6 Things to Bring With You When Buying a New or Used Car

February 8th, 2019 by

We’ve all heard the negative stigmas around buying a new (or used) car. After all, it can be relatively time-consuming. You dedicate an afternoon to finding the perfect vehicle, go through all of the paperwork and then… realize you forgot your proof of insurance at home.

Making sure you bring all of the necessary documents with you can reduce the amount of time you spend at a dealership drastically. And, while we love seeing your smiling face, we know you’d rather be home with your loved ones and a shiny new car parked in your driveway. That’s why we’ve put together a list of car-buying essentials to bring with you the next time you visit your local dealership.

1. Valid Driver’s License

First and foremost, you shouldn’t leave the house without your license – especially if you’re driving to the dealership yourself. Dealerships require your valid driver’s license before you can even test-drive a vehicle, so make sure you have it ready and available when you pull into the dealership. They will also need your license during the paperwork process. It is essential to make sure your license is not expired, or the dealer won’t be able to let you take the vehicle on a test drive.


2. Proof of Income

Another important thing to bring with you to the dealership is your proof of income. This can be in the form of pay stubs (two pay stubs is usually standard), or a bank statement. Not all dealers require proof of income at the point of purchase, but it never hurts to be prepared!



3. Proof of Insurance

Bringing your current car insurance information is crucial. Oregon law requires every driver to have a valid car insurance policy. Pro tip: If you know what car you’re interested in already, call your insurance agent ahead of time to see what the insurance cost on your new car would be. This helps you budget ahead of time and know what you’re in for when the time comes.


4. Proof of Residence

It is important to bring proof of residence to the dealership in order to ensure that the bill they send you will reach the correct address. The easiest way to provide proof of residence is to bring a recent bill, such as an electricity or utility bill that still has your current address on it. Two pieces of mail addressed in your name, at your current address is recommended.


5. Trade-In Title & Registration

Are you trading in your current vehicle? If so, you will definitely need to bring the title to your trade-in with you to the dealership. This will make the process much quicker, as the dealership won’t have to contact DMV to confirm ownership of the vehicle. If you’re still making payments on your trade-in vehicle, you won’t yet have the title. Just bring in the registration and you’re ready to go! Pro-tip: make sure you’ve emptied all of your belongings from your trade-in, and cleaned it inside and out. The external and internal condition of the vehicle will be the very first things taken into account when a trade value is given on your vehicle – make sure it looks great!


6. Payment

Whether its cash, a personal check, cashier’s check or card payment, make sure you bring some form of payment. Some dealers have a limit to how much of your payment can be put on a credit/debit card, so make sure you ask the dealer beforehand and have an alternative form of payment available.



Bonus tip: If you’re financing through your dealership, they will pull your credit score for you. However, checking your credit score ahead of time to make sure there are no surprises is a rather good idea. Additionally, you can check your credit history and resolve any issues or unpaid debts before entering the dealership, increasing your chances of getting lower payment options.


Have more questions? Feel free to leave us a comment!

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