The province of Ontario is organizing public consultations to create a consumer information package for the car buying process and, in cooperation with the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) at some point in 2023. It will be a unique chance for consumers to provide feedback to decision makers at Queen’s Park.
I learned about the province’s plan for the public consultations during a recent conversation I had with OMVIC’s CEO Maureen Harquail. I inquired about the possibility of improving processes involved with the car-buying experience by introducing standardized documentation for things like the issuance of quotes and bettering the language used in bills of sale so that there was a clear separation between mandatory and non-mandatory costs. Harquail explained that OMVIC would first require regulatory changes to be brought about at the province to create a more standardized process as those types of changes were not within their current powers. Additionally, Harquail discussed how OMVIC had revamped its inspection division so that there were more resources allocated toward ensuring dealers are in compliance with provincial standards. The final part of our chat touched on the Auditor General’s 2021 report titled “Value-for Money Audit: Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council”, and how the province was looking to schedule public consultations on these matters.
The best way to stay up to date on the public consultation process is to follow OMVIC or the Ministry of Public and Business Services.
Why should you attend this public consultation?
The summary of the Auditor General’s 2021 report notes that OMVIC has lacked the processes to consistently protect the public in their transactions with motor vehicle dealers and salespeople, and that The Ministry of Public and Business Services has not sufficiently overseen OMVIC to confirm that it is effectively fulfilling its mandate. With how big an investment buying a car can be, a more transparent car-buying process should be on all our minds.