Buying an Automobile



Transportation is a part of everyday life. It comprises about 15-20% of an individual’s budget.

Individuals need to assess and research their transportation needs. If this means purchasing an automobile, it should be well planned. Often, the automobile is the second most expensive durable good purchased, coming only after a home. Avoid impulse buying by following the steps.

1. Prioritizing wants
2. Pre-shopping research
3. Fitting the budget
4. Comparison shopping
5. Negotiating
6. Making the decision
7. Evaluating the decision

In this unit, you will be learning how to buy an automobile on your own. The car must be one that reasonably meets the needs of a young adult that recently graduated from high school. (What would you be able to afford? What arrangement will you make to pay for it and the required insurance?) Even if you are not looking for a car at the present time, you must still complete this unit as though you were. It is tougher to buy a car than you think!

Where to Begin--Here!

Before you can start researching a car, think about the type of job you are going to have after you graduate from high school. Will it be part-time or full-time. Use the attached worksheet (below) to help you determine what your monthly wages are to help you determine how much car you can afford.

It is in the consumer’s best interest to discover how much a dealer paid for a vehicle. This helps to determine which vehicles to consider and to negotiate a fair price. Many consumer publications are available with reports on cars and trucks. The public library is a good place to access this information.

• Consumer Reports - http://www.consumerreports.org -- You must subscribe to use in-depth information from this Web site.
• Federal Citizen Information Center - http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov
• Kelley Blue Book - http://www.kbb.com
• Motor Trend - http://www.motortrend.com
  Edmunds- http://beta.edmunds.com/tco.html

To continue this WebQuest, click on the navigation bars in the upper left-hand side of this page. Each page takes you to the next step.

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