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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

What Consumers Should Know About Car Dealer Advertising

May 27

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, May 27, 2016  RssIcon

All-in price advertising is the law; a law meant to provide transparency to consumers and to create a fair and level playing field for dealers. If a dealer advertises a price for a vehicle (new or used), that price MUST include all fees and charges the dealer intends to collect (except for HST and Licensing).

Note: with regards to the advertising rules “Licensing” refers to the actual cost of transferring/plating the vehicle and cannot include a service or administration fee for arranging the transfer.

 

But what other ‘advertising’ rules consumers should be aware of to stay protected?

 

Past Use Disclosure:

An advertisement must indicate if the vehicle:
  • Was previously used as a daily rental (unless subsequently owned by a consumer/ non-dealer).
  • Was previously a police or emergency services vehicle.
  • Was previously used as a taxi or limousine
  • Is of the current or previous model year and is used.

 

AS IS/ Unfit Vehicle Disclosure:

If an advertisement includes a price for a vehicle which is being sold “AS IS”, the advertisement should include the following statement:

 

This vehicle is being sold “as-is”, unfit, not e-tested and is not represented as being in road worthy condition, mechanically sound, or maintained at any guaranteed level of quality. The vehicle may not be fit for use as a means of transportation and may require substantial repairs at the purchaser’s expense. It may not be possible to register the vehicle to be driven in its current condition.”

 

Note: It is NOT sufficient to simply state the vehicle is being sold “as is”.

 

Similarly, if an advertisement includes a price for a vehicle that is not certified and/ or e-tested, the advertisement must state in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner:

 

“This vehicle is not drivable, not certified and not e-tested. Certification and e-testing available for $XXX”

 

If a dealer intends to offer certification and e-testing, the fee MUST be disclosed in the statement above. 

 

Vehicle Availability in Advertisements:

In Ontario, when a dealer advertises a price for a vehicle, that vehicle must be available for sale at the time the advertisement is published. If the vehicle is not available, the advertisement must clearly and prominently state:

  • If a factory order is required. 
  • If it is an incoming model.

Additionally, if there is a limited supply of vehicles at the advertised price, the ad should indicate how many are available.

Note: If the vehicle(s) has been sold, or is no longer available at the advertised price, dealers should remove or edit the advertisement immediately.

While OMVIC is here to protect consumers and enforce the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, its important consumers become informed and learn their rights. In those infrequent instances that a dealer doesn’t live up to the advertising standards, an educated consumer is the best line of defense. Visit OMVIC’s website to learn more about your car-buying rights.

 

 


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