Registrar warns motor vehicle consumers to watch for hidden fees

(SURREY, B.C. - 14 October, 2009) - The Registrar of Motor Dealers, Ken Smith, has urged vehicle buyers to make sure they know all of the costs they may face before concluding a purchase agreement.

"So-called 'documentation fees' and other extra charges undisclosed in vehicle advertising, are often added after the customer believes a final price has been negotiated," Smith said. "As in everything else, prices that seem 'too good to be true' most often are not true."

Special charges that are clearly stated in advertising or openly discussed as parts of a negotiating process are acceptable within the province's consumer legislation, but automatic fees that are neither specified in advertising nor discussed until final papers are being signed, are likely illegal. The only additional charges that can be added as “standard” or “required” are sales taxes, the Battery Levy and the Tire Levy.

Smith is also President of the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C., the independent regulatory agency delegated by government to administer statutes and related regulations concerning the retail sale of motor vehicles.

More details on this issue can be found at the VSA web site, There can be found Bulletins to industry outlining the law as it applies to "documentation fees."

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PLEASE CONTACT: Judy McRae, Manager, Corporate Services and Communications
Phone: 604-575-6164

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