OMVIC to launch Mystery Shop Blitzes in Durham Region

Published On
July 21, 2020

In the coming weeks, OMVIC staff will conduct mystery shops at dealerships in Durham Region to monitor all-in-price advertising compliance.

The initiative is being launched because of ongoing all-in price advertising violations by some dealers whose actions have resulted in consumer harm. Non-compliance is also unfair to those dealers that follow the law.

In 2019, OMVIC’s investigations team conducted two mystery shop projects at 28 dealerships in Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. Fifty per cent of those shopped violated all-in price advertising laws. Only HST and licensing fees do not have to be included in the price if the advertisement clearly and prominently indicates they are not included.


Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) requires advertised vehicle prices include all fees and charges dealers intend to collect including:

  • Freight
  • Pre-delivery inspection or expense
  • Administration fee
  • Government levies
  • OMVIC fee
  • Safety and e-test (unless the ad contains an “Unfit Vehicle” or an “As-is” vehicle disclosure)

Products or services pre-installed on a vehicle by a dealer must also be included in the advertised price. Examples include:

  • Nitrogen/tire protection package
  • Warranties
  • Security or theft deterrent products/services (etching, etc.)
  • Fuel

The 2020 Mystery Shops allows OMVIC’s Investigations Team to get a clearer picture of compliance in the province and helps OMVIC focus its educational resources.

Dealers who are found to comply with the law will receive a “Pass” letter.

Dealers failing mystery shops may face administrative or enforcement action.