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Avoid the Hustle

BUSINESS LAW

Category: Business

Instructions to students:
• The word limit is 2,0 00 words (excluding referencing) .
• The assignment is worth 30% of the final grade and is non -redeemable.
• The due date is 1 May 2015 by noon (week 9).
• Pl ease refer to the Assessment Information document on Moodle for further
information about this assessment.

Assignment Question
In January 201 5 Sally, a business law student, went to Cartz Rental in Canberra to hire a car
to drive to Sydney the same da y. At the time of hiring the car, she asked an employee of
Cartz whether she would be liable for any damage to the car if she were to have an accident
whilst driving it. The employee replied that she would not be liable for any loss or damage to
the car be cause Cartz would “cover it”. He genuinely believed this and had been working at
Cartz for only a week at the time. After hearing this, Sally signed the rental form without
reading the terms and conditions and took possession of a car. She would not have signed the
form if there were a risk that she would be potentially liable for any damage to the vehicle
while in her possession.
Whilst stopped at a petrol station on the highway on the way to Sydney, Sally read carefully
the document she had signed. She n oticed the following clauses under “Terms and
Conditions”, but was unconcerned because of what the employee had told her :
Clause 5: I, the customer, agree to exercise care whilst driving and to pay 100% of any
loss or damage caused to the rental vehicle during the term of the rental.
Clause 6: I, the customer, agree Cartz accepts no responsibility or liability for any costs,
expenses or damages resulting from any accident or other incident involving
the rental vehicle regardless of who is at fault.

On the way back to Canberra fr om Sydney the next day , Sally damaged the car after losing
control due to a faulty power steering rack. If Sally had not been using her mobile phone at
the time, she probably could have steered the car to a safe stop. Fortunately, she was not hurt.
When Cartz was notified of the damage and the circumstances of the accident , the manager of
the business advised Sally that she is liable for 100% of the cost of repairs (totalling $9,000)
and that Cartz does not wish to make a claim on its insurance . He referred her to clauses 5
and 6 of the Terms and Conditions , which she signed in Canberra.

Sally seeks your advice about whether she is contractually liable for the cost of repairs
to the car.
NOTE: Discuss only contract law principles under the common law (do not discuss torts law,
legislation or any consumer protection law such as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010
(Cth)).