DriveTime FAQs & Helpful Tips

At DriveTime, we understand that buying a vehicle can be a little intimidating, especially if you’ve never purchased a vehicle before. It’s exciting and can be a little scary.

We want our customers to know exactly what to expect when they are purchasing a car from us, so we’ve created this official DriveTime FAQ to help. Feel free to search our FAQ and our blog for answers to your questions and if you don’t find them here, please contact us, we’d be happy to help.

Are you a current customer? Check out our FAQ page just for you. Current Customer FAQ

If you can’t find an answer to your question on this page or in our Current Customer FAQ, please contact us through Facebook or Twitter for the fastest response times, otherwise call us at 888-418-1212.

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Financing & Payments 13

DriveTime is the nation’s 2nd-largest used car dealership focused solely on used vehicles. With over 100 dealerships across the nation, we pride ourselves on offering shoppers used cars, trucks, vans & SUVs, along with a simple and no-pressure experience.
Yes! Everyone is approved at DriveTime. Start your easy, online approval today and know your down payment before you shop, or call our approvals line at 888-418-1212.
Buy Here Pay Here used car dealerships, otherwise known as “tote the note,” are simply used car dealers that are also the bank; meaning they directly offer the financing for the vehicles on their car lot. There are a lot of misconceptions around Buy Here Pay Here car dealerships and small, independent dealerships can work differently from each other. Always ensure that the Buy Here Pay Here dealer of your choice inspects all of its vehicles before sale, reports to major credit bureaus and follows all regulatory standards such as state usury laws, the Truth in Lending Act, privacy regulations and so on.
We sure can! If you haven’t established your credit history, DriveTime can still help you purchase a vehicle. Simply start our easy, online approval and get your down payment amount before you shop.
We understand everyone can’t have a perfect credit history, but here at DriveTime, we work with you to find financing that fits your unique situation and we can still help you purchase a vehicle. Simply start our easy, online approval and get your down payment amount before you shop.
DriveTime is focused on ensuring our payments work with our customers’ budget. The best way to lower the payments is by having a larger down payment or taking advantage of our rate buy down program. We can also look at a less expensive car to lower your payments. You will know your exact monthly payment once you are approved and decided what vehicle you want to drive home!
Yes, we are! DriveTime is unique in the way that we are the auto dealership and the bank, which allows us to be more flexible with down payments and monthly payments depending on your unique situation.
Unlike the majority of ‘buy-here pay-here’ dealerships, we don’t have the same down payments for everyone. We customize our down payments per vehicle and per customer. Typically, higher priced vehicles require a higher down payment, which is pretty standard. We will let you know what your minimum down payment is on each vehicle and you can decide what you want to put down. Ready to get started?
We do offer a reservation program! The DriveTime reservation program allows you to hold the car of your choice for up to seven days, but you cannot drive the vehicle off the lot until the down payment is fully paid. You can start your approval now to get started, then head into your local dealership to choose your car!
The online approval process will be a soft inquiry that will not affect your credit score. If you choose to finance with us after receiving your offer, prior to sale completion, you will be required to authorize a hard pull for a full credit report inquiry, and it may impact your credit score. Don’t worry, your credit report and score isn’t the only factor that we will take into consideration when building your customized approval online.
DriveTime offers interest rates as low as 5.9%, on approved credit. Maximum interest rates are typically determined by each state’s usury limit laws (maximum allowable interest rate by law). One thing that is different with DriveTime is that you work directly with the Sales Advisor to build your loan. This way, you will be able to find the right vehicle, down payment and term to get the rate you are looking for. To find your approval amount, start your approval online or browse our expansive inventory.
Absolutely! Typically, your lender will set guidelines for what vehicle you are financing. Let your Sales Advisor know what your bank’s criteria is, then you can go begin to browse our inventory. If you don’t have a preferred lender, you can start your approval online with DriveTime.
Yes! DriveTime now offers customized online approvals. It’s easy and only takes about two minutes. In most cases, you’ll receive an instant confirmation of your down payment amount so you can start car shopping right away. Why not get approved now?
A bankruptcy doesn’t automatically exclude you from being able to purchase a vehicle from us (except in Tennessee); it just adds one additional step in the process. The additional step is getting your trustee to approve the purchase if you haven’t completed the “meeting of the creditors” yet. If you have a prior bankruptcy that has been finalized, simply get approved online.
DriveTime does not discriminate against people who have been convicted of a DUI, or other civil or criminal charge. Law enforcement actions do not impact your ability to purchase a vehicle.


