The process of buying a new car can be stressful. It involves a lot of big decisions, such as what make and model to get, how much you’re willing to pay, if you want new or used, if you’re going to lease or buy, and many, many more.
Often, once you’ve made all the choices and you’re finally ready to pull the trigger on a new vehicle, you may experience a common phenomenon known as car buyer’s decision fatigue, a condition in which your brain is exhausted from the act of making so many choices in such a short period of time.
Decision fatigue during a car buying experience is a risky condition. According to the New York Times, it can lead to impulsive purchases or rash last-minute decisions you’d never make if you were functioning at full capacity. For that reason, experts suggest walking into your final car-buying experience prepared and armed with the tools you need to handle the exchange rationally.
One of the most effective ways to prepare is to ensure you’re bringing everything you need with you to the dealership. Below, we outline the five essential items you need when purchasing a car.
5 Essential Items to Bring When Buying a New Car
1. Your Driver’s License
Though it may seem obvious, bringing your driver’s license when buying a car is important in confirming you are a registered driver. Your driver’s license is also a quick and easy way to verify your address with the dealer when filling out paperwork. Other proof of residence documents might be recent utility bills or credit card statements.
2. Trade Documents
If you intend to trade in your current vehicle to obtain your new car, make sure you bring the necessary documents with you on the day you finalize your transaction. These documents include the vehicle’s title, registration, and relevant loan or lease information.
3. Financial Documents
Bringing a couple of pay stubs with you when you finalize your transaction is an easy way to verify your income. Consider bringing a copy of your credit score with you to the dealership, as they will likely need to check it before processing your transaction.
4. Form of Payment
When it’s time to complete your purchase at the dealership, make sure you bring the form of payment you intend to use, whether it’s a credit card, check, or cash. You will also likely have to provide the dealership with a down payment. Find out how much they require for a down payment by contacting the dealership’s financial department.
5. Proof of Insurance
The dealership will most likely require proof of insurance before letting you drive off the lot with your new vehicle. Be sure to call your independent agent prior to the finalization of your purchase to add your new car to your auto policy then bring a copy with you when you go to finalize the sale.
Keep in Mind: The dealership may offer to call your agent for you, but this can be complicated since your agent might need to verify with you first get the change processed. Avoid any complications by kindly declining the dealer’s offer and handle the changes policy yourself.
It’s also recommended that you keep proof of insurance in your car at all times, so be sure to keep a copy with you even after you’ve purchased your vehicle.