Personal contract hire is regulated by the consumer credit act 1974, even though the agreement is for hire and does not offer the option to purchase.
The Consumer Credit Act 1974 defines a consumer hire agreement as an agreement made by a person with an individual (the 'hirer') for the contract hiring of vehicles, subject to the following:
- The agreement is not a hire purchase agreement
- The agreement must last for more than three months
- Distance Marketing Regulations 2004
Cancellation Distance Marketing
- You will have the right to cancel or withdraw from the personal contract agreement for a period of 14 days, relating to Distance Marketing Regulations 2004. This act regulates distance selling that is not face to face and not conducted on trade premises.
Personal contract hire agreements are often agreed on-line or by phone with agreements sent electronically (some contract hire companies insist by post for customer approval).
- The 14 day cooling off period begins the day after the agreement is made, being determined by the date on which the contract hire company sign it, not the date you sign.
- Exercising your cancellation can be actioned by writing to the contract hire company within the 14 day cooling off period, stating that you wish to cancel the agreement.
- If you exercise your right to cancel, you will be entitled to be returned any money paid to it by you (or by any person on your behalf) less a charge for any service provided to you under this agreement as to your instructions or request, prior to the expiry of the cancellation period.
- If you do not exercise your right to cancel during the cancellation period, this agreement will remain in full force and effect and its terms and conditions will bind you.
Cancellation rights not applicable
- Cancellation rights do not apply if this agreement was completed face to face with the contract hire employee or representative, upon trade premises.
Cancellation by handing vehicle back early
- Early settlement terms and conditions are detailed on the agreement, the norm is that no rebates are due if you wish to hand the vehicle back under 12 months into the agreement. After 12 months, settlement rebates may be available; there are often between 20 and 50% discount on outstanding rentals, plus outstanding excess mileage. Please refer to your agreement prior to signing, as early termination can prove costly.