Compulsory costs and charges: general

Feb 22nd '23

Non-optional charges

Advertising rules of the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code states that quoted prices must include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers. (, 13 March 2019).


If it is not possible to calculate the charge in advance, for example because it depends on the consumer’s circumstances, the advertisement must make clear that the charge is excluded from the advertised price and state how it will be calculated.


If a charge is genuinely optional, this does not need to be included in price. However, if excluding a fee from the price, advertisers should be able to demonstrate to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it was genuinely optional (Sunshine Cruise Holidays Ltd, 26 February 2020).


One off charges

One-off and periodic charges may be presented separately from the main price statement, providing the ad makes it clear that these are payable, and what they are (Sky UK Ltd,12 August 2020).



VAT must be included in any quoted price, unless all those to whom the price claim is clearly addressed pay no VAT or can recover VAT. Such VAT-exclusive prices must be accompanied by a prominent statement of the amount or rate of VAT payable. If a product or service is available to both customers who pay VAT and those who don’t, VAT-inclusive prices should be given (Lifeline24 Ltd, 13 February 2019).  Ads may also state VAT-exclusive prices however marketers should ensure that a VAT-inclusive price is given at least equal prominence to the VAT-exclusive price (Local Mobility UK Ltd, 16 May 2018).


For detailed guidance see ‘Compulsory costs and charges: VAT’.


Delivery fees

Marketing communications that state prices must also state applicable delivery, freight, or postal charges. If it is not possible to calculate the delivery charge in advance, for example, because it depends on the number of items ordered or the customer’s location, the ad must state that these charges are payable.


For detailed guidance see ‘Compulsory costs and charges: delivery fees’.


Credit and debit card fees

See ‘Compulsory costs and charges: credit and debit card fees’.


Sector specific guidance


Source: CAP


About CAP

The CAP is the sister organisation of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and is responsible for writing the Advertising Codes.


Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA. CAP’s AdviceOnline entries provide guidance on interpreting the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing.


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