Credit hire firms invited to take part in audit to measure GTA compliance

Credit hire companies are being asked to volunteer for audits in a bid to improve relations with insurers.

The planned audits will check whether the companies are complying with the general terms of agreement (GTA) that cover the terms, conditions and rates for credit hire in the UK.

There is widespread concern among insurers that credit hire companies overcharge for replacement vehicles.

But The Credit Hire Organisation (CHO) director-general Tony Baker said only a third of companies were being paid within the 30-day limit set by the GTA.

Baker explained it was the first time an audit had taken place and he hoped it would reduce friction.

“The hope is that it will give greater confidence to insurers to pay credit hire companies quicker. That is the main driver,” he said.

“The GTA has been going for 10 years and it has served its purpose extremely well. But we still have the situation where there are suspicions on both sides about whether insurers and credit hire companies are following the protocol and it is taking longer than it should do to settle claims.”

AXA claims director David Williams warned any audit must not be whitewashed and urged the CHO to take action if they found companies with dubious practices.

“Carrying out an audit is fine but it is a question of what they do with the results. It is step in the right direction, but it has to have substance,” he said. “I can’t see insurers thinking that because there has been an audit they don’t have to check things.”

Any credit hire companies interested in being considered for audits are being asked to email their details and relevant experience to Tony Baker at by Friday 6 January.

Audits are intended to start as soon as possible in the new year.