Insurance Facts and Myths

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.** Recently we came across a statement that insurance is more expensive for a leased vehicle compared with a vehicle the driver owns. While there may be a few specific situations where this is the case, it's generally not true, at least not anymore. But let's look at the details a bit more... Auto Insurance Overview An auto insurance policy is usually made up of three types of coverage (at minimum): Liability Coverage Collision Coverage Comprehensive Coverage Generally speaking your state will require you to have liability coverage, sometimes referred to as "proof of financial responsibility" that you must have before you can successfully register your vehicle.  These limits vary by state, but this coverage is only to reimburse other people for medical bills and property damage caused by your driving.  It will not provide coverage to fix your vehicle if you caused the...
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Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday

Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.** There's an old adage related to the relationship between auto racing and automotive sales "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" - meaning that strong performance in auto racing drives sales once dealerships re-open on Monday.  While some have argued that the relationship is no longer as strong, it may certainly have become more subtle, but it seems that it is still present.  The major global manufacturers still invest in auto racing, as well as major automotive-related companies like tire manufacturers, lubricants and fuel manufacturers/distributors, and other related companies that use auto racing and other motor sports as major marketing opportunities. With Memorial Day weekend quickly approaching, it marks the unofficial start of summer, but is also the largest motor sports weekend, both here in the US and abroad, on the calendar.  On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend three major races...
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Open-ended vs. Closed-ended Leases

Open-ended vs. Closed-ended Leases

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.** You may see a lease referred to an "open-ended" or "closed-ended", if you do it's likely to be in the fine print, legalese, or wherever the dealer/manufacturer/lessor has put some important but confusing details they hope you won't read.  Even worse, maybe the advertiser won't put it in the fine print but puts "open-ended lease" or "closed-ended lease" in big print next to some out of this world offer - how do you know whether it's a good deal or not? What's the Difference Between Open-ended and Closed-ended leases? In short, in an open-ended lease the lessee is the one on the hook if the actual value at the end of the lease is below the residual value set at lease inception, and in a closed-ended lease it is the lessor.  Usually, your contract will be a close-ended lease, but it’s still...
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The Penske File

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.** Several months ago I was in market for a new car - I tend to buy new but also tend to own the car for 5-6 years, so not exactly running it into the ground, but also I do enjoy owning it for 1 or 2 years with no payments at all.  I had owned my car for just about six years at that point, and while it still runs great it was also getting to a mileage and age point where it will get a little harder to sell, because it will get a little tougher to finance.  So it was time to go car shopping! I was looking for a vehicle with the MSRP in the $35-40k range, potentially a coupe, but also open to a sporty/performance-focused sedan.  In time I had narrowed my list to the Cadillac ATS,...
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Summer Car Buying Season is Here

Summer Car Buying Season is Here

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.**   It is once again the unofficial start of summer upon us: Memorial Day Weekend!  As we discussed in the article about holiday weekend shopping last year, holiday weekends tend to be a great time to buy a car for a variety of reasons.  Of course, if you're going to go car shopping over a holiday weekend you don't want to spend your extra day off at the dealership.  So get prepared in advance. Among the holiday weekends Memorial Day weekend is one of the best ones for car buyers for a couple of reasons: The model year traditionally starts in the fall, so dealers use the summer to clear inventory of the outgoing model year.  Memorial Day weekend is a great time to promote the clearance deals that will make room for the new models coming in from the factories. Memorial...
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Leasing a Final Model

Leasing a Final Model

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.**   On April 24 the Ford Motor Company (Stock Info:) announced that it will be ending production of all its existing cars (so not including its trucks, SUVs, or crossovers) in North America with the exception of the Mustang by 2020.  Armchair strategists and analysts can talk all day about whether this is the right move for Ford and how other automakers will react (and many have), but we'll use this opportunity to focus on whether it makes sense to consider leasing a vehicle that won't have a new version for sale by the time your lease expires. First Things First: Follow the Money It's important to consider the most basic reason why Ford made this decision to do away with making and selling sedans in the North American market - they weren't generating sufficient profit on these vehicles.  This news release itself...
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Understanding Lease Ad Mailers

Understanding Lease Ad Mailers

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.**   With the spring thaw finally upon us (more or less), the automotive world is gearing up for another summer sales season.  While everyone assumes that direct mail is out as a marketing strategy, there are still a lot of mailers sent out, both by dealers and by manufacturers, as a way to present and promote vehicles.  And again, as we described in our first article on auto ads (which focused on online ads), presenting a lease deal is particularly advantageous in the small space available, because lease deals require relatively few numbers and text to present the offer to the largest audience. Recap: What the ad will and won't show Any lease ad, regardless of the medium used (online, mail, newspaper/magazine, television, radio, billboard, etc.) will always show a few things to define what is being offered: The monthly payment The term The amount...
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Road Trip III

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.**   Over the summer we had a couple of articles about road trips to consider if you're far under your mileage limit on your leased vehicle, and you are not considering purchasing the vehicle at the end of the lease term.  We setup the conditions that we would consider road trips of up to 1,500 miles (city to city) that get you back to where you started from.  We also promised that there would be six trips total, and we only provided four in the summer - so year-end holiday week seems like a good time to describe the other two trips. As a reminder, in the initial road trip article we outlined a seven-state trip to see baseball games in seven cities in the Midwest as well as a tour around New England.   In the subsequent road trip article we described...
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Looking Ahead to 2018

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.** Thank you to all the readers that have used Lease Wizard as a resource in 2017, and especially to all that provided feedback through email and social media, or submitted questions - hopefully the answers were helpful. Looking ahead to 2018 we have a few specific goals for expanding and enhancing Lease Wizard: A state-by-state guide with information to consider specific to leasing (or buying, or even selling/trading-in) a vehicle in each state.  Things like any special rules on sales tax, government fees you can expect to be charged, and anything important to know about customary dealer or lender/lessor fees that they can impose and any caps on them. Creating a note-taking tool so you can bring Lease Wizard into the dealership with you on your phone - and more specifically have the key items that you want to ask about...
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More About The One-Pay Lease

**This post contains affiliate links and the publisher may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.**   The last few weeks have brought several inquiries about the one-pay lease, so it seemed like something worth addressing further in an article, and as notification that the main page about one-pay (single-pay) leases is being updated slightly as well.  In short, while the information provided on how it works, and the related one-pay lease calculator, are correct, it's become apparent from reader feedback that not all dealers and lessors use the same method to compute the single lease payment due at signing. Don't Just Sum Your Monthly Payments First, and foremost, you may want to reconsider doing a single-pay lease if the dealer/lessor uses a method where they calculate your lease payment the conventional way, and then just multiply by the term to determine the single payment.  Simply put, when this happens you are paying interest (rent charge) on your upfront...
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