Regulator launches consumer awareness campaign to protect car buyers
TORONTO, April 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Ontario's regulator of vehicle sales has launched a province-wide multi-media campaign to increase awareness of All-in Price Advertising. "Since 2010 car-buyers have had right to all-in price advertising," explained Terry O'Keefe, OMVIC's Director of Communications and Education. "That means dealers must include all fees, except HST and licensing, in any advertised vehicle price."
The transparency provided by All-in Price Advertising has made the car-buying process much more enjoyable for consumers. Unfortunately though, research conducted by OMVIC shows some car dealers continue to add additional fees to their advertised prices. This illegal practice is not only unfair to car-buyers, it gives non-compliant dealers an unfair advantage over those dealers whose advertised prices include all fees and charges. This is why OMVIC has launched the consumer awareness campaign. "If consumers know they have a right to all-in price advertising, they are able to protect themselves should they encounter non-compliant advertising."
A dog relishing a car ride; tongue lapping the air; fur flying in the wind – a sight that exemplifies simple joy; and it's the visuals supporting OMVIC's TV message: Buying a car? The fun is back! Ontario made all-in price advertising the law for Ontario car dealers – no more hidden fees. All-in price advertising – it's your right!
"While the message delivery is cheerful, the outcome will have an important effect," said O'Keefe. "Consumers will avoid dealers who break the law and instead buy vehicles from those who provide the fair and transparent advertising required by Ontario's consumer protection legislation."
The Ontario-wide campaign utilizes TV, radio, online, billboard/transit and social media advertising.
To access OMVIC's TV or radio commercials click here.
Understanding All-in Price Advertising
All-in price advertising is the law in Ontario. If a Registered Dealer advertises a price for a vehicle (new or used), that price must include ALL fees and charges the dealer intends to collect. The only additional fees a dealer can charge are HST and licensing. Note: licensing refers to the actual cost of vehicle registration and plates (it cannot include extra fees added by the dealer).
What is an advertisement?
An advertisement is any inducement to buy or lease a vehicle. This would include, but is not limited to ads:
- In print (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
- On the internet (dealer site, online marketplace, etc.)
- On social media
- On radio or TV
- On signs (including those in or on a vehicle)
What must be included in an all-in price advertisement?
Examples of fees or charges that must be included in an advertised price include:
- PDI-PDE (pre-delivery inspection/expense)
- Administration (Admin) fee(s)
- Government levies (air tax, etc.)
- Safety and e-test (unless the ad contains a mandated "Unfit Vehicle" or "As-Is Vehicle" statement)
If a dealer intends to charge for products or services they have already pre-installed on a vehicle, those costs must also be included in the advertised price. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Nitrogen/tire protection package/locking wheel nuts
- Security or theft deterrent products/services (etching, etc.)
Note: All fees must be itemized individually on the contract
Vehicle Manufacturer Advertising
OMVIC does not regulate vehicle manufacturers; therefore advertisements placed by manufacturers do not have to comply with the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and all-in pricing is not required in manufacturer ads. That said, some manufacturers voluntarily comply with the all-in pricing provision and commendably provide transparency to consumers.
For more information on all-in price advertising, visit OMVIC's website.
Additional Consumer Services
OMVIC has significant resources and services available to educate and assist Ontario's vehicle buyers. OMVIC's website provides pre-purchase advice/tips (whether buying from a dealer or privately) and information on how to spot curbsiders (illegal, unlicensed dealers); consumers can conduct a search to ensure a dealer or salesperson is registered (or has any enforcement/discipline history); there's even an online quiz where consumers can test their car-buying IQ. Additionally, OMVIC's Complaints and Inquiries Team provides free assistance to consumers with pre-purchase questions, or post-purchase issues. OMVIC encourages all consumers, from first-time buyers to those who consider themselves savvy car buyers, to visit omvic.ca and ensure they know their rights.
OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's 8,000 dealerships and 27,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.
SOURCE Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)