What Do You Bring When Buying a Car?

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Applying for a car loan can be time-consuming, but gathering the right information in advance can help streamline the process. Whether you're looking to buy a new or used vehicle, there are four key things to bring to the dealership to help ensure you get the best terms available.

Apply for Loan Pre-approval
Unless you're paying with cash, you'll want to get preapproved for a car loan to make negotiations easier at the dealership. Without preapproval, you won't know whether the deal you're being offered is the best you can get. Shop around for the best rates and have your preapproval letter in hand when you speak with the car salesman. This could help you concentrate on getting a better sales price on the car since you're not worrying about loan terms.

Provide Proof of Income
To obtain in-house financing, you'll need to show you can make regular monthly payments on a car loan. The dealer will need to see from you proof of steady income, such as pay stubs or bank statements. According to CarsDirect, some lenders might still contact your employer to verify your income and employment dates.

Obtain Insurance Coverage
Although it is not required by law, most lenders will require proof of insurance coverage before approving a car loan. Generally, you’ll need to bring proof of liability, collision and comprehensive insurance coverage. Insurance costs vary by state, provider and the car, but must be factored into the monthly expenses for the vehicle.

Don't Forget Trade-In Paperwork
If you're doing a trade-in, at minimum you should bring the car title and registration papers. You’ll also need to turn in all sets of keys, the owner’s manual, and any additional documentation that proves you own the trade-in. Maintenance paperwork will demonstrate you’ve taken care of the vehicle, which could impact its value. Pre-existing features, such as a navigation or DVD system, will likely need to remain with the car.

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