Trading vehicles is exciting
There is a lot to absorb when trading vehicles or purchasing a new one. It can be exciting thinking about getting a new car. You could drive up in your old car and in a matter of hours ,drive away in a new one. It can also be stressful if there are missing documents or information regarding your trade.
Make the process easier and smoother
Another trip home to fetch the items could put a damper on the excitement of a new vehicle. You can make the process go smoother, easier and faster by remembering the items you need to bring to the dealership.
What you need to bring to the dealership;
- Vehicle registration. Most people tend to keep their vehicle registration in the glove box. Just in case you took it out for taxes or another reason, check your glovebox to make sure it’s in there.
- Drivers License. You will need this to test drive a new vehicle and/or the bank will need a copy for the loan paperwork.
- Insurance Card. As with your driving license, you’ll need proof of insurance to be able to test drive a vehicle and the bank will also require a copy too. Check the date on your insurance policy to make sure you have the most recent one to hand that is valid and not expired.
- Vehicle Title. If you own your trade free and clear (ie. you’re not making payments anymore) then you will need to bring the title. If it’s financed no need to bring it.
- All sets of keys.
- Maintenance records. Do bring in any maintenance records or receipts associated with your vehicle if you have them.
- Headphone sets. If your vehicle is equipped with DVD players or rear entertainment, make sure headsets and remotes are in the car.
- Locking wheel nut socket. If your vehicle has locking wheel nuts. Again, most of the time these are kept in the vehicle as you would need it if you had to change a wheel anyway.
- Owners manual. Not a deal breaker but definitely more useful if you have it.
Other considerations when trading a vehicle
Here are a few more things you might need to bring to the dealership. It is handy to know what your loan payoff is. This can be done at the dealership, but obviously, it’s faster if you happen to know it. Call the financial institution or bank that the vehicle is financed with and ask them for a ‘same-day’ or a 10-day payoff. A 10-day payoff means this number is valid for 10 days. What you owe will change daily based on the interest rate of your loan.
All persons who are on your vehicle title must be present to sign off the title or power of attorney. A notary public has to be present when signing these documents. Most dealership Business Managers or Finance Managers are notaries. A divorce decree may also be needed.
If you have accumulated a lot of ‘stuff’ in your car or truck, you can either clean it out beforehand. Don’t forget all the nooks and crannies like under the seats, under floor storage boxes and tool boxes. If you don’t have time, you can bring some bags or boxes with you to the dealership making the transition faster and easier.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: