Check The Vehicles History With A Carfax Report
A Carfax Vehicle History Report gives you valuable information about a cars past. Using a cars VIN, the report can reveal:
- Status of a cars title.
- Accidents the vehicle may have been involved in or any damage thats occurred.
- Number of owners its had.
- Its service history.
- Last reported odometer reading.
Get your report before you agree to buy a car, then use it as a guide to question the current owner. How was the car used? How often was regular maintenance performed? Why are they selling the car? Are there any known mechanical issues?
What Documents Do You Need To Buy A Car
At a minimum, youll need your drivers license and proof of auto insurance. If you plan to finance through the dealership, youll need to bring the documents proving residence, income and more that we describe above. Bringing your own auto loan offer will make the process faster your credit union, bank or online lender has already reviewed your paperwork. either in person or online.
Get License Plate & Sticker
To legally operate a vehicle it has to have valid license plates and validation stickers. Here are the specific details:
- Every vehicle needs two license plates, one on the front and one on the back
- The license plates are valid to the owner and not the vehicle so if you sell it you keep the plates
- Validation stickers have to be renewed after one to two years
- Typically, the validation sticker is placed on the top right corner of the rear license plate.
Once you get your license plates and stickers, you have completed all the necessary steps to establish legal ownership and can take it for a drive for the first time.
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Cross Check The Odometer With Preventative Maintenance Documents
The common perception has been that a car over 100,000 miles is not worth buying. The truth is, if the car was taken care of, it is very likely it can last well over 100,000 and possibly over 200,000. Its also true that a car with very low mileage might not be a safe bet if it was poorly maintained or infrequently driven. Cars are designed to be operated on a somewhat regular basis.
Ask for preventative maintenance documentation. If regular oil changes and other maintenance were done, a car over 100,000 miles will likely last another 100,000.
Check Out Multiple Dealerships And Get Quotes
You want to visit as many dealerships as possible if you have the opportunity. The reason that you would want to have multiple quotes is to ensure you are getting the best price. You want to comparison shop so that you can see how each of your options stacks up against one another. Online searches can provide you with a list of dealerships that you may want to check out. Once your list is together, its time to begin!
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How To Buy A Car From A Dealer
At first blush, the process of buying a car from a dealer can seem easy enough. Maybe youve already got a few new car purchases under your belt and feel pretty good about the process. But what if you were to learn later on that you may have paid thousands more than others did for the very same vehicle? Buying a car off the dealers lot can be expensive if you wing it.
Exactly how to buy a car from a dealer is all about preparation and execution. Heres six tips to consider when buying a car from a dealer that can really help you save:
Checklist: Everything You Need To Do When You Buy A Car
Buying a car is a complicated process – knowing what to do when buying a car is important to ensure you get the best car and deal for you.
Weve compiled the ultimate car buying checklist, containing everything you need to know and consider during the buying process. It will help you with each step, from getting all the details you need at the first research phase, what to do when youre at the car dealership, and finally the next steps if you go ahead with the purchase.
We look at budgeting, test driving, asking all the right questions and knowing how to make sure you get the best deal.
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What To Bring To The Dealership When Purchasing Your Used Car
When buying a used car, customers get swept up in the excitement of finding the right vehicle and often forget about the technicalities of the process.
There are several steps that need to be taken before completing a purchase, such as being approved for financing and test driving the car. Once a car has been selected, theres paperwork to be added that is necessary to ensure the customer is fully aware of its costs and so the dealership can properly send in their paperwork to the DMV for registration. It can take the thrill of the search right out of used car shopping, but it doesnt have to.
At DriveTime, we let customers make up their own order for the car shopping process. If a customer wants to be approved before they begin shopping, that is fine. We allow you to do this first so that there is no concern about finding the dream car and then not getting approved.
However, if someone would rather look around at our selection of used cars, trucks, vans or SUVs, that is also acceptable. We want the car shopper to make their car buying experience all about them.
