OMVIC > All-in Price Advertising
This is an important issue that dealers must note, given OMVIC’s mandate to protect the consumer.
Why Dealers Should Be Careful
- The recent OMVIC Value for Money Audit found a lack of compliance on this issue.
- Expect OMVIC to increase enforcement efforts, to remedy the deficiencies listed in that Audit.
- OMVIC’s recent 2022 newsletter also highlights this issue, specifically noting the compliance rate to be:
High levels of non-compliance on all-in price advertising creates an unequal playing field
- 50% in Hamilton area;
- 42% in Niagara region; and
- 63% in Barrie region.
Some Caselaw on this Matter
Tesla v. Registrar, Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, ONLAT 2020 12168/ MVDA, 2021 CanLII 11868 (ON LAT)
- Issue of “sale price after estimated savings (from not paying for fuel)” was not found to be an infraction of the requirement to list the all-in price in Tesla’s advertising
March 12, 2020 – Oakville Car Dealer Fined Third Time for Breaching All-In Price Advertising Requirements
R. v. Almadi Enterprises Inc., 2011 ONCJ 332 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/fm2lh>
- For a vehicle priced as $18,995 plus HST (plus licensing fee), all-inclusive, the failure to include the $399 admin fee and $5 OMVIC fee would give this licensee an “unfair advantage” against competitors in a tight marketplace:
 The first consideration is examining the nature and gravity of the adverse effect. Almadi Enterprises Inc., by not including the $399 administration fee and the $5 OMVIC fee, advertised a vehicle at a price more than $400 less than a competitor would otherwise have had to advertise the same deal. The consumer would have had to carefully read the finer print and undertake his or her own calculations in order to comparison shop. Further, the “all-in-one price” in the face of additional charges in the disclaimer at the bottom of the advertisements was both ambiguous and misleading. By advertising as it did, the effect was to give the defendant an unfair advantage over its competitors, in a regulated industry for which there is legislation aimed specifically at consumer protection and dealer professionalism.
Other OMVIC Bulletins: All-in Price Advertising
April 16, 2019 – Understanding All-in Price Advertising (omvic.on.ca)
Understanding All-in Price Advertising
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 (and safety standards certificate if the vehicle is advertised unfit/as-is), and for options the consumer has explicitly agreed to. Note: licensing refers to the actual cost of vehicle registration and plates (it cannot include extra fees added by the dealer).
OMVIC > Dealers / Salespersons > MVDA Requirements > Advertising > Advertising Questions
- OMVIC provides free assistance to dealers who have questions about all-in price advertising
OMVIC > Dealers / Salespersons > Education > Educational Seminars/Webinars
- OMVIC has posted various webinars on the topic of all-in price advertising
All-In Pricing | Car Buying Tips | Negotiate A New Or Used Car | OMVIC
- Consumer information, posted by OMVIC
OMVIC > Dealers / Salespersons > MVDA Requirements > Advertising > Penalties and Summary
- Advertising requirements / constraints are set out here
- This is the Penalties portion of this info circular:
Penalties and Summary
Dealers are responsible for the content of their ads. Should OMVIC believe a dealer’s ad to be false, misleading or deceptive, it can order the dealer to cease the use of the material, and/or order the dealer to issue a retraction or correction.
The MVDA requires dealer ads to include the dealer’s registered name and phone number (unless there are legitimate time/space constraints), accurately disclose an
- advertised vehicle’s history (such as taxi, limo or emergency services use),
- status as used (if applicable), and
- availability (if price is given in the ad).
If a dealer’s ad provides a price for a vehicle, that price must include freight and inspection charges, administration fees, other fees, levies and taxes.
HST may be left out of the advertised price so long as the ad states in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner that HST is not included in the price.
Penalties – Dealers found in breach of the advertising regulations may faces charges, a discipline hearing, and/or proposal to revoke registration; they may also be required to submit all advertising to the Registrar for pre-approval for a period of up to two years!