Martin Lewis issues warning to car owners who could be owed thousands

Car owner? Claim back your cash (Picture: Rex/Getty)
Car owner? Claim back your cash (Picture: Rex/Getty)

From petrol costs, to insurance and MOTs, owning a car takes a big chunk out of your monthly income – especially if you’re paying for the vehicle itself on finance.

But now, Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert (MSE) has revealed how you could potentially claw back thousands in money owed.

If you bought a car, van, campervan or even a motorbike on finance, you could be able to claim compensation, as the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has now launched an investigation into Discretionary Commission Arrangements (DCAS).

A DCA is when a finance firm allows car dealers to increase their interest rates without informing customers – which earns them a huge commission, Martin explained in his newsletter.

And, in turn, that could mean you’ve hugely overpaid – for literally no reason at all.

In fact, the data from FCA suggests that 40% of car finance agreements had DCAs between April 2007 and January 28 2021, while the latest survey stats from MSE project a much higher percentage of DCA usage at 74%.

Martin is now urging owners to complain via MSE’s free tool, with his theory that, once the FCA’s investigation closes on September 25, that could be a cut off point – meaning only those that complained prior to that date will receive compensation.

Since MSE launched their tool in February, a staggering 1.7 million complaint letters have been sent.

You’re eligible to complain if you purchased a vehicle on finance between the above dates, for agreements made through Personal Contract Purchases (PCP) and Hire Purchases (HP) – but not for Personal Contract Hires (AKA, leasing).

Likewise, there’s another catch: the vehicle has to have been purchased for personal use rather than business use, and the refund rules apply even if the original user has now passed away. The relevant executor or beneficiary can claim on their behalf.

Already paid off the vehicle? Or don’t own it anymore? That doesn’t matter: you can still make a claim and get that money firmly back in your pocket.

‘There’s lots we don’t know,’ the Money Saving Expert wrote in this week’s newsletter.

‘My view is complain now as there may be a time-bar introduced when the investigation ends, so sooner means less chance you’ll be caught out by that.’



Martin Lewis’ MSE explains why you should avoid paying in pounds on holiday

The summer holidays are just around the corner and even if you booked your trips months – or even a year – in advance, you can still save money and put it towards making memories.

Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert (MSE) explained that cost control is as much as a priority as ever, and it’s important to constantly check prices to make sure you’ve scooped up the best deal.

One important trick you’ll need to know after demolishing your plate of food at a tasty restaurant or once you’ve purchased souvenirs is whether to pay in pounds or the local currency.

Martin wrote a blog post about the pitfalls of spending pounds if you’re using a card abroad, such as a Visa/Mastercard or a cheap travel credit card.

When paying in euros, the bank does the conversion for you which includes a 3% load. This means £100 worth of euros will cost you £100. However a travel credit card will give you £100 of euros will cost £100, Martin explains.

But if you decide to pay in pounds when using your card, expect to pay what is known as ‘dynamic currency exchange’. When paying or withdrawing money on a cash, the foreign bank does the conversion for you.

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