Frequently Asked Questions
If you or your business purchased or financed a new car or van in the UK between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015, other than from an ‘excluded brand’, you (or your business) will be included in the class.
If you are based in the UK, you will automatically be included in the class.
If you are not based in the UK, you can still participate in the claim but will have to sign up in due course. In the meantime, you should register your interest here.
You can provisionally check whether you are in the class here.
The formal class definition is available here.
The claim is against five major shipping companies:
- MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Limited., MOL (Europe Africa) Ltd, and Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., Ltd.)
- “K” Line (Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.)
- NYK (Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha)
- WWL-EUKOR (Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS, EUKOR Car Carriers, Inc., Wallenius Logistics AB, Wilhelmsen Ships Holding Malta Limited, Wallenius Lines AB, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA)
- CSAV (Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores S.A.)
All of these companies were found by the European Commission to have taken part in the cartel. A copy of the European Commission decision about the cartel is available here.
Mark McLaren is a consumer champion who has dedicated a large part of his career to fighting for consumers, across a wide range of sectors. Mark has set up a not-for-profit company, Mark McLaren Class Representative Limited, to bring the claim. For more information about Mark and the rest of the team involved in bringing the claim, please see the About Us page.
Yes. The claim relates to any cars (including 4x4s and SUVs) and light and medium commercial vehicles (including pick-up trucks and vans weighing up to 6 tonnes) purchased for personal or business use in the United Kingdom (other than those purchased from one of the excluded manufacturers).
Businesses of all sizes are included in the claim in the same way as individuals, whether they purchased large fleets or a small number of vehicles.
In the UK, most manufacturers apply a delivery charge on top of the list price for their vehicles.
It is generally either a component of the ‘on the road’ price or is a separate item on the invoice for a new car. In certain limited circumstances, the delivery charge forms part of the list price.
The majority of brands manufactured some of their vehicles outside of Europe and shipped them into Europe (even European brands such as Volkswagen and BMW). If they did, we believe they will have paid inflated shipping prices because of the cartel. The car companies themselves have done nothing wrong – they simply passed the increased costs on to their own customers.
Some brands did not ship any vehicles into Europe, so cars purchased from these brands are excluded from the claim. A full list of the excluded brands is in the class definition which can be found here.
If you are unsure whether your car is included, you can check here.
No, it doesn’t matter where your car was made.
The way new vehicles are priced means the increased costs were spread across all models, regardless of where each model was made. So if you bought a new car (other than from an 'excluded brand') between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015, if the delivery charge you paid was too high, you should be able to claim that back.
You will be included in the claim, even if you bought your car or van on finance. This is because the finance cost per month will have been based on the total cost of the car (including the delivery charge), so you will have paid the delivery charge as part of your deposit or monthly payments.
As long as you bought a new car or van between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015, you will be included in the claim.
When you sell a car or van, the amount you get for it does not include the delivery charge. This means that it doesn’t matter if you have since sold your car – you will have paid the increased charge, therefore we believe you should be able to claim it back.
Yes. You can claim for every new car or van you purchased between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015 (provided it was not purchased from one of the excluded brands). The number of cars or vans you purchased will affect how much you are entitled to if the claim is successful, or settlement is reached.
No. The delivery charge is paid by the first registered keeper of the car (or the first person to lease a car in the case of a contract hire agreement). If the car is pre-registered or ex-demonstrator, the delivery charge will generally be paid by the dealership, not by you.
There is generally no delivery charge on second hand vehicles (bought from a dealership or privately). If you did pay a delivery charge on your second hand vehicle, this will likely be for delivery costs within the UK or Europe, so will not include any costs for shipping it from outside of Europe.
If you fall within the class, you can register to be kept updated, but you do not need to do anything else at this stage.
If the claim is successful, to recover your losses you will have to prove that you are a member of the class, so you should keep copies of invoices, any registration documents and finance agreements or other documents such as insurance certificates which show you owned the vehicle.
You should not contact your dealership, as they will not process your claim.
No money is available now, and recovery is not guaranteed.
The class representative is applying to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for a Collective Proceedings Order, which, if granted, will allow it to continue to bring the claim. If and when the application is granted, the proposed class representative will then need to prove its case at trial, unless the shipping companies settle the claim.
Based on current calculations, the total value of the claim is in excess of £150 million. How much you are entitled to will depend on the vehicle you purchased, and when you purchased it. This will be calculated by the claims administrator if settlement is reached or the claim is successful.
The legal process could take several years, so please be patient. It is possible that the case will settle without going to trial, in which case compensation could be available sooner.
The claim is being brought in the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (also known as the ‘CAT’), which is a specialist court based in London. It hears and decides cases involving competition issues and has expertise in law, economics, business and accountancy. The CAT publishes its Rules and Guidance, together with information about what it does, on its website: www.catribunal.org.uk.
Collective actions are a form of court procedure introduced to the UK by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, that enable a class representative to bring proceedings on behalf of numerous persons affected by an infringement of EU or UK competition law. They combine individual claims that raise the same, similar, or related issues of fact or law (known as ‘common issues’).
Before a collective action can proceed, the Competition Appeal Tribunal must make a collective proceedings order (‘CPO’) authorising the class representative and certifying the claims as eligible to be included in collective proceedings.
When the CPO has been made, the matter progresses to a trial of the common issues unless the case settles first. After success at trial or settlement, the damages are distributed amongst the class members using a distribution method approved by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
This is an ‘opt-out’ collective action, so anyone based in the UK who is within the class is automatically included in the proceedings unless they actively choose not to be.
If you are not based in the UK but purchased or financed a new car or van in the UK between 18 October 2006 and 6 September 2015, you can still participate in the claim but will have to sign up (‘opt in’) once the claim has been certified. In the meantime, you should register your interest here.
Nothing. All costs (including all risk of future costs) are met by the class representative. Whilst the class representative will run this collective action for the class, it is not able to fund a claim of this size and public importance on its own. Therefore, the class representative is working with a specialist third party litigation funder, Woodsford Litigation Funding Limited, to bring the claim.
Third party funding is a form of investment which helps small claimants to bring claims against large, well-resourced international companies such as the shipping companies. If sanctioned by the Tribunal, the funder will receive a fee, payable only from any recovery made from the defendant(s), in return for its investment.
The funding arrangements will be scrutinised by the Tribunal, to ensure that the class representative has the financial resources to fund the claim and to pay the defendants’ costs if ordered to do so. The Tribunal must also approve any payment to the funder, to ensure that it is fair to class members.
When you register your interest, you will receive updates about developments in the claim and information about any action you may be required to take. In addition, you can track the progress of the claim on this website.
No. The European Commission’s decision against the shipping companies was issued before the UK’s departure from the European Union, so will be recognised and enforced by the UK courts even after Brexit.
If this collective action is certified by the Competition Appeal Tribunal, information on how to opt in or out will be available via this website.
To receive updates about the claim....
Register your interest
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.