Omvic Regulations for “All in Pricing”

In case you aren’t familiar with OMVIC, this term stands for the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council.  The organization is in charge of administering Canada’s Ontario Motor Vehicle Dealers Act to make sure that the marketplace is safe, fair and honest. Recently, OMVIC passed some new regulations for what is called “all in pricing.” There are currently approximately 22,000 car salespeople in Ontario and 8,300 vehicle dealers that must abide by these new laws.  The end goal is to improve the car buying experience for the consumer. 

As of January 2010, OMVIC announced a new Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.  These new regulations state that it must be easy for shoppers to compare prices on vehicles.  This means that the advertising must include clear and understandable details on car prices.  The term all-in pricing means that ads must be forthcoming with information about what a shopper will need to pay.  This includes the freight fees and administrative fees.  Previously, these hidden or extra fees were left out of ads by car dealerships and manufacturers to make the prices of cars appear to be lower. 

Further, as of this new OMVIC regulation, ads must also mention whether or not a vehicle was used as a police or service vehicle.  This vehicle history information was often left out of advertising and promotions in the past.  That means that cars could have been in collisions or incidents in the past and customers would be unaware of this fact.  Additionally, if there are a limited amount of cars left at a certain price, the ads must state the exact number of vehicles.

It is important to note that the OMVIC regulations only cover sales by dealerships in Ontario.  Therefore, if you buy a car from a private party, you will not be protected under these laws.  If you are unsure whether or not a dealership is covered by OMVIC, you can look for “Ontario registered dealer” decals, which will be on the dealerships doors or windows. 

Now that these new rules are in place, it will be far more difficult for car dealerships to “bait and switch” customers when it comes to pricing and car history.  In the past, the hidden fees assessed by car dealerships could amount to over $1000 dollars.  These fees included safety fees, security fees, processing fees, freight, and administrative fees, to name just a few.

Sep 8th, 2010