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Date: 3/2010    Sender's Name: Kyle H Sender's City ⁄ Province: Moose Jaw, SK
Sender's Question:     I have been looking for a spacious car that tailors to a taller demographic. I have found that most of the cars that I test drive do not provide me with much leg room, any suggestions?
Zack’s Response:    The first rule when you are shopping for a vehicle is to get in and out of as many as you can so that you get a feel for what actually fits your body. What works for one person might not be comfortable for another. Legroom and headroom are important but also pay attention to the foam used in the seats or the firmness of the seats. Seats that use good quality foam are much more comfortable and produce less pressure points on your body when driving. Okay, back to your question. Just because a car is big on the outside does not mean that it will be spacious on the inside. This is why you need to try many out. A compact vehicle that has the driver sit higher like a Toyota Matrix will have more headroom then a conventional sedan. Vehicles like the Mazda5, Kia SOUL, Nissan Cube and Jeep Patriot are good examples of a tall, crossover type cars that provide a great room in a small package. The next step is to try conventional crossover/SUV's with tall roof lines like the Chevy Equinox, Ford Edge or any of the other brands in the market. If you have your heart set on a conventional sedan type car, then the German makers usually provide more space for bigger people than cars from say Korea. Try vehicles that you might not have considered and try as many as you can to see what fits. You might be surprised that a compact car with a higher roof line has just as much room as a bigger vehicle. Good luck, Zack
Date: 3/2010    Sender's Name: Kimber A Sender's City ⁄ Province: Vancouver, BC
Sender's Question:     What are the best trailering gears for a vehicle? If you order a trailering tow package on your vehicle, what gear ratio is best?
Zack’s Response:    If you tow larger trailers than a full sized pickup or pickup based SUV like a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition is best. These can often be ordered with tow packages and you can also order different gear ratios for your individual application. It is important to look for a tow package that has a transmission setting for "tow/haul". This setting allows the driver to lock out certain gears when towing up hills and it keep the transmission in lower gears for driving down hills. This greatly reduces the wear on the brakes and makes the trailer easier to manage on steep grades. In addition, there are often electronics programs included with these settings that prevent the trailer from swaying back and forth behind the truck, which makes towing much safer. If you tow at highway speeds then you will need a very different gearing ratio than someone that tows at low speeds. If you purchase a truck that is geared for lower speed towing and you end up driving a lot on the highway, then the vehicle will use a lot more fuel. It is a good idea to look for a truck with a 6-speed automatic, as this, along with the gearing makes the vehicle more versatile over a greater number of driving situations. Plus a 6-speed automatic will save money on fuel. Speaking of fuel, the engine you choose will also make a huge difference in the type of towing that you do. If you tow a lot and are pulling a heavy trailer, then a diesel engine will offer much better power and use less fuel . If however, you only tow on occasion, a regular gasoline engine will be cheaper to purchase and will more than meet your needs. I hope this helps, Zack
Date: 4/2010    Sender's Name: Eli O Sender's City ⁄ Province: Mississauga, ON
Sender's Question:     Hi, do you expect to see additional diesel engine choices for motorists in the near future? Especially from the domestic car makers.
Zack’s Response:    There will be limited choices for the foreseeable future.
Date: 6/2010    Sender's Name: Al Sender's City ⁄ Province: Ottawa, ON
Sender's Question:     Is it reasonable to expect some computer glitches in a 2001 Ford Windstar? Lately one of the doors won't unlock with the remote control, although all the others will. Occasionally the remote stops working (has brand new batteries) and after starting the engine, the remote again works; little things of that sort?
