In an ideal world, you could purchase a car as easily as you purchase groceries; however, there is a great deal of paperwork involved with a car purchase. For this reason, the process can be very, very slow. Paperwork involved in the process includes contracts, finance arrangements, and car registration. If you are trading in one vehicle to buy another, the paperwork process can become even more intense.
According to JD Power and Associates, new car buyers spend more than four hours in a dealership, on average, when completing a new car purchase. Don’t want to spend all day at the dealer? The best way to speed up the paperwork process is to be prepared for the purchase.
What Takes So Long? Delivery.
Once you have decided to buy a specific car, you enter the part of the process known as delivery. Delivery covers everything in between deciding to purchase a vehicle and driving it off the dealership lot.
If you bring all the documentation the dealership requires to complete your purchase, and your dealership is reasonably efficient, you can expect the delivery process to take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. However, if you are purchasing a vehicle on the weekend, that time can be extended drastically.
An easy way to avoid a long delivery process is to request the car be delivered to your home or office. When a salesmen is not on their own territory, they will usually work quicker to get the contracts signed and to get themselves back to work. Home or office delivery also gives you home court advantage, which decreases salesmen’s attempts to try and talk you into a number of additional, expensive products.
Car Buying Paperwork Checklist
If you opt for a traditional delivery, you will need to bring the following important information with you to speed up the paperwork process.
- Your Current Driver’s License: The dealership will need proof that you are a licensed driver before they allow you to drive the car off the dealership lot.
- Payment: Before you arrive at the dealership, you should confirm your payment arrangements. If you have been pre-approved for a loan, you will want to bring that information with you. If you are paying cash, check or credit card, you will need to check with the dealership before you arrive to see what types of payments they accept.
- Title to the Car You are Trading In: If you are trading in a car in order to purchase a new car, you need to bring that car’s title with you. Examine the title before you arrive at the dealership, if you have a co-signer or lien against the title, you will need to make sure you get all the proper signatures, or your delivery will be delayed. When signing the title, be sure to sign it appropriately. Signature errors on the title can deem it null and void. If you aren’t sure where to sign the title, call the dealership manager before you arrive for assistance.
- Current Vehicle Registration: In addition to the car title, you will need to bring current vehicle registration forms for any car you are trading in. Before arriving at the dealership, make sure to verify that the registration is current and that you have the correct license plate sticker on the vehicle.
- Current Loan Information on a Trade-In: If you are trading in a car that has a loan balance, you will need to bring that information with you to the dealership. The best way to prepare this information is to request this information from your lender before the appointment.
- Proof of Car Insurance: Since you surely plan to drive your new car off the lot, you will need to provide the dealership with your proof of car insurance before the car can be delivered to you. You will also need to gain insurance on the new vehicle as well. The best way to do this is to call your current insurance company before you arrive at the dealership for delivery. Usually all your insurance agent will need to immediately insure the vehicle is the vehicle’s VIN number, the make and model of the car, and the year of the vehicle.
Using the tips above will substantially reduce the time it takes to purchase your new vehicle. Anticipating the type of paperwork you will need to complete and bringing all the required information to fill out that paperwork will result in a speedy car-buying process. That way you can spend less time at the dealer, and more time in the driver’s seat!
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: Photodune.net
Author T. Brown is an avid auto enthusiast. He’s provided this article in association with Keystone Auto Loans, a leading auto finance service that helps people get pre-approved for financing.