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Halford Autocentres MoT promotion banned by advertising watchdog

A promotion in which Halfords Autocentres marketed MoT tests as "now only £29.95 RRP £54.85" has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the claim "MoTs now only £29.95 RRP £54.85" that £54.85 was the price at which it was recommended that MOTs were sold and that Halfords sold their own MOTs at a considerably lower price.

However it pointed out that although VOSA set the £54.85 maximum charge for car MoTs, that price was not the RRP and VOSA made no recommendations about the price at which tests should be sold.

Halfords said the £54.85 price was the price at which non-promotional MoTs had been sold at their 290 garages, but the ASA noted evidence was not supplied to demonstrate that this was the case.

Halfords claims did not support the argument that the £54.85 price was the price at which MoTs were generally available in the UK.

The ASA added: "Although we understood many garages decided to sell at the top VOSA price, we considered that this did not itself demonstrate that this price was an RRP or that this was the price at which MoTs were generally available.

"We considered that it was inaccurate and misleading to refer to the VOSA price as an RRP and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading."

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  • JS - 12/12/2013 15:33

    Much of Halfords advertising is dubious, usually suggesting to potential customers that Halfords offering is more attractive than franchised dealers. Generally, this compares apples with pears - is at worst wrong, at best unproven and never substantiated. Bluntly, these guys have form !!

  • Craig Ramgoolam - 11/01/2015 01:32

    Halfords Autocentre in KIngston Upon Thames completely butchered my poor car yesterday 9/1/15. It was taken to them by the AA, which is another one to be very wary of! They reccomended the Halfrauds Autocentre over my well known regular garage that I chose as it might not have been VAT registered. It had broken down just after I took out the cover which included (BRC-garage repair service) on the 30/12/14. They told me there was a 14day wait before the BRC is allowed and active so as you can see they have already breached their own terms and conditions by having an AA recovery tow truck take my Audi A4 Tdi to the Cowboys in the Rodeo aforementioned HALFRAUDS of KINGSTON UPON THAMES! I first had problems the morning of 8/1/15 when I called them for a tow to their RECOMMENDED VAT registered garage HALFRAUDS after speaking with the breakdown service the night before. I specifically rang the AA at 6:30am so that I could be with and have my car recovered at 7:30 as they say give them an hour and 9-10 times are usually an hour. I timed it out perfect so I would be at work for 8:30am as I am the Manager and the car was only about a mile from work. I had a call from the driver at 7:10 asking "where I was as he had been at my car for 10 minutes?" I replied with "your way too early and I will be there for 7:25-30 as was planned" he said okay he'll wait" I arrived spot on 7:30 to find my car there on it's own! I got on the phone straight away to ask where he is? The woman said he tried to call me and didn't get through, he waited and must have left, do I drive a 4x4? I said NO and Audi A4! she said he was at the wrong car! Who's fault was that then I wonder! How could that happen when I gave her my Reg at 6:30am and she even said I've got that as a Black Audi A4! She said he was just a roadside patrol so wouldn't have been able to tow it anyway so she sent another driver who was the recovery that I requested since the night before and 6:30am! when she told me he will be with me at 9;00am I was livid! but waited and he turned up at 8:50am. My car was then taken to HALFRAUDS for 9:30am when they opened. I called them later near end of the day at 5pm to check the progress, all that was wrong was my Tensioner Pulley was cracked and caused the Belt to come off. A Tensioner Pulley and Belt is around £50 and at most a 2hour job so should be roughly £250 inc Vat at most! As I know the motor trade and mechanical procedures very well, I also asked my local Mechanic and another one who both said it should be even under that as it's a job most capable mechanics can do in 1hour. They said they hadn't even put it on the ramp as they haven't had a free ramp, I found that hard to believe but they said it would be done the next day 9/1/15, okay then I said. I went to HALFRAUDS yesterday morning on the 9/1/15 at 11:00am as I was in Kingston dropping off my girlfriend. When I spoke to a man on the front desk he took me through the workshop to have a look at the work sorry I mean butchery they had done. My whole front end was taken apart and in bits they removed both my headlights, Fan and coupling, Intercooler hosepipe, all my vents and ducts to the intercooler, which weren't necessary when all they had to remove was the bumper,radiator,fan and maybe slam pannel. Then I looked down among-st all the bits and pieces to see my Crankshaft Pulley damaged, On further inspection I could see bits were chiseled off and dented all round all signs of a hammer and punch! I was very annoyed as there was absolutely no need for this level of violence. He tried making up all kinds of excuses which lacked substance or even common sense like, The pulley got corroded over the age of the car which is 14years old but the pulley is Alloy! Then he said that the belt had melted around the pulley so they had to get the bits off and admitted they used force with a punch or chisel! He said that the mechanic used a pulling tool which has 3 prongs and that might be how it got damaged. Now he's contradicted himself plus admitted they damaged a part that did not need to be removed as it was not broken. I almost forgot he also said that the Pulley is warped, I wonder how he knew that as if he is a pulley balancing expert or has a dyno tested calibrated machine that can measure the rotational balance of the Pulley?? I think only manufacturers have these in their factories but I might be wrong...Not believing the Jackanory he was narrating to me I said what have you guys done to my car there was no need for this savagery and allowing a rookie apprentice to run wild on my car. He then hit me with the nuclear bomb that the repair with a new Crankshaft Pulley, Tensioner pulley and belt, plus he said I needed a new alternator as that Pulley was faulty all came up to £1000!!! I said are you mad I'm not pay nothing when you have purposely damaged parts and admitted it so the bill can be pushed up. I called one of the other mechanics straight away who came a couple hours later and inspected the butchery. He confirmed that the pulley was unprofessionally removed and carelessly damaged, the pulley groves are clean with not even dust or bits of belt in them. Now if the belt had burned onto it there would still be some stuck on rubber which melted on as once melted rubber dries it's stuck on like crazy glue! The HALFRAUDS guy tried his stories again but still made no sense as Aluminium does not rust or corrode! The mechanic said even with the Pulling tool the damaged areas do not line up and he confirmed that it had definitely been hit several times with a punch that's why the damage occurred. I said I will call out a tow truck to take my car that looks like it's been in a breakers or scrapyard to the other Mechanic's garage who said the same things when he inspected everything. AA were trying to charge me £50 plus £2 per mile to tow it to the Mechanics garage, that's ludicrous considering all I've been through. I have logged this complaint with the AA and awaiting their reply but just searching still for the correct people to take this incident with HALFRAUDS further! The Mechanic has agreed to fix my car for half of what they quoted but either Them or AA will have to take the bill because Myself,Girlfriend,Both Mechanics plus Tow truck man believes that I'm owed compensation for their fraudulence and damage to my car parts. God knows what else they've damaged or broken when the good local Mechanic starts to rebuild it?!?