123 motorhomes still missing a year after company collapses
Tuesday, 12, Jan 2021 04:21
By Emma Dodd
More than 100 motorhomes are still unaccounted for a year after a rental company went into administration.
UnbeatableHire Limited collapsed in 2019, leaving investors out of pocket and 123 of the leisure vehicles in its inventory have now been reported missing.
Each of the motorhomes was associated with a particular investor, with some individuals having lent the company as much as £36,000, an investigation by the BBC has discovered.
Lenders were reassured that in the event of the company collapsing, they could claim the motorhomes as their own under chattel mortgages filed with Companies House.
But when UnbeatableHire Limited went into administration in December 2019, only 350 motorhomes could be found and a year on the others have not been located.
Further inspection of the company's records showed that some of the vehicles had been marked as stolen, but Antony & Batty, which is acting as administrator, has not found any evidence that they were reported to the police.
Two of the company's depots had suffered fires, which accounted for a number of losses, while other motorhomes were listed as having been written off.
More revealing, however, is the discovery that multiple chattel mortgages have been associated with the same vehicle, complicating investors' claims on them.
Alistair from Glasgow is one of the lenders and told Radio 4's You & Yours: "The administrator sent me a letter saying that my chattel mortgage was in fact a second mortgage on the same vehicle and the first chattel mortgage takes precedence.
'This could be either maladministration or deliberate malpractice, but the end result is the same. Basically, I get nothing."
UnbeatableHire Limited rented leisure vehicles to holidaymakers in England and Scotland under a number of names, with the most widely used being Motorholme.
It also sold some of its motorhomes, but as they have outstanding chattel mortgages against them, investors are making claims against the people who bought them from UnbeatableHire.
Andrew Hughes, managing director at UnbeatableHire, has said he's "very sorry" for the inconvenience caused by the company's collapse, but the situation is far from resolved with a number of investors looking to take the matter to court.