Should I take a courtesy bike?

I have recently left hospital following an accident with a lorry. One of the first phone calls I received was from a company offering me a replacement motorcycle whilst mine is in the garage for repairs.  I'm still recovering from my injuries, so I am not even sure I could even ride at this moment in time.  What should I do?
Lindsay, Wigan

Answer

When considering whether to accept any replacement hire vehicle it is always important to know whether this offer is on a 'courtesy' or 'credit hire' basis.  If the former then it is relatively straightforward as the courtesy vehicle is likely being paid through your insurance and not arranged through a separate company. If the latter then you need to be careful.

Credit hire is the supply of a like-for-like vehicle on a credit basis, which means the cost of hire is much more expensive. The contract will also be between the company, providing the hire, and the individual involved in the accident. A clause is inserted that enables the company to recover any unrecovered money from the unsuspecting individual if there is a shortfall. This can leave the individual having to pay a significant bill if they are later found to be partially or wholly to blame for the accident or the hire is deemed unnecessary.

It is unclear from your question whether fault for the accident has been agreed. If not, and as you are still unable to ride a motorcycle, then it may be sensible to decline the offer for a replacement, especially one on a credit hire basis.

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