Livestock truck© Tim Scrivener

If you have a lorry on your farm, or as part of your contracting business, then you could be in line for a compensation payout of over £5,500 per truck, depending on the size of the truck and when it was purchased.

Last July, the European Commission fined five truck manufacturers – MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco and DAF – almost £2.6bn for their part in a cartel from 1997 to 2011. Scania chose not to settle the case with the Commission and the proceedings continue against them.

The manufacturers were guilty of fixing list prices, agreeing the cost that truck purchasers should be charged for emissions technologies and delaying the introduction of the emissions-related equipment.

See also: Latest tacho, licence and red diesel rules explained

This meant that buyers of new and used trucks were potentially paying heavily inflated prices during (and after) this period.

Compensation claim

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is now bringing a group claim for compensation against the cartel before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the agricultural industry is invited to get involved. There is no requirement to be a member of the RHA, and agricultural organisations such as the NAAC have been working with the RHA to encourage members to get in touch.

The claim will cover new and second-hand trucks from 6t upwards, regardless of whether they were purchased outright, on finance or leased. Both large and small operators will be represented.

The RHA has now put in place third-party funding so that truck operators signing up to the claim will not need to pay anything. In fact, those who sign up will also benefit from a significant insurance policy in case the claims are not ultimately successful.

Assuming large numbers of operators sign up to the RHA’s group claim, and the level of damages is in line with current thinking, truck purchasers will retain 91% or more of the damages owed to them.

This means, for example, that if damages were awarded at the level of £6,000 per truck, operators would obtain £5,640 or more per truck. However, these figures are illustrative and the ultimate level of return to operators will depend on the overall level of compensation awarded across the group. The RHA will not profit from the case.

What you need to know

No cost or risk to you even if the case is lost

The RHA is structuring its claim so that there should be no risk for you in joining the claim and nothing to pay even if the case is unsuccessful.

What can you claim for?

  • Trucks purchased or leased between 1997 and 2011
  • Trucks of 6t and over
  • Trucks purchased outright
  • Trucks purchased on finance
  • Trucks leased

You may be able to claim for

  • Trucks purchased or leased after 2011
  • Second-hand trucks

How much compensation might I get?

Based on estimates, the RHA believes you may obtain an average of at least £6,000 per new truck purchased or leased (including interest).

The RHA will provide more clarity on the compensation claim for second-hand trucks in due course.

Who can join the RHA’s claim?

Any company, firm or individual that has purchased or leased trucks regardless of the nature of the haulage business (general haulage, tipper, refuse, bulk haulage) but potentially not including those who buy trucks to then sell or lease to others.

How to get in touch

Telephone: 08450 30 50 30

Email: truckcartel@rha.uk.net

Visit the Truck Cartel Legal Action website for FAQ’s and more information.