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Case details

Armstead (Appellant) v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Ltd (Respondent)

Case ID: 2022/0100

Case summary


Where the hirer of a car contractually agrees to pay the car hire company a sum for loss of use if the hire car is damaged during the hire period, and the hire car is then damaged due to the negligent driving of a third party, can the hirer recover that contractual liability from the negligent driver (or their insurer)?


Lorna Armstead ('LA') hired a car from Helphire Ltd ('Helphire'). LA signed Helphire's standard hire contract, confirming that (a) she would pay Helphire for any damage to the vehicle and (b) she would pay Helphire a daily rate for any loss of use of the vehicle if it was unavailable to Helphire because it was damaged.

LA was in a car accident whilst driving the hired car. The accident was caused by the negligent driving of a third party who was insured by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Ltd ('RSA'). The hired car required repairs, for which LA paid. Helphire subsequently requested that LA pay £1,560 for the loss of use of the hired car while it was being repaired. LA brought a claim against RSA for both sums. In the three courts below, LA's claim for £1,560 sum was dismissed.

Judgment appealed

[2022] EWCA Civ 497



Lorna Armstead


Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Co Ltd



Lord Briggs, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lord Richards, Lady Simler

Hearing start date

23 November 2023

Hearing finish date

23 November 2023

Watch hearing
23 November 2023 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

14 February 2024

Neutral citation

[2024] UKSC 6

Watch Judgment summary
14 February 2024 Judgment summary