The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for the regulation of regulated lease agreements. The extent to which the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) covers the advertising of financial products is limited and readers should refer to the entries on “Financial Products and Services” and “Consumer Credit” for general information on financial products.
If an agreement is not an FCA regulated agreement, then when advertising the monthly cost of leasing a car, marketers should ensure they also state any one off payments required. For example, an ad for a business contract plan that enabled consumers to pay for a car in monthly instalments of £199 but required them to pay a £3,000 deposit plus an optional £7,000 final payment and had a headline of “£199 a month”. The ASA ruled that the ad was likely to mislead readers into thinking only the monthly costs were payable. Even if the body copy explained the deposit and optional final payments the ad would still be considered problematic, because the headline would arguably be contradicted by the body copy. Any non-optional fees, such as the deposit, should be included in the headline. The optional final payment should be referred to alongside this though, as it is optional, it would be appropriate to state the amount in a linked footnote. Alternatively the deposit and the optional final payment could be stated in a sub-heading next to the headline.
Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
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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