After Tiffany Ford McLemore's car was destroyed in an accident, the single mother of four needed a new one. Quickly. Yet she didn't want to take out another auto loan and so she researched her options. That's when she stumbled on flexdrive, which calls itself Netflix for cars, and is one of several new companies offering vehicles through a subscription. "I love the flexibility," Ford McLemore said. She now drives her children to sports and band practice in a 2018 Volkswagen Jetta. Automakers, dealers and start-ups now offer car subscriptions as an alternative to the traditional financing model, which increasingly involves going into significant debt. The services typically charge a flat monthly fee that bundles together all the disparate expenses of car ownership, including insurance and maintenance. Used cars could rise in value if Trump puts tariffs on new car imports, says CEO of used-car auctioneer Kar from CNBC. "There's a reason consumers are gravitating toward these services … [Read more...] about The ‘Netflix’ Model of Car Ownership Is on the Rise for Drivers Who Need Wheels — Without the Debt
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Councils in Kent have spent nearly £150,000 on luxury cars for mayors and chairmen over the last three years.The figures come from a freedom of information request from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which claims millions could be saved nationally by encouraging local politicians to attend events using their own methods of transport.Yet councils have hit back, saying the costs are not excessive and that mayors generate publicity for local businesses and raise money for charity.Many also detailed how they have teamed up with firms in their district to secure free or cheaper leases of cars.The biggest spender was Kent County Council, which shelled out more than than £29,000 on three cars to ferry its chairman to various events.Medway Council followed closely behind with a bill of over £27,000 over the period.The most frugal councils were Ashford, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and Malling, which do not run mayoral cars.Of those that did, the smallest spender was Canterbury, which … [Read more...] about Councils fork out £150k for mayoral cars
A typical tourist visit to Monteverde involves a large bus with a yellow “turismo” placard attached to the back. The bus delivers its occupants to one of the several large hotels in the area, then later deposits those same travelers at one of several tourist-centric restaurants. The following morning the bus takes the group to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve for a guided hike down its world-famous paths. There may or may not be another outing, another dinner and one or two more nights at the hotel but, one way or another, the bus and its occupants soon depart the mountain for their next stop, which is often Lake Arenal. The occupants of the bus can say, correctly, that they visited Monteverde. They don’t realize it, but they actually passed through, perhaps even stayed in, one or two other towns during their time in Monteverde, which is actually a community and not a formal town. When the Quakers from the United States and Europe moved to this zone in … [Read more...] about A Monteverde primer: an essential guide to one of Costa Rica’s tourism gems
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-A +A (July 17): Henry Xia jumps into the burnt toast-colored electric car he helped build as co-founder of Xpeng Motors Technology Ltd and commands it to play Green Day’s “21 Guns.” He asks the car about traffic conditions and starts driving. The 35-year-old is the most senior car executive at a Chinese automaker that hasn’t delivered a single vehicle, doesn’t own a factory and hasn’t obtained a production license from the government. At least, not yet. What the four-year-old startup has is backing from tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Foxconn Technology Group and Xiaomi Corp founder Lei Jun. Xpeng expects to raise more than US$600 million this month from investors that include Alibaba, valuing it close to US$4 billion, according to a person familiar with the fundraising. In a test drive of Xpeng’s first crossover around a drab cement office park in Guangzhou, the roomy SUV drives smoothly, with a Tesla-like panoramic windshield and … [Read more...] about Tesla foe in China hits US$4b valuation before selling cars