Misleading or false statements about extra fees

DATE: | Consumer bulletins

Do you know the difference between mandatory and optional fees?

If you hear any of the following statements, walk away and report the automotive business to AMVIC.

“Yes, that’s the price plus these extra fees not mentioned in the ad.”

In Alberta, all-in price advertising is the law. That means if a business advertises a vehicle at a certain price, the only fees that can be added are GST and costs of borrowing. Extra fees must already be included in the advertised price.

If you choose to add a feature to the vehicle you are purchasing that is not included with the advertised vehicle, for example air conditioning or a remote car starter, then that cost can be added.

Learn more about all-in pricing.

“There are a number of fees and taxes that are mandatory government fees that you must pay.”

The only mandatory fee that can be added to the advertised price of a vehicle is the GST.  A dealer may choose to include other fees in the sale price (e.g., tire levy, air conditioning levy, a documentation or administration fee etc.), but that fee must be included in the advertised price of the vehicle.

As a consumer, you should understand what all fees are for, ask questions and compare the all-in price for the identical vehicle at other businesses before entering into a contract.

Find out which fees are mandatory and which are optional.

“The AMVIC levy is required and it’s $300.”

Automotive businesses in Alberta must remit $6.25 to AMVIC for every vehicle they sell or lease.  The AMVIC levy should never be represented as more than that amount. . Revenue generated from the levy is used to support AMVIC in fulfilling responsibilities as delegated to us by the provincial government, including enhancing consumer protection and confidence in the motor vehicle industry. If a business chooses to pass on the levy to consumers, the levy must be clearly disclosed on all sales agreements and included in the “all-in” price of an advertised vehicle.

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Document pre-purchase discussions and figures.
  • Be certain you understand what all extra fees are for.
  • Compare the all-in, or final price of the identical vehicle at a minimum of three dealerships.
  • Slow down, take your time to decide if the sale is right for you.
  • Ensure the seller is registered and dealership is licensed at amvic.org.
  • Contact AMVIC if you have any concerns or need information.

If you feel you have been misled, contact AMVIC’s consumer services department online or at 1-877-979-8100 ext. 2002.

For more information on all-in pricing and extra fees, visit AMVIC’s website.