DEALERSHIPS could be in line for a refund of up to £60 per new car that they bought, thanks to a class action against five major shipping companies.

Car Dealer Magazine, It follows a multi-million-euro fine by the European Commission after MOL, ‘K’ Line, NYK, WWL/EUKOR and CSAV were found to have violated EU competition law by operating a cartel that led to UK motorists and businesses allegedly being overcharged £150m for new car deliveries. The shipping firms were subsequently fined €395m (circa £344m).

The legal action relates to businesses and consumers who paid delivery costs when buying or leasing a new car or van between October 2006 and September 2015 from one of an extensive list of manufacturers including Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Peugeot, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Citroen and Renault.

It is being brought by ex-Which? parliamentary and legal affairs manager Mark McLaren under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 on an opt-out basis and via the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Those affected by the cartel could receive up to £60 per car, said McLaren. The action is being independently funded, meaning anyone eligible will receive compensation without having to pay a fee.

McLaren, who sits on the consumer panel of the Legal Services Board, said: ‘When UK consumers and businesses purchased or leased a new car, they paid more for the delivery of that car than they should have done, as a result of a long-running cartel by five of the world’s leading maritime shipping companies. 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.’

Those wanting more information or to register an interest should go to cardeliverycharges.com