You have three options:
Option 1 – complain to your car finance lender
Take your complaint or claim for compensation to your lender first. You could wait until the regulator decides the best way to compensate people before doing this unless the deadline for complaining is approaching. This is 6 years since the agreement was put in place or, if you’re outside of this, 3 years since you became aware you had cause to complain. Use our template if you decide to complain now. You may have to wait longer than usual for this complaint to be dealt with as the usual eight week deadline has been extended by the regulator to 20 November 2024 while it investigates this market. If you do get a final response that you’re not satisfied with you can take it to the Financial Services Ombudsman – you must do this within 15 months of a final letter from your lender. The ombudsman will look into your complaint and can ask the lender to pay compensation for any overpayments made as a result of inflated compensation. Any decisions about compensation will be delayed until the regulator decides what arrangements for compensation need to be put in place.
Option 2 – wait to see what happens with the car finance collective action
You could be eligible to join a collective action lawsuit filed last year against Black Horse (Lloyds Banking Group), MotoNovo Finance or Santander. The claim first needs to get the green light to go to trial and will then take a number of years before the outcome is known. At which point you could be eligible to make a claim for any damages awarded if you haven’t already claimed via one of the other routes. Sign up to Consumer Voice to stay updated as this claim progresses.
Option 3 – use a CMC or law firm to complain to your car finance lender
You can make a complaint using a claims management company or law firms who will raise your complaint with the company and, if necessary, the Financial Ombudsman on your behalf. For example, law firm Pogus Goodhead recently launched My Finance Claim to hold lenders to account over mis-selling of loans on new and second-hand cars between 2010 and 2021. You will pay a cut of any compensation, this could range from 15% to 30% for CMCs but could be higher for law firms. CMCs and lawyers should be regulated by the financial or legal regulator. Read our guide to using CMCs to find out more about what to expect. Again, it is likely you will experience delays in the handling of any complaints while the regulator’s investigation is underway.