Once a car has been selected and a buyer is approved, there is a structure that sets in concerning the day of purchasing. To simplify the process, here is a checklist of items to bring when purchasing a vehicle from us :
License And Proof Of Insurance
Your current drivers license proves your identity and clearance to drive one of the dealers cars off the lot. Non-citizens may need their passport and visa for identification plus a local drivers license or international drivers permit.
You probably already had to show your license to test-drive a car, but the dealer and your financing company will now want to make sure you have auto insurance, too. Your insurance card from a trade-in or other car you own will probably do insurance companies usually provide a grace period where the new car is covered until you add it to the policy. Do this as quickly as possible once the purchase is complete. Youll probably have to show proof of insurance for that vehicle when you register it with your state or local government.
Compare rates: If you dont already have auto insurance, shop around for the best rates before you go to the dealer. Most providers can supply you with temporary proof of insurance if you have the cars vehicle identification number .
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What Kind Of Documentation Do You Need
When its time to buy a car, you definitely dont want to miss out on a good deal because you showed up without the proper documentation. CarMax requires you to bring a valid drivers license, proof of insurance, and proof of income if you plan to finance. Youll also need proof of residence, proof of variance if the address on your credit application is different than the one on your credit report, and proof that you have a phone. Examples and longer explanations are available on CarMaxs website if you have any questions.
Why Do I Need Proof Of Insurance
Several different types of insurance are required by law in most states, including New York. A dealership who sells to drivers without insurance is creating a significant liability.
Unless youre buying your first vehicle ever, theres a strong chance that you already have everything you need. Just bring your current card, and remember to register the new vehicle with your insurer as soon as the purchase goes through.
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Null What Documents Do I Need To Purchase A Vehicle
So youre gearing up to purchase a vehicle and have been cruising down your list of car-buying to-dos. Youve set a budget, narrowed down your options, and now youre ready to take your soon-to-be ride for a test spin and, hopefully, off the lot.
But before you rush to sign the dotted line, pump your brakes. While buying a car is exciting, it requires a ton of paperwork that can slow the process down if you arent prepared.
Trims Builds & Availability
When looking at a dealerships inventory, either online or at their lot, they are not limited to what they have in stock at that time. In general, dealers will carry at least a few of each model that the manufacturer sells.
- Trims each trim is a model with different features and slightly different prices
- Options each model and trim has various optional features that you can pay more to have included in the car when you buy it
- Custom Build Order you can make a custom build of a model and the dealer will order it from the manufacturer for you
If you want a car right away, you would have to buy one of the cars they have on the lot with the trims and options that they already come with. If you want to select a trim or some options that they do not have in stock at that time, or if you want to order a custom build, it will take longer for the dealer to have it shipped to them on your behalf.
Did You Know?
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Get The Most Out Of Your Test Drive
So youve done your online research and located a dealer. Now you are ready to experience the vehicle first-hand. If youre a serious shopper, the dealer will work closely with you and should give full access to the vehicle for inspection and test driving. If you are planning to test drive a few different vehicles, let the salesperson know that you are a serious shopper but are still gathering information to make your final decision. A good salesperson will be very knowledgeable about the vehicles finer points and make you aware of additional features you didnt notice while doing your online research.
Kick the Tires
It really is important to get up-close and personal with your prospective new vehicle. Hows the overall appearance? Are there any unsightly gaps? Do the exterior and interior colors look good together? Is the trunk and cargo area spacious enough for your needs? Is the drivers seat comfortable and easy to adjust? Are the controls easy to understand and use? Does the steering wheel feel good in your hands?
Check out the vehicle characteristics that are most important to you. If music is your thing, make sure the quality of the sound system is to your satisfaction. If you plan to have frequent passengers in the back seat, climb in the back and buckle the seat belt for the full effect. How about convenience features like cupholders or sunglass holders? If you use them a lot, this is a good time to examine them closely.
