Blue Motor Finance is a “FinTech” company based in the UK. It is deemed one of the premier consumer motor/car finance companies in the UK, providing loans for the purchase of vehicles. It was founded in 2005 and is based in Kent. Blue Motor Finance claim to have changed “the way auto finance and ownership work” and are regarded as having successfully disrupted the traditional industry, by presenting dealers and customers alike with a more efficient and smarter platform.
Fintech, a portmanteau (a word blending the sounds and meaning two other words) of “financial technology”, is used to describe any technology that delivers financial services through software. Examples of this are online banking, mobile payment apps, or even cryptocurrency. The FinTech industry has grown robustly in the last five years, with revenue forecast to rise at a compound annual rate of 8% over the five years to reach £12 billion.
Blue Motor Finance uses technology to minimise discord and conflict. It has created a risk-based consumer lending platform that permits its customers to buy vehicles from the “best” dealers in the UK with an immediate point of sale finance solution that works both online and over the phone.
Blue Motor Finance say they have committed to providing a best-in-class service, not only with a constant focus on risk-management, but also striving for the highest standards of regulatory compliance and technological innovation. However, despite their commendable goals, customers of Blue Motor Finance, along with many other car finance customers have been mis-sold car finance products, and they don’t even know it.
Car finance is now more popular in the UK than ever before. It is not perhaps surprising then that a recent survey by Which? found that mis-sold car finance was the second most complained about financial product, with over a third of the complaints made against car finance firms. Consumers have been progressively dissatisfied with car finance companies like CarFinance247, Car.Loan.com, Carplus, Carfinancerus.com, myAutoloan.com MotoNovo Finance and Blue Motor Finance, claiming that they have failed to provide what was advertised, or simply that they are paying a lot more than expected.
Most dissatisfied customers believe that the arrangement they have was mis-sold.
Essentially this means that the customer has been sold a car finance product that is not right for them. Car finance is one of the most common areas of mis-selling in financial services, and can see consumers and businesses exploited or conned into a financial arrangement that is detrimental to their financial health.
In recent years the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has become more and more focussed on guiding consumers into better value car finance deals, with affordability being the key. This has in turn led to an increase in new regulations and stricter enforcement. Consumers are realising that they can complain successfully about a car finance loan form companies like Blue Motor Finance that has left them worse off or left them in debt.
You may have been mis-sold car finance if:
In 2019, BBC Radio 4’s Money Box show spoke with Adrian Dally (head of Motor Finance at the FLA (Finance and Leasing Association)) to discuss figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service concerning the alleged surging of complaints within the motor finance market.
According to Money Box and the FOS, complaints about loans secured to buy cars have tripled in the last five years. In 2019/20, the number of complaints increased by more than 50%; these ranged from lack of enough information about the loan/finance, agreeing finance plan that was unaffordable, to the quality of the car itself.
This BBC story ‘Car payments are ruining our lives’ has an example of a 23 year old student with a part-time job being sold a £21,000 Audi on finance, with apparently no affordability checks at all. The likelihood is that an inadequate and brief check was carried out, but nevertheless, this finance deal has left a family out of pocket and struggling to make the payments. It is evident that the loan would have been unaffordable. No doubt this family will have complained to the FCA and the FOS with a view to getting a refund.
Unfortunately, it seems that many car finance customers (and customers of other types of loans such as payday loans or guarantor loans) believe that if they manage to make their repayments on time, it shows the finance/loan was “affordable”, but this is not the case, as the FCA and FOS have a different definition, and this is key when it comes to making a complaint. They state that a loan is only affordable if you can make the repayment on time, without hardship, and still being able to meet your other financial commitments, for example, other debts and normal household bills. As having a roadworthy car is a primary concern for many of us, to enable travel to work, school etc., car finance repayments are often made a top priority as we cannot afford for the car to be repossessed. This priority may mean that credit card balances increase, further loans are taken out to cover other expenses, and/or that other bills are unpaid; if this situation occurs, the loan was not affordable.
Car finance companies such as Blue Motor Finance should, through “proportionate” checks, be able to identify if a finance package is affordable to you. So, if you have a good income, great credit record and are looking to borrow a small sum, then the lender wouldn’t have to look in great detail at your finances to be confident that you can afford it. At the other end of the scale, a customer with a poor or non-existent credit record, or one whose income would be largely swallowed up by repayments, would need to have their finances closely scrutinised to establish affordability. As a lot of these checks can now be swiftly done with the aid of modern technology such as Open Banking, it is surprising that so many customers claim that they were given a loan that they couldn’t afford. Companies like Redbridge Finance, who have helped many customers who feel that they were mis-sold vehicle finance, have seen complaints from people who had active payday loans, or a gambling addiction which was completely obvious from itemised bank statements, and yet have still been given finance, when it was evident that this finance was just not affordable. If you feel that you may have been mis-sold a car finance loan from Blue Motor Finance or any other vehicle finance company, then Redbridge Finance may be able to help. We can investigate the thoroughness of checks, or as the Financial Ombudsman Service puts it, “reasonable and proportionate checks”, to ensure that you were able to make the repayments for the whole duration of the loan. We can represent you and your claim that you were unable to afford the loan and if we do not agree with the lender’s decision (this being a “no” to a refund or compensation, or an offer that we feel is too small), we will then pass your case on to the Financial Ombudsman.
*These complaints may take many months. You will have to keep up the loan repayments during this time, or your car may be repossessed.*
If you have had problems paying your loan, or you think you have been mis-sold a loan, then you could be entitled to a refund and/or compensation. Equally, if you feel that you have been treated unfairly, for example if your financial circumstances changed and Blue Motor did not try to help you in any way, contact Redbridge Finance today by going to www.redbridgefinance.co.uk, sign up, and we can assess if you have a claim.