Legal obligations of a hire company?

I am a self-employed courier and since July last year I have hired a Nissan NV200 SE on a long-term rental agreement from a small, independent hire company.

I was preparing to replace a couple of worn tyres this week when I realised that the current tyres (supplied with the van) are not rated to the required maximum load level for the van - i.e. Gross Vehicle Weight (2000kg) + Maximum Payload (752kg) - which requires tyres with a load rating of 95.

As the tyres supplied with the van are only rated at 88 I now have to replace all four tyres (plus the spare) as an incorrect load rating would (I think) invalidate my insurance. This also means that I have been driving around for 6 months with tyres not rated for the van's load capacity and therefore potentially uninsured.

I've checked with Nissan and they supply the van with tyres with a load rating of 95.

Under the terms of my rental agreement I am responsible for maintenance and repair of tyres, which I accept, but do you agree that the hire company have an obligation to supply the van with tyres that are rated to the load capacity of the vehicle?

Asked on 22 February 2013 by BrumWhiteVanMan

Answered by Honest John
They did have, but since the tyres are now worn out, it seems to be down to you to replace them.
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