Purchasing a Car

ObjectiveTo help teens understand all of the costs associated with owning a vehicle and to guide teens through the process of making a major purchase.
Description Buying a car

You have just got your license, now you want a car. Be a smart consumer and fully research your vehicle purchase!


1. Download and print the Buying a Car worksheet and work through the questions.

2. Using the Car Comparison chart from the Buying a Car worksheet go to a dealership and compare a few cars.

3. Look at the car(s) that you are most interested in online. Read consumer reviews and find out how people who own the car feel about their purchase. You will also want to take a look and see if there are any recalls on the the car(s) that you are interested in.

4. Download and fill in the Car Financials excel sheet. This will give you a great idea of how much the car will cost you on a monthly basis.

5. After you have filled in the financial worksheet think about the following questions:

- Do you make enough money to cover all of your expenses and still be able to save?

- Is it best to buy the car now or to save up a down payment?

- Could you save enough money to buy a car outright and save your self a monthly loan payment?

- Are you willing to sacrifice the brand of car for a less expensive comparable car (domestic cars are usually cheaper both in off the lot price and in repairs)?   

5. Talk with your friends and family about what you learned about buying a car. What surprised you about car ownership? Do you have any concerns about buying a car?

Tips for Parents:

1. Try not to jump in and take over the process. Allow your teen to ask the questions and do their own research as much as possible. At the same time if they make any glaring omissions, make sure to gently correct them.

2. Help your teen find ways to make the purchase and not get overwhelmed by the numbers. Be creative they could get another job, start their own business, buy a less expensive comparable car, buy used instead of new etc.

Attachments Buying a Car Worksheet
Car Financials
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Age Range 16    17    18   
Activity Type Lesson
Tags Logical-Mathematical Intelligence  Expenses  Problem Solving  Budgeting  Personal Finances  Consumer Smarts  Planning 
Last ModifiedRobRob


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