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Courtesy Car Damaged Seat

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JoshuaFrekeJoshuaFreke Forumite
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Hi all, hope you're well.
My girlfriend recently had a hire car for the day when hers was in for a service. She'd used a Volvo garage and was offered a courtesy car whilst her was in. The courtesy car was a 20 plate XC90. 
During the time when she used the car, there were 2 child seats fixed to the rear seats (ISO-Fix). 
Upon taking it back on Tuesday evening (30/06/2020) she was given her actual car back and that was that. The garage didn't carry out an inspection to the best of her knowledge. She hadn't signed any paperwork herself and certainly hadn't given permission for anyone at the garage to sign on her behalf. There is a day insurance document however the guy who signed the doc. on behalf of the garage has also signed in the box 'principal driver/customer'.
Fast forward to this morning Friday (03/07/2020) and she's received a call from said garage explaining that there's damage to the rear seats where the ISO-Fix has been. They've said it's on the fabric but we're currently awaiting pictures to see the extent of the damage. 
My question is about liability and if she can be charged for any damages? 
Firstly, she's not signed any documentation herself nor did she give permission for anyone to
There was no immediate checking of the car upon taking it back 
She's never had an issue with ISO-Fix in her current (19 plate) Volvo and the kids we're only sat in the hire car for around an hour or so in total (school trip and shopping)

Just looking for any guidance or people's own experiences with courtesy car damages. Thank you in advance guys :) 

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Replies

  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    So she put her car seats into the loan car, and removed them before it was returned?
  • JoshuaFrekeJoshuaFreke Forumite
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    AdrianC said:
    So she put her car seats into the loan car, and removed them before it was returned?
    Yes, the car seats were her own and were removed before returning the car. 
  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    Are there any rough edges to the child seats where they may come in contact with the fabric of the car seat?
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  • JoshuaFrekeJoshuaFreke Forumite
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    First Post
    DoaM said:
    Are there any rough edges to the child seats where they may come in contact with the fabric of the car seat?
    There's a possibility some of the underside may have been in contact with the seat but we've never had an issue with the car seats before in either of our cars
  • edited 3 July at 11:55AM
    DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    edited 3 July at 11:55AM
    Which doesn't answer the question, sorry. Is any of the underside of the child seat rough, enough such that it could scratch/tear the fabric of the car seat? You need to get your response organised prior to receiving their photos, so you can rebut their claims.
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  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    You don't say what model of Volvo she drives normally. Assuming it's not an ostensibly identical XC90, then perhaps the extra height meant she had to stretch more to fit them. Or it could easily be that the ISOFIX mounts are lower down in the seats on the loaner than on yours, so part of the child seat that isn't in contact normally was.

    But if there was no seat damage noted on her collection of the car, and seat damage noted on drop-off, then unless she has some way of proving it definitely wasn't, she's pretty much on the hook.

    Seat damage correlating to the position of a child seat, when she did indeed use a child seat, would certainly fall towards the likely on a car that's only 4mo at absolute most.
  • JoshuaFrekeJoshuaFreke Forumite
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    For reference the actual seat is a Cybex Solution M-Fix SL. 

    Still no photos yet and we were told we'd have them soon. That was about 9.30 this morning. 

    Both seats are identical. She normally drives an S90 R Design so a much different car. 

    From our point of view there was over 48 hours in-between drop off and the garage making contact about the seats. Surely a valid point is that anything could have happened within that time frame? 

    All of the above aside I'm more concerned with the legality of it all. Given that she's not signed any documentation about insurance or liability etc. 
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    All of the above aside I'm more concerned with the legality of it all. Given that she's not signed any documentation about insurance or liability etc. 
    I bet she was more than happy enough to have use of it at the time.

    To now try to claim zero responsibility because there's no paperwork seems... churlish.
  • edited 3 July at 1:23PM
    SupersonosSupersonos Forumite
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    edited 3 July at 1:23PM
    I got given the wrong change recently in a shop.  I went straight back in but I was told it was too late and I should've checked my change before leaving.

    Personally, I think the same applies here.  The vehicle should've been checked over whilst the OP was still there, not four days later.  The garage can't prove the OP did it and it's not beyond the realms of possibility the damage was caused in the four days following the OP's use of the car.  I'd politely deny any liability.
  • JoshuaFrekeJoshuaFreke Forumite
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    First Post
    AdrianC said:
    All of the above aside I'm more concerned with the legality of it all. Given that she's not signed any documentation about insurance or liability etc. 
    I bet she was more than happy enough to have use of it at the time.

    To now try to claim zero responsibility because there's no paperwork seems... churlish.
    Quite the opposite actually, she really disliked the car, found it sluggish, noisy and just a pain. It was taken because it needed not because it was wanted. 

    Although it may seem unfair or perhaps rude to not claim responsibility it's also poor business practice for any company to operate without due care and attention or proper paperwork for that matter. 

    Furthermore she didn't notice any damages to the seats when she gave it back so it's either very minimal or something is amiss.
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