Lawyers representing a businessman whose parked McLaren ‘supercar’ was badly scratched by a passing tractor have won him more than £45,000 in compensation from motor insurers. The award included the full cost of hiring a top-end Mercedes whilst the McLaren was being repaired.
The insurers admitted liability for the accident on the tractor driver’s behalf and paid the £11,000 cost of repairing the McLaren, which the businessman had only recently bought for £190,000. However, they refused to cover the full cost of hiring the Mercedes whilst the McLaren was in the body shop.
It was argued that the hire charges were unreasonable on the basis that there was no necessity to hire such a luxurious vehicle. The insurers pointed out that the businessman owned a number of other high-end cars, including two Aston Martins, that he could have driven whilst the McLaren was under repair.
In ruling in the businessman’s favour, however, a judge accepted that he needed to drive a prestige vehicle in order to project the right image to his clients. The McLaren was important to him as a status symbol and it was reasonable to hire the Mercedes as a temporary replacement. He was awarded total damages of £46,904, including £41,184 in respect of car hire charges.