OMVIC’s mystery shop program highlights improved dealer compliance

Published On
January 14, 2021

Almost 60 per cent of Ontario’s motor vehicle dealers involved in OMVIC’s 2020 mystery shop program passed their checks with flying colours. This represents a 15 per cent increase since 2019, demonstrating Ontario’s dealers are becoming more compliant with the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA).

While dealer passage rates improved since 2019, OMVIC’s mystery shop program highlighted the fact that 41 per cent still failed to meet the basic levels of compliance outlined in the MVDA. Major compliance issues varied from failing to meet all-in price advertising requirements, while others offered misrepresentations in their advertising. As a result, 13 dealerships were sent caution letters from OMVIC’s business standards team, and 13 will be forwarded for discipline.

Mystery shoppers conducted 63 shops at 61 locations from July to December 2020, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This included dealerships in the Durham Region – including Oshawa, Whitby and Pickering – as well as Barrie, Sarnia, Kingston and Ottawa.

In 2021, OMVIC will expand its mystery shop program to include dealers in Waterloo Region, Haldimand-Norfolk, Grey Bruce County, Prescott-Russell, Huntsville-Gravenhurst-Bracebridge and Windsor.

OMVIC offers free advertising review services to support dealers in meeting the MVDA compliance requirements. If you have questions, or want additional information, contact the business standards team today at [email protected].

Alternatively, if you have questions about the mystery shop program contact 1-800-943-6002. To learn more about compliance under the MVDA, review the necessary requirements online at