A customer who lost her car in the flood at Inchcape’s Jaguar Land Rover Dealer in Derby says she is set to be left up to £30,000 out of pocket by the experience.
Car Dealer reported last October that the dealership had been left under several feet of flood water when the area was battered by Storm Babet.
The incident saw several cars written off, with owners left furious when Inchape told them to contact their own insurers over the damage.
The situation deteriorated further when irate customers told Car Dealer that their insurers had been denied access to the site, making it impossible to make a claim.
Both Jaguar Land Rover and Inchcape apologised for the disruption but customer, Karen Chambers, says she is still facing being out of pocket to the tune of £25,000 to £30,000.
She told the BBC that she ‘nearly had a heart attack’ when she was told about what had happened.
She said that she initially bought her 2015 Range Rover Autobiography in 2017 in order to take her and her disabled husband through to retirement.
Chambers says she works antisocial shifts and has already spent £600 on hire cars as a result of being left without a vehicle.
Her insurance pay out has also been lower than many other customers, due to her car’s high mileage.
Describing her experience, she said: ‘I think they have been very fair, but it won’t cover buying another decent car that is going to take me through retirement.
‘I think including the insurance hikes, cost of hire cars, by the time everything is done, including having to buy another car, I’m going to be in the region of £25,000 to £30,000 out of pocket.
Now I am back into paying off loan repayments. I retire in six years. I will be working full-time until I am 67 now – I have no choice.’
Chambers also described the JLR and Inchcape response to the incident as ‘very disappointing’.
‘I feel very let down’
Among the other customers to complain about their experience has been Kevin Caley, whose five-year-old Jaguar I-PACE had been in the dealership for a new battery, which fell under its warranty.
The car was actually on a ramp – and clear of the water – when the dealership flooded but Inchcape told him the car ‘wasn’t worth repairing’ as the battery, which was on the floor, did flood.
Caley is now waiting to hear how much he will receive from his insurers and says he feels ‘let down’ by the situation.
He told the Beeb: ‘They said the battery was under water and therefore it wasn’t worth repairing the car.
‘But from my point of view, the battery was either my old one, which was scrapped, or a new one, which they hadn’t fitted, so still part of their stock.’
He added: ‘It is not our fault. It’s so frustrating.
‘I feel very let down. They should have looked after us and told us “It’s going to take a few months, but we will sort it out. We will look after you” but they’ve done nothing.’
In response to the comments, Inchcape said it was ‘making every effort’ to support customers.
An Inchcape UK spokesperson said: ‘We are making every effort to help our affected customers to get back on the road as quickly as possible, and due to the complexity of each individual situation, we are supporting all of them on a one-to-one basis.
‘A number of supportive actions have been taken to help our customers, including: providing replacement or temporary courtesy cars to help keep customers mobile, setting up a dedicated helpline to support with insurance claims and customer queries, and sourcing new and used replacement cars as quickly as we can at a reduced price.
‘93% of affected customers have accepted this support and we are liaising with the remaining customers to find a solution to get them back on the road.’
Patrick McGillycuddy, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: ‘Our partner, Inchcape, has appointed a specialist team and we urge clients affected by this disruption to contact Sedgwick International UK who will progress their individual case as quickly as possible.
‘I would like to thank our clients for their patience whilst we and our partner, Inchcape, work to resolve this situation and return the showroom and service centre in Derby to normal service as quickly as possible.’