|Dealer Premises Guideline
|Section/subsection(s): S.6; Code of Ethics; S9SS1; S28, SS6, 7 & 8
The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002 (MVDA), its regulations and Code of Ethics, as well as relevant sections of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), on behalf of Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC’s mandate is to maintain a fair and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers, enhancing industry professionalism, and ensuring fair, honest, and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers.
In all cases, OMVIC is responsible for advising other regulatory and enforcement bodies where it finds reason to believe that there might have been violations of any relevant law or regulation, including those beyond OMVIC’s own authority.
This guideline updates the bulletin entitled New Requirements for General Dealer Premises, published in February 2014. It addresses only dealers’ physical premises and applies primarily to general dealers.
While there is no specific legislative or regulatory authority regarding the appearance and upkeep of dealer premises, there are several references that speak to the matter at hand:
In the spirit of professionalism outlined in the Code of Ethics, dealers are expected to ensure that their premises:
According to Section 30, sub-section 1 of Ontario Regulation 333/08, general dealers must maintain a sign on the business premises identifying the registrant and the premises in the manner prescribed by the Registrar. The signage should be sufficient to identify the vehicle dealership. This sub-section does not apply to outside Ontario dealers, lease dealers or fleet lessors.
The dealership should:
An exception may be granted to the vehicle display guidance where a dealership operates and shares space with a non-arm’s length business, such as a repair shop.
The dealership is expected to:
Q1: Why do we need a new guideline about dealer premises?
A1: This guideline updates the bulletin entitled New Requirements for General Dealer Premises, published in February 2014. It addresses only dealers’ physical premises and applies primarily to general dealers.
Q2: What topics related to dealer premises does the guideline cover?
A2: The guideline covers matters related to location; hours of operation; signage; vehicle display; physical attributes; municipal bylaws; and insurance.
Q3: What does the guideline say about dealer premises?
A3: The guideline includes an overview of the current legislation and regulations and up-to-date information on how to remain compliant with the new standards. In doing so, the guideline:
Q4: How does this dealer premises guideline relate to the guideline on Electronic Record-keeping?
A4: Dealerships are expected to have office space sufficient in size for the secure storage of six years’ of books/records or sufficient electronic storage to achieve the same outcome. The Guideline for Electronic Record Keeping explains these expectations in detail.
Q5: How does this guideline clarify OMVIC’s responsibility to work with other regulatory and enforcement bodies?
A5: OMVIC administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002 (MVDA), its regulations and Code of Ethics, as well as relevant sections of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), on behalf of Ontario’s Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery. Certain issues related to dealer premises fall outside OMVIC’s mandate. When we have reason to believe that there might have been violations of any relevant law or regulation, it is our responsibility to notify the appropriate legal authorities.
Q6: The guideline only speaks to dealer requirements under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. What about other types of insurance that dealers are required to have?
A6: Dealers are required to comply with the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. There may be other insurance requirements that apply, as well. Dealers who have questions about those requirements should seek independent legal advice or contact the appropriate regulatory bodies.
Q7: If they’re guidelines, does that mean the rules they spell out aren’t mandatory?
A7: Some of what’s in the guidelines is mandatory (for example, when it’s based on legislative or regulatory requirements, the Code of Ethics, Business Practices, etc.). In other cases, there’s a degree of flexibility. Either way, though, the Code of Ethics requires dealers to conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner.
Q8: Who do I call if I still have questions?
A8: You can contact Dealer Support by phone at 1-800-943-6002, ext. 4 or via email at email@example.com.
The Dealer Support team is available to assist dealers in achieving and maintaining
compliance with the MVDA and Code of Ethics. Registrants who wish to contact Dealer
Support can reach the team at the phone number below and leave a message.
Messages are returned in priority sequence.