Confusion continues to rage over credit hire rates, almost three months after the House of Lords delivered its landmark judgment in Dimond v Lovell.

Peter Holding, Helphire legal director, said the Law Lords' reluctance to clarify what they meant by the term "spot rate" for credit hire had created problems.

He said this term had varying interpretations in the insurance industry and had led to continued uncertainty in the market. Holding said, however, that Dimond v Lovell had enabled Helphire, which was involved in the case through its subsidiary 1st Automotive, to recover a greater proportion of cases after litigation.

The company has taken a hardline stand on credit hire rates. It is not party to the ABI code on charges, which Holding described as "artificially low".

A Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 litre car costs a minimum of £29.50 to hire under ABI rates, compared with £46.50 from Helphire. Helphire is preparing to fight more than 15,000 credit hire cases in court.

Holding said: "The rates we have at the moment are completely recoverable and we are happy to defend these in court if necessary."

He said the correct analogy would be for credit hire rates to reflect those charged by car hire companies.

An ABI spokesman said it believed its rates were fair and reasonable to insurers and credit hire firms alike.