Pricing information

Pricing legislation


Businesses must ensure that where goods are offered for sale to consumers, the selling price is clearly indicated.

The selling price must be inclusive of VAT and other taxes. Where appropriate the unit price must be given to consumers in writing. This information must be:

  • clearly legible
  • unambiguous
  • easily identifiable
  • in sterling
  • placed on the goods themselves or in close proximity to the goods

To understand their legal requirements, retailers can use the resources provided by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in collaboration with Trading Standards. 

Download the poster to view the requirements of consumer legislation (PDF, 738K).

Unit pricing

Unit pricing is designed to allow customers to compare products by reference to weight or volume. Unit pricing is not applicable to small shops with a retail area of less than 280 m2. This is generally categorised as price per kilogram, litre, meter, square meter or cubic meter.

A unit price must be given when goods are either:

  • sold loose from bulk (example - fruit, vegetables, meats, fish)
  • required by weights and measures legislation to be marked with an indication of quantity or sold in a prescribed quantity

VAT and other charges

  • all price indications visible to consumers must include VAT and any other charges or taxes
  • if the rate or application of VAT changes, general notices in-store may be used for up to 28 days after the change takes effect
  • posting, packaging or delivery charges may be shown separately if they are easily identifiable and unambiguous to the consumer
  • do not charge consumers a fee for using a credit or debit card


Promotional offers should be unit priced to reflect the single standard item.

You should not use statements such as 20% off ‘all’ or ‘everything’ unless the statement applies to all the products described, to everything in the store or in that category.

If comparing the price of goods to a competitor’s price, the price comparison must not be false or mislead consumers.

You should not advertise products at a specific price if you have reason to believe reasonable quantities will not be available.

Pricing legislation

There are several pieces of legislation that protect people from the activities of unscrupulous or dishonest traders.

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

If you sell goods or services to consumers, you must comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These regulations ban traders from using any unfair commercial practices which mislead customers into buying goods or services they might not otherwise have bought. Commercial practices are any actions you take - or omissions you make - that are directly connected to supplying goods and services to members of the public.

Commercial practices include providing information about prices. The regulations specifically ban traders from:

  • misleading consumers about an item's price, or the way in which the price is worked out
  • misleading consumers by claiming a price advantage that doesn't exist - for example making a false claim that your products are cheaper than a competitor's
  • leaving out details of extra hidden costs - such as taxes, delivery or postal charges

Other legislation

You'll also need to comply with other legislation that covers pricing practices, including the:

  • Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Consumer Credit Act 1974
  • Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations as amended by the Payment Services Regulations 2017
  • Price Marking Order (Northern Ireland) 2004

There are specific regulations covering pricing information provided by certain types of businesses. 

There are also rules governing misleading advertisements

Business to business

If your customers are other businesses, you'll need to comply with the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008. These regulations cover:

  • misleading pricing information
  • when a business can use advertising that identifies a competitor or their products and services