Helphire has mounted a rescue takeover of credit hire businesses 1st Automotive and Rescue Car Rental.

Cheshire-based 1st Automotive faced potentially crippling losses as a result of the Court of Appeal's ruling in Dimond v Lovell last April.

This made a large amount of 1st Automotive's debtor book practically irrecoverable, unless it managed to overturn the case on appeal to the House of Lords.

Meanwhile, both credit hire business were stuck with massive provisions for bad debts.

Helphire said it might be making further acquisitions after being approached by several other credit hire firms facing the same dilemma as 1st Automotive.

The company added that it has chosen not to participate in the ABI's scheme for credit hire companies, believing it might damage its independence.