Car documents longer than Shakespeare’s novels

Have you ever read a company’s terms and conditions, cookie policy or privacy statement? We guess for most of you the answer is no. Why is that? Is it because they are not useful to know in the event of an accident or a change of situation? Or is it because they are far too long to read? We assume it’s the latter.

Hippo Leasing analyzed the word count of car manufacturers’ legal pages, then used WordsToTime and MinutesHours to calculate the reading time for each. Hippo then extracted the word count from other works of literature.

We’ve looked at the world’s largest car manufacturers, as well as some famous global corporations, and analyzed how long it would take you to read their legal documentation compared to famous literary works. And the findings are intriguing…

It’s true! According to our research, VW’s insanely long legal documentation is so long it’s the same as reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet script, twice. We calculated that when you compile all of Volkswagen’s legal documents, they take over seven hours to read, and they topped the list of the longest legal documents from an automaker in our study.

Not only would it be like reading Hamlet twice, but it would also take the same amount of time to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe one and a half times, or to read The Gruffalo eight and a half times.

At the other end of the scale is Jeep. Reading all their legal documents would only take about 43 minutes in total, which is almost 10 times less than VW’s documents! Reading the Jeep documents would still take about the same time as reading the classic children’s book The Gruffalo or reading eight full news articles, according to our study.

When we take the average length of tech giants (Apple and TikTok) and compare it to the average length of legal documents from automakers, we find that tech legal documents are 50% longer than those from automakers.

The 11 automakers we analyzed have an average word count of 27,606 words in legal documents, which is roughly equivalent to reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm in about three and a half hours. By comparison, legal documents from Apple and Tik Tok average 41,383 words, which is about the same as Tesla, Nissan, Honda and Jeep combined, at around five hours and 20 minutes.

“At Hippo Leasing, we want to raise awareness of typical terms and conditions associated with buying or leasing a car,” says sales manager Rebecca Marsden. “We know that terms and conditions can be long and sometimes seem unnecessary or inconvenient, but the truth is that they are very important and should be read in full so that you know a company’s policy and your rights.

“If you don’t, you could put yourself at risk of unwittingly disclosing your personal information and even risk financial penalties if you violate any of the terms and conditions,” she adds.

Five points in your car’s terms and conditions that you need to know

Here are five of the most important typical terms and conditions related to cars that every new car owner or lease customer should know:

Ownership and Legal Liability

Unless you are buying a vehicle outright, the car you are buying on finance or leasing will belong to the company you are buying/leasing from until they have received funds to match the value. of the total purchase price. You will also be liable for any loss or damage from the time the vehicle is delivered to you.


When financing a vehicle with a company, if you wish to cancel or withdraw from the signed contract, for any reason other than those set out in its clauses, the company reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee and retain any down payment for services provided. These services may include things like removing a vehicle from sale for a period of time, producing documents, preparing the canceled vehicle, or processing documents.

Privacy Policy

A privacy policy describes what the company you are dealing with will do with your personal information, how it keeps it secure, where and how it collects it, and your rights regarding the personal information it holds at your subject.

These policies apply whether you interact with the company by visiting a showroom, over the phone, online, on a mobile app, or interacting with them on social media.

  • Your personal information

“Personal data” is essentially information from which an individual can be identified. The company you interact with may learn and use personal information, including;

  1. Information you provide to a company such as your name, address, date of birth, etc.
  2. Information about the services the company provides to you.
  3. Information needed to make decisions about your application, such as employment details, financial status, etc.
  4. The company will also retain your information about electronic communications you receive from it.

your rights

You have several rights under data protection legislation which, in certain circumstances, you can exercise in relation to the personal information a company processes about you. Here are five of your main data protection rights:

  1. Access to your personal information

You have the right to see a copy of the information a business has about you or your business upon written request.

  1. Updating and modifying your personal information

You have the right to request that the information a company holds about you be corrected by updating/changing your profile preferences or contacting the company.

  1. Restrict processing

You have the right to refuse to be contacted and to request that a company stop contacting you.

  1. Closing your account/deleting your personal information

You have the right to ask a company to close your account and/or delete your personal information from its database.

  1. Oppose the use of your personal data

You have the right to prevent your data from being used for direct marketing and processing of a product or service if you no longer need or need it.

Treating Customers Fairly (TCF)

The TCF is designed to ensure that the company you are dealing with places the interests of the customer (you) at the heart of its business, as well as the integrity of the market.

The TCF is found in Principle 6 of the FCA Handbook which explains that “A company must give due consideration to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly.” The TCF is also linked to 4 of the 11 Guiding Principles, which are:

Principle 1 – A company must conduct its business with integrity.

Principle 7 – A business should give due consideration to the information needs of its customers and communicate information to them in a clear, fair and non-misleading manner.

Principle 8 – A business must manage conflicts of interest fairly, both between itself and its customers and between a customer and another customer.

Principle 9 – A firm must take reasonable care to ensure that its advice and discretionary decisions are suitable for any client who is entitled to rely on its judgment.

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