A garage that lent me a courtesy car five years ago now wants £1700 - what do I do?

I had a car accident over five years ago, the driver was convicted of dangerous driving. I had just bought the car and it was written off five minutes after leaving the garage. The garage had let me drive it home on their insurance and trade plate, and through his insurance I was given a courtesy car until the cheque for my car came through. I had the hire car for a week and they arranged for it to be picked back up from my home. I had told them where the keys would be as I had to go back to work. They hadn't picked it up on the day they were meant to, they did after they sent me some paperwork to sign but I never did. Now, five years later, I've just had a bill through the door at my new address for £1700 for 21 days car hire. It was a courtesy car, never was I asked to pay anything. I only used it for one week, they failed to turn up to collect it and I don't have any paper work or anything in relation to it. The garage solicitor did it all and they got their payment from the compensation three years ago. The garage doesn't exist now I don't know what to do.

Asked on 19 July 2017 by

Answered by Tim Kelly
Check out the company who have sent you the letter, take the letter to a solicitor and seek his advice. If all of this is valid, then and only then would I have any communication with them. I would then ask them via the solicitor to provide any information by way of the contract entered into to substantiate their claim for £1700. It does not sound like it was a courtesy car, it sounds like it was a credit hire company. The solicitor who acted for you at the time of the claim was not the garage solicitor, he was probably acting on behalf of the claims management company. If you have his details, contact him and forward this correspondence to him. Request from this solicitor a subject access data request for any information on the claim, they have to by law keep your data for six years, so should have a full record of the details. You then know exactly what has been paid and to who.
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