What to Bring to a Dealership When Buying a Car

February 21st, 2024 by

What to Bring With You When Buying a Car

what to bring with you when buying a car

There’s no denying that the car-buying process is exciting, but it can be nerve-wracking if you’re not prepared with the necessary documentation. Knowing exactly what to bring with you when buying a car can help mitigate the stress and leave you feeling more confident and prepared to make that big purchase. After all, you’ve done all the necessary work, like vehicle research, budgeting, and financing—now all you have to do is sign on the dotted line.

Having the correct documentation in hand when you go to the dealership to buy your dream car can make the process much more enjoyable. Continue reading to discover what you need to bring with you when buying a car from a dealership. 

6 Things to Bring With You When Buying a Car

When it’s time to go to the dealership and give them your autograph on the dotted line, you’ll want to make sure you have these documents ready to ensure an easy, stress-free transaction. 

1. Your Driver’s License 

Although you should have your license with you all the time, and this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to have it in hand when you buy a car from a dealership. A driver’s license grants you the legal authorization to operate a motor vehicle, so without it, you won’t be able to drive your brand-new car home. Additionally, your driver’s license is needed for a number of things during the car-buying process, such as:

  • Car insurance
  • Financing
  • Vehicle registration

2. Proof of Insurance

Before you leave the car lot, dealerships have to confirm that your car is properly insured. In fact, operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance is considered a misdemeanor in North Carolina and can result in a hefty fine or more severe punishment. In most cases, your current insurance that lists your previous vehicle will suffice; however, your new vehicle will need to be added to the policy after the purchase. 

3. Recent Pay Stubs

If you plan on financing your automotive loan, it’s usually required that you show proof of employment prior to being approved. The dealership simply wants to ensure that you have a steady income and will be able to make your loan payments on time. The pay stubs should show your year-to-date income and prove you’ve been working at your current job for at least three months. 

If, for some reason, you can’t provide pay stubs, your bank statement should suffice to prove your income. However, if you’re having to use your bank statement, you might want to play it safe and come prepared with up to six months of records in case the lenders want to see more. 

4. Form of Payment

Having your preferred method of payment ready ahead of time can really speed up the process of purchasing a new vehicle. Whether you are planning to pay via check, cash, or loan, having your payment method decided and ready ahead of time will ensure an easy, quick transaction. 

However, if you plan on financing your new vehicle through the dealership, expect to spend some extra time going over and signing the required paperwork. Furthermore, you should have your down payment ready to have the most seamless buying experience. 

5. Credit Score History

Your credit score is a major factor in whether you’ll be approved for a car loan. Even though the dealership will be able to pull up your credit score, it would be wise for you to review it and bring it in yourself as well. You want to familiarize yourself with what the lenders will be looking at and be able to answer any questions they have regarding your credit history.

What’s Considered a Good Credit Score? 

Typically, auto lenders look for a credit score at or above 661 to approve a car loan. However, if your credit score is below the range needed for a conventional car loan, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a loan. If your credit score is too low, you’ll likely have to provide a list of references to the lender and will have a higher interest rate than those with better credit.

6. Proof of Residence

Lenders require you to prove that you live at the address provided on your loan application. A piece of mail, utility bill, bank statement, or property tax bill from your current address are all great ways to show proof of residence. The document(s) you choose to prove where you live should have the same address as your I.D. 

Buy Your Next Car at Mazda of Columbia

Now that you know exactly what to bring when buying a car from a dealership — it’s time to buy a car! At Mazda of Columbia, we take the guesswork out of the car-buying process and make sure our customers are informed every step of the way. Don’t believe us? Come to our dealership and let us show you how seamless the car-buying process can be! Use the button below to contact us so you can get into your new car today! 

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Posted in Buy/Lease