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Car supermarket successfully defends against advert complaint

AvailableCar logo

Used car supermarket AvailableCar has successfully defended an advert after a single complainant suggested it was misleading.

An ad on, seen on August 12, contained listings for used cars. Text next to each car stated “When new £xxxxx”, “You save £xxxx” and the current price of the car.

A consumer brought a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency, challenging whether the savings’ claims were misleading because they were based on the price of the car when it was new.

In response, AvailableCar said the "when new" price was the price paid for the car when it was originally bought new, including any extras fitted to the car when purchased, and not the price today for the equivalent model.

It said they had previously received trading standards advice to describe the higher price as a "when new" price and believed the inference was that the car was now no longer new.

AvailableCar said the "you save" figure was the difference between the "when new" price and their selling price.

It believed it was important to draw consumers' attention to the difference in price because of the significant depreciation in the price of cars after they were sold when new.

The listings also showed the year of registration and the mileage of the car.

In rejecting the complaint, the ASA noted that the CAP Code ( for non-broadcast advertising) required that ads made the basis of a price comparison clear.

In this case, the "when new" and "you save" headings and figures appeared immediately below the photograph of the car, while text alongside stated the make and model of the car followed by the year of registration and mileage, and also the colour, fuel, whether the car was manual or automatic and the current selling price.

“We acknowledged that the specifications of a used car were likely to be very different from those of a brand new car in terms of mileage, wear and tear and warranty,” the ASA said.

“However, we considered the information was presented sufficiently clearly for readers to understand the basis of the price comparison and to understand that the 'you save' figure referred to the difference between the price of the car when originally new and the current market value of a used car. Because we considered the basis of the price comparison was sufficiently clear, we concluded that the savings claims were unlikely to mislead.”

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