Buying a car

Whether you’re buying a vehicle new or used, there are many costs associated with owning a car. If your teen is looking ahead to their learner licence, encourage them to investigate car-related expenses such as loan repayments, insurance, rego, petrol and servicing.

2 hours


04 March 2021

Things you need


  • Access to the internet
  • Access to a car market comparison tool or website



The challenge

Purchasing a car is a major financial decision. A lot of factors need to be considered including the make and model and how you intend to finance the purchase and insure the vehicle. You will also need to decide whether it will be new or used, automatic or manual, and petrol or diesel. You'll also need to decide whether it will be new or used, automatic or manual, and petrol or diesel.

Whether you're looking to buy a new family car or wanting to help your teenager with the purchase of their first vehicle, get them to examine different options across your prospective price range. This is one common application of everyday maths most people will use.


The conversation

While they’re doing the activity, here are some questions you could pose:

  • "What can we afford within our budget?"
  • "How many people will we be regularly taking in the car?" 
  • "What will you be using the car to carry? Will you need a lot of space in the boot?"
  • "What are the benefits of choosing new versus used?"
  • "Does the make or model affect whether you can afford new or used?"
  • "How much could you potentially save getting a car fuelled by diesel instead of petrol?"
  • "Is there a price difference between automatic and manual cars?"
  • "If the car is used, how many kilometres has it travelled? How old is the car? Is the price justified?"
  • "Are there any special servicing fees for the car?"

The career

The ability to compare value-for-money on big purchases is a skill everyone needs. It’ll help your child make educated financial decisions.

In the workforce, these skills are important for local business owners, car dealers, real estate agents, jewellers, designers, finance officers, government officials, school principals and entrepreneurs.

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