Under the best of circumstances, after going through the process of picking out your new or used car, getting settled on the price, and signing papers, you are ready to get out of there and drive your new car.
The delivery process is just as important as the other pieces of car buying. This is not the time to take shortcuts; your long-term satisfaction could be at risk if you do.
At some dealerships, the salesperson goes over everything with you, and at other places they have designated delivery people. Let’s face it, cars are complicated these days and during the delivery process, you will go over the safety features of the car as well as the vast electronics in them these days.
It is a lot to absorb, no doubt about it. Many people make the mistake of thinking they will just use their owner’s manual to figure things out. My experience is most people never get around to it, and frankly, the manuals are difficult to comprehend in a lot of cases. I have seen people who trade their cars in without knowing it did certain things that they would have enjoyed.
During the delivery, if you don’t understand something, stop everything until you do. Operate the features yourself instead of just listening to the person helping you.
This is also a good time to inspect the car. Look for small dents, dings, and scratches. Make sure any added equipment you purchased is installed properly. Find out where the spare tire and jack is. Make sure both sets of keys work and if the car has remote entry systems, make sure you have two of those too.
This is also a good time to check the Vehicle Identification Number matches your paperwork. I’ve seen it many times that people have taken delivery of the wrong car. If this happens, you are driving around in a car with no insurance.
During delivery, ask if there are any CDs or DVDs that come with your car. These things often get separated from the car as dealers often take one of out of car to put them in one that has it missing. This is true of owner’s manuals also.
If you are in a state that license plates do not transfer from car to car, make sure you have some sort of temporary license plate. Sounds simple, but a lot of people drive off with no plate of any kind.
If you just simply cannot take the time to learn all the features of your car, set up a time to come back and go over everything. Many dealerships have new owner’s clinics for these purposes. They can be most helpful.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the gadgets, stop the delivery and just get the basics down, but make an appointment to come back and learn the balance of the features of your new car. If you choose to do this, keep a pen and paper handy to write down questions so you don’t forget something.
Over time, you’ll forget much of the car buying experience, but nobody ever forgets the magic moment when your salesperson hands you the keys to your new car. Just make sure the delivery information you get is clear so you can truly enjoy the benefits of car ownership.
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