Cazana has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to change its recent Google paid-for search advertising after receiving complaints that it was misleading.
Cazana advertised three paid-for search results on Google for vehicle checking services.
The first ad, seen on 19 January and 22 February 2018, was headed "Total UK Car Check - £3.99. | UK's Most Comprehensive Check" and linked to the website www.cazana.com.
The second ad, also seen on 22 February 2018, was headed "Total UK Car Check - £1.79. | 1 in 4 Has Outstanding Finance" and linked to the website www.pay.ukvehicle.com.
The third ad, seen on 19 January 2018, was headed "Complete UK Car Check - £3.99. | UK's Most Comprehensive Check" and linked to the website www.cazana.com.
Two issues were investigated, both of which were upheld.
The complainant challenged whether the claim "UK's Most Comprehensive Check" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Both complainants, who understood that the checks described were not available for the advertised prices, challenged whether ads were misleading.
Cazana said that a "car check" typically referred to provenance checks against standard database content from the DVLA, DVSA, police and insurers. Cazana maintained that, in addition to those checks, its checks were the only checks that showed the previous sales history and images of vehicles and a retail valuation sourced from the details of vehicles that were currently for sale.
Cazana said they would remove the term "total" from where it appeared in the ads. They believed "complete" carried the same meaning as "comprehensive".
The ASA considered consumers would interpret the claim to mean that the vehicle check undertaken by Cazana covered more aspects of the vehicle and its history and provided more information than checks undertaken by other providers.
To substantiate the claim, ASA expected Cazana to hold information that compared Cazana's checks with those provided by their competitors and which showed that Cazana's checks covered more aspects and provided more information.
The ASA said: “As Cazana did not hold that information, we concluded that the claim was misleading.
“The ads must not appear again in the forms complained of.
“We told UK Vehicle Ltd t/a Cazana not to make claims about the extent of their checks in comparison with those of their competitors unless they held adequate evidence, and to ensure that, if ads suggested that a check was available at a particular price, that was the correct price for that check.”