Understanding the Benefits of All-in Vehicle Pricing
Written by DriveAxis.ca August 24, 2022
Ontario law dictates that every car dealership must adhere to the principle of all-in pricing, but what exactly does that mean? Some believe it’s optional, while others believe it’s one final sticker price that takes everything into account. The truth is that all-in pricing is not optional, but mandatory, yet dealers don’t have to apply every charge to the final sticker price.
To understand better, it’s good to learn about the details surrounding all-in pricing, and how they can help you make a more informed car buying decision. You’ll learn what’s included in the all-in sticker price, what stipulations are attached to this new law, and what to watch out for when you go shopping for a new vehicle.
ALL-IN PRICING, EXPLAINED
When you go to an Ontario-based car dealership, you’ll undoubtedly spot a sticker price that includes all the fees upfront, so that there are no unpleasant surprises later on. This is to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of after the buying process has begun. Previously, a small minority of dealerships would try to use pressure tactics on buyers once the paperwork had started, tacking on admin and government fees, freight costs, inspection charges, and a host of other undesirables.
While some of these fees may in fact be legitimate, the practice of withholding them until the very end was deemed inappropriate. Therefore, all these fees need to be included in the all-in sticker price before you sit down with a sales rep to talk about a purchase. This gives the buyer more negotiating power, while allowing the dealership to run in a more honest and efficient manner.
WHAT ISN’T INCLUDED
While it might be tempting to think that all-in pricing is the final tally of a vehicle’s cost, that isn’t quite right. For instance, licensing and HST charges will still be tacked on at the end of the purchase, so buyers will need to take these into account before calculating the vehicle’s affordability. Don’t assume that the big sticker is giving you the exact sum. All-in pricing is designed to lump ancillary costs into the equation at the beginning, rather than the end of the car buying process.
When it comes to licensing fees, don’t worry. These are considered standard, and have nothing to do with the dealership. Licensing fees pertain to things like vehicle registration and places, which is a provincial issue. Dealers have no control over the fee structure, as this is government-related.
WHEN ALL-IN PRICING IS NOT APPLICABLE
All-in pricing is exempt in particular circumstances, and remains largely dealer-focused. For that reason, vehicle manufacturers are not required to show all-in pricing, as they are not under the regulatory purview of OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council). There are exceptions to this rule, but it is generally not the practice of manufacturers to go down this road.
All-in pricing is also not applicable for cars sold “as is,” or “unfit.” The former requires official paperwork informing potential buyers of the condition of the vehicle, and any repair or maintenance costs they may have to pay after purchasing. The same goes for the latter, requiring a statement that the vehicle did not pass safety inspection tests.
There’s one more scenario where all-in pricing is not applicable, at least partially. This occurs when more than dealers place the same ad in different regions where things like administration costs vary by nature. In that case, the ad in question must be transparent about what costs may not be included in the final price (i.e. administration fees). The goal, as always, is for all-in pricing to be as clear and precise as possible for the benefit of the consumer.
All-in pricing is a great way to make sure that you actually enjoy your vehicle buying experience, without having to deal with potential hiccups on the day of purchase. It also allows dealers to operate in a more upfront manner, which cuts out a lot of issues, and gets right down to where they want to be - the negotiating process. Once there, it’s up to both the sales rep and consumer to hammer out a mutually agreeable deal that makes both parties smile at the end of the transaction.
DriveAxis.ca fully supports Ontario’s all-in vehicle pricing laws, as it runs parallel with our own philosophy of being upfront, honest and direct with all of our customers. We like to make the car-buying process as enjoyable as possible, and that only occurs when someone drives a car off of our lot with a huge smile on their face, knowing we’ve done our job. Ready to buy your next car? Let’s see if we can’t help you find your ideal vehicle at a price you’ll agree with. Contact us today!