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Dimond V. Lovell Notes

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DIMOND V. LOVELL FACTS On 30 December 1996 Mrs Vanessa Dimond was driving her Suzuki Vitara home from work when a car driven by Mr Lovell ran into her from behind. Her vehicle was damaged but still drivable. Her husband made an appointment for a garage to do the repairs two or three weeks later. While it was in the garage, she needed a replacement vehicle to get to work. On the advice of her insurance broker, she hired a Ford Mondeo from a car hire company called 1st Automotive Ltd. The charge was PS30 a day for the 8 days during which her vehicle was off the road, together with PS5 a day collision damage waiver and a PS15 delivery charge. The total charge including VAT was PS346.63. The Co-operative Insurance Society ("CIS"), which insured Mr Lovell, accepted that he had been negligent and was liable for the loss caused to Mrs Dimond by the accident. They paid for the cost of repair. But they refused to pay for the hire of the replacement car. They did not say that it was unreasonable for Mrs Dimond to have hired a car. But they raised two defences. The first was that the form of agreement under which Mrs Dimond hired the car was technically defective. It was a "regulated agreement" within the meaning of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and did not contain the particulars that the Act required. As a result, it was unenforceable. Mrs Dimond could not be required to pay for the hired car and therefore had suffered no loss. The second was that the sum claimed was excessive. Mrs Dimond could have hired a suitable car from another company for less. Nature of services offered by the hiring company: 1st Automotive is an accident hire company. It specialises in hiring cars to people like Mrs Dimond whose cars have been damaged in road accidents caused by the fault of someone else.... the effect of the agreement is that, in the normal course of events, the hirer will not have to pay. The company pursues the hirer's claim at its own expense and satisfies its claim for hire out of the damages recovered on the hirer's behalf. Thus the hirer is spared the need to lay out the cost of the hire in advance of recovery from the defendant or his insurers, the trouble and anxiety of pursuing a claim and the risk that the claim may fail. HOLDING LORD HOFFMANN Since the hire agreement is defective, claimant did not incur the cost of hire. Can she still claim hire costs?
The House treated the two cases mentioned by Lord Reid in Parry v Cleaver [1970] AC 1, 14 ("the fruits of insurance which the plaintiff

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