Here’s the script for the “Initial Paperwork and F&I Prep” video:

With the preliminary agreement out of the way and handshakes exchanged, your sales rep is thrilled, and now they’re ready to get into the initial paperwork and F&I prep.

Now the dealership’s job is to get most of the documentation they need in order to send you back to the finance office or “Business Office” as they like to be called lately.

Different things happen with a variety of dealers at this point of completing initial paperwork.  Some will have you sign a privacy policy now.  On a trade, they’ll want to collect your title if your old vehicle is free and clear, or they’ll call your current lender for a 10-day payoff quote.

If you have a current statement from your lender, it will be easier as it will already have their phone number and your account number on it.  If not, the dealer probably has the number if you know your lending company, and they’ll just use your social security number to get the payoff.  They’ll need that information because the dealer will send the payoff check to your lender.

initial paperwork

The dealer will also want your proof of insurance before you drive your new car away, both for the lender and because of state-mandated coverage.  If you have an active policy now, you can switch it over to the new car, or depending on your policy; you may have a grace period of a few days to update your coverage.  If you don’t have an active policy, then you will need one before you leave.

Recommending an insurance company to use is way beyond the scope of what I’ll cover here.  You’ve seen all the commercials…call one of them or apply online.  There are sites where you can compare multiple quotes at once as well.

While you’re working on these things, the Sales Manager is putting together a folder for the business manager.  Their initial paperwork will include all the information and agreement they’ve obtained thus far.  The sales desk will make sure that an executable deal is loaded into the dealer’s sales management software with all the information they have about you, the vehicle, preliminary lender approvals, and the deal.

At some point, the business manager will receive the folder, and they will come and meet you at the sales rep’s desk, or in some other cozy area near the back offices.  They will introduce themselves and let you know what to expect.  In some cases, they’ll bring you to their office immediately.  In other cases, they’ll have you sit for a few minutes while they prepare everything in their office.  Either way, at this point, you’re only a few minutes away from getting into the true, legal paperwork.

Finally, your sales associate will take your new car out back for delivery prep.  They will fill up the fuel tank and then bring it back to detailing.  That department is responsible for cutting off the window stickers and doing a thorough cleaning in and out of the car so that you’ll pick it up in the most perfect condition you’ll ever own it.  On a used car, in my experience anyway, if you want a full tank of gas at delivery, you’ll have to ask for it before signing the preliminary agreement, and it will go back to detailing for a wash before you drive it home as well.

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