727 Martin Luther King Jr Ave S Salisbury, NC 28144

What Do You Need to Buy a Car

With almost 2 cars per family on average, Americans clearly buy a lot of cars.  Buying a car can be a stressful process.  However, you can make things a lot easier by planning ahead. 

Here are some documents that you will need when going to a dealership to buy a car.

1.     1. A Valid Driver’s License.  Your driver’s license will serve as your proof of identity.  But you will also need a license to register and title the car with the DMV.  You can legally purchase and own a car in North Carolina if you have only an acceptable identification card.  However, you cannot drive a car without a valid license.

2.      2. Proof on Income.  If you are employed, you can show your pay stubs.  If you draw Social Security or disability income, you will need proof of that income.  Often bank statements are enough to validate income if you get direct deposit.

3.      3. Proof of Residency.  Usually, you will need to show some official mail that has your name and address on it to prove where you live.  Examples of acceptable mail may be a utility bill, a bank statement, or a tax return.

4.      4. Proof of Insurance.  North Carolina requires that every car operated on the streets be covered by insurance.  If you already work with an insurance company, you can simply call the agent and have the car you are buying added to your policy.  If you do not have an insurance agent, most dealerships have companies that can help you get coverage.  You also need proof on insurance to register and title the car with the DMV.  Insurance companies will gladly email or fax proof of coverage to the dealership.

5.      5. A Form of Payment.  How will you plan to pay for the car?  If you are financing through a credit union or bank, you will need a check for the cost of the car minus any down payment that you are making.  When making your down payment, you will need to have cash or a credit/debit card.  Sometimes dealerships will not accept personal checks, so check with your dealership in advance to see what they will accept.

Some dealerships may require additional information, depending on how much the car costs or on what kind of financing you plan to use.  But these basic documents will be required by almost every car dealer when you are buying a car. 

Getting these documents together in advance can save you some time and headache.


Sonny is the founder and owner of 1st Choice Autos, LLC. Since coming to this country and becoming a citizen, Sonny has been a vital part of the community in Salisbury. He has managed several convenience stores, and in 2010 he opened a convenience store, Friendly Food Mart, in an underserved part of the community. In 2015, Sonny started 1st Choice Autos, LLC, next to Friendly Food Mart. When asked why he chose to start a car dealership, Sonny, said: "Salisbury has been a great community to live in. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that this community has given to me. It has been a wonderful place to start a family, and I am excited as I watch my daughters grow and take advantage of the many things that Salisbury has to offer. I knew that I wanted to give back to the community, and starting a used car dealership that offers quality, affordable cars is one way to do that."

Sonny is well known as a long-distance runner in our area. He has completed 7 marathons. The last marathon was the New York Marathon in 2019 before the pandemic. He has also trained other runners in the area. When asked what running has to do with car sales, Sonny says: "Well, as a runner I had to work hard, train every day, give 100% effort all the time, and always do my best. It's the same with selling cars. It takes a lot of work, and you always have to give your best to serving the needs of your customers."

What experience would Sonny like for his customers to experience at 1st Choice Autos? "From the moment you step on our lot until the time you drive away in your next car, your buying experience with 1st Choice autos LLC is our number one priority. All of our staff are ready to use their expertise and their resources to help you find the right car at the right price."

Call us today at 704-798-7837 to schedule your test drive!! We are located at 727 S MLK Jr Ave. in Salisbury next to Friendly Food Mart between the US Post Office and Rufty-Holmes Senior Center.

View Our Inventory HERE.

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Apply for Financing HERE.

Where Do We Find Cars to Sell at 1st Choice Autos

Where do we find cars to sell at 1st Choice Autos? 

A lot of places!  But the auto auction is an important source for our cars.  Today was auction day.  Sonny is inspecting some of the cars that we are looking to buy.

With online buying, we can buy cars from all over the country.  However, we like to go to the auction to inspect the cars in person.

Why?  Because we want to know exactly what condition a car is in before we buy it for our customers.  We always look for cars that are in good condition physically, that run well, and that are a value for our customers in these inflationary times.

Used car prices have gone up dramatically over the past year.  Only by inspecting the cars in person can Sonny be sure that the cars do not have any major problems, look great and run great, and are worth the price.

Sonny makes sure that every checklist is covered before buying a car for our dealership lot.

See our inventory here. Meet our staff here.