The car buying process can be extremely exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. There are so many things to think about when buying a car that it’s easy to forget some of the basics.
One of the most essential things for a successful purchase is to remember is what to bring when buying a car. Bringing the right paperwork and documents with you can save you a lot of time and hassle.
Many dealerships will require that you bring a few things in order to test drive a car. The first thing you’ll need is a valid driver’s license. You should also have your proof of insurance handy, as well as your current registration and proof of residency.
If you’re financing your car, you’ll need to bring along all the necessary paperwork. This includes bank statements, proof of income, and your credit history.
What is the 1st thing you do before purchasing a car?
The first thing you should do is calculate your budget. How much can you realistically afford to spend on a car every month? Before you head into the dealership and apply for an automotive loan, you should have a good idea of what kind of monthly car payment you can afford.
You can use an online loan calculator to get an estimate of your monthly car payment based on the loan amount, how much you put into a down payment, and the loan term. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and your actual monthly payments may be different.
It’s also imperative to have a realistic idea of what kind of car you’re looking for. Do your complete research and figure out what features are important to you and what kind of car would fit your lifestyle. Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, you can start shopping around for the best deal.
What to bring when you want to buy a car?
Now that you have identified the car you want and your current budget, you need to start gathering the required documents. Find a dealership that has good financing options and that you feel comfortable with. Before you head out to buy a car, be sure to bring all the following to the car dealer:
The first step is to get a copy of your credit report. This will give you an idea of where you stand in terms of your credit score. If you have a good or excellent credit score, you’ll likely qualify for a lower interest rate on your loan.
If you have a bad or poor credit score, you may still be able to get a loan, but the interest on the loan will be higher. Make sure you don’t have any unpaid or late bills that are causing your credit score to suffer.
Before you take the vehicle out for a test drive, you will need to present your driver’s license to the car dealer. Verify that your driver’s license is up to date and that you have no outstanding violations.
Down payments are typically around 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle. If you’re financing your vehicle, you’ll need to have this money available when you sign the purchasing contract.
If you’re paying cash for your vehicle or purchasing the car outright, you’ll need to have the full purchase price available. Ask the dealership if they accept any other form of payment such as credit cards, wire transfers, or cashier’s checks.
Recent pay stubs
Providing proof of income is one of the most important steps in the car buying process. Lenders will use your pay stubs to determine how much money you make and whether or not you can afford the car you’re looking to purchase.
Loan officers would like to see a steady income over the past few months, so be sure to bring your most recent pay stubs when you go to buy a car.
If you decide to use a lender or financial institution that is not associated with the dealership, you’ll need to bring along all the finance information. This includes your pre-approval letter and any eligibility documents.
The dealership may also ask for a list of your current debts and assets. This information will be used to determine your debt-to-income ratio, which is one of the factors lenders use to evaluate finance applications.
Rebate or Discount information
Use your preferred payment method to make your down payment to take advantage of any rewards or benefits you may have. Call your credit card company to see if they offer any rebates or discounts on car purchases.
If you’re a cash buyer, ask the dealership if they offer any other discounts for recent graduates, military members, or AAA members.
Current proof of insurance
Call your insurance agent and let him know that you are going to be purchasing a new car. That way, he can provide you with an estimate of how much your insurance rates will go up.
You’ll need to have current proof of insurance before leaving the dealership with your new vehicle. Be sure to contact your insurance agent and ask him or her to email you a copy of your insurance policy or an insurance card once you’ve completed the purchase.
Purchasing a new car is a big financial decision, so it’s important that you’re prepared before heading to the dealership. Check to see if you can have the new vehicle added to your current insurance policy to save money on your premium.
What do I need if I’m trading in my car?
If you decide to trade in your current vehicle, try to find out the trade-in value prior to visiting the dealership. This will give you a better idea of how much money you’ll have to put down on your new car.
Certificate of title
The certificate of title is the document that proves you are the legal owner of the vehicle. When you are trading in your older car, you’ll need to have this document on hand.
The dealership will need to see the title in order to process the trade-ins. If you don’t have the title, you can usually get a duplicate from your state’s DMV.
Current vehicle registration
In your current vehicle registration, you will find the vehicle identification number (VIN). The dealership will need this number to look up your car’s history and value.
A clean vehicle
Cleaning the vehicle before taking it to the dealership will help you get a better trade value. Be sure to vacuum the carpets, wash the exterior, and clean the inside of the windshield.
Maintenance records of your old vehicle will show the dealership that you have taken care of your vehicle. This will help them give you a higher trade-in value for your vehicle.
These service records can be helpful not only when trading in your vehicle but also when you sell your vehicle to an independent buyer. Having these on hand as proof can facilitate the process, and you can get to sign the title over to the new owner quicker.
Car loan account number
You need this account number and the information of the lender to pay off the balance on your old car. Once you provide this information and you have signed the dotted line, the dealership will contact the financing institution and close out your old vehicle debt for you.
Should I get a car loan with a bank or credit union?
Financing through a bank or credit union can sometimes be cheaper than dealer financing. However, you should compare rates from both the dealership and your financial institution before you actually buy a car.
Contact your current bank or credit union and ask them for a pre-approval letter. This will give you an idea of how much money you can borrow and how much interest you are going to be paying. Before buying a used car check with a mechanic you trust to inspect it for any issues.
When you’re at the dealership trying to purchase a car, be sure to let them know that you have financing through an external bank and provide them with his contact information. Feel free to check our website for more tips on how to buy a car.