Taking Delivery Of Your Vehicle
|This is the final
step in the new car buying process. (Steps 19 and 20 deal with the car once it's yours.) Supply the
dealer with the right paperwork, and make sure the car is delivered to you exactly as agreed on during the
Required By DMV - To get new tags for your purchase, in addition to your driver's license you must present proof of insurance to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Your insurance agent will give you a new insurance identification card, listing your carrier, policy number, VIN# (vehicle identification number), and your name and address. Make sure the VIN# is correct and that the address on the card matches your driver's license exactly. If you're transferring plates, your current vehicle's registration will also be needed. If you're buying from a private party you will also need to give the DMV a bill of sale signed by the seller.
Most car dealers will register your car for a fee (about $20) if you give them the paperwork. I suggest paying the fee, as most DMV offices are hectic and the process can be complicated and time-consuming. Some state allow larger dealers to operate DMV satellite offices right in the dealership. The forms required vary from state to state, so if the dealer isn't doing it for you, call the local DMV office to find out ahead of time what you'll need to bring..
The Dealer Delivery Process - If you're buying from a dealer, go over your vehicle carefully before you accept it. Many manufacturers have a delivery checklist that your salesperson must review with you before handing over the keys. Check for a jack and spare tire, an owner's manual in the glove box, and see that any work specified in your contract has been done. Look at the odometer to make sure the "new" car you're buying isn't actually a demonstrator. New vehicles should not have more than 100 miles on their odometer, unless it was obtained in a dealer-to-dealer trade. If the owner's wife took the car on a trip to Jersey to visit her mother, the car is not new, and its price should be reduced. Double-check your financing agreement before you sign it. If you're buying, make sure the agreement is a loan (not a lease) contract, and if you're leasing, a lease contract. Make sure the numbers are what you agreed to. Once you've signed the papers and accepted your vehicle, the car is yours.
If the amounts shown on any documents are higher than you agreed to, or if your interest rate went up 2% overnight, get an explanation. If the original figures don't re-appear, politely ask for your deposit back and be ready to leave. Usually the dealer will back down and apologize for the mistake. However, an unscrupulous few will leave you there for 20 or 30 minutes, hoping you'll tire of the wait and give in. Surprisingly, this tactic continues to be used today, and many customers fall for it. If no refund appears after 5 minutes, announce your intention of calling the police. You'll be surprised how fast your original agreements will re-materialize.
If you financed through the dealer, don't take delivery of the car until you have the payment coupon book. This way they can't give you the vehicle, then call you a week later with "good news/ bad news." The good news is that you won't have to return your new car because your "good buddy" the salesman got you financed with a new albeit higher-interest ("sorry about that") loan when your original borrower rescinded their offer. The truth being, they got a better kickback from somebody else giving them even more profit. Don't let them put you in this situation: refuse delivery until the payment book arrives and your original financing transaction is complete.
Licensed dealers are required to transfer title and tags
within a reasonable period of time -- usually 5 to 45 days, depending on the state. If 30 days have passed
since your delivery and you haven't received your new registration or title in the mail, call the dealer and ask for