Credit Hire: A round-up


By Maxine Best

As the end of 2016 draws ever closer, it is worth considering the credit hire landscape as it currently stands. There have been two key cases of interest this year:

  • Paul Simon Franklin v UK Insurance Ltd – Darlington CC – 18/03/2016.
  • Sean Phillips v Carol Willis [2016] EWCA Civ 401.

Two key cases of interest

Paul Simon Frankland v UK Insurance Ltd – Darlington CC – 18/03/2016

In this case, HHJ Armstrong refused the Claimant’s application for permission to appeal the decision of District Judge Read that the Defendant was entitled to summary judgment when the Claimant could not establish need in relation to a vehicle he had hired.

This was an important decision in that it served as a reminder to both claimants and defendants of the consequences of failing to exchange information and documentation in accordance with the practice direction for pre-action conduct. Furthermore, it highlighted the reliance that is still placed on the Court of Appeal Singh v Yaqubi judgment.

For more information, see [link to post]

 Sean Phillips v Carol Willis [2016] EWCA Civ 401

In Phillips v Willis the Court of Appeal held that it was wrong in law and irrational for a claim proceeding via the low-value RTA Protocol to be reallocated to the small claims track simply because only hire charges remained in dispute. The claim should properly have been dealt with at a Stage 3 hearing.

It is acknowledged that personal injury within a claim can act as the ‘gateway’ into the portal, however this does not then mean the case automatically exits the portal once the personal injury element of the claim has been agreed. The Protocol does not convey such powers on the court to order this. Further, given the amount in dispute in this case, the Court felt it was clearly suitable for resolution at a Stage 3 hearing.

It is noteworthy the Court of Appeal acknowledged there are some cases within the credit hire sphere that might involve complex issues of law or fact which require exit from the portal in order to be fully explored and resolved. It is therefore a question of proportionality.

For more information, see [link to post]

 What can we expect from 2017?

In the wake of Stevens v Equity, the case of McBride v UKI seeks to overturn the rate calculation which is currently being applied.

Lord Justice Kitchin initially refused the appeal in McBride on the papers in June 2015, but at a subsequent oral hearing in early 2016 before Lord Justice Underhill, permission has been granted for the Claimants to appeal however only on Ground 3: “whether the Claimant is entitled to a nil excess via the availability of CDW products”.

The appeal is listed in February 2017. However, it would seem that as the permission hearing concluded Stevens remains good law, there is unlikely to be any change to the rate calculation as it currently stands.

Note: The Claimant was granted permission to amend Ground 2 which essentially seeks a definition of “mainstream” and “local reputable”. Permission to appeal under this ground has been adjourned to be decided at the substantive appeal in February 2017.

Watch this space…



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