The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has sided with MotorCheck in its defence against a complaint by cap hpi regarding an advert it ran in January 2017.
The advert in question claimed customers could save 40% on car history checks with MotorCheck in comparison to Experian or cap hpi.
Cap hpi took dispute with this campaign on the grounds they believed it to be misleading.
MotorCheck said the cap hpi price data they had used in the comparison originated from cap hpi. They supplied a copy of a quotation supplied by cap hpi in response to an enquiry for a Trade Service Account, which showed the fixed fee and excess rate for five, ten and 15 checks per month respectively. The document stated that, in addition, there was a one-off joining fee of £75.83 and a monthly subscription fee of £7.08. Mileage checks were charged at £2.60 each or, for National Mileage Register members, £1 each plus a monthly membership fee of £9.95. Mileage investigations were around £24 each or, for National Mileage Register members, approximately £12.
MotorCheck also supplied two spreadsheets that showed a comparison between MotorCheck and cap hpi of the costs of running 20 vehicle data checks per month. One spreadsheet ran the comparisons with membership of the National Mileage Register and the other ran the comparison without membership. The comparisons assumed that each of the 20 checks included car history and mileage, with one of the checks also including a mileage investigation.
The challenge was not upheld as the ASA considered traders would interpret the advert to mean that, if they ran 20 vehicle checks per month with MotorCheck, they would make a minimum 40% saving compared with running similar checks with HPI.
Part of the complaint made by cap hpi was the contractual requirement that cap hpi’s customers were not permitted to share details of the cost of its products with competitors. Therefore, cap hpi questioned how reliable the evidence MotorCheck relied on was likely to be. However, MotorCheck had been sent the pricing information direct from cap hpi following an anonymous enquiry and the ASA had no reason to think that this would not be a valid reflection of the cost of cap hpi’s products.
The ASA acknowledged that slightly different savings ratios might result according to the number of car checks that a trader actually ran, but considered that MotorCheck had supplied a reasonable basis for the claim and that the advert explained it sufficiently clearly. Therefore, the ASA concluded that it did not breach the Code.