New car delivery checklist

What to look for
Yes
No
Not applicable
Inspect the vehicle
     
  • Examine the exterior for scratches, scrapes, dings, and dents. Note any disfigurations carefully, and have the dealer repair them before you take possession; or get a written commitment, signed by an authorized manager, describing the work to be done and a date when it will be completed.
     
  • Confirm that the vehicle is clean inside and out.
     
  • Check to see that a proper state inspection sticker is affixed to the windshield.
     
  • Make sure that headlights, tail lights, parking lights, and turn signals function properly.
     
  • Alarm system works properly and can be armed and disarmed easily.
     
  • The gas tank should be full.
     
  • See that all standard accessories are included.
     
    • Spare tire
     
    • Jack and tire iron
     
    • All hubcaps
     
    • All body trim
     
    • Gas tank cap
     
    • Other: _______________
     
  • Ensure that all accessories purchased from the dealer have been added.
     
    • Floor mats
     
    • Trunk cargo net
     
    • Mud flaps
     
    • Pin-striping
     
    • Spoiler
     
    • Custom radio or speakers
     
    • Alarm or other security device
     
    • Other: __________________
     
  • The odometer should register no more than a few nominal miles of use. If there are more than 100 miles showing, it is likely that the car was used as a demonstrator or by dealership personnel or family members for occasional errands. If that is the case, the price should be reduced to reflect the car’s used status.
     
  • Owner’s manual is in glove compartment.
     
Take a test drive
     
  • Power accessories should function flawlessly
     
    • Windows
     
    • Locks
     
    • Seat positioning
     
    • Radio/CD/tape/DVD player
     
    • Antenna
     
    • Side-view mirrors
     
    • Heat/air-conditioner fan motor and settings
     
    • Sunroof/moonroof
     
    • Other: ________________
     
  • Steering should be fluid, quiet, and responsive.
     
  • Transmission should shift smoothly at appropriate RPMs.
     
  • Ride should be quiet, smooth, and free of rattles, whines, or excessive engine noise.
     
  • Braking should be responsive and firm at all speeds. Try slamming on the brakes to test the anti-locking feature.
     
Check the paperwork
     
  • Read every clause of the contract and question anything you don’t understand.
     
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the car should match VIN appearing on the:
     
    • bill of sale,
     
    • registration certificate/owner’s card
     
    • financing or lease agreement.
     
  • Confirm that the engine size and transmission type are as ordered and that this information is correctly entered on the contract.
     
  • Loan document should correctly state the:
     
    • Purchase price you and the dealer negotiated (including any dealer-installed options)
     
    • State sales tax computed at appropriate prevailing rate
     
    • Trade-in allowance for your old car
     
    • Total net payment due
     
    • Down payment you have made
     
    • Annual percentage rate of the loan
     
    • Term of the loan (in months of payments due)
     
    • Monthly payment
     

    There should be no blank spaces

     
  • Lease document should correctly state the:
     
    • Capitalized cost (purchase price)
     
    • Trade-in allowance for your old car
     
    • Residual value at end of lease term
     
    • Capitalized cost reduction
     
    • Acquisition cost
     
    • Initial payment
     
    • Money factor
     
    • Term of the lease (in months)
     
    • Monthly payment
     

    There should be no blank spaces

     
  • Payment book with monthly coupons for loan reimbursement should accurately reflect the number of payments due.
     
  • State registration should have your full name, correct address, and proper identification of the vehicle.
     
  • Warranty certificate is included, all terms are clear, and is properly dated for the day you take delivery.
     
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