Purchasing a Vehicle 14

To purchase a vehicle please bring your:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of income (determined through a pay stub, bank statements and/or employer verification)
  • Proof of auto insurance (we can help you obtain insurance if you don’t already have a provider)
  • Proof of residence (utility bill, lease agreement, etc.)

You can ask your Sales Advisor about other options if any of these aren’t available to you. Have any additional questions? Just contact us.

Fees such as documentation, tax and titling, for example, vary by dealership and by state, so please check with your Sales Advisor to see a breakdown of all charges on your vehicle. You will be able to review all fees prior to purchasing or leasing your vehicle.
The DriveTime car buying experience is unique because we put the process in your hands. We allow you to dictate how the sales process will unfold. We first ask if you would prefer to get approved for a loan first or view our inventory to find a vehicle perfectly matched for you. From there, the entire process is entirely in your control. The entire car buying experience typically only takes only 2-3 hours. Our company record? 44 minutes.
DriveTime prides itself on being open and straight forward with our customers. By offering a no-haggle price on our vehicles, we ensure that all our customers pay the same and receive the same, great value. You can browse our inventory and vehicle prices on
Yes, we accept cash transactions and outside financing. Ready to start car shopping?
We sure do. Bring in your vehicle and we can provide you a third party valuation on the spot. Contact your local dealership for more information on the trade-in process, we’d be happy to help.
While DriveTime does not offer car rentals, if you’re looking to make a purchase, we make it easy! Find your local dealership to schedule a visit!
You need to be 18 years old or the age of majority in your state in order to sign a contract and purchase a vehicle from DriveTime.
Yes, we accept Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS) (Consular Identification Card) in our dealerships located in Texas, New Mexico and California.

Sí, aceptamos Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS) (Tarjeta de Identificación Consular) en nuestros concesionarios ubicados en Texas, Nuevo México y California.

You do not need an appointment to visit a DriveTime dealership. However, many of our customers find it useful to get approved online first to expedite the buying experience, then you’ll be prompted to setup an appointment.
To reserve a vehicle head to your local dealership to choose a car. You can reserve a vehicle with our vehicle reservation program for up to seven days.
DriveTime provides complimentary AutoCheck Vehicle History Reports for every vehicle on our website. Simply visit the vehicle detail page for the car you want to purchase and select, “See History Report” and the report will open in a new window. You can also ask your Sales Advisor for a copy of the report for any vehicle at the dealership.
Currently, we don’t offer at-home delivery. Find your nearest dealership on New inventory arrives daily, so contact your local dealership if you’re searching for a specific vehicle.
Visit to get approved now and see your down payment within 2 minutes!
Our online inventory is updated nightly and may include vehicles that are currently being transported to the dealership or that has sold within the day. If you have a question about the availability of a specific vehicle, please contact the dealership where the car is listed.
You can view all of DriveTime’s vehicle inventory online or by visiting your local dealership. We update our inventory daily and typically stock over 9,000 cars nationwide. Please contact your local dealership for more information on vehicle availability.

Our Vehicles & Multi-Point Inspections 10

Certainly. All vehicles go through four different multi-point inspections through one of our 26 regional inspection centers.
DriveTime has several different sources for vehicles; including auto auctions, off-lease vehicles and customer trade-ins. We send all of the vehicles we purchase through one of inspection centers to receive a multi-point inspection before they are delivered to your local dealership.
During our multi-point inspection processes, we inspect a multitude of vehicle components. This includes inspections to the powertrain, climate control system, drivetrain, suspension and the body. Ask your Sales Advisor for additional information about our multi-point inspection process.
If a vehicle has been in an accident, it should be notated on its AutoCheck History Report, that is provided to you free of charge.
Rebuilt engines are not common among the vehicles DriveTime purchases from auto auctions, individuals or other dealers. Every vehicle we sell goes through the same multi-point inspection and since the majority of our vehicles are model year 2007 and newer, it is rare that a car would need an engine rebuilt so early in its life.
DriveTime vehicles come equipped with a GPS location device which we may utilize in certain, restricted circumstances. You may also utilize third-party apps to locate and track your vehicle.
Unfortunatley, the majority of our dealerships do not have a service center or access to lifts.
DriveTime will provide you any service or mechanical records that were provided with the vehicle at the time we purchased it.
Due to insurance regulations, DriveTime can’t allow a shopper to temporarily take ownership of the vehicle so they can take it to their mechanic, for an extended test drive, etc. Feel free to bring your mechanic along to inspect the vehicle at our dealership and to review the AutoCheck History report.
Yes, DriveTime provides a complimentary AutoCheck History Report which includes a “Title and ProblemCheck” which will provide you the title status and history of the vehicle.

