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Your Beef: The story that brought Wheels to the rescue

The Star lends an unemployed single mom a helping hand on fees attached to her Yaris.

Published July 6, 2012
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Q: I want to buy out my 2007 Yaris, leased new from a Brampton Toyota dealership, when the five-year lease expires in June 2012.

The cost breakdown is as follows:

$5,773.85 Purchase Option

$299.00 Registration Fee

$25.00 Car Proof

$5.00 OMVIC

Sub-Total: $6,102.85

HST: $793.37

Total: $6,896.22

To this amount, add the Safety Certificate ($98 plus tax) and $20 Ownership.

I was told the $299 registration fee is the “standard minimum” at this dealership. At the original leasing dealership, their registration fee is $399.

I wanted to do the paperwork myself rather than pay the dealership that hefty fee to do it for me. They said to contact Toyota Canada for that.

However, head office says I can’t pay Toyota Canada directly — even though they’re listed as the vehicle owner on the original lease — and must go through a dealership.

They add that other dealerships aren’t obliged to do business with me.

Feeling angry and powerless, I paid the full amount at the dealership.

On the vehicle purchase agreement, the $299 fee is listed as “Platinum Protection” and $6,102.85 as total vehicle price. I have no clue what these mean.

Was it possible to do the buy out directly from Toyota Canada? What is the $299 fee for and why did I have to pay for a car proof (vehicle history report)?

Am I paying $299 for what I could do myself for $10 at the licence office?

A: Mandy Armstrong, spokesperson for Toyota Canada, replies:

Thank you for giving Toyota Canada Inc. the opportunity to respond.

We have spoken with the dealer and they have advised that they will work directly with this customer to resolve their concerns.

Update from our reader:

After The Star intervened, the local dealership called and apologized for any issues arising from the lease buyout, stating that we didn’t have to buy the “insurance protection” if we didn’t want to. They offered to refund the $299 fee plus tax, which was accepted.

As for the car proof, they maintain they are required to provide it, but didn’t explain why the buyer had to pay for it.

There is no doubt in my mind that if The Star had not become involved, I would never have received a refund of this fee from Toyota.

Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.

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