USED CAR CLAIMS
Leading industry experts estimate that every year roughly 1 million second-hand vehicles are mis-sold to purchasers.
We will allege that these vehicles were ‘mis-sold’ as they were either actively described as having had ‘one careful owner’ when in fact they had previously been owned by fleet/hire companies and used by multiple people, or it was simply not made known to the purchaser that the vehicle had had more than ‘one careful owner’.
Following a recent decision, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issued the following guidance:
‘If you’re a fleet operator selling ex-business-use vehicles the ASA will expect information about the ex-fleet nature of the vehicle to be included in your advertising. This is because it considers it to be material information that would influence a consumer’s transactional decision in purchasing a vehicle’.
This practice appears to be endemic within the industry and we understand it to be the method by which vehicle manufacturers are able continuously to make and sell more and more vehicles each year: cars are sold or let into large fleet or rental companies before being passed on to consumers after one or more years. Guidance issued the Office of Fair Trading in 2010 made clear that second-hand dealers should tell buyers about the history of their cars and that by failing to do so dealers may breach consumer protection regulations.
CAN YOU CLAIM?
If you purchased a second-hand vehicle, not knowing the vehicle was ex-hire, ex-lease, ex-fleet hire, or had previously been used as a taxi, after 1 October 2014 then you may be eligible to join the claim.
If you bought your car by finding it on a manufacturer’s used car website or through a manufacturer’s approved dealership, and it was between 6 months and 2 years old when you bought it, you may well have been mis-sold an ex-hire, ex-lease, ex-fleet, ex-business vehicle, or even a vehicle that had previously been used as a taxi.
The most straightforward way of checking if your vehicle is affected is by looking at your vehicle's V5 logbook. If the previous is a corporate entity then it may well have been a rental company. Several rental car companies are not transparent when registering as a keeper of a vehicle. A list of rental car companies and the most common names under which they register as keeper of a vehicle is set out below. If the previous keeper of your vehicle was anyone of these entities it was highly likely to have been used as a rental car. We are also working with Vehicle Ancestry, who can help you determine whether or not your vehicle was once used as a taxi.
If a second hand car owner purchases their vehicle not knowing its previous owner to have been a rental vehicle or company car, the false representation made to the purchaser is a breach of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, 2008, Part 2. The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 provides for a right to compensation for the false representation made.
We are bringing a claim on behalf of consumers who purchased second hand ex-hire, ex-lease or ex-fleet cars but were not informed about the vehicle’s previous use by the manufacturer or dealer they purchased from. If such information was withheld from the purchaser, we will allege that the purchaser was mis-sold their vehicle by the manufacturer or dealer and that the misled purchaser may be eligible to compensation.
If you were mis-sold a second hand vehicle and if we succeed in bringing a claim on your behalf, it is likely that you will be eligible for compensation. This is because you will likely have overpaid for the vehicle you purchased, and may, unfortunately, have issues selling your vehicle in the future for the price you would have expected.
We also believe it is important to hold the industry to account for misleading consumers and to ensure consumers are offered transparency from dealers and manufacturers in the future.
The motor industry has been aware of guidance from the OFT which condemns these
practices since 2010.
HOW DO I JOIN?
Please register your claim completing the questionnaire accessed by clicking the link below.
At this preliminary stage of the litigation Harcus Sinclair UK Limited propose to act on an interim retainer basis, until third party funding is secured. We will not charge any up front fees to act for you in this matter.
If you are concerned that your vehicle may have previously been used as a rental car, please check the previous registered keeper listed on your V5 logbook. A selection of some of the more well known rental companies is included in the table below. You will see that not all rental companies are easily identifiable by the name they use when registering as a keeper of a vehicle. Please note that rental cars do not always purchase the vehicles that they rent out and accordingly they may not appear as the registered keeper. For example, we are aware of a a case in which Peggeot Contract Hire appeared as the previous registered keeper of a vehicle that had been leased by Europcar and almost certainly used as a rental vehicle by multitudes of users.
Rental Car Companies
OUR LAW FIRM
Harcus Sinclair UK Limited is a leading law firm which is focused on litigation and specialises in bringing group action cases on behalf of large numbers of claimants who share the same essential complaint.
Based in London, the firm has a strong track record of delivering successful outcomes both in the UK and internationally.
Harcus Sinclair UK Limited
Tel: 020 7539 2905
Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm