Regulator launches consumer awareness campaign to protect car buyers

Toronto, ON, August 29, 2016 – Some consumers are being overcharged when they buy a vehicle, says Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, OMVIC. “Since 2010, all-in price advertising has been the law in this province,” explained Terry O’Keefe, Director of Communications and Education for OMVIC. “Unfortunately, our research shows that a small minority of car dealers continue to add hidden fees or extra costs that exceed their advertised prices.”

This is why today the regulator launched a 10-week consumer awareness campaign to help further educate Ontario car buyers about their right to all-in price advertising.

All-in Price

The Campaign

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 imagery supporting OMVIC’s message: all-in price advertising – it’s putting the fun and excitement back into buying a car...and, it’s the law! The province-wide campaign utilizes TV, radio, online and social media advertising.

“While the message delivery is lighthearted, it’s hoped the outcome will have an important affect,” said O’Keefe. “That being consumers will avoid dealers who break the law and instead buy vehicles from those dealers who provide the fair and transparent advertising required by Ontario’s consumer protection legislation.”

To access OMVIC’s TV or radio commercials click here.

Additional Consumer Services

Beyond the awareness campaign, 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 even conduct a search to ensure a dealer or salesperson is registered (or has any enforcement/discipline history). Additionally, OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team provides free assistance to consumers with pre-purchase questions, or post-purchase issues. “An educated consumer is a protected consumer. OMVIC encourages all consumers, from first-time buyers to those who consider themselves savvy car buyers, to visit and ensure they know their rights.” There’s even an online quiz where consumers can test their car-buying IQ.

Understanding All-in Price Advertising

All-in price advertising is the law in Ontario. If an OMVIC-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:

  • Freight
  • 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
  • Warranties
  • Security or theft deterrent products/services (etching, etc.)
  • Fuel
  • 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.


OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) 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 (or discipline proceedings) 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.


For More Information:

Terry O’Keefe
Director of Communications


Sarah Choudhury
Sr. Communications Officer


Hassaan Shahid
Communications Officer