Buying a new or used vehicle isn’t a task that can be done in a matter of minutes. It’s a major purchase, and it takes time and effort to get the job done right. While most car buyers need to set aside a few hours to go through the process of selection, financing, and delivery of their new vehicle, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to potentially save some time.
Before heading out to purchase your next vehicle, check out these 5 time-saving suggestions for visiting the dealership.
Tip #1 to Save Time at the Car Dealership: Crunch the Numbers First
Your budget should always be your first consideration when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Double checking your monthly cash flow for income and other expenses is a necessary step in figuring out how much you can safely afford for the new vehicle you’re about to purchase. Take a few seconds to evaluate what you can spend with this easy online tool, then commit to your budget before you even visit the dealership.
Next, if you’ve found the vehicle you want at a local dealership, check their website for the option to submit an online financing application. This process doesn’t take long to complete from home, and it saves you from filling out a paper copy and waiting on a financing decision at the dealership.
Determining what you can afford, then getting your new car loan approved ahead of time will save you a significant amount of time once you arrive at the dealership to finalize your purchase.
Tip #2 to Save Time at the Car Dealership: Do Your Research
In addition to planning ahead for your new vehicle’s financing, save yourself some time at the dealership by researching what you want in a car before shopping in-person. You don’t have to decide every detail of the model you want or the optional features available for an upgrade, but at a minimum, put together an idea of what you’d like to drive off the lot.
Start by considering the make and size you think you’ll prefer, as well as whether you want to shop new or used. Then, search for those specifications online. This crucial step will keep you from being overwhelmed at the dealership, saving you both time and frustration.
Tip #3 to Save Time at the Car Dealership: Get Your Documents Together
As a major purchase, the car-buying process involves a bit—okay, a lot—of paperwork. That stack will include financing documents you’ll need to sign; transfer of ownership from the dealership to you; and registration, taxes, and insurance documentation.
Gathering these important legal documents is necessary, so if you don’t have everything you need, this part of the process will inevitably take up more of your time. To ensure purchasing your next car doesn’t take multiple trips to the dealership, have your driver’s license; proof of insurance, residency, and income; and documentation for your current vehicle (if you’re trading it in) organized and ready to show.
Tip #4 to Save Time at the Car Dealership: Value Your Trade-in
If you’re trading in a vehicle, do some work on the front end of your car-buying process by estimating its value beforehand. You can utilize this online tool to get an idea of what your trade-in will be worth, which offers time-saving help once you arrive at the dealership.
Ultimately, the trade-in value of your current vehicle will be up to the dealership, but knowing an estimate saves time and hassle when you’re ready to pull the trigger.
Tip #5 to Save Time at the Car Dealership: Avoid Online Dealers
In today’s digital world, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are countless auto dealers operating solely online. While it may be tempting to go with one of these options for your next vehicle purchase, it isn’t always the best choice.
With online dealers, it’s difficult to know if you’re receiving the best value, and with such a big purchase, you want to feel confident in your choice. Visiting a dealership in person gives you confidence that the business you are dealing with is one worth your trust so that you can rest assured you’re getting the best pricing, financing, and trade-in value possible.
Conclusion: Save Time at the Dealership by Planning Ahead
Buying a vehicle can take several hours from start to finish—but with these 5 tips to save time at the dealership, you can drive off with your new ride as quickly as possible.
Plan ahead by sorting out your financing, doing your research, gathering your documents, and valuing your trade-in in order to save time in nearly every step of the car-buying process.