Buying a Car: An Excel™lent Adventure

car lot

Which car?

used car lot

New or Used?

Look! Financing available!


Hummer: Lease or Buy?

Lease or Buy?


For sale by ownere car

Keep or Sell?

PT Cruiser: Selling your parents

Making the Case



Spreadsheets are useful, but underutilized computer software tools. For the next three weeks, you will be using spreadsheets in a very practical set of lessons, buying a car and personal finance. Almost everyone needs to buy a car at some point in their lives; most people need to buy many cars. Choices like buy or lease, new or used, sell or maintain, need to made. While the ultimate decision is often a matter of personal preference, spreadsheets are helpful in seeing the implications of those choices.

††††††††††† You will use spreadsheets for comparison shopping, calculating possible savings, and graphing/charting.† As a final project, you will create a PowerPoint in which you present your choice of automobile and the reasons why it makes sense.

††††††††††† To begin with letís set the stage:

††††††††††† Youíre approaching your 18th birthday. Your parents have offered to help pay for a car. Their requirements? You must:

a.      research the options (Which car? Used or new? Buy or lease? How long to keep?)

b.      Analyze your data in spreadsheets and graphs

c.      Present a convincing case for your choice, using PowerPoint

IMPORTANT! Save all of your work---spreadsheets, charts, and other products. You may need them for the PowerPoint

If you have little or no experience with Excel, you may want to start with the tutorials at Washington University ( and BayCon: ( )

The project steps are:

For a copy of the assignments, without the car pictures, download the PDF (large file!)

Download PowerPoint presentation for CSUS PT3 Project about this unit.