A Toronto man said he has been trying to buy a 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid for the past month, but there is such a shortage of cars he could have to wait as long as a year if he orders one.
Some dealerships have cars on their lots from cancelled orders, but Erez Van Ham said when he wanted to buy one of those cars he was told he would also have to purchase expensive options he didn’t want.
“I even had a dealer, a salesperson be honest with me and say there is excess demand so we feel we can do this,” said Van Ham.
Van Ham said his research found the price of a 2023 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid to be around $36,000, but he was told with all the extra options he would have to purchase the price would be about $49,000.
Van Ham said he was told he would have to purchase key insurance, paint protection, electronic corrosion control, rust proofing, extended warranty, alloy winter tires, ceramic coating and tinted windows.
“I’m being told I have to pay for these options if I want the car,” said Van Ham who added “I feel it’s price gouging at it’s worst. You used to be able to go into a dealership and negotiate a price down not up.”
Car Help Canada is a non-profit organization that assists consumers with the negotiation of car purchases.
The group said currently there is such a shortage of new cars that some dealers are adding on what they’re calling “market adjustment fees” or forcing buyers to purchases expensive options whether they want them or not.
“Unfortunately there are quite a few dealers out there taking advantage of the situation and charging customers more than they should be paying,” said Shari Prymak, a senior consultant with Car Help Canada.
Prymak said forcing a customer to purchase additional options they don’t want should not be allowed.
“Tied selling is something right on the Canadian competition bureau’s website as an illegal act so this is something they could be looking into,” said Prymak.
CTV News reached out to Hyundai Canada about Van Ham’s claims and a spokesperson for Hyundai said that, “at Hyundai Auto Canada, we strive to provide our customers with optimal customer service, which starts with transparent communication, and accurate pricing.”
“Presenting misleading pricing and fees to customers is unacceptable. We will take this opportunity to reinforce our expectations with our group of independently-owned dealers, as we continue to navigate the industry-wide inventory shortage to the best of our ability.”
Van Ham said he refuses to pay for options he doesn’t want. Car Help Canada said the shortage of new cars is likely to continue for at least another year and that unless you need a car right away you may be better off waiting until the supply of new vehicles returns to normal.