A TV ad for Luggie, a mobility scooter seen on 17 January 2018 included on-screen text at the end of the ad which stated “from £1595 EX VAT … VAT Payable at 20% if applicable. VAT relief will apply if you suffer from a long term illness or disability”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading because the price quoted was exclusive of VAT.
Local Mobility UK Ltd t/a Luggie Scooters said that they believed the ad was not misleading as 99% of their customers were eligible for VAT exemption. They explained that the scooter was a mobility item for people with disabilities and conditions preventing them from walking which was why most if not all of their customers were eligible for VAT exemption. They highlighted that the rate of VAT was included in the ad and was accompanied by a statement which explained that VAT relief only applied to customers who suffered from a long-term illness or disability.
The CAP Code stated that quoted prices must include non-optional taxes that applied to all or most buyers. However, VAT-exclusive prices could be given if all those to whom the price claim was clearly addressed paid no VAT or could recover VAT. Such VAT-exclusive prices must be accompanied by a prominent statement of the amount or rate of VAT payable.
The ad began with a voice-over which stated “Do you require the use of a mobility scooter?” and continued by referring to the specific features of the Luggie scooter, accompanied by shots of it being used by older people. The ASA considered viewers would therefore appreciate that the advertised product was for use by people who had difficulty walking due to injury, physical disability or a medical condition, and that the ad in general, and the price claim specifically, were therefore addressed to such viewers.
We understood that in order to be eligible to use a mobility scooter a consumer must have difficulty walking because of an injury, physical disability or medical condition, and therefore that the majority of consumers who purchased scooters were either VAT exempt or eligible for VAT relief. We considered that because the ad prominently included a statement making clear the circumstances in which the scooter was VAT-exempt, and a statement about the rate of VAT that was payable when those circumstances did not apply, it was acceptable for Luggie Scooters to use the VAT-exclusive prices in the ad. We therefore concluded the price claim did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 3.19 3.19 Quoted prices must include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers. However, VAT-exclusive prices may be given if 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. (Prices), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.