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VSA Industry Bulletin
November 25, 2022

RV Trailer Length Update & Competition Act Amendment

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has amended the maximum overall trailer length allowable for RV Trailers with 5th Wheel Hitches and a GVW of under 10,000kg. Click on the link below for the Ministry’s Compliance Circular outlining the update in detail.
Ministry of Transport: RV Trailer Length

Competition Act Amendment: Drip Pricing

Competition Act Amendment: Drip Pricing

Earlier this year the Federal Government amended the Competition Act to prohibit what the Competition Bureau calls drip pricing. The Guidelines from the Competition Bureau describes drip pricing as “offering a product or service at a price that is unattainable because consumers must also pay additional charges or fees to buy the product or service.” It is called drip pricing as additional fees are often added at the end of the transaction that were not previously advertised. Those Guidelines state that this type of conduct is considered false and misleading advertising and a deceptive marketing practice. Please click on the links below for more detailed information:

The Federal Competition Bureau has acted against this conduct in relation to rental car agencies, online event ticket sellers, airline ticket selling sites, and others with millions of dollars spent to settle claims.

In a November 14, 2022, circular, the Canadian Auto Dealers Association (CADA) issued a warning to franchise dealers about properly advertising vehicles for sale to include all required fees. The CADA warns:

Given the recently codified criminal and civil prohibitions against Drip Pricing, dealers that advertise prices online or otherwise, directly or indirectly through third parties, should ensure that such prices reflect all charges. Dealers should consult with their advisors and carefully review their existing advertising and compliance practices, especially considering a possible new penalty of up to 3% of annual worldwide gross revenues that can arise from the failure to comply with the Act [Competition Act] and the significant expense associated with enforcement proceedings.

The Competition Act applies to all motor dealers and other licensees in British Columbia. The prohibition against drip pricing applies to all motor dealers and other licensees in British Columbia, regardless of whether the vehicle is new, used or a demonstrator vehicle. The VSA recommends that motor dealers and licensees review their advertising practices in light of these amendments to the Competition Act, and if necessary, seek legal advice on how to advertise vehicle prices online or in any other form to ensure that they are in legal compliance.

If a dealer or other licensee is found in breach of the Competition Act, the Registrar is required to review that dealer or licensee’s suitability to retain their registration or license.