How long do new car orders take?

How long do new car orders take?

We explain here what happens when you order a new car and what factors influence the waiting time.

If you’ve been searching the market for a new car, then ordering the vehicle of your choice is an exciting moment indeed. But one question you're bound to ask regarding this moment is how long will it take to get your car once the order has been put in.

The short answer is that the waiting time can vary a lot. It could take just a few weeks or as much as several months. Keep reading on to learn more details on how new car order times are determined.

If you are buying a car which is already located in the lot of a dealership, then the waiting time should be really short. But if you’re after a brand-new car then you’ll probably be putting in a factory order (also known as a special ordering).

Factory order cars

When you’ve picked the exact new car you want, you’ll complete a form for the relevant dealer which includes details such as what exact engine, colour and options you want fitted. The dealer will pass on this information to the factory which will build the car to your exact specification.

When a car is ordered in this particular fashion, it is known as a factory order car. When your order is sent then there should be what’s called a lead time attached to it.

The lead time

The car order lead time is the time it takes for a new car to arrive at a dealership and be ready for delivery, once the factory order is placed.

A wide range of factors including the car’s specification, demand, the time of year, what country it’s built in and when in the dealer’s order cycle the order is placed will determine what the lead time is.

The dealership you’re ordering your new car from is the best place to contact to get a clear forecast on when it will arrive.

Because of the wide range of variables involved in making and shipping a new car, getting a specific delivery date from dealers is difficult in the early stages of the order. However, some past research on the subject matter can give you some clues as to what sort of waiting time you can realistically expect.

How long do new car orders take?

Past research suggests that a factory ordered new car takes around 5 to 8 weeks to arrive if it is built in a factory in the US, or around 90 days if the vehicle is built in Europe.

Certain cars from brands which originate in America may be built within factories in Europe, and for certain cars from Asian brands it’s a similar story. Some European car brands also build specific models in or near the US.

Other things to know about delivery estimates

The truth is that even just one detail, like adding a specific piece of optional kit, can be the difference between waiting just a few weeks or several months. If the car you’ve ordered is being built outside of Europe, it’ll likely take a few weeks just to have the vehicle shipped to your country.

Certain manufacturers may offer a tracking service which allows you to see at what stage of the order your car is up to and whether it is on track to meet its estimated delivery date.

When you receive a delivery date, you should treat as only an estimate rather than as concrete. If, for whatever reason, the delivery date proves to be soon or too late then you can always leave the car at the dealership unregistered and save your cash for the right moment.

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