shutterstock_109258415When you’re getting ready to buy a car, there are some things you need to make sure you have on hand. These will allow you to get the car you want at a price you can afford. Before you walk into the dealership, make sure to have the following items ready to go.

1. A Hard Budget

Remember, a car dealership is in the business of selling you a car, but they’re also in the business of making money. When you walk into a dealership, you need to know how much you are willing and able to spend. If you don’t have a hard budget in mind, you’re likely to spend much more than you can afford. Whether or not you tell the dealer your budget right away is up to you. However, make sure you don’t waver. A hard budget is something that should not be dealt with lightly.

2. Prices From Other Dealers

Another good thing to have with you is a list of prices from other dealers. Come up with some cars that you are interested in, and make sure to bring along the prices you find for these. Whether you write them down or print them off, they’ll be helpful. You can find prices from a variety of dealers online, or you can walk around a few different dealers to get an idea of what the cars are going for. Getting online prices is a great option, because then you’re able to find the best prices with the least amount of time put into the effort.

3. A Loan Preapproval

It’s always a good idea to have a car loan preapproval before you go to the dealership. If you have taken the time to shop around for a good interest rate, you’re going to end up paying less over the life of the loan. In some cases, the dealership may be able to offer you a better deal. However, having a preapproval ensures that you get an interest rate that you can afford and are comfortable with. Having the approval letter in hand is important when you go to buy your new car.

4. Important Features

Everyone has something different that they want in a car. Knowing what you want and what you can’t stand is crucial when going to buy a car. You can make a physical list, or just keep it in your head. Either way, knowing before you go can help you cut down the amount of time that you’re searching for the perfect car. If you know that you have to have a Bluetooth enabled vehicle, you’re not going to look at older cars or models that don’t offer this feature.

Finding the perfect car is important. It can take a significant amount of time, or you may walk into a dealership and find the right car immediately. Either way, having these things prepared ahead of time will save you time and money, whether you’re buying a new car or something used.