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What is ADR?


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a means of settling disputes without resorting to the courts.

Settlement of disputes is typically faster and cheaper for both the consumer and trader when using ADR.

There are different levels of ADR available through the NCS, these include:

Mediation/Conciliation: where an independent third party helps the disputing parties to come to a mutually acceptable outcome.

Arbitration: Where an independent third party considers the facts and takes a decision that is often agreed to be binding on one or both parties.

Legal Representation: Neither party in the dispute is required to seek legal advice or representation, for example; appoint a lawyer or legal advisor. However, both parties have the right to seek legal or independent advice or to be represented or assisted, by for example; a friend,  a family member or a legal representative at any stage of the process



Who can bring a case to the NCS?


Initial complaint enquiries can only be made by consumers not by traders.


Does the NCS have to accept all automotive retail cases?


The NCS accepts automotive retail complaints between EU residents and NCS subscribers.

However, there are certain restrictions on the types of cases that we can accept.

Common reasons for the NCS to not accept complaints are:

  1. You have not raised your complaint with the trader first
  2. Your claim does not amount to more than £50 or is otherwise vexatious or frivolous
  3. Your claim has been considered, or is being considered, by another ADR scheme or it is subject to legal action
  4. More than 12 months has elapsed since you first complained to the trader in question
  5. The trader is not a member of one of the associations subscribing to our scheme
  6. Your complaint concerns a finance arrangement
  7. To deal with the complaint would seriously affect the operation of the NCS, for example where a dispute is too complex and so would best be resolved in court

If the NCS cannot accept your case, we will inform you of this within 5 working days of receipt of your complaint and provide you with detailed reasons for not being able to accept your complaint. Where possible, we will advise you of the steps that you can take to resolve your complaint.


How quickly will my dispute be settled?


As the NCS is a certified ADR provider, an outcome to your dispute will be provided within 90 days of a case handler receiving a complete complaint file.

A complaint file is required by a case handler to resolve a dispute and includes relevant information detailing the dispute from both parties.

We aim to provide a resolution much sooner than this.


My complaint is related to a vehicle loan or insurance. Can I still use the NCS?


No, disputes relating to financial services must be handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

However, disputes regarding vehicle warranties or guarantees are not regulated by the FCA and the NCS will consider these cases providing they are not part of a statutorily regulated financial agreement and therefore under the scope of the FOS.