Zack’s Response:    It is not uncommon for a vehicle that is 9 years old to start to have problems pop up. The good news is that your problem doesn't sound that severe and shouldn't be too hard for a good mechanic to sort out. With any older vehicle there will come a time when the costs to keep a vehicle running outweigh the value and you might want to move on. This doesn't sound like the case with your van, but at some point repairs can become prohibitively expensive. Good luck. Zack
Date: 4/2010    Sender's Name: Tony S Sender's City ⁄ Province: Vernon, BC
Sender's Question:     Hi Zack, I like your show, I watched every saturday! I have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner crew cab with 51,000kms, V6 engine, auto, power group, a/c, etc. Could you give me an idea what i could sell this truck for? Thank you, Tony
Zack’s Response:    Hi Tony, I checked the Canadian Black Book for the wholesale value of your vehicle. Keep in mind that the wholesale price is what a dealership will pay for a vehicle and not what you should ask for your truck when you try to sell it privately. A rough estimate for private sale is to add 15% to the prices listed here: Vehicle : 2005 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab V6 at Distance travelled : 51000 Options : Low † : $18,875 High † : $20,750 † Less reconditioning costs Prices can vary depending on local market conditions. If you are in an area where there are not many vehicles like yours around, you might be able to charge more. Please check web sites like to look for other trucks like yours to get a good idea of prices. Maybe you want to sell yours and take over a lease here at LeaseBusters? Zack
Date: 4/2010    Sender's Name: Nathasa Sender's City ⁄ Province: Quebec
Sender's Question:     Hi Zack, I want to sell my Saturn Ion, 2007, 41,000 KM in good condition. Could you please tell me what I should charge for it? Thank you.
Zack’s Response:    Hi Nathasa, The best way to get an idea of your vehicles value is to search for similar cars for sale and to also get a wholesale value. To see what others are charging you can go to web sites like or and do a search for your vehicle. The prices you will find are the asking prices, this is different than the actual selling price. The other thing to do is to get the wholesale value of your vehicle. This is what a dealership would pay if you wanted to trade it in. Canadian Black Book is the biggest wholesale value provider in Canada and you can access their site by going to General Motors web site at Once you are on the site click on the "for owners" tab and at the bottom you will see "appraise trade-in value". This will get you into the Black Book data base. Once you have filled out the information about your vehicle you will get an estimate of the wholesale value. To price your vehicle for sale add roughly 15% to the wholesale price. Once you have placed your vehicle for sale you will get an idea of the interest from prospective buyers. If the price is too high your phone won't ring and you might have to adjust your price lower. Good luck selling your car. Zack
Date: 4/2010    Sender's Name: Pauline B Sender's City ⁄ Province: Mission, BC
Sender's Question:     Dear Zack, I think my question maybe more of a comparison then a question but here goes. At the moment I am driving a toyota Matrix and my lease is coming to an end and I'd like to roll it into a newer model. While I like my matrix and its roominess i am thinking of perhaps getting something alittle bigger as my work involves sometimes hauling items between different stores. Could perhaps give me your thoughts on the comparables between the matrix, rav4 and the honda crv. Any information you can provide me with in making my decion would be very helpful. thank you for your time Pauline
Zack’s Response:    Hi Pauline, If you want to tow a small trailer around it is very important to get a vehicle that can handle the extra load on the engine, transmission and suspension. You might want to consider the V6 RAV4 because that vehicle will have the power to pull a trailer yet it only uses slightly more fuel than the 4-cylinder. The towing capacity of the V6 RAV4 is 3500 lbs. It is a wonderful vehicle to drive and you will be impressed with the roominess. Try it out and see what you think. Zack
Date: 5/2010    Sender's Name: Joseph B Sender's City ⁄ Province: Winnipeg, MB
Sender's Question:     I would like to purchase a Ford Flex Limited Ecoboost. Can you still order a 2010 or will I need to order a 2011? I did manage to find a 2010 Flex Limited that has 1100 kms on it. It is being sold as a new vehicle and not a demo. What is a fair price to pay for this Ecoboost vehicle? Thanks, Joseph
