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6. My partner likes leasing new cars, but isn’t that more costly than financing?

Every other week, reporters Petrina Gentile and Mark Richardson go back and forth to help readers who are in the market for a car decide what to buy or lease. While many of their articles mostly discuss the different options in a particular segment and price range, this one from January delves deep into the pros and cons of financing versus leasing.

5. Average price of a new car tops $66,000 as drivers wrestle with ‘a very surprising reality’

The auto industry is still rebounding from the supply shortages caused by plant closures during the pandemic and supply-chain issues. New car inventory levels have been increasing, but the numbers are still below prepandemic levels. In August, Gentile reported on this all causing new car prices to hit a record $66,288 on average. That is up 21 per cent in one year and 47 per cent over four years, according to’s price index report.

High interest rates just add to the cost for drivers. In June, 2023, Canadians paid an average of $797 a month on a new car payment. That, too, has skyrocketed 38 per cent from June, 2019, when monthly payments were $577 a month.

4. Blinded by your lights: In a battle to see, why are blinding headlights winning?

In January, humorist and columnist Andrew Clark wrote about a topic every driver can relate to – being blinded by another car’s headlights. “LEDs don’t produce a lot of heat or drain the car battery, have long lifespans and are around 275-per-cent brighter than halogens. That said, LED should stand for ‘Legally Eye Damaging,’” Clark wrote.

3. I used to believe wipers should be left down during snow storms, but that has changed

Every other week, Lou Trottier, owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga, answers readers questions and tries to highlight trends he is seeing in his shop and general questions he is being asked by customers. In the winter from ski resort parking lots to city streets, we all see some drivers who leave the windshield wipers up on their cars when parked. Trottier waded into this controversy in March. He says if they were left up the wiper arms used to lose downward force because the springs would stretch significantly. But, today that is no longer a problem and it is all a personal choice.

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Windshield wiper blades stick out from beneath a blanket of thick snow covering a vehicle parked on Millwood Rd. on Jan 17, 2022.Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

2. Can I really get a ticket for having a bike rack on the back of my vehicle?

In June, a woman in Vancouver reported she received a $230 ticket for having an empty bike rack covering her licence plate. Reporter Jason Tchir went digging to see if this is actually against the law and where it is against the law in Canada. He found it is illegal in every province with fines ranging from $109 to $230. In a follow-up article, he also learned that buying an extra licence plate to mount on your bike rack isn’t an option anywhere in Canada.

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Joanne Elves/The Globe and Mail

1. To the truckers slowing traffic by driving side-by-side on the 401, I say ‘10-4 good buddies’

Many of Clark’s best columns come out from his own experiences while driving. One time, he found himself behind two trucks, driving in unison and blocking cars from passing them. While Clark was irritated at first, thinking about how the truckers were doing it on purpose, he eventually came around to see a silver lining.

“The 10 minutes or so I spent contemplating the suspected semi truckers’ clandestine ‘Cap and Trap’ move relieved me from the monotony of the 401. It was a nice change from listening to a ‘Civil War Talk Radio’ podcast as well as a welcome respite from sifting through my collection of lifetime regrets and petty grievances. It was a paranoiac sorbet that cleansed my mental palate, preparing it for a return to “what ifs,” “yeah buts” and “might-have-beens,” along with a stopover at the Battle of Antietam,” he wrote. “And so, to the two truckers who had no idea of the asinine theory I concocted at their expense, I say, ‘10-4 good buddies.’”

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