This year’s APA survey of used car dealers in the Vancouver area turned up another quirk.
When W5 followed the APA to car lots with our hidden cameras, it turned out that more than half of them wanted more money than the advertised price.
Some dealers called it a “documentation fee” and the extra charges ranged from $150 to $599. The APA says, whatever they call it, asking for more money at the lot is a rip-off.
And other provinces seem to agree – Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec all require dealers to clearly advertise additional fees or to have an “all-in price.”
Just recently, a dealer in Ontario was fined $12,500 for tacking on extra fees at the lot.
And in British Columbia? The provincial Motor Vehicle Sales Authority say consumers are out of luck.
The VSA claims it encourages dealers to advertise an “all-in” or total price, but it’s not a requirement under their provincial law and they don’t have the authority to order it, even though they are an independent regulatory agency charged with administering the provincial Motor Dealer Act and parts of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.