September 7 2004. The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) is currently undertaking the first major review of the consumer credit laws in almost 30 years. The first of these changes is due to take effect at the end of October and will impact upon every dealer offering credit through advertising - promotional materials and websites.

The DTI want to guarantee that credit adverts are easy to understand, accurately describe the products on offer and are not misleading. Advertising will now have to provide certain standard information so that consumers can compare like for like.

General Overview:

• Adverts should not be false or misleading

• All adverts must use plain language

• All adverts must be legible or clearly audible

• The expression "weekly equivalent" is not allowed unless weekly payments are provided under the credit agreement

• The name of the advertiser (dealer, finance company, manufacturer etc) should be specified

• Providing the advert states that it is for "business use only" these regulations do not apply.

• Certain items will trigger the compulsory inclusion of other items of financial information.

As always, Black Horse aims to keep its dealers up to date with all the changes and as such, is the first to produce a user friendly dealer guide, which summarises the important key points and changes. These will be hand delivered and mailed to all supporting Black Horse dealers via their Account Manager week commencing the 13th September 2004.

The dealer guide is the first of a number of communications covering the revised consumer act legislation, and is designed to give dealers a simple overview of the changes and how they will affect them.

The changes will be introduced in stages, with the initial amendments being introduced at the end of October this year. This will mean that all documents, literature, promotional materials and general point of sale material will have to change to become compliant. Black Horse Account Managers will be issuing new items to all supporting dealers in early October.

Further communications about each of the remaining key issues will be distributed in due course:

• Form & Content of agreements - May'05

• Pre-contract information - May'05 -

• Early settlement - affects new loans written after 31st May 2005.

Remember - The whole finance industry has to comply with these changes, so if you have any questions or need further information you can refer to or speak to your local Trading Standards Office.