Vehicle Recalls 5

A vehicle recall is when the manufacturer of a vehicle or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that a defect or condition that could affect the safety or operation of a vehicle may exist in a specific vehicle type. Then, the manufacturer notifies its registered vehicle owners of the existing condition or defect so that they can take the vehicle to an authorized dealer for diagnosis and repair. Some vehicle recalls are not mandatory and are up to the owner of the vehicle.
All of our vehicles have gone through a DriveTime-approved inspection process and have checked for all NHTSA-required safety requirements. To watch a video detailing our inspection process, click here. If during our inspection process, our inspectors find that a vehicle has a serious safety issue, it will be removed from being available for sale. At time of purchase if you are being sold a vehicle with a safety recall, DriveTime will notify you with a recall report for the vehicle.
Unfortunately, DriveTime is not allowed to performed the necessary repair work if a vehicle has been recalled. Vehicle recalls can only be completed by an authorized franchised dealer.  If you contact a franchised dealer, they are obligated to perform the repair free of charge.
At DriveTime, we strive to provide a fully transparent experience for our customers. At the time of sale, we go to, pull a current vehicle recall report and provide a copy to every customer. You’ll have the most current government report on any open recalls at the time you purchase your vehicle.

If there is a vehicle you are looking at on and you would like to find out if it has an active recall you can find out without leaving your computer. The NHTSA has a new tool that will let you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.
1. Go to & click on the “Search for Recalls by VIN” button
Car Recall Home Page
2. Input your Vehicle Identification Number

Car Recall VIN Input Page
3. You’ll receive a full report on any potential recalls for your vehicle

NHTDA Car Recall Report

We suggest you contact a manufacturer-authorized repair facility as soon as possible. At that time the facility is then required to fix recalls with no cost incurred by you.

Our Warranty & Coverage 4

We include a 30-day warranty on all of our vehicles at no extra cost to you. If you have a covered issue within the first 30 days of owning your vehicle, just give us a call and we’ll take care of it. We also offer DriveCare – an optional vehicle protection plan with extended powertrain coverage that can keep your vehicle covered for up to 5 years or 50,000 miles*.

(*3 years/36,000 miles offered in Florida, Oklahoma and New Mexico as of 3/10/14)

DriveTime gives you the option to return your vehicle within 5 days of purchase. No strings attached. You may receive less money back if you drive over 300 miles within the five day return period.
DriveTime offers optional GAP coverage on all of our vehicles. With GAP, if you vehicle is deemed a “total loss” due to an accident, GAP will wipe away the amount on your loan that you still owe. Ask your Sales Advisor for more information about GAP.
Since DriveTime is not an OEM dealer, we can’t partake in any “certified pre-owned” programs. We utilize our own multi-point inspection process prior to any vehicle being delivered to a dealership.

DriveTime Dealerships & Corporate 5

We have over 140 dealerships across the nation and add several more each year. You can use our handy dealership locator tool to find the DriveTime dealership nearest to you.
If you’re the kind of person who’s determined to excel in new and unexpected ways, you’re going to love building a career with DriveTime. Here, you’ll never stop learning, because mentoring, training and development is the name of our game. You can view and apply to open positions on our Careers page or research what it is like working for DriveTime on Glassdoor.
DriveTime takes your privacy seriously. Please view our Privacy Policy for our information collection and use disclosures.
DriveTime is the nation’s largest used car dealership network that specializes in helping people with bad credit. However, being #1 doesn’t make us special. Offering a 5-day return guarantee, including a 30-day limited warranty, providing free AutoCheck history reports and putting all of our vehicles through multi-point inspections are just a few reasons why we are America’s most trusted used car dealer helping people with credit issues.
DriveTime’s home office is located in the heart (and heat) of Tempe, Arizona. We also have several operations centers located throughout the country that houses our internet sales, customer relations, human resources, accounts payable and dealership support teams.