Video: 2 minute intro; Tutorial: Worked examples; Help: Contents

Jun 2, 2010

Step 5: Evaluation (Buying a car)

Back: Step 4 - Analysis (buying a car)

My analysis in the previous step gave me a simple, elegant scheme for evaluation.  I looked at the criteria in the first category and simply ranked the cars in order of preference -- i.e. which car was best for me in this regard?

The beginning of my evaluation (click to enlarge)

I found that the Suzuki Swift was a clear winner in the criteria that mattered most to me.  Until then, the Honda Jazz had seemed very attractive as well, but prior to laying out and organizing the criteria I had struggled to make sense of it all.

Click the Full Screen button in the bottom right for the best view.

The results are in! Well done to the Suzuki Swift. (Click to enlarge)

I could have applied a quantitative scoring and weighting scheme to my raw criteria, but I do not believe that this would have led to as compelling a result as my qualitative analysis.

  • If I had to justify a purchase decision to a boss or other stakeholders, the map would be a great way to present my analysis.
  • In this purchase my categories were roughly of equal importance, but in a more complex evaluation I could weight the categories (and even individual criteria) if need be. 
At this stage in the process, here's what I was certain about:
  • Which car I wanted
  • Why I wanted it
  • What it lacked (i.e. what the others had)
As a final safety check I sought the advice of an expert, my car mechanic friend, to make sure that I had not overlooked anything important.  With his blessing I was now equipped to march into the dealership and haggle with the dealer for the very best car I could get.  I knew what other similar cars had, and I was well prepared to negotiate for the best possible deal.

Next: Step 6 - Drive a Hard Bargain


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When you lease, you pay only a portion of a vehicle's cost, which is the part that you "use up" during the time you're driving it.

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