as i hadnt got a response from the car hire place, i had a quick look through the magistrates court of victoria’s page yesterday just so i could see how much pain i would be in for if I needed to go through the legal sytstem.

i was pleasantly surprised.

it appears that all i would have to do is:

– fill in a complaint form and lodge it at the court (and pay a fee of course)
– serve a copy of the form to the car hire company
– lodge an affadavit of service with the court describing how i served the complaint
– wait 21 days for the car hire company to pay me or lodge a defence
– if they do nothing, i can get a default judgement which requires filing the affadavit and a request for order
– if they lodge a defence, a pre-hearing conference will happen within 28 days of the lodge and if we cant resolve it during the pre-hearing, a hearing will be scheduled with the Magistrate at which point it will be resolved.

I cant quite work out the costs but it looks like court costs are around $500 – which I assume I’ll be able to claim from the car hire company if I win. And a minimum period of 21 days after lodging to god knows how long if they want to take it to court.

But seriously, I was expecting something a lot more painful, drawn out and expensive (ie requiring a solicitor).

Fortunately, I called the car hire place today and they said they’d faxed my claim to their company and i should hear next week sometime.