When a car is hired whilst a vehicle damaged in an accident is being repaired the claimant is only entitled to the lowest reasonable basic hire rate of a reputable local car hire company. The cost of the collision damage waiver is also allowed.

The plaintiff’s Jaguar XJ Supersport V8 was damaged in an accident and he hired a similar vehicle at a daily hire charge of £409. He also paid a collision damage waiver of £10 per day to avoid any excess on any claim relating to the hire car. The hire period was 74 days. On the basis of the lowest available hire charge the court awarded £19 980 instead of the claimed amount of £40 215. The additional £10 per day was allowed as the only viable nil excess cover on offer and it was reasonable for the claimant to take out such cover.

This UK decision accords with South African principles of loss mitigation.

It is yet to be decided whether a plaintiff will be restricted to a lesser amount for a car hailing service such as Uber instead of hiring a car. It will depend on the facts.

The case is McBride v UK Insurance Ltd.