What’s considered an ad?
An ad could be any AMVIC-licensed businesses’ website or other online ads, print, social media, billboard, radio and TV. Remember, AMVIC licenses automotive sales including new, used and RV, lease, repair, consignment, wholesale and agent/broker businesses which means they all must comply with automotive advertising regulations.
The price advertised plus GST is the law.
All-in pricing is the law in Alberta. That means when an AMVIC-licensed seller 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.
The Automotive Business Regulation, Section 11(2)(l) states that businesses must include “[…]in the advertised price for any vehicle the total cost of the vehicle, including, but not limited to, all fees and charges such as the cost of accessories, optional equipment physically attached to the vehicle, transportation charges and any applicable taxes or administration fees, but not including GST or costs and charges associated with financing.”
Examples of fees or charges that may be included in the advertised price but cannot be added on to it:
- PDI-PDE (pre-delivery inspection/expense)
- Administration (Admin) fee(s)
- Levy recoveries (AMVIC levy, air conditioning levy, etc.)
- Pre-installed products and services (nitrogen/tire protection package, security or theft deterrent products/services such as etching, etc., fuel)
What about manufacturer ads?
Manufacturer ads are not subject to the advertising laws and regulations that AMVIC enforces including all-in pricing. If an Alberta business is not identified in the ad it is most likely a manufacturer ad.
What if I want to add options that are not included with the vehicle being advertised?
The seller is permitted to increase the sale price if you request additional features that weren’t included in the advertised vehicle. For example, if the vehicle does not include heated seats but you negotiate to have them installed, the sale price will increase to reflect the results of your negotiation.
What if the advertised vehicle isn’t on the lot?
The advertised vehicle must be available for sale at the time the ad is placed. Advertising a vehicle that is not available for sale is known as a “bait and switch” and this practice contravenes advertising laws and regulations.
What can I do if I’ve been misled by an ad?
You can contact consumer services and file a complaint.
Do the same laws apply to both new and used car ads?
Yes— the same laws apply no matter if the vehicle advertised is brand new or used.
Do the laws also cover service and repair ads?
Yes— service and repair ads must also comply with Alberta’s advertising laws. For example, all automotive advertisements must use descriptions and make promises only in accordance with actual conditions, situations and circumstances.
What are some of the other requirements for ads?
Advertising laws can be found in Alberta’s Consumer Protection Act (formally the Fair Trading Act), Automotive Business Regulation and Cost of Credit Disclosure Regulation. A complete guide to all automotive advertising law can also be found here:
Why should businesses comply?
It’s the law.
Contraventions of Consumer Protection Act (formally the Fair Trading Act), Traffic Safety Act and associated regulations, such as the Automotive Business Regulation, can result in enforcement action.
Check out examples of ads that are misleading and break the advertising laws in Alberta by clicking on the tabs below.