Surrey, British Columbia – The B.C. Registrar of Motor Dealers is urging buyers to make sure they know all of the costs they may face before buying a vehicle, warning that some “automatic” fees may be illegal.

“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,” said registrar Ken Smith. “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 part 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.

Details on the issue can be found at the Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C.

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