Zack’s Response:    **Please note that the following response comes from Jim Matthews, General Manager of Leasebusters, as Zack Spencer is on holidays.** Hello Joseph from Winnipeg, Manitoba Thank you for your questions for Zack Spencer, hopefully I can fill in for him in a fashion that meets your expectations. In terms of ordering a new 2010 Ford Flex; according to my Ford dealership sources, you cannot order a new 2010 Flex any longer, in fact there are some 2011 models “on the ground” or currently being shipped to Ford dealerships across Canada. With respect to a fair price for the 2010 Flex Limited with the EcoBoost option that has 1,000kms on the “clock” that is being sold as a new vehicle; here are my pricing thoughts. Firstly, if the Ford dealership can demonstrate to you that the vehicle has never been registered to a customer then, despite the 1,000kms on the odometer, the Flex is technically still considered a new vehicle. Moreover, they will also have to demonstrate that the Flex has never been reported sold to Ford of Canada which also means that the warranty will start on the date that someone purchases the vehicle. In my humble opinion, a new vehicle with 1,000kms on the odometer is not a big issue providing the dealership can supply me with an explanation for the kms. In most cases, new vehicles with “mileage” is a result of the vehicle being dealer traded from another dealer (for all we know, the dealer could have got this vehicle from a Ford dealership from Thunder Bay, Ontario). In any event, not knowing a great deal about the other options on this particular Flex aside from it being a 2010 Ford Flex Limited AWD w/EcoBoost, I will assume that it doesn’t have any additional options such as Vista Sunroof, Navigation System, DVD Entertainment System, etc. If the subject vehicle has these extra features, simply add the option prices to the sale price. So, to recap, a base Flex as described has an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $48,099.00 (which includes Freight and Air Conditioning Excise Tax). Ford is offering a dealer allowance (cash rebate) of $5,000.00 on the 2010 Flex models which would come off the price; Ford is also offering a couple of other incentives totalling an additional $1,500.00 that you may or may not qualify for however for this purpose, we will leave them out of this pricing equation. According to a couple of my sources, a fair price for this “base” vehicle and assuming you do not qualify for the extra incentives would be approximately $41,000.00 plus applicable sales taxes. Once again, if the vehicle has additional payable options, the price of these options must be added to the price (you may be able to negotiate an 8% or 9% discount off of the option prices however that is entirely up to the dealer). I hope my response helps and be assured that my comments are only an opinion that may or may not be embraced by the Ford dealership. The Ford dealership has the right to sell the vehicle for more or for less than the numbers that I researched. Sincerely, Jim Matthews General Manager Leasebusters
Date: 5/2010    Sender's Name: Jason B Sender's City ⁄ Province: Ontario
Sender's Question:     The new 2010 Chevy Camaro has caught my eye, what are your thoughts about the vehicle? There are five different trim levels. Which one do you feel is the best value for the money? Have you heard of any incentives for this model? Love your show, Jason
Zack’s Response:    Hi Jason, The Camaro is an interesting car because it looks like a muscle car from the 60s but it is a very smooth and refined modern coupe. The V6 motor is more than enough power and the 6-speed automatic makes this car very easy to drive and has good fuel consumption. It is more of a touring car and not a sports car, so if you want a stylish and bold car with good power and a smooth ride, this is a good choice. However, if you want a bit more fun then the Ford Mustang is a better performer and is smaller and more nimble. Ford just released a new 3.7L V6 for the Mustang, which makes it fun to drive and good on gas, plus you can get a convertible. The most popular model for the Camaro is the V6 with the Rally package at just over $30,000. Good luck, Zack
Date: 6/2010    Sender's Name: Gosia Sender's City ⁄ Province: Mississauga, ON
Sender's Question:     If I want to purchase my Honda after the lease ended, do I have to pay $299 administration fee?
