The majority of respondents in CAR Magazine's "Terms and Conditions apply" survey suggest most automotive retail advertisements, which claim to offer incredibly attractive deals, are misleading. Here's what the "small print" doesn't tell you...

The majority of respondents in CAR Magazine's "Terms and Conditions apply" survey suggest most automotive retail advertisements, which claim to offer incredibly attractive deals, are misleading. Here's what the "small print" doesn't tell you...

Open up any motoring publication, be it a magazine or newspaper supplement, and you'll be faced with many advertisements offering incredibly attractive deals that sound too good to be true. Then, if you really read very carefully, you'll spot the little disclaimer at the bottom saying, "Terms and conditions apply". In most cases, however, this is printed so small that you won't see it. And the offer will sound so good that you just have to reply...

In the February issue of CAR and via an online response form on CARtoday.com, we asked our readers to give us their opinions on these ads, and the response was overwhelming. It clearly is a very topical matter, and just as clear was the unhappiness with these advertisements. In fact, 62 per cent of the respondents believe these advertisements constitute misleading advertising that is against the spirit of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority).

The ASA itself says that, in adjudicating car advertising matters, the ASA takes into consideration the clause of the Code of Advertising Practice which states that

The ASA also states that,

If we interpret the ASA's statement correctly, then it is our opinion that almost all these "terms and conditions" advertisements overstep the mark. The following ads were placed in the Drive Times (Cape Times motoring supplement) of 10 February 2005. We responded to these advertisements as members of the public, and were told the following:

Ford Fiesta

Advert: Fiesta advertised for "from R1 739 per month", including a 3 year/60 000 km maintenance plan.

Reality: Picture shows high-spec Fiesta, but actual car is 1,4-litre base model. Monthly payment based on 10% deposit and a whopping 35% residual.

Mercedes C-Class

Advert: New C-Class from R2 995 per month.

Reality: Based on 42% residual, with 42% guaranteed buy-back. 15% deposit. Must finance in-house. Annual mileage limit of 30 000 km.

Hyundai Getz

Advert: Getz 1,5 CRDi or 1,6 petrol with 5,9% interest rate.

Reality: 10% deposit. Finance through one of three banks. Hire purchase over 54 months. No residual. Interest rate is linked to prime (gap 5,1%). If prime goes down, Getz rate goes down.

Chevrolet Aveo LS

Advert: Aveo LS from R 1 630 per month.

Reality: 20% deposit. 40% residual on guaranteed buy-back. 25 000 km annual mileage limit. Keep the car in good condition.
Will you be getting what you were offered?

Let's take the Fiesta ad as the first example. The picture in the advertisement clearly shows a higher spec model than the one the offer applied to. According to the ASA, "if reference is ma

Original article from Car