Buying a new car can be a long process that requires a lot of paperwork and preparation.

If you are new to the buying process and not sure where to begin, keep reading for helpful tips for first-time buyers.


Before you even step foot in a dealership, you should do as much research as possible on the vehicles that interest you.

View auto dealers websites for any rebates or deals going on view manufacturer sites as well for any additional information and rebates.

View safety ratings or recalls, and check user reviews to learn as much as you can about the vehicle that interests you. Also, be sure to consider options similar to the vehicle you initially were interested in, to widen your search.

Get Your Paperwork in Order

Once you feel like you’ve done enough research, you’re ready to go to the dealership. Before you head over, be sure you have the correct paperwork. Having the right paperwork can make the buying process substantially faster.

Paperwork Checklist:

  • Your down payment
  • Driver’s License
  • Title for your Trade-In (If you are trading)
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Account number for your trade-in’s loan (if you still owe money on your current vehicle you want to trade)
  • Rebate eligibility documents (special manufacturer rebates, a copy of the dealership website’s rebates, first-time buyers rebates)
  • Pre-approved loan application (if applicable)
  • Proof of income
  • Personal bank information
  • Any other dealer offers (to match prices & help in negotiations)

Don’t Rush

Make sure you schedule your test drive and make sure you have an appointment with a salesperson. This will help move things along easier as you won’t be waiting to see a salesperson if you decided to just show up.

Once you enter negotiations, it’s important you set ground rules. Don’t accept a deal you aren’t comfortable with and don’t settle for a vehicle you aren’t 100% sold on.

It’s important to give yourself time to process the deal as well. Make another appointment with your salesperson to finalize the deal (if you think you’ll be ready) that way you have adequate time to think about your decision.

Payne Auto Group

Payne Auto Group has 14 dealerships across the Rio Grande Valley that offer new and used vehicles. Payne Auto Group also offers financing options and insurance for customers to take advantage of.

Schedule a test drive online and view our entire inventory online on our website.