Can you expand on what is a 'credit hire' firm is?
Is this some sort of PI claim where the claimant uses an aggressive solicitor to pursue the driver of the car that hit them directly?
Credit hire is where someone is provided with a hire car essentially on credit, there is also credit repair which can go hand in hand with credit hire but thats a different story for a different day, they do not pay any money up front or, in most cases ever as the at fault insurer is billed directly. The rates charged are way way in excess of what you can go out and hire a car for (spot hire) so where you can hire a focus for about £10-20 per day a credit hire company will charge £70 per day. To make it relevant it AO a Brerra V6 costs £325 per day on credit hire!!
Usually credit hire is used by people who cannot afford to go out and hire a normal hire car car as they "don't have the means" or as we in the legal world say "impercunious" if you are impercunious you had no other alternative but to use credit hire to hire a car to get to work etc. Credit hire is a major problem for insurance companies, the firm I work for has 8 teams who deal solely with credit hire claims on behalf for our clients. What alot of people do not realise is that the claimant has a duty to mitigate their losses e.g. take advantage of a courtesy car provided by their insurer or the at fault drivers insurer, to minimise the loss suffered to themselves. This duty is a legal one and is not negotiable. So if you are involved in a crash and then go straight to a credit hire company for a hire car without exploring other options then you have not mitigated your loss and as such will become liable for the cost of the hire, often thousands of pounds.
Credit hire usually comes hand in hand with PI claims as credit hire firms will often refer their "customers" to ambulance chasers and vice versa. Before I started doing cat PI and high value multi track large loss I used to handle litigated credit hire claims and PI claims under £50,000 so I have alot of experience of defending these claims on behalf of insurance companies, the firm I work for handles alot of work on behalf of quite alot of insurance companies.
Credit hire companies also add penalty charges for late payment of their invoices which ramps up the value of the claim significantly, it is not uncommon for hire bills to come in in the 10s of thousands upwards. Credit hire is bad for everyone as it means we pay more for our premiums each year, same as whiplash claims. The way of fighting a credit hire claim is to disprove need for credit hire, this is easy as the burden is on the claimant to prove they had no other option than to go into credit hire, we request bank statements, wage slips etc every bit of personal financial data to prove that the claimant could have quite easily gone to avis and hired something for much less than the credit hire rates. "But the accident wasn't my fault" I hear you cry, no problem you have a right to have been in hire as you were not at fault, you do not however have the right to rack up a hire bill that runs into the thousands, in these circumstances you would only be entitled to recover spot hire rates i.e. you were in hire for 30 days on credit hire costing £10,000 to hire the same car from Avis for 30 days would have cost £900, therefore you would only be able to recover £900 for hire and not £10,000, meaning the credit hire company gets £900 and they then chase you for the outstanding £9,100.
The rule here, avoid credit hire if you have access to a courtesy car on your own policy or are offered one by the other drivers insurer or you have the means to hire a car whilst yours is being repaired, if you do this then send the bill to the at fault drivers insurer they will pay it. Use credit hire at your peril unless you want to be left footing the bill as no credit hire claim is ever paid in full as proving impercuniosity is harder than diamond.
Sorry for the rather long winded reply but I detest credit hire and those who use it as they feel they have a right to it because they feel they are owed something.