Let’s just say that we’ve all been there: We’ve driven off the dealership lot and wondered if we did everything the right way.
It’s human to wonder. And it’s even more human to realize later that we could have avoided missteps with a little pre-planning.
The next time you have your eyes set on a 2017 Ram 2500HD, Ram 1500, or any other truck, do yourself a favor and walk through this checklist. That way, you’ll know that you’re not making the experience harder.
For goodness’ sake, do a little research.
We have all been guilty of slacking off on our research when it comes to looking at all the information available on the truck makes and models. Why? Essentially, we tend to buy emotionally, not logically.
Instead of becoming so keyed up about a certain truck that you can’t see straight, get your head in a better place and force yourself to do a bit of digging. You might just discover that the truck you had your heart set on isn’t “the one” after all.
Take more than one truck for a spin.
You test drove a Ford F-150 and now you’re done. You’re ready to haggle a little on the price and then sign the papers. Easy, right?
Not so fast. How can you possibly make a smart decision if you can’t compare the truck you drove to another? Your goal shouldn’t be to get the truck buying process over in record time but to invest in a truck that will meet your needs. So hop in the bed of another model and start up the engine.
Get to know your finances intimately before you make any decisions.
Far too many people get to the point of practically no return only to be slapped down — hard. Why? Their finances are a mess. Either they’ve wrecked their credit, or they simply can’t afford to put down enough with the purchase.
Prior to hitting your preferred dealerships, you need to do a quick once-over. Get your free credit report from one of the three biggies — Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax — and scour it carefully. See errors? Address them before signing your name anywhere. In addition, check your liquid cash and make sure you can afford the truck you want.
Be a big kid and show off your reading skills.
You’ve been at the Chevy dealership for what seems like a year, and you don’t want to spend a minute more than you have to on paperwork. By all means, you can just add your John or Jane Hancock to the binding documents without reading them, or you can put on your big kid pants and actually look at the agreement.
This isn’t to say that you can’t skim over spots in your contract, but try to get at least a precursory understanding of everything you’re agreeing to do. Have questions? Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask. After all, you’re the one forking over your dough, so you get to run the show.
Ready to tackle the truck buying process? Keep this article handy and you’ll do just fine.