Zack’s Response:    Hi Gosia, If you decide to buy out your lease from Honda Finance you will have to engage a dealership to complete the paperwork. Remember that Honda Finance is not a licensed retailer but a wholesale dealer. So in order to get the dealership to process the paperwork, they have a legitimate right to charge a fee for their time and effort. The lease you have is with the finance company and not the dealership, the dealer needs to recoup their expenses. The administration fee that dealerships charge is a legitimate fee for service for their role in the lease buy out transaction; there is more to it than simply writing up a bill of sale. Moreover, there are several dealer people that “touch” the lease buyout file when a customer buys out their lease. The question surrounding buyout administration fees is; “how much is a fair fee for service”. I have seen administration fees “north of” $500.00 for this service which I find unreasonable however, I believe that anywhere between $150.00 and $350.00 is a fair levy for this service. To answer your question; yes, you will have to pay an administration fee to buyout your leased vehicle. Since you are from Ontario, you will also have to have the vehicle mechanical certified (safety inspection certificate) and have a valid emission test certificate in order to transfer the vehicle into your name. I hope this answers your question. Zack
Date: 7/2010    Sender's Name: Nicole L Sender's City ⁄ Province: Edmonton, AB
Sender's Question:     Does the sale of Volvo really mean the end of the quality brand as we know it? Is it dangerous to buy or lease a Volvo now? Will dealerships and servicing options disappear, as Phil Edmontston predicts? Please advise.
Zack’s Response:    Hi Nicole, I heard that Phil Edmonston was on the radio in Edmonton talking about the future of Volvo. While I don't want to take anything away from Phil, I suggest that he is totally wrong on this subject. In fact, I will have the President of Volvo Cars Canada on my radio show in the next few weeks to talk about the future of the brand. If you look at the history of Volvo over the last decade under Ford's control you will see that many of the improvements that Ford has made in regards to quality, safety, comfort and ride quality came, in large part, from the Volvo business. Geely, in China, has purchased Volvo and I would bet money that they too will extract as much knowledge as possible from Volvo to make their own domestic cars better. Basically, Volvo will improve Geely's products, not bring down the value of Volvo. As for Volvo being around to service your existing Volvo, I would continue to plan on them being around for many years to come. Volvo will be a brand in canada and the parent company will supply Geely with Knowledge on vehicle manufacturing. Geely will bolster their domestic Chinese market and eventually they will expand to North America. Whether Geely will bring Chinese made cars to Canada as Volvo's or as their own brand continues to be speculation. I would bet that Volvo stores will open small boutique showrooms under Geely or another name, and market the Chinese cars. That however could be years away. Zack
Date: 7/2010    Sender's Name: Faith H Sender's City ⁄ Province: Saskatoon, SK
Sender's Question:     Hi Zack, I wanted to get some guidance on which is better, to lease a vehicle or lease to own. There are many people that I have asked this question and no one has been able to give me a proper answer. Please help.
Zack’s Response:    It is a tough answer and a long one. Here is a a section from my book on the subject.... As the price of vehicles has continued to trend higher, buyers are taking out longer-term loans to pay for them. I’m sure you’ve seen advertisements on TV or in the newspaper for car loans as long as six or seven years. This is done to reduce the monthly payments and to compete with lease arrangements, which tend to have even lower payments. For many people, the idea of actually owning a vehicle, rather than “renting” it over a long period, provides a certain level of comfort. Some buyers are attracted to a car loan because they don’t understand leasing and believe that leases are just a fancy way to rent a car, not own one. Leasing, on the other hand, appeals to the vast majority of Canadians who always seem to have a car payment. The logic for these buyers is if they are going to be paying for a car every month, then why not lease and get a new vehicle every few years under full warranty? Plus, new cars have the latest safety features and are typically more efficient. Have you ever taken out a traditional car loan from the bank, and then four years later tried to sell the car? What often happens is that the amount you owe is exactly what the car is worth. All you have paid for over the four years is the privilege to drive the car— you really don’t have any equity in it. That is essentially what a lease is, but instead of taking out a loan for the entire purchase price, you pay a monthly fee only for the amount the vehicle is depreciating. The lease company or car manufacturer decides ahead of time what they believe the vehicle will be worth at the end of the lease. For example, a $40,000 car might be worth $20,000 after three years, so all the leaseholder is paying for is the $20,000 the vehicle has depreciated. At the end of the lease term, the person leasing has the option to buy the vehicle for the remaining $20,000 or just drop of the keys and move on to another car. This provides the person leasing with the ability to drive a new vehicle for less money than the same car with traditional financing over the same period of time. Let’s take the $40,000 car with a three-year traditional loan, excluding interest. The cost to buy the vehicle is $1,111 a month, but a lease over the same period would be just $555 a month. For many people who feel they will always have a car payment, the idea of having a lower monthly commitment is easier to swallow and they get to drive a more expensive car than they might have been able to afford. I hope this helps, ZACK
Date: 8/2010    Sender's Name: Sean M Sender's City ⁄ Province: Oakville, ON
Sender's Question:     I'm looking for the best suv in a v6 with the best gas mileage and under 40 000? Any ideas?
