Vital documents and information you’ll need to buy a new or used vehicle
Buying a new car is an exciting moment, but some parts of the process can be incredibly nerve-racking. Knowing which documents to bring to the dealership can be difficult, especially if you’re a first-time car buyer.
Fortunately, nearly every car dealership wants the same set of documents and information when you arrive at the lot. If you have the following pieces of information, then you should be good to go.
Your Insurance Information
All drivers and vehicles within the United States must be insured. Before you arrive at the dealership, make sure to have your insurance information ready.
If you already know which car you’re looking to purchase, then you should inquire with your insurance company before you go to the dealership. Ask your insurer how much it will cost to insure your new vehicle. Ideally, you will have an initial insurance contract set-up before you arrive at your dealership.
Dealing with all this insurance information beforehand will ensure that your new car purchase goes smoothly.
Before you purchase your new car, you should first have a plan to pay for it. Visit your local bank or credit union and talk to an associate there. Find out which loans you can get pre-approved for and what the interest rate will be. You will probably get something resembling a blank check that can be signed by yourself and the dealer once you make a decision on a vehicle.
Getting pre-approved is a vital step because knowing what your interest rate and loan amount will be can really help during the buying process. Many car dealers offer the options to get a loan from the dealership, but car buyers should still strongly consider getting pre-approved. Pre-approval lets you avoid exorbitant interest rates and longer terms than you are comfortable with. Some financial planners also view getting preapproved as a wonderful way to avoid going over budget.
While you’re at the bank, remain cautious about having your credit pulled. Having your credit pulled can cause a temporary decrease in your credit score. Some consumers have experienced a drop in their credit due to getting multiple credit inquiries from multiple dealerships.
During this process, you must be strategic. Some dealerships pull your credit before taking a test drive, and others may check your credit without your consent. To avoid this, look up reviews on dealerships throughout your area, and make sure that your credit is only getting pulled once by visiting the dealership you plan to do business with first.
Finally, when you arrive at the dealership, have a copy of your credit report on your person so you know exactly what the dealer is seeing. By paying careful attention to your credit report, you ensure that the process runs smoothly and secure the best deal on an auto loan.
Be Street Legal
The dealership will not sell you a car if you do not have your insurance information and your driver’s license on you. Carrying these documents to the dealership should be an easy step because you need them both to drive.
When you arrive, have these documents on your person and ready to show the dealer.
While some dealers run “no down payment” specials, you should still have a way to make your down payment ready. Some people pay in cash, while others use their debit card, a money order or a check.
Confirm with the dealership that your payment method is accepted.
Many Americans trade their cars in. This process gets you a discount on the car you want, but it requires additional documents. You’ll need your trade-in vehicle’s title, registration, car keys and the owner’s manual. If you have these items, the process should go smoothly.
Another trade-in tip: Make sure your car is perfectly clean before you trade it in.
Now You’re Ready for the Car Dealership!
Buying a car doesn’t have to be stressful. Simply pack the right documents and identification, and be ready to talk to an associate at the dealership. If everything goes smoothly, you should be driving your new or pre-owned vehicle in no time!
If you’re on the market for a new or pre-owned car, truck, minivan or SUV, check out Platte City-Airport Chrysler’s online inventory, or stop by to test drive any of our exciting vehicles for yourself.