Things to Know Before You Go

Choose the right dealer

  • Talk to friends and family to see if they can recommend a dealer
  • Check to see if the dealer is licensed with the VSA
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau of mainland B.C. or Vancouver Island

Know the advertising rules

Whenever the price of a vehicle is included in an advertisement, it must be the total price of the vehicle. Total price means the total amount that you must pay to purchase the vehicle. This can include dealer fees shown in the fine print of an ad.

For a new vehicle, this includes:

  • The cost of any accessories or optional equipment that is physically attached to the vehicle
  • Any transportation charges
  • The cost of any pre-delivery and inspection service charged by the dealer

Advertising of financing and leasing options must include any interest or other costs charged and the finance calculations.

Understanding documentation & other dealer fees

  • Ask about these fees while negotiating a price
  • Special charges that are clearly stated in advertising or openly discussed as a part of the negotiating process are acceptable under B.C.’s consumer legislation
  • Standard or required fees that are not shown in advertising, added after the customer believes a final price has been negotiated and not discussed until the final papers are being signed, are likely illegal.

To discover more about Understanding Dealer Fees, click here

Saving claims must be real

  • A dealer must not advertise or claim that a price benefit or savings exists when it is not a true savings
  • When a vehicle is advertised at a sale price, the sale price must be a real cost saving for the purchaser
  • For example: If a vehicle had never been sold at MSRP, MSRP cannot be used to calculate a savings.
    However, simply stating the MSRP is acceptable.

If different prices are advertised

  • If a vehicle is advertised in different places, all advertised prices for a vehicle must be the same
  • Advertising includes newspaper, television, radio, internet and sticker prices
  • If there is a difference in pricing, under the Competition Act, you are entitled to the lowest price

Plan your buying trip

  • Purchasing a vehicle may take a few hours
  • Don’t be in a hurry when making an important decision and signing legal documents
  • Don’t take children, if at all possible
  • Bring someone you trust who knows about vehicles, financing and sales transactions

Find a salesperson who:

  • Makes you feel comfortable
  • Wants to find the vehicle that meets your needs
  • Answers your questions to your satisfaction
  • Wants to build a relationship for future sales
  • Displays their VSA Salesperson License