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


Used Volkswagen Bug

New or Used?

††††† Weíve looked at buying new. There is nothing like the smell and a feel of a new car. Maintenance costs for the first few years are lower. However, two out of three car purchases are used cars and, practically speaking, you may not be able to afford a new car. Even people who can afford to buy a new car choose to buy a used car. Letís look at the pros and cons.

††††† Here are some readings about the issue:

CNN Money

Kiplinger Calculator - Pay attention! The calculations on this page are based on the depreciation of the new car, not just any used car you may buy.

Woman Motorist

††††† After looking at the pros and cons, letís look at the how.† Hereís a page written for teachers that does a good job of explaining the options in todayís car marker: Eastern Michigan's National Institute on Consumer Education

††††† With these options in mind, letís go shopping for that† used car! For this spreadsheet, pick one of the cars on your list. Shop for a three year old model of that car. Begin by looking at Kelley Blue Book †( and Edmunds for the price range you should expect to pay. Then try to find the car at four types of sources. The Sacremento Beeís car section is a good starting place for this. Autotrader and E-Bay Motors are a couple of other suggestions (If you choose an auction car at E-Bay or Autotrader, you must choose ones that offer a buy now option. For dealerships, you can look at the local dealershipís online sites.


        Independent Used Car Lots

        Rental Agencies

        Private Sales

Create a spreadsheet or worksheet with prices from all four types of sources.† If you are out of worksheets, select Insert-Worksheet