Zack’s Response:    There are plenty of choices in this price range. You can choose a compact SUV like the Toyota RAV4, Chevy Equinox, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and many other and get them with a V6. This will allow you to have the power you require but drive vehicle tht isn't too large. On the other hand you might require a Mid to full sized SUV like the Ford Flex or Chevy Traverse. These offer all the room a family could ever want but run on a thrifty V6. The number one thing you should decide is what size SUV you require and shop according to your needs. the market is full of so many excellent products you will find something that fits you perfectly. Zack
Date: 8/2010    Sender's Name: Cynthia L Sender's City ⁄ Province: Longueuil, QC
Sender's Question:     I am new to Canada and not used to Quebec's winter driving, what model of car/suv would you recommend for an experienced driver but not an experienced snow & ice driver? I enjoy driving in comfort with a sense of security.
Zack’s Response:    The ability to drive in winter conditions isn't so much about the type of vehicle you choose but the way you drive and the type of tires you buy. The good new is that you live in Quebec, which has a winter tire law that requires drivers to equip their vehicle with proper winter tires from November to April. What I'm trying to say is that the tires on any vehicle are the single most important factor in driving safely. When equipped with winter tires and driven sensibly, most vehicles will be able to drive easily in the winter. You should look for a vehicle that meets your needs for size, comfort, fuel economy and price and equip it with good winter tires. Take your time when driving in the winter and you should be just fine.
Date: 9/2010    Sender's Name: J. L. Sender's City ⁄ Province: Montreal, Québec
Sender's Question:     Hi, My question concerns taking over the lease on a 2008 Range Rover SC for $2000/mnth with 22 months remaining that I found on Leasebusters. It offers a decent cash incentive and I am able to keep the security deposit at lease end. Is it possible that I can get stuck with paying the difference between the residual value and the real value? Thanks.
Zack’s Response:    I assume that the lease is closed and the residual amount set at the beginning of the lease was predetermined. With this in mind, the amount the vehicle is worth at the end does not concern you if you return the Range Rover and move onto another Leasebusters vehicle (or any vehicle). If the vehicle is worth less, in the marketplace than the residual amount, this is the concern of the leasing company not the person leasing the vehicle. Yet another reason that leasing is advantageous... you are protected if a vehicle depreciates faster than initially thought. Zack
Date: 9/2010    Sender's Name: Erika S Sender's City ⁄ Province: Chatham, ON
Sender's Question:     Hi, which audi has aluminum body A6,A8,or both. Thanks, Erika
Zack’s Response:    Hi Erika, Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your inquiry. The A8 model has an aluminum body. Have a great day! Zack
Date: 11/2010    Sender's Name: Farhad Sender's City ⁄ Province: Montreal, QC
Sender's Question:     Why do people put adds on Leasebusters if they are not interested in getting rid of their lease?
