Guide to Buying a Car

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Buying a vehicle is a major purchase and many adults will purchase a car several times during their lifetimes. The price of a vehicle can be as much as or more than one's disposable income for the year. Its annual operating costs can be substantial, including the cost of fuel, legally mandated insurance premiums, and registration fees, as well as maintenance and perhaps repairs and storage (parking). A car is not only a significant purchase, but also an ongoing commitment. This course is designed to help consumers navigate the sometimes overwhelming process of selecting the best vehicle option that meets their needs, determining the most feasible financing option, and calculating ownership costs.

This course content is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license. This content has been accessible since December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. More information is available on this project's attribution page.

Course Goals/Objectives

  • Show how the purchasing process (ie. identifying the product, the market, and the financing) may be applied to a car purchase
  • Learn how attribute scoring may be helpful in identifying the product
  • Explain the advantages (and disadvantages) of leasing versus borrowing as a form of financing
  • Analyze all the costs associated with car ownership
  • Understand the concepts of purchase warranties versus "lemon laws" and the difference between the two
IMPORTANT: Drive's How to Buy a Car course is a condensed version of a full-length course titled Individual Finance. This individual lesson has been intentionally selected for the purposes of training and education. In order to proceed through the course, click on each individual lesson link below and review the corresponding lesson material. When you reach the end of the lesson, click the "I'm Done" button at the top of the screen to navigate back to course menu and then proceed to the next lesson. Note: A chapter navigation menu may appear at the top of some lessons, but this menu WILL NOT direct you to any of the other lessons designed for this course.

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