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Reg Vardy breaches advertising rules

Pendragon's Reg Vardy subsidiary has agreed to change its credit advertising following discussions with the Office of Fair Trading.

Credit adverts for the Sunderland based company, appearing in newspapers in Scotland and the north of England and on dealership forecourts, were considered by the OFT to be in breach of the Consumer Credit (Advertisements) Regulations (CCARs) and, in some instances, to be misleading.

Concerns raised by the OFT covered a variety of different advertisements offering finance on cars.

In the view of the OFT these adverts failed to comply with the CCARs in a number of ways including:

  • giving more than one typical APR in an advert and not denoting the typical APR correctly
  • failing to state the correct typical APR
  • failing to state the typical APR with sufficient prominence
  • failing to give the typical APR when required. In particular when the advert indicates that credit is available to customers who might otherwise consider their access restricted, for instance, using statements such as 'Can't Get Credit?
  • not giving the highest APR at which loans were available when a range of APRs were included in the advert
  • not including all items of financial information relevant to the credit offered
  • failing to give the name of the advertiser.

    Although Reg Vardy would not give signed undertakings to the OFT they gave a written assurance that their advertising would be compliant in future.

    Alan Williams, senior director of markets and projects at the OFT said: “The OFT welcomes the action taken by Reg Vardy in making its credit advertising more transparent to consumers.

    “The regulations governing credit advertisements are designed to ensure that consumers receive essential information about the true costs of the loans on offer. It is important that businesses comply with these requirements when drawing up their advertising.”

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