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Collective actions

How do you find the details of previous car finance contracts

As the FCA’s investigation into hidden commission in car finance continues, car owners are hunting down their old financial agreements to uncover whether they’ve been mis-sold. Yet locating the details can be difficult years after the event. Here, we look at how you can find the details you need to make a claim.

23 April 2024

The use of car finance agreements has continuously made headlines in recent months, after the Financial Conduct Authority announced a new investigation into the use of discretionary commission payments. The practice has been banned since January 2021, but was used for years to include hidden commission agreements in customer’s financial agreements.

As a result, many car owners who have taken out finance in the past are now, quite rightly, looking back at their old agreements to ensure they haven’t been mis-sold; and where evidence of mis-selling is found, ensuring they have the information they need to pursue a claim to set things right.

However, knowing that your car was purchased on finance many years ago and being able to provide details of the agreement made are two very different things, and many are struggling to locate the details of finance agreements nearly a decade old.

How to find the details of your past car finance agreements

The first thing to note is that only cars bought within a certain time can be considered for mis-sold car finance compensation – between April 2007 and 28 January 2021. This is for two reasons:

  • The practice of using discretionary commission payments was banned on 28 January 2021, meaning no finance agreements after this could have included them.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority first took over jurisdiction of motor finance complaints in April 2007. As a result, there is a strong chance any car purchased before this date will not be included.

If your car is still under finance, locating the details of your contract should be straight forward, even if you don’t have access to a paper copy. For instance, many lenders will provide access to documentation online for as long as your financial agreement is active, as well as sending a digital copy of your agreement via email. If you don’t have access to either of these, you can also contact your lender directly and they will be able to send you a copy.

If you took out your car finance a long time ago, it can be a different story, and the ease with which you can track down the details will vary. This is because lenders are only obligated to retain the details of your financial agreement with them for six years, so any agreement older than that might be difficult to track down if you don’t personally own a copy. That’s not to say they won’t have access to the agreement however, so if you are able to reach out to them, it is always a good idea to try.

For any car finance deals within the last six years, if you don’t have the details of who the finance was with, a good place to start can be your credit report. Any financial agreements you’ve taken out in the last six years will be listed there, including the name of your lender.

How do I pursue a mis-sold car finance claim?

If you are looking to make a claim, we are here to help you secure the compensation you deserve. No bank or financial institution is above the law, and if you have been charged unfairly for hidden commission, you are entitled to recoup the money you have lost.

At Slater and Gordon, we supported the majority of claimants in the recent £193 million VW settlement in England and Wales, so you can rest assured that your claim is in safe hands with our collective action specialists.

To start your claim, register your details today to check your eligibility.

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What is collective action?
When a lot of people are hurt, either physically or financially and whether it happens as a result of negligence or other incidents that are somebody’s fault then collective action is a legal solution that enables you to share risks, knowledge and rewards with others who are in the same boat. You benefit from having the strength in numbers to take on even the mightiest corporations.
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