Sponsored Post By OMVIC

There's nothing like ringing in the new year with a newly purchased vehicle. Getting that first whiff of the new car smell –it's exhilarating. If you've been dreaming about buying a new or used vehicle, you might want to re-visit your rights during this car-buying season.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that all consumers have rights under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and Consumer Protection Act in Ontario when purchasing a new or used vehicle from an OMVIC-registered dealer. Although you may think you’ll get a better deal from a private sale, there is no consumer law that covers private transactions, and it could put you at risk.

To identify an OMVIC-registered dealer you can look for the blue and yellow decal on dealership doors and windows, ask to see their registration, or use the find a dealer/salesperson search on OMVIC.ca.

All-in-price advertising explained

When OMVIC-registered dealers advertise a vehicle for sale, the price must include all fees and charges they intend to collect from consumers. The only fees that can be included outside of the advertised price are HST and the total licensing cost. This practice is called all-in-price advertising, and it’s been the law in Ontario since 2010.

All-in-price advertising helps protect consumers against paying additional hidden fees that, by law, cannot be collected if they’re not clearly stated in the advertised price. If dealers or salespeople try to charge additional fees, consumers can report them to OMVIC. Furthermore, dealers who break the law can be subject to further investigation by OMVIC.

OMVIC inspectors also conduct routine checks on registered dealers to ensure ongoing compliance with the legislation. However, all-in-price advertising, as with other consumer protection laws in Ontario, only applies to vehicles purchased from OMVIC-registered dealers, not private sales.

Here are a few examples of fees or charges that must be included in an advertised price:

  • Freight
  • PDI-PDE (pre-delivery inspection/expense)
  • Administration (Admin) fee(s)
  • Government levies (air tax, etc.)
  • OMVIC fee
  • Safety and e-test (unless the ad contains an "unfit vehicle" or "as-is vehicle" disclosure statement)

It’s also important to understand that products or services that have been pre-installed on a vehicle by a dealer MUST also be included in the advertised price. These include:

  • Nitrogen/tire protection package
  • Warranties
  • Security or theft deterrent products/services (etching, etc.)
  • Fuel

Understand your rights and buy with confidence

To minimize the risk of buyer’s remorse, always ensure any conditions that are included in the vehicle contract are in writing, before you sign anything, as there is no cooling off period in Ontario.

Conditions could mean how long a contract is valid if certain circumstances are met, like “subject to mechanic’s approval” or “subject to repairs being made”. Getting conditions in writing ensures you have the proper grounds to file a complaint if the contract is not fulfilled.

It’s crucial to remember that in most cases, sales are final unless the contract specifically includes one or more condition(s) that allow for its cancellation. With that in mind, here’s a final checklist to review before you sign:

  • Ensure all promises and conditions are written in the contract
  • Understand vehicle locating and timing if the vehicle is not in stock or must be factory ordered (ensure a delivery date or wait period (90 days) is written and highlighted on the agreement.
  • Ensure contracts are complete, including any finance terms and conditions
  • Only sign the contract if you are certain you want to purchase the vehicle.

OMVIC is always here to help

Buying a new or used vehicle? Visit omvic.ca to access free car-buying resources to get you started, and sign up for the quarterly newsletter, Consumer Line.

You can also contact OMVIC’s consumer support team at consumers@omvic.on.ca or 1-800-943-6002 for expert advice and answers to all your car-buying questions, or if you have a complaint about a dealer or salesperson in Ontario.

Follow OMVIC on social media to stay up to date on the latest news.

IG: @omvic_official
Twitter: @omvic_official
Facebook: Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)