The Test Drive
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Get Inspections And Repairs If Needed
Some states require that cars pass a safety inspection and/or an emissions inspection for the vehicle to be registered. In Virginia, for example, vehicles must pass an annual inspection. If the vehicle you just bought is overdue for an inspection, youll need to get one.
New York, which requires an annual inspection, mandates that vehicles must pass a safety inspection whenever ownership is transferred. If there are extenuating circumstances, you may be able to get an inspection extension depending on the purchase and your states rules.
The cost of inspections are usually nominal. In Texas, for example:
- State inspection: $7
To discover what your state requires, find your states DMV site.
Important: Getting a vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic and fixing any recalls is an important step before you buy from a private seller. Heres how to navigate an inspection. If you havent completed this step, you may want to get it inspected now. Doing this and keeping up with your vehicles regular maintenance mainly oil changes could prevent any problems landing you on the side of the road.
If youre buying a used car at a dealership:
What Lakewood Drivers Need To Bring
There are a number of things you can bring in order to make your car buying experience as easy and stress-free as possible. While obvious, your license and proof of residency are arguably the two most important documents you’ll need to purchase a car. These two pieces of information act as your form of identification and prove to the dealership that can safely and legally drive the car from their lot.
The next vital documents to have are your proof of insurance and financing information handy. Our Lakewood Toyota finance center has a team of trained financial experts to help you find the perfect ride that will fit your lifestyle and budget. If you plan on using outside financing, however, you’ll need to bring your two most recent pay stubs, proof of residency, and a list of references to alleviate the crediting process. By bringing along your insurance information, you can also make it easier to transfer your information and provide peace of mind that your new ride will be protected when you drive off the lot.
Finally, the last two things you’ll want to have with you is an account number if you’re trading in a used car for which there is an unpaid loan, and a way of funding your down payment on your new car. Some dealerships allow you to make the payment on a credit card, but it’s best to call ahead to ensure the dealer accepts the form of payment you’re planning to use.
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What To Bring To The Dealership When Buying A Car
You can buy a new car or a used car, but there are many steps involved either way. You must do many things before deciding which car you want to purchase, like setting a budget, the brand that you prefer, and most importantly, just test-driving each of these cars to understand which one you finally want to purchase.
Everything seems exciting, from deciding the car to test drive it, but there are plenty of processes in the middle that are as important as deciding to buy a car.
Being prepared for all the paperwork is important because it is quite difficult, and for some, it could be boring. Nevertheless, you cannot be walking out of the dealership with your new car unless you complete all the paperwork. To make the process better, you can be prepared with all the documents and the steps involved in the paperwork.
Here are the documents that you need before you decide to buy a car.
1. Proof of Income:
It is unnecessary to get your financing, but proof of your income is a must. Moneylenders won’t be interested in giving you money unless you can prove that you have a steady income and make the monthly payments. You must prove that you can pay back the loan and make sure to let you have all the proof that you are getting the money from them. As proof, you can take with you your current bank statements or recent pay stubs.
2. Proof of Insurance:
3. Proof of Residence:
4. Proof of Identity:
Buying A Car Out Of State
American Family Insurance says if you go out of state to buy a car, the requirements might differ from those of your state of residence. Contact the DMV of that state or go to its website to determine those requirements. Some states will require that your new car pass a smog test, emissions test, or safety inspection before you can drive it home.
Information and research in this article verified by ASE-certified Master Technician Duane Sayaloune of YourMechanic.com. For any feedback or correction requests please contact us at .
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What To Do After Buying A Used Car
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
If youre trying to figure out what to do after buying a used car, the answer depends on how you purchased the vehicle. You may be able to save your hard-earned money by skipping a dealership and all its fees, but you potentially face a maze of insurance, title and registration paperwork on your own. Its important to understand the process around what to do after buying a used car from a dealer or private seller.