CAA-Quebec Study - Transport and preparation charges on the rise



    QUEBEC, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The 2007 edition of CAA-Quebec's study of
vehicle transport and preparation charges reveals that these fees, which all
buyers of new motor vehicles must pay, are on the rise, in some cases
approaching the $2,000 mark. Consumers eying a new vehicle purchase have no
choice but to comply with automakers' decisions when it comes to these charges
- which, in the majority of cases, are not included in the list prices of
vehicles.

    Surprising discrepancies - According to the study conducted by CAA-Quebec
Automotive Advisory Services, it appears that manufacturers are demanding
increasingly higher transport and preparation charges for certain models, on
top of other fees such as the tax on heavy-duty vehicles, the new excise tax
on fuel-inefficient vehicles, the luxury-car tax and the excise tax on air
conditioners.
    "Just a few years ago, vehicle transport and preparation charges rarely
amounted to more than $1,000 for most vehicle models, even those in the
so-called luxury category. Today, the average charges are more in the range of
$1,200," says Kacya Cotton, automotive analyst for CAA-Quebec.

    Some examples - In 2001, a consumer purchasing an Acura MDX could expect
to pay $950 in transport and preparation charges, but in 2007 the amount
charged for the same model is $1,775. Volvo is another automaker that has
hiked its charges: in 2006, they were $1,295, but just a year later they had
risen to $1,515. The study found that the lowest transport and prep amounts
are those charged for Jaguars and Land Rovers, at $995. These are high-end
vehicles, however - and, moreover, they are manufactured in England. Something
is clearly illogical with this picture, because for a North American-built
vehicle like the Chevrolet Equinox, manufactured in Ontario, the bill for
transportation and preparation is higher, at $1,150.

    Advertising vs. reality - In CAA-Quebec's opinion, there should be
greater transparency in sales advertising for new vehicles, and all charges
should be included in the suggested retail price quoted in automakers' and
dealers' advertisements. Otherwise, consumers feel they have been misled when
they find out the dealer's "real price" after having been attracted by a lower
advertised price.
    "The Quebec used car market is now subject to the 'voluntary undertaking'
rule by a government order-in-council, and it is high time that the
new-vehicle sales industry adopted similar means to promote transparency and
free competition among all players," Ms. Cotton says.
    In addition, a table was recently set up by Quebec's Office de la
protection du consommateur (OPC) in collaboration with a number of industry
stakeholders, including CAA-Quebec, with a view to improving the quality and
clarity of information provided to customers about new vehicle transactions.
    "We very much hope that the discussions recently begun by this table will
lead to consumers being more accurately informed," says OPC President Yvan
Turcotte.

    CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides its
900,000 members with automotive, travel, residential and financial services,
benefits and privileges. CAA-Quebec members can obtain copies of the study
from the organization's Automotive Advisory Services (1 888 471-2424).

    Note: media outlets can also obtain copies of the study on request.
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For further information:

For further information: Roxanne Héroux, (514) 861-7111, ext. 3210

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