Aston Martin own goal costs striker Darren Bent £20,000

Star striker Darren Bent scored an own goal that cost him £20,000 when he picked up the keys to a prestigious Aston Martin DB9 sports car after his own car was damaged in a crash.

Accident management firm Accident Exchange arranged the car for him after his £70,000 Mercedes CLS coupe suffered £20,000 of damage in an accident.

The Aston Martin cost £500 a day to hire – and after Bent’s own car was off the road for a lengthy time under repair, the insurance company for the other driver in the crash picked up the tab.

The trouble was they considered the £63,000 bill excessive, especially as Bent had not rung up any other hire firms for a quote and had not replaced his own car in a ‘like for like’ deal.

The dispute ended up in Cambridge County Court where insurer Allianz won their case against Bent, which means he has to pay the £20,000 difference between the cost of hiring the Aston Martin rather than a Mercedes 

Allianz commented that drivers should check out the costs of car hire and other services from accident claims management firms to make sure they are not excessive or risk bills for refunds from insurers.

Martin Saunders, motor and casualty claims manager at Allianz Insurance, said:”Brokers can play an important role to ensure that their clients are fully-aware of this judgement and the basic principles under their burden of responsibility.

“A broker’s guidance on such issues can add real value to their relationships and, in this case, may ultimately help their customers avoid paying a hefty fee if their credit hire arrangements are not deemed reasonable.

“If claimants can afford it, shop around and talk to the insurer, even if it is the insurer of the driver who caused the accident. In most cases they will be only too pleased to help and discuss solutions.

“The issue is being compounded by an increase in the number of third-party car credit hire firms renting vehicles at high costs to individuals looking for replacement vehicles. Drivers need to be vigilant or they could face the same situation as Mr. Bent.”

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