Guidance

Using the BVRLA’s conciliation service

 

The BVRLA is approved by Government as a Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.
Please see details from the European Commission website.

Unresolved disputes may be referred to the BVRLA by either the customer or the member involved, however the member cannot initiate a complaint against the customer.

The customer must have first fully exhausted the member's own internal complaints procedure and received their final decision.

The service is free of charge to the complainant.

The complaint must be submitted in writing and a complaint form completed giving the BVRLA authority to act on the complainant’s behalf. If you would like to invoke the BVRLA’s conciliation service please complete and return the complaint form, giving us authority to act on your behalf.

Please send to:

Email: complaint@bvrla.co.uk

Fax: 01494 434499

Postal:

Conciliation Service
BVRLA
River Lodge
Badminton Court
Amersham
Buckinghamshire
HP7 0DD

The BVRLA will aim to resolve the matter using the information presented by both parties to the dispute. This information may include documentation, photos, videos, audio, and transcripts of calls. Based on the information available, the BVRLA will provide both parties with its findings and recommendations.

The BVRLA aims to resolve complaints through the Conciliation Service within 30 days. The Conciliation Service will investigate potential breaches of the Codes of Conduct, which sets out the standards the BVRLA expects from its members. The Conciliation Service can only look at matters that relate to disputes arising from the activities of BVRLA members.

Associate member complaints are not covered by the Conciliation Service as they do not adhere to a BVRLA Code of Conduct.

The Conciliation Service cannot look at complaints that are deemed to be frivolous or vexatious.

The Conciliation Service cannot look at complaints where there is a claim of criminal or fraudulent activity or where court proceedings have already commenced.

The Conciliation Service cannot look at complaints where another ADR body's investigation has already commenced.

Outside of the UK

We are unable to investigate disputes arising outside of the UK, as the scope and application of our Codes of Conduct extends only to members operating within the UK. Rental complaints relating to a cross border rental within Europe may be referred to the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS).

Refunds

Where the Conciliation Service finds in favour of the customer, we will look to ensure that any unjustified charges incorrectly raised by the member are refunded in full. The service cannot adjudicate on the quantum of the amount charged, only on whether the charge was correctly raised.

Compensation

The Conciliation Service does not have any jurisdiction to award compensation payments in relation to alleged financial losses, or inconvenience caused.

No restriction of rights

BVRLA members must comply with the rulings of the Conciliation Service. Use of the Conciliation Service does not restrict the rights of a complainant to pursue remedies through the courts. Customers are not obliged to retain a lawyer or legal advisor but may seek independent legal advice or be represented or assisted by a third party at any stage of the procedure. The outcome may be different if determined by a court.

The complainant can withdraw from the procedure at any time once it has commenced.

The complainant can request the documents/evidence that is submitted by the member and will be given sufficient time to review and comment on these documents.

Escalation Process

If a customer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation they may request the case is escalated to a manager, who will provide a final decision. There is no further point of escalation, however this does not restrict the complainant from pursuing remedies through the courts.

ADR Officials

Sallie Catchpole – Conciliation Service Manager
Stephen Dix – Conciliation Service Officer
Sarah Philp – Conciliation Service Officer
Mairead Sullivan – Conciliation Service Officer
Laura Pite – Conciliation Service Officer
These are permanent ADR appointments

If you are unable to invoke our conciliation service, the following organisations may be able to assist you further :

UK European Consumer Centre

The UK ECC provides free information on consumer rights in Europe and assists in cross-border disputes.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Trading Standards

Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service is the official independent expert in settling complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services, including many types of lending and insurance. Established by parliament, its services are free to consumers.

Annual Report

The BVRLA's annual complaint report is available here