covered for the full cost of the hire car. You will need to negotiate with the hire company and the at-fault party`s insurance company to ensure that you are not left out of pocket.
2. The terms of the agreement
Check the terms of the credit hire agreement carefully. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, including the cost of the hire car, the excess payable, and any other fees or charges. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to the hire company or seek legal advice.
3. Your duty to mitigate
Under UK law, you have a duty to mitigate your losses. This means that you must take reasonable steps to minimize the cost of your claim. If you sign a credit hire agreement after the hire period has ended, you may be seen as failing to mitigate your losses. This could affect the amount of compensation you receive.
4. Insurance company approval
If you sign a credit hire agreement after the hire period has ended, your insurance company may not approve the claim. This is because they have a duty to mitigate their own losses. If they believe that you have not taken reasonable steps to minimize the cost of your claim, they may refuse to pay for the hire car.
5. Seeking legal advice
If you are unsure about your legal rights or are having difficulty negotiating with the hire company or insurance company, seek legal advice. A solicitor can help you understand your rights and negotiate on your behalf.
In conclusion, if you sign a credit hire agreement after the hire period has ended, you may not be covered for the full cost of the hire car. It is important to understand your legal rights and take steps to mitigate your losses. If you need help and advice, speak to a solicitor who specializes in road traffic accidents and credit hire agreements.