When researching a new car, you need a car shopping comparison spreadsheet to track all the data points. The spreadsheet should track safety ratings, save pictures and PDFs, and link several worksheets of data together. Traditional spreadsheets aren’t the best place for this. That’s why I built the template with Spreadsheet.com.
Video Tour of the Template
There are a limited number of car companies, and each has its attributes. Let’s set up a data type that makes sense for this.
Since each company has different characteristics and manufactures more than one car, the list of companies was offloaded to another worksheet and linked via a Related row field.
For example, if the information for Volkwagen changes, but we are looking at more than one model from that company, you can make the change on the Companies spreadsheet in one row of the car shopping comparison spreadsheet instead of every row in the Cars worksheet.
The 🔒template with the extra worksheets for the related rows is available to members of learnspreadsheet.com.
We have set the Model field to the Text data type. You can type anything you want into a text field, making it easy to use.
One interesting thing that happens, though, is that spreadsheet.com pulls the value of this field into the Companies worksheet and shows the Models listed for each Make of car there.
Seeing the Cars field on the Companies worksheet lets you know which models you are looking at for each company. Spreadsheet.com used the Model field since it is the Primary column for the Cars worksheet.
A significant factor in buying a car is always the price. Naturally, we’ll use the Currency data type for this field.
This field defaults to two decimal places. The currency symbol informs the spreadsheet user that they are looking at a price.
For propulsion, there are only a few choices. Therefore, we don’t need a related field. Instead, we want a drop-down to show us our options.
To create a drop-down, we’ll use the Select data type. This data type lets us limit the choices, making it easier for the user.
Leaving the Strict option unchecked allows users to enter other values. Check the Strict box if you want to require the values in this field to be limited to one of the pre-selected choices.
Overall Safety Rating
Safety ratings are important for cars, but in the United States, they come in the form of stars instead of numbers. That’s not a problem for spreadsheet.com as it offers the Rating data type.
We are using the Strict setting for the data type for this car shopping comparison spreadsheet since there is a star rating for every car available for sale.
There is a long list of modern safety features available on new cars.
With the ability to select from a Range of cells, spreadsheet.com allows us to bring a long list of values into a drop-down. The full members-only spreadsheet has these values in a separate worksheet called Safety. This extra worksheet allows us to keep the drop-down current by updating the values in the Safety worksheet when needed.
The 🔒template with the extra worksheet for the Range of cells is available to members of learnspreadsheet.com.
The HQ Location column shows the location of the car company’s headquarters using the Related row lookup data type.
As you can see, their Strict setting cannot be unchecked. Spreadsheet.com enforces the Strict setting because it automatically populates this field by the settings chosen in the Related Worksheet and Column to lookup fields that pull in the values of the HQ Location record from the Companies worksheet. Once the spreadsheet populates the Make record with the company name, this HQ Location field pulls in any corresponding HQ Location values without any further user input.
The 🔒template with the extra worksheets for the Related row lookup is available to members of learnspreadsheet.com.
The next field is for storing the web address of your favorite review.
The URL data type lets you store a link that points to another place on the web. Clicking on that link will bring you to the stored URL. In this case, we have left the Strict option off, so you can use this field for other notes if you like.
You may run across documents for the car, such as marketing material or the window sticker.
We use this field for a window sticker and a sales brochure in the example spreadsheet. Spreadsheet.com stores these files for you so you can go directly to them.
You always want to test drive a car before you buy it, right?
We can use the Checkbox field to keep track of the test drives. Keeping this data type set to Strict allows us to have only two possible values. After all, you either drove the car or didn’t, right?
As you look at more cars, it can be challenging to remember how you felt about them.
A simple set of icons can help you track which cars you liked and which you did not. Of course, you could be unsure (orange icon) as well!
Using the Car Shopping Comparison Spreadsheet
I hope this car shopping template helps you the next time you are searching for a new car that’s just right. Everyone knows that using a spreadsheet is the best way to do that.