“The bear is going to be unleashed” if it doesn’t get what it wants, the Credit Hire Organisation director general said

Credit hire firms are getting ready to mount a legal challenge to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) remedies for the private motor market should they fall short of their expectations.

The final report needs to be published by 27 September, and Credit Hire Organisation director general Martin Andrews told Insurance Times that the trade body was set to point out serious flaws in the CMA’s calculations should its findings be unsatisfactory for the credit hire industry.

“We’ve been amenable and reasonable in conversations up till now, but the bear is going to be unleashed if we don’t get what we want,” he said.

Andrews said that there were several errors in the CMA’s work, on top of those already criticised - a VAT error that increased the calculated cost of credit hire by £26m and perceived discrepancies in the comparison of direct hire and credit hire rates – and that these would be exposed if an appeal to the findings was taken to the courts.

He added that the only action that could stop an appeal was to recommend an extension of the existing General Terms of Agreement (GTA) protocol to include more insurers and credit hire firms, and the adoption of a portal to manage claims and reduce frictional costs.

“The only acceptable place the CMA can get to from the work they have done, badly, is that the current solution, the GTA, is the best they are going to get,” he said. “They have done no work that logically can come to any other decision.”