Are you advertising the total all-in price of the vehicle or are you only stating the cash price or financing price?
All-in pricing is the law in Alberta. That means when a business advertises the price of a vehicle it must include ALL fees and charges the seller intends to charge. The only fee that can be added to the advertised price is GST and any costs associated with financing (Automotive Business Regulation, Section 11(2)(l)).
Additionally, AMIVC-licensed businesses must not make any representations, statements or claims that are not true or are likely to mislead a consumer (Section 12(a)).
Here are three areas that have a high potential of misleading consumers:
- Cash incentive:
If you are advertising a cash incentive, you still must advertise the total all-in price BEFORE the cash incentive. Alternatively, you can advertise the credit price and mention an incentive when paying cash, but the cash-only price cannot be advertised alone if there are financing options available.
- Online calculators:
Do you offer an online financing option calculator directly on the webpage of a specific vehicle you have in your inventory? If yes, this means you are offering financing and the vehicle should have a credit price listed that also mentions the cost of credit (Cost of Credit Disclosure, Section 4 and 6).
If the vehicle only states the cash price but offers a financing calculator, then you are misleading your customers into thinking the cash price is the same as the financing price. The advertisement must disclose the all-in price, the financing price and the optional cash price if there is an incentive available.
- Adding fees on top of the advertised price:
All-in pricing means all fees and charges must already be included into the advertised price. For example, if you want to sell a vehicle for $25,000 and charge a $900 documentation fee, then the vehicle must be advertised for $25,900. You cannot add fees after the fact. The only extra charges that can come after is the GST, financing costs if the customer chooses to finance and any add-ons negotiated with the customer that weren’t included in the original advertised price (i.e. paint protection, different rims, extended warranty).
AMVIC industry standards inspectors continue to work with industry to help businesses comply with the law. If you are being inspected or would like more information on inspections, you can find our inspection FAQ’s on our website.
By working together we can enhance consumer confidence and create a fair marketplace for all Alberta automotive businesses.
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