Ending your car lease is tricky, but can still pay off

That car you leased three years ago probably has become a cash cow. But deciding what to do with that equity — and what to drive next — has become confusing.

Before the car market was turned upside down by the pandemic, microchip shortages and supply chain disruptions, most people simply turned in their leased cars. But now that most leased vehicles are worth thousands of dollars more than the predetermined price in the lease contract, a savvy consumer might want to leverage that bonus.

And that’s where things get tricky.

“Getting the equity out at the end of the lease is more difficult than just turning it back in,” says Scot Hall, executive vice president of operations for Swapalease, which matches leaseholders with car shoppers looking to take over a lease.

There’s a new wrinkle

“Captive” automotive lenders, the financing arms of manufacturers that usually handle leases, want those

Read More

Black Auto Designers Pay it Forward Mentoring Next-Generation Talent

Without designers, there are no cars.

Automotive designers combine knowledge of mechanics, production and materials with artistic talent to improve the style, appearance and aerodynamics of automobiles.

Much like in other professions, Black designers have fought for representation in the auto industry.

General Motors hired Edward Welburn as their first Black designer in 1972. In 2003 Welburn became the first Black Vice President of Global Design in the industry.

Black designers like Michael Burton, Crystal Windham, Earl Lucas and Chris Young have each contributed impressive feats to automotive design, from the Ford Flex to the 2021 Ford Bronco.

In 2011 when the Hyundai Sonata shook up the car market due to its modern sweeping body style, designer Andre Hudson was to thank.

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, Black employees make up 17.2 percent of workers in automotive manufacturing but the industry lacks diversity at the leadership level.

Read More

Wichita used-car dealer to pay $21K to settle complaint

A local used-car business and its owner have agreed to pay $20,000 plus more than $1,697 in court costs and other fees to settle a consumer complaint case alleging the company refused to honor implied warranties on their vehicles — including on a Nissan Altima that a repair shop described as a “Fred Flintstone” car too dangerous to drive because of a hole in its undercarriage.

Thomas Bland II and Quality Automotive Group LLC II, 3933 S. Broadway in Wichita, denied wrongdoing but agreed to pay the money to settle a Kansas Consumer Protection Act lawsuit filed by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, according to a news release. An attorney for the dealer, Todd Shadid of Klenda Austerman law firm, declined to comment Wednesday.

But Bland told The Eagle he thought the dealership “went above and beyond . . . to go well over what the warranty stated.”


Read More

Why the new-car destination charge is the worst fee to pay

Unfortunately, the price you see when automakers advertise a new car isn’t the price you end up paying. We’re not even talking about taxes. We’re talking about the destination charge. Even after haggling or finding a discount to lower the car’s cost below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, a destination charge typically adds at least $1,000 to the car’s price. But why?

Consumer Reports recently examined the rise of destination fees and found they’ve climbed from an average of $839 in 2011 to $1,244 in 2020, a massive 48% increase in less than a decade. Over the same period, the price of an average new car has risen “just” 27%. I join CR in calling for destination fees to be made part of MSRP and not a footnote to it.

Ford F-150 destination fee

The destination fee is chunky, but it doesn’t even get put in bold.

Read More