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About the Claim

From 2006 to 2012, five major shipping companies were involved in a cartel which affected the price of deep sea carriage of new motor vehicles, including cars and vans.  The decision of the European Commission fining the shipping companies hundreds of millions of euros in fines is here.  During the cartel period, the shipping companies shared confidential information, rigged tenders and prices, and reduced overall capacity on the car and van shipping market. 

We believe that the cartel meant that car manufacturers paid too much to transport new vehicles from their factories around the world to the UK and Europe.  In turn, customers who bought a new car or van between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015 are also likely to have paid too much by way of delivery charge.

That is because when a manufacturer sets the price for its new cars or vans, it takes account of its total delivery costs, including its shipping costs.  For simplicity, car manufacturers typically divide their total delivery costs equally amongst all of the cars and/or vans that they sell.  When a customer buys a new car or van, they pay for ‘delivery’, either separately or as part of the ‘on the road’ price. 

Although the car manufacturers themselves have done nothing wrong, customers who bought a new car or van between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015 are therefore likely to have paid an increased delivery charge.

The claim is to recover those extra charges from the shipping companies who were in the cartel.

“The Commission has sanctioned several companies for colluding in the maritime transport of cars… we will not tolerate anticompetitive behavior affecting European consumers.”

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition.

“When UK consumers and businesses purchased or leased a new car, I believe they paid more for the delivery than they should have done. I have spent much of my career working in consumer protection and I strongly believe that compensation should be paid when consumers are harmed by such deliberate, unlawful conduct.”

Mark McLaren, Mark McLaren Class Representative Limited

“We're very happy to support this claim against the shipping companies and to hopefully see some redress for consumers who've paid too much for their cars. Buying a car is an expensive process, so any overcharging can make a big difference to car buyers.”

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-chief, Auto Express

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If you bought or leased a new car or van in the UK between October 2006 and September 2015, you could be entitled to some money back.