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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:13 pm 
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Some might look at this case and raise an eyebrow at the expectation of success.

WATTAN SINGH v AQUA DESCALING LTD (2008)

CC (Walsall) (Judge Oliver-Jones QC) 18/2/2008

DAMAGES

CAR HIRE : DAMAGES : LOSS : MITIGATION : ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS : TAXIS : REPLACEMENT OF DAMAGED PRIVATE HIRE MINIBUS : LOSS OF PROFIT


The owner of a taxi business was not entitled to recover vehicle hire costs that he had incurred to replace his private hire minibus which had been damaged in a road traffic accident because, in the circumstances, he had the choice of not hiring a vehicle at all and claiming for loss of profit, or purchasing a replacement after a reasonable period of time.

The claimant (S) claimed damages against the defendant company (D) following a road traffic accident for which D had been found liable. S owned taxi hire businesses for which he had six licensed private hire vehicles, one being a minibus. S did not drive any of his vehicles himself, but rented them out to self-employed drivers. A collision occurred between the minibus owned by S and a car owned by D. S claimed damages comprising the net pre-accident value of the minibus which was damaged beyond economical repair, miscellaneous expenses, and the cost of hiring a vehicle under four separate credit hire agreements for a total continuous period of 218 days to replace the minibus. D agreed the minibus's write-off value and averred that that sum had been paid. However, it disputed the hire charges and miscellaneous expenses. D submitted that the sum claimed for hire charges was unreasonable, excessive and in breach of S's duty to mitigate his loss. D rejected S's alleged impecuniosity, and argued that S could and should reasonably have purchased a replacement vehicle.

HELD: (1) Because S relied upon his alleged impecuniosity in response to the contention that he ought to have purchased a substitute minibus rather than hired one, it was necessary to make findings about his income and means. S was not an impressive witness. He was evasive and wholly unconvincing on the issues of the extent of his business interests and sources of income and capital. It was probable that S's income was much greater than was disclosed in his evidence and certainly sufficient to have financed the purchase of a replacement vehicle for the damaged minibus. S deliberately chose not to use the financial resources he had. It was obvious that the cost of hiring exceeded by far the profit which could have been earned. Consequently, only the loss of profit could be recovered and then only for that period reasonably required to achieve a replacement and "restore" the profit. Six weeks' loss of net profit was therefore awarded. The instant case was different from that of an average taxi driver. A taxi owner and driver was likely to be entitled to recover hire charges as opposed merely to loss of profits because he would need to use the hired car to secure his income which would be likely to fluctuate depending upon demand. S's income was fixed regardless of whether anyone used the taxi rented from him. S had the real choice of not hiring a vehicle at all and claiming loss of profit, the quantum of which he could predict with virtual certainty, and purchasing a replacement vehicle to restore his profit after about six weeks. He unreasonably chose to hire another vehicle on credit hire notwithstanding the enormous charges that were incurred. (2) There was no reliable evidence that S incurred any actual expenses at all. Therefore, nothing was awarded in respect of miscellaneous expenses.

*Damages assessed*
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:25 pm 
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the owner was entitled to the 218 days loss of rental, plus "refit" costs (meters/signs,etc)

the hirer/driver was entitled to loss of profit for the 218 days plus any whiplash..... :lol:

i had all of that when my HC got written off

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:29 pm 
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The judgement was spot on.

The Claimant claimed the total sum of £42,951 comprising £ 3,240 being the net pre-accident value of the minibus which was damaged beyond economical repair, £100 by way of miscellaneous expenses, and £39,505.25 (including VAT) being the cost of hiring a vehicle under four separate credit hire agreements with a company called Matrix Hire (the trading name of Ravenfield Limited), for a total continuous period of 218 days (i.e. over 31 weeks)to replace the minibus, as now set out in tabular form

Days Hire Period Vehicle Cost inc. VAT
7 days 10.3.06 – 16.3.06 VW Passat £ 972.31
89 days 16.3.06 – 12.6.06 VW Sharan £ 16,261.42
89 days 12.6.06 – 8.9.06 VW Sharan £ 16,261.41
33 days 8.9.06 – 15.10.06 VW Sharan £ 6,010.12
Total 218 days £ 39,505.25


The court came to the conclusion that the claimants financial accounts under oral examination were suspect and unbelievable.

In other words he got what he deserved both in justice and financial remuneration.

