Car hire firm claims that rates surveyors lied about the basic hire rates of replacement cars

Prior caselaw has established that, where the claimant's car has been damaged by the at-fault defendant, and the claimant hires a replacement car on credit terms, even though he could have afforded to hire one without credit terms, the damages recoverable for the loss of use of the damaged car will only be the basic hire rate ("BHR") of the replacement car (ie the hire rate stripped of the cost of any "credit" elements).

The claimant in this case is a car hire company. It claims against the defendants who were employed as rates surveyors by Autofocus Limited ("AF"). AF had been hired by the insurers of the at-fault drivers to provide evidence to show that the BHR was lower than the hire rate charged by the claimant. The defendants had produced written surveys, reports and witness statements to the insurers. The claimant alleged that that evidence was based on fraud and perjury by the defendants and was used in 3,600 cases involving the claimant (and possibly 30,000 cases overall). It sought a finding of contempt of court against the various surveyors.

The case was therefore a factual one. The court found that there was overwhelming evidence that the company had been involved in the systematic, endemic fabrication of evidence in which the defendants had knowingly and actively participated throughout the material time and that each of the defendants had therefore been in contempt of court.