People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. – Tex Earnhardt

What Do I Need to Bring to Buy a Car?

what do I need to bring to buy a car
documents needed to buy a car

If you are used car shopping, there are some important documents you should bring with you. There are also some things you should know before you buy. Let’s go down the list and see how you can be fully prepared for the big day.

Documents Needed To Buy A Car

Some documentation will be required for purchasing the car. Other documents on this list may be needed for securing a loan or lease. Even if you have no credit or poor credit, our Loan Approval Center can help you.

  1. Proof of Identity.
    The #1 document you will need is your ID. That is most likely your state-issued driver’s license. If you are in the military, you should bring your military ID to take advantage of any discounts that may be available to the military on new car loans or leases.
  2. Proof of monthly income
    You should bring your pay stubs, your most recent tax return, social security income receipts, and anything else that you have to prove your income. If you have a contract or have just started a job, you may have legal documentation showing your salary.
  3. Proof of residence.
    You can establish proof of your residency through mortgage statements or utility bills.
  4. Down payment.
    This is generally done in the form of a check. However, it may be tempting to use a credit card. We strongly advise against using credit cards when purchasing a vehicle. The interest rates are too high.
  5. References
    In some cases, it is good to have personal references ready. You should get the contact information and phone numbers for anyone that may be a reference.
  6. Paperwork for your trade
    If you are trading your car, you will need the title and registration. If you still have a loan on the vehicle, you will want to bring paperwork that shows how much you still owe.

What Documents are Needed to Trade a Car?

If you plan on trading your current car, you’ll want to prepare for the trade. There are certain items that will make the trade much easier. Why not find out how much your trade is worth? You can use this online tool to get your trade-in value from one of our 21 dealerships.

  1. Certificate of Title
    You won’t be able to trade if you don’t have this official paper showing that you are the owner. The Title also shows if you still have a loan for that car.
  2. Registration
    This is the paper that shows the car’s tags have been kept up to date. It also demonstrates that the vehicle has passed emissions inspections within the last year.
  3. Your Keys
    Today’s car keys can be quite valuable. Just one electronic key can be worth $200. So make sure to bring all of your keys and enjoy the credit you will get for them.
  4. Owner’s manual
    It’s not essential but it is nice to pass it along.
  5. Maintenance Records
    Bring along your maintenance and repair records. Yes, there are ways to look up some of this, but don’t count on it. You want to get the best price for your trade, and this is a big way to prove its worth.
  6. Account Number for Car Loan
    If you still have a car loan, bring your account number, the latest statement, and the name of the lending institution. You will have to work out how the loan will be paid off before you can trade the car.

How Should You Prepare for Buying a Used Car?

Obviously buying a used car is a big decision. Here are the steps you may need to take if you are buying a car, particularly if you are trading.

  1. Gather all of your financial information and other documents you’ll need for buying a used car and getting a loan.
  2. Talk to your insurance agent about the cost of insuring a different vehicle. Ask what steps you should take once you take possession of the car.
  3. Use a free service to check your credit score. The three credit bureaus allow you to check your score once a year for no fee.
  4. Apply for a loan online. Find out how much you can borrow, what your monthly payments will be and what your down payment will be.
  5. If you can’t find it, get the title for your car by requesting a new one from the DMV where it is registered.
  6. If trading your car, clean it out and get it looking as good as possible. Remember to gather all of your car’s maintenance and repair records.

What Should Your Credit Score Be for Buying a Car?

At this time, 700 and above is considered to be a good score. However, don’t get discouraged. if you have poor credit. Earnhardt Auto Centers wants to help. And that’s no Bull!

To ensure that you get a fair deal even if you have bad credit, we strongly recommend that you consult with the experts at our Loan Approval Center.

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All tax, title and vehicle registration fees are additional. See dealer for complete details.