Introduction | Task | Sources | Process | Guidance/Reflection


Your First Car

A WebQuest for Math

By Julie Hutcherson



Your 16th birthday is just around the corner! Your parents have told you they are willing to buy you a car, but you have to help locate one that is suitable for you. They have told you they are willing to pay $250 a month for 60 months and have $1,000 to put down on it. They can get an interest rate of 4.5% on the loan.



You need to research cars that are for sale on the Internet and find a suitable car for you. You must also do research on it and make sure that it is a safe and reliable manufacturer. Your parents have left it up to you to provide them all the details for them to look over. They have provided you with the payment details they are willing to live with and it is up to you to make sure that the sales price correlates to the payment they are willing to make for you.


Tennessee Department of Education


7.1.1 Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.


7.1.3 Solve problems, compute fluently, and make reasonable estimates.


7.5.1 Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer questions.




TPI Holdings. (2009). Autotrader. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from


CarMax Business Services. (2008). CarMax. Retrieved February 26, 2009, from


Source Interlink Media. (2009). Automotive. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from


Edmunds Inc. (2009). Edmunds. Retrieved February 26, 2009, from


Kelley Blue Book Company, Inc. (2009). Kelley blue book. Retrieved February 26, 2009, from


Bankrate, Inc. (2009). Bankrate. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from


Carfax, Inc. (2009). Carfax. Retrieved February 26, 2009, from




  1. Search the Web for cars for sale.
  2. Narrow your choices down to 3 cars.
  3. Research the 3 cars by make and manufacturer.
  4. Check out safety features of the car.
  5. Read reviews of this car.
  6. Calculate the payments for this car based on information provided.
  7. Present this information to your parents in a spreadsheet format similar to the example below.
  8. Once a car is chosen, you must check its vehicle history to be sure it is reliable and not a lemon.





Asking Price

Down Payment

Amount Financed

(Monthly Payment)



























There are a lot of reasons to do proper research before making a large purchase. Not all deals are as good as they seem and not all vehicles are safe and reliable. Before making major purchases in life, it is important to know what you are getting into. All the above research was necessary so that you were able to arrive at a proper conclusion for the purchase. Your parents gave you a large responsibility in learning about the process. They also put the responsibility on you to check the car out. You must always keep in mind additional costs like gas and insurance. Regular maintenance on the vehicle must also be performed. Your parents are taking care of you right now but you need to realize what sacrifices they are making, as well, to take care of you and make sure you are well provided for. You might further evaluate your future and what other expenses are going to be coming to you as you look toward a college education or technical career.








Congratulations! You have your first car. You must know show a great amount of responsibility and trust because your parents believe in you!