Ordering New Car Vs. Buying From Stock

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If you want a specific vehicle with certain features, ordering a new car from a dealer may prove worthwhile if you don't want to settle. However, you may lose out on current rebates or price discounts, as a factory order can take anywhere from one month to one year. Consider additional dealer options to determine if you should order your new car or purchase one from stock.

Price

  • The sticker price of the vehicle you want shouldn't change if you order from the manufacturer or choose a car on the lot. If it does, use another dealer. Visit the manufacturer's website to virtually build the car you want to determine the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the car you intend to purchase. Watch out for an addendum sticker if purchasing from stock; it lists aftermarket add-ons or fees to increase dealer profit and is located next to the window sticker. Some dealers may offer a price discount if you choose a car from inventory, which allows the dealer to increase its sales for the month.

Manufacturer Programs

  • If you intend to lease a vehicle or take advantage of rebates, ordering a vehicle may not prove the best option. Rebates and leasing programs are offered by the manufacturer, not the dealer. If you have already negotiated the price of the car, the dealer might not be able to offer you any further discounts. Manufacturer programs change monthly, so the dealer can't tell you which programs will apply when your car arrives. Rebates may also increase for the month that your vehicle arrives.

Considerations

  • If you have a vehicle to trade the dealer for your new car purchase, expect it to decline in value if your vehicle order takes several months or more. You'll also have to decide if you want to wait for your car; some orders can take up to a year depending on availability. Expect to leave a deposit for a factory order, which the dealer may not refund if you change your mind during the ordering time period. Make sure any discounts, pricing and your trade value is clearly stated in your paperwork if you decide to order a vehicle.

Dealer Locate

  • Rather than wait for a factory order or settle for a car from dealer stock, ask the dealer to locate your vehicle. Your dealer can search other new-car dealers as far away as it wants, so it may find the car you want several hundred miles away. With your approval, the dealer buys the car from the other dealership and sends a driver to pick it up. Expect some mileage to exist on the vehicle, but in most circumstances, a new car warranty doesn't start until you actually own the car, so you won't lose out on warranty coverage even if mileage exists on the car's odometer.

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