Car Buying: What to bring to the car dealership

f you are ready to purchase a used vehicle here’s a list of things to bring with you to the an auto dealership.

Pen and paper – You’ll need to write down some basic information for research before you buy the car. Write down the VIN#, year, make, model and mileage.

Calculator – Divide the number of miles by the age of the vehicle. Keep in mind even though it may be a 2006 it could have been sold in the fall of 2005. Check the inside of the driver’s side door panel for the manufacturer date. If it is more than 15,000 miles per year you may want to be a little cautious.

CD – It is always a good idea to check the cd player (if equipped) to make certain it is in good working order.
A preapproval loan – It is a good idea to get an auto loan quote at or prior to going to the dealership if you are planning on financing the vehicle. If you go through the banks the dealership uses there may be hidden fees or even a higher interest rate.

Paystubs, W-2, and a recent bill – If you need specialty financing this documentation may be needed for income and address verification. If you do not receive any bills in your name at your residence, you can call an insurance agent and have them mail you an estimate. This will usually suffice for address verification.

Hand towel or small cloth – You will want to check the oil and transmission fluids. If the oil has a milky look, this can be a sign of major engine problems. Smell the transmission fluid, if it smells burnt, it may have a bad transmission.

Laptop – If you have a laptop, bring it along and do a VIN check on the vehicle. The VIN# can be found at the bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side, or on the inside panel of the driver’s door. You can find out if the car has ever had flood damage and also if it has been in any accidents. You can also look up the book value.

List of used cars and price you are willing to pay – Do some research on the cars you like. Write down their book values and options. Also look at your local market and check the average asking price for the different cars in which you are interested. Keep in mind, this is only their asking price. They will usually sell the car for less than they are asking.

A penny – This coin can be used to check the treadwear of the tires. Turn the coin sideways with the top of Lincoln’s head downward. Place the coin between the treadlines of the vehicle. The tread should at least reach the top of Lincoln’s head.

Driver’s License – You won’t be able to test drive without it. In some states you may also be required to have proof of insurance.

Downpayment – If you are serious and want to get the best deal have your downpayment with you. It is hard for a salesperson to pass on an offer when he sees the downpayment in your hand.

Coolant Tester – This tool can be picked up very inexpensively at any auto parts store. Since you’ll want to check the level of the fluid anyway, you might as well test it too. No need to remove the radiator cap. Just open the overflow and test the fluid there. Simple instructions are on the package.

Name and location of a local garage – You should have enough time on your test drive to take the vehicle to a local repair shop. Have them do a vehicle inspection, they usually advertise a 29 point check or something to that extent. There will be a minimal fee, usually $25 – $75, or maybe even free if it is your regular mechanic.

And last but not least, a mechanic or someone with mechanical knowledge – Don’t be afraid to ask a friend who is very biased to go with you, they will be flattered. You will need someone who is willing to look underneath the vehicle for any leaking fluids. Be sure to have them look before and after the test drive. This person can also check the fluids for you. It is a good idea for both of you to test drive the vehicle too.


AIM Unveils DealerLocal, “Local” SEO Tool

Millions of people each month are utilizing hundreds of sites to shop for vehicles, find dealerships and rate their experience in both sales and service. The challenge for almost every dealer is to make sure they can be found in these sites and ensure they are aware of all consumer ratings – both good and bad.

DealerLocal is an online solution that provides dealers with information and ratings about their dealership across more that 1200 popular search engines, online directories and local search sites.

“We saw an opportunity to help dealers get their arms around this critical aspect of managing their online information and reputation,” said Mike McDonnell, CEO and Co-Founder of AIM. “I learned how much time and effort it takes us to do all this work for and realized that most dealers aren’t going to take the time and effort to do if for their site. It’s very important because many consumers are using these sites to find your store and learn about other’s experiences. And as importantly, it can help your site’s SEO ranking.”

Customers are not only searching on popular search engines, but also multiple online directories such as,, and many more. Countless dealerships are not listed in these directories or they have inaccurate information and some even have negative reviews that the dealership doesn’t even know about.

“Our program does most all of the work for the dealership. We look online at various search engines and directories to see if the dealership is listed, and the depth and detail of their information. If anything is missing or the information is wrong we correct it,” said Tony French, President and Co-Founder of AIM. He continued, “It’s not as easy as submitting information and then you’re done. Most all of these sites have their own process and usually takes weeks if not months to get a dealership listed or information changed.”

DealerLocal continues to submit, manage and monitor a dealer’s information on these sites until everything is up-to-date. The program also produces a monthly report with details on the dealership’s online reputation and notifies them of the number of ratings and their average score per site.

“It’s very important for dealerships to be found online, but once the consumer finds the dealership it’s equally important to have a good reputation,” said Tony. “We make it very easy for dealer to be listed everywhere online and to know what their customers are saying about them.”

About Automotive Internet Media
Automotive Internet Media, Inc. (AIM) headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a premier integrated media and lead distribution company that manages Auto Classifieds . AIM encompasses an integrated network of highly specialized Used Cars Online websites that leverages search engine optimization to drive online traffic and connects digital advertising with our clients’ brand objectives.

With a solid foundation for growth, AIM is simultaneously building its current brands while continuing to grow through launching and managing other properties and programs.