Entering into a car finance agreement is a significant financial decision, and consumers deserve transparency and fairness in the process. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you’ve been mis-sold car finance, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the steps you can take to address the issue.
Have You Been Mis-Sold Car Finance?
Being mis-sold car finance can take various forms, ranging from hidden fees to inadequate affordability checks. Here are some key indicators that you may have been mis-sold car finance:
- Hidden extras: If you were not fully informed about certain details of the contract, such as disproportionate charges for damages, unknown costs for exceeding mileage limits, or the revelation that you don’t own the car at the end of the term.
- Undisclosed commissions: In 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that car finance customers were paying significantly more due to secret commissions and high-interest rates. If you were not informed about these commissions, you may be a victim of mis-selling.
- Lack of affordability checks: If the finance company failed to conduct thorough checks on your ability to make monthly repayments or the final payment, and you’re struggling due to unforeseen circumstances, you might have grounds for a claim.
- High-pressure sales tactics: If you felt pressured into opting for a finance agreement that wasn’t suitable for you, it could be considered mis-selling. Salespeople should allow customers enough time to assess the deal without undue pressure.
Starting a Mis-Sold Car Finance Claim
If you suspect that you’ve been mis-sold car finance, here’s what you can do:
- Speak to the finance provider
- Reach out to the finance company that sold you the car finance.
- Share your concerns and seek resolution informally.
- Internal Complaints Procedure
- If an informal approach doesn’t resolve the issue, go through the company’s internal complaints procedure.
- Draft a complaint letter detailing your concerns and attach relevant documents.
- Complaints should ideally be addressed within 8 weeks.
- Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
- If you’re not happy with the company’s response, escalate the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
- Your case will be assigned to a case handler, who will gather information from both parties.
- The case handler will make a decision on whether you’ve been treated unfairly and propose solutions.
- Final Decision
- Most complaints are resolved through the FOS process.
- If either party is unsatisfied, the case can be escalated to an ombudsman for a final decision.
- Possible outcomes include reimbursement, an apology, or a commitment to procedural changes.
- Professional Advice
- If unsure about the process or seeking expert advice, consider consulting a mis-sold car finance expert like Johnson Law Group.
- Experts can provide guidance tailored to your situation and help navigate the complexities of a claim.
Common Mis-Sold Car Finance Claims
Here are some examples of how people have been able to claim for mis-sold car finance:
- If pressured into an unsuitable agreement, you may be eligible for compensation.
- Entering agreements not suited to your financial situation can lead to successful claims.
- Overcharging thousands in interest for higher commission payouts is grounds for a claim.
- If misled about car emissions, a mis-sold car finance claim may be pursued.
- The FCA found that customers may be unaware of commission payments. Finance providers must disclose all fees.
If you suspect mis-sold car finance, understanding your rights and taking proactive steps can lead to fair resolution and compensation. Remember, seeking professional advice can provide valuable insights tailored to your specific circumstances.