Taking Delivery Of Your New Vehicle – A Buyer’s Checklist

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The hard part is over and it’s time to take delivery of your new vehicle. Here is a quick checklist to ensure you get everything you need in one visit.

You finally did it! You have bought your new dream vehicle and the dealer says that it is now ready for you to take delivery. Before you arrange your delivery, here is a quick checklist you can use to be sure you get all the things you need squared away.

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Before You Schedule Delivery – Fuel and Full EV Charge

Does your new car come with a full tank of gas? Most do. Be sure it was filled up for you. Some dealers offer a coupon or gift card for a fill-up. Either is fine, just be sure you get what you deserve. If you purchased an EV of any type, call ahead and ensure that its battery will be fully-charged when you pick the vehicle up. If it is being delivered, ask that it be topped off before the driver heads out. This can take many hours, so asking just before you leave home won’t work. Call the day before. This is the single most common complaint on EV owner sites about taking delivery of a new EV. Locate the portable EV charger cable. Learn how to use it before you head out.

Schedule A Full Infotainment Overview

Everyone can benefit from an in-depth infotainment tutorial by a dealership expert. We play with infotainment settings for a living, and even we were surprised by some features when one of us took delivery of a new vehicle recently. The salesperson is usually not the person who performs this tutorial. Ask who will do this and be sure it is part of your delivery process. Watch how a phone is synced. Sync yours yourself with direction from the expert. How do you like your door lock settings? One push to open just driver’s door, or one push to open all doors? What about auto-locking? How about lighting settings? Do you like the headlights to stay on after you walk away? All of these things are normally able to be set in today’s infotainment systems menus. Be sure all safety systems are on and set to the “Normal” or “Medium” settings. Learn how to pre-set your audio channels and put in your favorites at the dealership. Learn how to program your seat settings if those are options. Is there an app that allows you to remotely access and start your vehicle? Download it and set it up at the dealership. What about in-vehicle WiFi? Write down the password or any other info you will need in the manual. The list is long. Be patient. If it is too much take a short break and come back to it. This is your single best chance to learn about your vehicle settings options.

Inspection Sticker, Registration, and Plates

Does your state require an inspection sticker for your new vehicle? Ours does, and they are a pain in the neck to get. Be sure your dealer takes care of this as part of their service if it is allowed in your state. In our state, many dealerships have in-store mini DMVs. They can and do register your vehicle for you and will get your plates for you. Call ahead to ensure this is all set. Take a picture of your registration with your phone and save that file. It can come in handy.


We prefer electronic manuals for most of our reading, but paper manuals may be the only thing available if you have trouble in an area without cell coverage someday. Locate the manual package and go through it to ensure it is complete. Here’s a hint; Look at your new vehicle’s tire brand and discard the tire warranties from the other manufacturers your auto dealer threw in the booklet. Just keep the one that applies to your car.

Extended Warranty – Service Agreements

Did you purchase an extended warranty or a pre-paid service agreement? If so, find your paperwork. Keep a copy in the vehicle and one copy in your folder at home.

Related Story: Should You Buy An Extended Warranty?

Remove The Title

If your state issues titles at the time of purchase, find it and remove it from the vehicle. That goes in your at-home folder, not in the car.

Tire Gauge

Bring your tire gauge and check the air pressure in your new car. We don’t know why, but many new cars have way too much air in the tires and it is not beneficial. Here is the right way to check tire inflation.

Remove the Wraps

While at the dealership be sure that the plastic wrap is removed from every part of the vehicle including any screens. Discard that at their location, not yours.

If you have your own punch list of things to cover, write them down. Your emotions are running high during this process and preparation can turn anxiety into excitement.





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