Virginia dealers must disclose all fees clearly in their ads

The Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Board (MVDB) met last week and sent a clear message to dealers about the law related to charging customers for reconditioning fees. MVDB confirmed that advertising a used vehicle with a separate disclosure for an additional reconditioning fee violates Virginia law.

The fine is $1,000 per violation. For example, if the MVDB learns that a dealer is advertising in violation of the law, that constitutes the first offence. At that point, the Board says it will send a field investigator to the dealership who will randomly select deal jackets in search of further transaction based violations, with each discovered violation carrying an additional $1,000 fine.

In other words, once MVDB is alerted to the potential of transaction-based violations through the advertising violation, that will trigger the field investigator’s visit to the store where the investigator will search for as many violations as he or she can find.

The MVDB’s advertising committee recommended, and the full Board accepted, the new policy on this matter. And enforcement has already begun.

Here is a summary of the old and new policies for Virginia MVDB:

Old Policy                               New Policy

First offense Educational letter Educational letter
2nd offense $500 fine $1,000 fine
3rd offense $1,000 fine Appearance before the Board