Did I last update this blog in August? Where did September go? Thanks for continuing to post your comments here and checking to see what others are writing.
Here’s a recent post about car leasing from Sarah, who asks about an ethical issue. I thought I’d bring it your attention and get your comments about it.
I leased a car and Iâ€™m at my end of lease. I had the inspector come to my house and watched him do the inspection.
Long story short, he was VERY lazy and missed something that I know is a major repair. (itâ€™s a convertible and the top wonâ€™t go down! He was so lazy he didnâ€™t even TRY IT!)
The leasing company told my husband not to mention it and only to repair this item if the inspector catches it.
Am I only responsible for the items he listed on his report? Or am I at risk of being billed for this after the fact, even though I was not told to fix it?
This is my first lease and I donâ€™t know what to do. I donâ€™t want to pay the $1,500 to fix it if I donâ€™t have to.
Kerry has a complaint about a car rental, where a large damage charge was added to her bill after she returned the vehicle. This is a cautionary tale.
Attached is a bill for repairs to a car I rented 14 MONTHS after it was returned. I returned the car during office hours and was issued a receipt after the normal check for gas levels, etc. I was shown no damage.
From Avis Budget Group:
With respect to the damage that occurred to the rental vehicle, our claim is based on the following:
— $498.00 (cost of repairs)
— $110.98 (loss of use)
— $100 (administration)
— $708.88 (Total).
Is it possible for car rental companies to make claims after so much time has elapsed? What can I do as a consumer to prevent this from happening again?
Karl has a story about taking his car to a few repair shops and getting wildly varying quotes for what was needed.
My Chevy Malibu was due for an oil change and an emissions test. The car has less than 60,000 kilometres on it.
I took it to a Chevrolet dealer that I’ve used many times, without any problem. Since their emission test machine was down, I told them to go ahead with an oil change, with the GM Good Wrench 20 point check. I would do the emission test somewhere else.
The shop called me to say that the steering shaft was bent. The cost to replace it, using used parts, would be about $400. I declined, as I hadn’t felt anything unusual with steering.
The oil change was done. The 20 point check came back with green scores. There was no printed record on either invoice about the steering shaft.
Two days later, I took the same car to another dealer for the emission test. This shop had been a GM Good Wrench, now changed to KIA.
The dealer called to say the emission test could not be done because the exhaust system was leaking. The cost to fix it would be $700 plus. I declined, as the car was comparatively new and not heavily driven. I didn’t get charged by KIA. The exhaust leak finding was printed on the zero charged invoice.
The same day, I took the same car to a garage recommended by a friend, not GM, not KIA, to do the emission test. One hour later, the emission test report came out with flying colours. No mention of any exhaust leak or bent steering shaft.
Finally, I can renew my licence plate.
Talking about complaints, I got more than my usual share when I wrote a column about rising car insurance rates and shrinking accident benefits in Ontario.
Many people said I didn’t go far enough in denouncing the government’s insurance changes imposed a year ago. Some complained about rising property insurance rates as well. Check out a sample of their comments below.
If you want to see what I’m writing elsewhere, you can find my Toronto Star columns (three a week) and blog posts (two a week) at Moneyville, which just celebrated its first anniversary. You can also follow me on Twitter.
Finally, you can come to my free financial literacy workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 5.30 to 9.30 p.m., at Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. Details below:
COEC 100 Financial Basics
Work on your budgeting skills, learn how to track your spending, understand how credit products are marketed, manage your debt, compare different saving and investing options, choose a financial adviser, and avoid common financial frauds. Participants will learn the need for financial literacy as an essential life skill, the importance of asking questions when dealing with financial products and financial advisers, and the ways to save money when they think they’re stretched to the limit.
Note: Prior to the workshop, you may enroll online or in person. On the day of the workshop, you may enroll in person at the workshop location (Heaslip House, 7th Floor, Peter Bronfman Learning Centre, 297 Victoria Street, Toronto).