An insurance loophole means drivers could wind up in court after being given a courtesy car when their own vehicle is being repaired.
The situation involves cases where the driver is not liable for the accident which damaged their own vehicle. It appears that in some cases, the courtesy car is provided by an independent firm and by taking the car, the customer is effectively making a rental agreement.
The firm will then try to recover the cost of the rental from the insurer of the person who caused the crash. If they are unable to do so, they may hold the original driver liable for the cost of the rental and pursue legal action to recover this money. It's alleged that some motor insurers place undue pressure on drivers to accept courtesy cars on such a basis, and that the courtesy car provider may charge an unreasonably high rental rate knowing that they will likely get it back from the other driver's insurance provider.
The dangers were highlighted by a case involving footballer Darren Bent, who took an Aston Martin courtesy car after his Mercedes was in a crash. He wound up being presented with a rental bill for £64,000. The case is currently going through the appeals courts.