A Claimant who was induced to enter into a credit hire agreement after being told he would never have to repay the charges has had his claim for the recovery of those charges dismissed.
In a case run by Christopher Dibb of Plexus Law, assisted by Timothy Willitts, of Cobden House Chambers, the judge dismissed the claim for credit hire charges, pleaded at almost £36,000, after hearing the Claimant repeatedly say that he was told the vehicle was given to him as a courtesy car.
Recorder Grundy said in dismissing the claim that it was clear that the Claimant did not understand that he was incurring a personal liability to the hire company and that he had been told that the vehicle was free to him for as long as he needed it. Handing down judgment, Recorder Grundy, added that it was also clear that misrepresentations were made to the Claimant about the agreement he was signing. He was told that it was a courtesy car and free to him, not that he was signing a hire agreement involving personal liability. The opposite was true – he was signing a hire agreement which purported to impose personal liability for hire charges upon him. This was, in Recorder Grundy’s judgment, an actionable misrepresentation.
The Claimant had entered into the agreement on 6th March 2020. He had driven his vehicle home after the accident, but it was later collected by his insurers who had told him that there may be a problem with the catalytic converter or exhaust, but no engineer’s report was ever served. He then remained in hire for 112 days at a combined daily rate of £320.70.
Additionally, whilst giving evidence, the Claimant said that he played no part in the placing of the printed signature on his witness statement and disclosure statement attached to his List of Documents. Recorder Grundy said that the claim had been pursued in a “wholly inappropriate way”.
He dismissed the claim in its entirety on the grounds that:
- As there was only one agreement which exceeded three months, it was a regulated consumer hire agreement which had been improperly executed and was therefore unenforceable.
- Such were the misrepresentations made to the Claimant, the agreement was voidable at common law, and the judge declared that it was void.
- The agreement created an unfair relationship pursuant to section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
- As the Claimant had not served any engineering evidence as part of the claim he had failed to establish “need”.
Not only was the claim dismissed, a costs order was made in favour of the Defendant with the credit hire company being added to the proceedings for costs purposes.
The case represents another success for Plexus Law’s robust credit hire strategy of challenging all aspect of the claim which has resulted in a very significant saving for the client in this case in terms of both damages and costs.
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For further information on this case please contact:
Chris Dibb, Associate
T: 0113 213 9961 | M: 07970 282 901 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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