Our powers

Putting things right

Our role is to resolve the complaint in a fair way for you. We are not here to punish companies when things go wrong.

We can recommend:

  • an apology;
  • an explanation of what went wrong;
  • a practical action to correct the problem;
  • and/or a financial award (subject to a limit).

We may also make recommendations to the company so that it can avoid similar problems happening again.

If you reject our decision, you lose the right to the resolution we have offered but you will be able to take your complaint elsewhere, such as the courts.

Penalty points

The Motor Ombudsman can issue penalty points to businesses that fail to comply with The Code of Practice or engage in the dispute resolution process.

Failure to comply with a request for adjudication or the terms of a final decision means that a business’ accreditation may be placed in a state of suspension in line with the terms and conditions, and they may then be suspended from the Code.

Disciplinary action

The Independent Compliance Assessment Panel (ICAP) is an independent panel which monitors the operation of the Codes and the accredited businesses’ compliance with those Codes. ICAP will also meet to review cases of persistent or serious breaches of the Code by accredited businesses.

ICAP is independent of the sector and its authority over accredited businesses reflects the serious nature with which The Motor Ombudsman views non–compliance. It is the responsibility of The Motor Ombudsman to acknowledge when an accredited business has breached the Codes in a manner that requires more than adjudication and make a referral to ICAP.


Read more about how we remain impartial here.