So you're getting ready to buy a car and have a list of to-dos. You've set a budget and restricted your alternatives; now it's time to test drive your soon-to-be ride.

What to bring to the dealership. A form of payment Buying an automobile requires payment, of course. A bank or credit union can preapprove a loan check. The down payment for dealership financing can be a cashier's check or personal cheque.

Driver’s license The driver's licence serves two purposes: to confirm you're a lawfully registered driver and to identify your check or form of payment.

Proof of income When financing an automobile, income evidence is required. Why? Auto lenders want to make sure you have a stable income to repay the loan. Bring a paystub or bank statement to the dealership.

Residential proof You'll also need evidence of residence to guarantee that your monthly payments are issued to the right address. You can bring a current utility bill, lease, or mortgage.

Insurance proof You must be insured before driving off with a new car. If you have insurance, show your card. If you haven't set up insurance, call the dealership and provide your insurer the VIN. Your insurance company will email or fax the dealership proof.

Title and current vehicle registration for trade-in If you're trading in a car, you'll need to present the title. If there's a co-signer or lien on the title, get their signature early. Make sure your vehicle registration is current before trading it in.

If you want to buy a car but have weak or no credit, a Credit Acceptance dealer can help. Start by filling out our Start Your Credit Approval form.