Zack’s Response:    As with any piece of property a person has the right to change their mind and decide to keep it. Maybe the person who has displayed their lease on-line has had a change of heart or they have another offer pending. This ultimately is the persons prerogative. If you have placed a fair offer to take over a lease and feel comfortable with your offer, then leave the decision to the person with the lease. Sometimes people like to take their time to see if another, better offer comes in. Just like real estate, the owner would love to have multiple offers to choose from. If you don't succeed with one lease holder, then try another. Don't give up.... Zack
Date: 11/2010    Sender's Name: Sheba Sender's City ⁄ Province: Brampton, ON
Sender's Question:     I have leased a 2007 Volkswagen Passat that expires in April 2011. How much will the car cost me if I decide to buy it out? I am interested in financing, how does it all work?
Zack’s Response:    Hi Sheba, If you check your lease documents you will clearly find the end of lease buyout amount. This is what you will have to pay to keep the car. It is always a good idea to check the marketplace to see if your vehicle is worth, in the current market, what the buyout is. You might decide to buy another cheaper vehicle or decide to keep your existing VW. If you do choose to keep the car then you will need to get a bank loan or see if VW has financing for their off-lease vehicles, like a used car purchase plan. Some companies will even let you re-lease your car. It is a good idea to get in touch with your dealership to find out the options. You might also want to consider a Leasebusters vehicle instead of buying your existing vehicle, you could look for another VW to lease on-line. Zack
Date: 12/2010    Sender's Name: Larry B Sender's City ⁄ Province: Abbotsford, BC
Sender's Question:     Friend has a Ford Flex 9 months old. Wants to get out of the purchase. Looking for a service to facilitate someone to take over payments or ?? Can you advise?
Zack’s Response:    Hi Larry, If you have a lease then Leasebusters is the best place to get out of your lease. If the vehicle is financed, then use the finance arm, called Good luck
Date: 12/2010    Sender's Name: Rachel Sender's City ⁄ Province: Montreal, QC
Sender's Question:     Hi, I just took over a lease on a 2008 Mazda CX-9. Can I use 17 inch snows?
Zack’s Response:    You should try and get the smallest winter tire that you can fit on the vehicle. Check with your Mazda dealer to see if a 17-inch wheel will fit over the brakes. If so, you will have no problem with a 17-inch tire and wheel.
Date: 12/2010    Sender's Name: Rob B Sender's City ⁄ Province: North York, ON
Sender's Question:     Hi Zack, I'd like your opinion on the best Diesel SUV available in Canada right now. I've been looking at the BMW X5 and the Tourag but maybe there are others to consider? Thank you very much. Rob
Zack’s Response:    There are only four diesel SUV's in the market. The VW Touareg and Audi Q7 use the same 3.0L turbo V6. This is a wonder, smooth and powerful engine but the VW is a bit expensive compared to other premium names like Mercedes and BMW. Which brings me to the BMW X5 and Mercedes ML diesel. The X5 is a real powerhouse, the most powerful of the bunch but a bit pricey. The Mercedes is the best all-around vehicle for power and price. make sure you drive them all, they are all fantastic and will provide amazing power and fuel savings. Zack
Date: 4/2010    Sender's Name: James B Sender's City ⁄ Province: London, ON
Sender's Question:     Hi Zack, Long time listener, first time writer. Zack, I'm considering getting out of my 2008 Toyota Camry SE lease in order to take advantage of some of the aggresive lease deals being offered by Toyota Canada. My question is do you think the new Toyota's that are being manufactured are going to be free of the problems that affected some of the Toyotas that are on the road today? I know the question is politically charged but I trust the opinions of a journalist ahead of factory "talking-head". Thanks....
Zack’s Response:    Hi James, First I'd like to say that all the bad press surrounding Toyota is way overblown! Toyota has been making some of the highest quality vehicles on the road for decades, just ask anyone who owns one, including yourself. American politicians also smell blood and if they can score points with voters back home, in this election year, then they will capitalize on Toyota's hardship. In January Toyota halted production of all the vehicles effected with potential sticky accelerators (some Camry's included) and installed a small metal shim into the accelerator mechanism to prevent further problems. If you are looking at a brand new Camry, then know that this repair has been done before you take delivery. Also know that Toyota has been responsible for pushing all auto makers to make better and better quality vehicles, with them often leading the pack. Zack
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