Starting Feb. 1, auto dealers in Saskatchewan have to give buyers a “drive away price” that includes any fees and levies coming from the dealership. Those extra fees can range anywhere from $400 to $1,200. “There’s a charge for paperwork, and there’s something called a green tire levy,” said Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association. “These things are all fake charges. They’re made to look like payments to government…”
If you refuse to pay, dealers often refuse to sell you the vehicle. “Dealers are absolutely unrepentant about this stuff,” he said. “We’ve done many, several dozen, visits with hidden cameras rolling. The explanations you get verbally are ludicrous, deceptive and sometimes fraudulent.”
Iny said the hidden fees appeared around ten years ago, mainly because of tightening margins from car makers, squeezing the profits of dealerships.