Discretionary Commission Arrangements - Complaints and Refunds

You do not need to use a Claims Management Company. You can make the claim directly to the lender and if they reject your complaint you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service free of charge, but you must do this within 6 months of the lenders Final Decision Letter.


Oodle Car Finance, a trading name of Oodle Financial Services Ltd., was established in 2016 and is a direct (not a broker), self-funded vehicle finance lender registered with the FCA and a member of the Finance & Leasing Association. The registered office is in Manchester. Oodle have funded over £660 million of car finance, for over 150,000 UK customers, and have a working relationship with over 300 dealers across the UK. Oodle claim to usually have around 20,000 accessible cars for customers to choose from. Finance can be for either new or used cars, and they assert that they are unique in that they approve finance for both those with a poor credit score/history, and those who have a favourable credit history. According to their website, Oodle is one of the UK’s most thriving FinTech companies (see below). They employ approximately 400 people, and have offices in Cardiff, Oxford and London. Their mission is to “make buying and owning a car a simple, trusted, transparent and joyful experience”.

What is FinTech?

FinTech, a portmanteau (a word mixing the sounds and meaning of two other words) of “Financial Technology”, is used to describe any technology that delivers financial services through software and was created to enhance and automate established forms of finance for both businesses and consumers; online banking, mobile payment apps, or even cryptocurrency are examples of this. This industry has grown exponentially over the last five years, with revenue forecast to rise at a compound annual rate of 8% over the next five years to reach £12 billion.

Car Finance

For most adults, one of the most valuable and indispensable assets we own is a car/van/motorbike etc. It is not surprising then that when individuals encounter financial difficulties, one of their main concerns is that they may lose their vehicle, especially if they use said vehicle to travel to and from work. In turn, losing access to a vehicle to get to and from work can create an even worse financial situation as they may then lose vital income.

However, due to the increasing availability of Car Finance, along with a growing culture of not “saving up” to purchase expensive items, most of us do not actually “own” our cars, which makes the possibility of losing them more likely. According to the Financial Leasing Authority (a trade body for finance companies in the UK) approximately 81% of all new cars are being purchased using Car Finance agreements, whether this be Hire Purchase (HP) and conditional sale agreements or Personal Contract Plans (PCP) which require a monthly payment for the vehicles. For the majority, these payments are frequently the second largest household cost after mortgage or rent.

Typically, if you obtain a vehicle using finance, you do not own it until the final payment has been made, and it remains the property of the firm providing the finance. If you fail to make payments on time or not at all, the vehicle can be repossessed.

So, given the popularity of Car Finance, and the fact that most people purchase a car through it, it is not hugely surprising that a recent survey by Which? found that Car Finance was the second most complained about financial product. Over a third of these complaints was made against Car Finance firms. More and more consumers are becoming increasingly unhappy with companies like Blue Motor Finance, CarFinance247, Car.Loan.com, Carplus, Carfinancerus.com, Moneybarn, MotoNovo Finance, myAutoloan.com and Oodle Car Finance etc., all of whom provide Car Finance. Complaints range from a failure to provide what was advertised, to having to pay a significantly higher amount than was expected. Most dissatisfied purchasers are of the opinion that the arrangement they have was mis-sold – more on that below.

More about Oodle Car Finance

As mentioned previously, Oodle have offices in four locations in the UK; they also now have teams in India and Ukraine. In 2021, they were awarded the accolade of the 7th best financial services company to work for in the UK, the 9th best large company to work for in London, and the 42nd best large company to work for in the UK. They were recognised as an industry “game-changer” at the 2022 Car Finance Awards (the game-changer category acknowledges a finance company which is “"changing the game with a fresh and new approach to auto finance in the UK”). This is probably due to them “flipping car buying on its head” by giving customers the control and convenience of a pre-approved budget, which can then be easily used to buy a car online or from any of their approved dealers.

Car Finance Mis-selling

Essentially this means that the customer has been sold a car finance product that is not right for them and their financial situation. Along with the current cost of living crisis, and it becomes clear why thousands of customers are driven (pun intended) to complain.

Over the last few years, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has attempted to concentrate on guiding consumers towards better value car finance deals, with affordability being the crucial element of such deals. This has in turn has produced stricter enforcement and new regulations. Customers are also now appreciating that they can complain about Car Finance loans from companies like Oodle Car Finance that has left them worse off or in debt.

Oodle Car Finance Complaints

You may have been mis-sold Car Finance by Oodle Car Finance and in a position to complain if:

  • The salesperson/broker did not carry out a thorough credit check, and an extensive verification and assessment of your income and expenditure to establish affordability was not performed.
  • The salesperson selling you the finance failed to comprehensively explain the finance deal to you – this can occur if said salesperson had insufficient knowledge or experience of the deal.
  • You felt under pressure (by the salesperson) to make a quick decision and you feel you did not have the time and/or mental clarity to make a considered decision.
  • If the salesperson (or broker etc.) was not, in your opinion, impartial. So, for example, he/she told you that a package was their “recommendation”. All persons involved in presenting a deal should offer a range of options, whether this is varying interest rates, repayment periods or size of deposit.
  • If the broker or salesperson was not transparent about who would be responsible for any car repairs.
  • The salesperson or broker did not fully explain the interest charges, leading to you agreeing to the finance, which you have since discovered has inappropriately high interest rate.
  • Charges and/or fines for breaching the agreement are unfair or very high.

Any Car Finance company/lender such as Oodle Car Finance, should be able to simply and swiftly identify if a finance package is affordable to you through “proportionate” checks; if a potential customer has a good income, healthy credit record and is looking to borrow a modest sum, then a lender wouldn’t really need to look in great detail at that customer’s finances to be confident that they could afford the finance. It stands to reason then that a customer with a poor/non-existent credit record, or one whose income would be mostly swallowed up by repayments, would need to have their finances really 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.

So, what could make a car finance deal “unaffordable”?

Regrettably, we know that many Car Finance customers (and consumers of other types of loans such as Payday Loans or Guarantor Loans) are under the misapprehension that if they somehow manage to make their repayments on time, it means that the finance or loan was affordable,  but this is not the case, as the FCA and FOS have a different definition, and this is crucial when it comes to making a complaint. They assert that any finance or loan is only affordable if you can make the repayment on time, without hardship, and still being able to meet your other financial commitments, so normal household bills for example. Car Finance repayments are often made a 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, and a complaint can be made. Please bear in mind that these complaints can take many months. You will have to keep up the loan repayments during this time, or your car may be repossessed.