Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Many people struggle with bad credit and get flustered about the idea of buying a new vehicle. We understand this dilemma at Drivers Lane and have compiled a brief overview of what you should do when getting ready to buy a new car.

Plan Ahead

man researching car loan on computerResearch. Research. Research. The first and most important step is to do in-depth research. Some important things to research include your own credit score, price range, makes and models. Knowing what models and brands that will work with your financial situation will benefit you when meeting with a dealer. Not taking the time to research adds unneeded stress.

An expert from Experian suggests you get your credit report at least three months in advance of when you plan on purchasing a car. You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three national credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax - by visiting Because your credit is always changing, we recommend you check your credit every four months.

Make sure the car you want to buy is within your budget and financial capabilities. The extra luxuries of a car sound nice in the beginning, but will those leather seats affect your budget greatly? It's important to know what you can get and to keep in check with reality.

There are many steps that need to be taken before you can get your new car. It's important to take each of the necessary actions seriously and to think about your decisions methodically.

Find a Dealer

Once you feel confident in your research, it's time to seek a dealer. If you're dealing with credit trouble, finding a dealership that can work with you can be a challenge.

You can begin searching for loans and apply with as many dealerships as you'd like to find the best rates, but you must submit these requests in a 14-day period according to Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian. If you do this correctly, only one "hard" inquiry while show up on your credit report.

Make sure you bring some documents to the dealer to prove to them you're a "good" credit risk. Bringing in these documents will make you look more desirable to a dealer, and these will prove to them that you're ready to take on the financial responsibility of a new car. Some things to bring are:

  • Recent pay stub from your job as proof of income
  • Utility bills as proof of residence
  • Drivers license
  • Proof of insurance
  • A list of six personal references

If you're ready to begin your car buying journey, Drivers Lane can get you started. Our service connects car buyers to local dealerships that know how to work with challenging credit situations. Take the first step by filling out our auto loan request form today!