Regards

JD

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Ravenfield Ltd are listed as members here:-

http://www.claimscouncil.org/members

i wonder if its the same one?....

and if Matrix are a hire company im damned if i can find em.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:54 pm 
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wannabeeahack wrote:
and if Matrix are a hire company im damned if i can find em.

I think they are a claims assist company.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:55 pm 
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JD wrote:

Total 218 days £ 39,505.25

Greed doesn't always pay, and it didn't pay in that case. [-X

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:05 pm 
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JD wrote:

Total 218 days £ 39,505.25


Thats over £180 a day FFS.
Did he really expect all that?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:28 pm 
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gusmac wrote:
JD wrote:

Total 218 days £ 39,505.25


Thats over £180 a day FFS.
Did he really expect all that?

The going rate for daily hire, via the claims firms, is in the region of £100 a day just for a Skoda. :shock:

Which is why firms are falling over themselves to offer that service, and even offer a £200-£300 golden hello. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:52 pm 
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lets hope he has to pay the hire fees himself now, ouch, thats gonna hurt

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:07 pm 
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wannabeeahack wrote:
lets hope he has to pay the hire fees himself now, ouch, thats gonna hurt

From memory there is a clause in the conditions which state what they can't get back they try and claim off their client.

But if the assist firm has allowed the so-called hire to last so long then they, IMO, are complicit and deserve to recoup nothing.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:29 pm 
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the written off vehicle was only worth £4K, if i was suspicious id be thinking someone was after a nice little earner here

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 Post subject: two sides to everything
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Okay firstly I would like to introduce my self as Wattan singh’s son, a lot of you will be sitting here saying well what ever he says is going to be biased, I will only give a true statement of fact.

Firstly – best advice you can ever get – stay away from the replacement vehicles in non fault accidents, yes it will effect your income, we have had two bad experiences with companies regarding replacement vehicles, this case was the first one.

First case (as stated above) – my father has nothing to do with the claims company or matrix hire, the inns and outs of the case, our driver is involved in a non fault accident, 3rd party disputes the accident, at this point the accident claims company should of told us that the third party is disputing the accident (i.e we would of returned the vehicle, but we did not know any better so we kept it), 3 months on we raised the question with the accident claims company asking why it had not been resolved and they said sometimes it takes longer (we did not take this as bad advice), the time went on and on, till we asked another legal body for advice, they advised us that if the claim is in dispute then we should not have a hired vehicle, we brought this up with the claims company (before the vehicle was returned it was involved in an accident), later on we found out – the claims company was related to the vehicle hire company (matrix hire), so the claims company wanted to bill the other party for as much as they could. In the end the judge decided the win to our side but refused the claimants claim of 200 pound a day for the hire etc, to this day matrix hire and the claims company are still trying to get their £40,000 out of my dad, the key word here is trying.

Second Case – again one of our drivers was involved in a non fault accident, from the date of the accident to the resolved date was about 6 weeks (common practice), we was offered a replacement vehicle by our insures, taking into consideration these are a multi national company (can not disuses who they are the case is still in court) we did not expect any bad/ stupid practices etc, after the case had so called been settled the other party lodged in a complaint because our insures tried to charge them £200 a day for a replacement vehicle.

From what I can see weather they are little companies or multi national companies they are bad as each other, how can they justify charging £200 pound when a driver driving that vehicle would not earn that in profit over 3 days work.

My personal suggestion is stay away from the replacement vehicle.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:12 pm 
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yellowcars wrote:

From what I can see weather they are little companies or multi national companies they are bad as each other, how can they justify charging £200 pound when a driver driving that vehicle would not earn that in profit over 3 days work.

My personal suggestion is stay away from the replacement vehicle.


I think that's a very good suggestion.

I recently heard of one case where the driver was contacted by an insurance investigator after his claim was settled.....he was asked if it was really necessary to hire a Mercedes 'S' class for a month.

The driver advised the investigator he had been given a Fiat Doblo by the accident management company and he had handed it back after a week because his own cab was ready.

CC

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Is it any wonder we are all paying through the *rse for insurance.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:36 pm 
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gusmac wrote:
Is it any wonder we are all paying through the *rse for insurance.

Yet another example of people outside of the trade making big bucks on drivers misfortunes.

Half the time the replacement vehicles are sheds themselves.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:39 pm 
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We had a Mondeo a few weeks ago after one of ours was written off in a Non Fault Accident, they were charging the 3rd party £125 per day for the hire of the Mondeo. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: We had that motor for 7 weeks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Oh the first thing the broker says is, we'll get you a hire car.

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