Buyers tend to compare headline prices, but not look at what they include before picking up the phone. Therefore, brokers generally quote non-maintenance contracts and mileage of 10,000 miles a year in adverts, so paying for a standard three year/60,000 mile contract would increase the price. Chris Hart, managing director of Freedom Vehicle Contracts, said: 'We used to include maintenance costs in our figures, but it just did not work.
'Buyers do not take notice of the small print, so if you have a vehicle offered for £199 a month without maintenance and one for £229 including maintenance, then the cheapest price will win. I think that in some cases, it could be just the colour of the advert which gets their attention.'