Martin Lewis explains how British drivers could be owed THOUSANDS – here's how to apply

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BRITISH drivers could be owed thousands of pounds in compensation due to the 'dieselgate' scandal.

And Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert (MSE) has created a detailed guide on exactly how to apply for a payout.

The issue affects owners of diesel cars and vans made by a number of manufacturers, including Vauxhall, Audi and Volkswagon, and Citreon, between 2007 and 2018.

Drivers could be owed a payout if they bought one of these cars, outlined below, either outright or on finance, brand new or secondhand.

Lawyers claim car manufacturers fitted "defeat" devices to its models that "cheated" the emissions tests to meet legal environmental standards for cars.

They believe the drivers were mis-sold cars, which may have been polluting up to 40 times the legal amounts of nitrogen dioxide, and are now worth less than the purchase price.

Brands and models affected

CARS made by the following manufacturers between 2007 and 2018 may be affected by the diesel emissions scandal.

Motorists who own or previously owned one may be entitled to compensation.

  • Audi
  • Chrysler
  • BMW
  • Citroen
  • Fiat
  • Ford
  • Hyundai
  • Jaguar
  • Kia
  • Land Rover
  • Mini
  • Mercedes
  • Nissan
  • Peugeot
  • Porsche
  • Renault
  • Seat
  • Skoda
  • Vauxhall
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo

That means drivers could be owed cash if they can prove they would never have bought the car if they'd known about the "emission flaws".

Payouts could also be made to those who ended up paying more for a "low emission" car despite the model using the "cheating" device during tests.

Motorists may also be owed money if they had to pay for the vehicle to be fixed at a later date is it didn't comply with emissions standards.

One of these legal claims has recently been settled by the Volkswagen Group (VW) out of court – which will see the car manufacturer pay out £193 MILLION to over 90,000 motorists in England and Wales.

Claimants in Scotland are at an earlier legal stage.

In all, the scandal is said to have cost the Volkswagen Group around £26 BILLION already – and the issue has now spread to other car manufacturers as well.

Slater and Gordon, the legal firm representing a majority of the claimants against the VW group, said they were "delighted to have achieved this settlement for our customers as a result of the group action.”

David Whitmore, Slater and Gordon CEO, said he was "immensely proud" of the result.

Making a claim

It would be almost impossible for individuals to take on the car manufacturers as the high legal fees are likely to outweigh the payout.

Instead, a number of law firms are taking legal action on behalf of drivers, so you'll only get compensation if you're one of the motorists they're representing.

This is how victims of a data breach started to receive compensation from British Airways after scammers stole customers' personal details.

Class action is also being brought against Virgin Media over a data breach between April 2019 and February 2020.

Certain law firms are are taking on different car manufacturers. For the full list and further details on which ones you'll need to check out the MSE guide.

Normally, we'd advise against going through a legal firm to make compensation claims, but in this case it may be the only way you'll get what you're owed.

Each law firm requires you to fill in a claims form including details of how you've been affected, such as the car you owned and when you bought it.

But there are a few things to be aware of before signing up.

Ways to cut down on your fuel costs

HERE are some tips on how you can slash the cost of fuel.

  1. Make your car more fuel-efficient. You can do this by keeping your tyres inflated, taking the roof rack off, emptying your car of clutter and turning off your air con when driving at lower speeds.
  2. Find the cheapest fuel prices. and allows you to search prices of UK petrol stations. All you need to do is enter in your postcode and tell it how far you want to travel (up to 20 miles).
  3. Drive more efficiently. Some ways to do this, include:
  • Accelerate gradually without over-revving
  • Always drive on the highest possible gear
  • If you can, allow your car to slow down naturally as your brake is a money burner
  • Re-starting your car is expensive, if you can keep moving

While the claims are "no win, no fee", the legal team will take a cut, roughly around a third and half, according to MSE, of your compensation if it is successful.

If the lawyers lose, technically you will be liable to pick up the legal costs so it's important to only make a claim if you believe you have a case.

Legal firms can claim these costs back on their "after the event" insurance, but it's likely to be capped and so you may have to contribute to the remaining charges.

Most firms offer a 14-day cooling off period, according to MSE, so you can cancel if you get cold feet.

However, some companies may charge you the legal costs if you withdraw after the two-week window so it's best to read the small print.

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