Checklist Before Signing Final Paperwork
Assuming you followed my car negotiating guide, you should have a clear idea of the purchase price for the vehicle and the "out the door" price which includes all fees and taxes.
The first document you'll need to sign is the Buyer's Order, also known as the Purchase & Sale Agreement or Bill of Sale. This document should include:
- Name and address of the dealership and the purchaser.
- Description of the vehicle sold including Make, Model Year, VIN number, and Mileage
- Date of sale or trade
- Amount credited for the vehicle you traded in (if any)
- Amount for: Sale and Use Tax, Title Fee, Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee, Registration Fee and Any other fee required by law
- Sale price of the vehicle
- Amount of any cash deposit made by the buyer
- Net balance due at settlement
- Amount of processing fee charged, if any
It's very important that you check all of this information carefully and make sure all the numbers match what you negotiated.
Some dealers have been known to switch vehicles during the paperwork in order to clear out inventory that's been sitting on the lot too long, or to put you into a vehicle with missing options. Make sure the VIN number matches the one that you inspected.
Do not sign the contract if you have any doubt about purchasing the vehicle. Although it's possible to back out of the agreement after signing, you don't want to take the chance.
If you're financing through the dealer, you'll need to sign some more paperwork including disclosure agreements, title paperwork, odometer statements and waivers.
There is no legal recourse if you change your mind after signing the paperwork and drive the car off the lot, so take your time and read through everything carefully and make sure all the numbers match what you agreed to.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid