Ordering a Car from the Factory
The answer is yes - in fact about 15% of all buyers special order their vehicles. But the truth is, you can't actually order a vehicle yourself, you still need to do it through a dealer.
AdvantagesObviously, one of the biggest advantages to special ordering a vehicle is that you'll get to equip it with the exact options and colors you desire.
Some types of vehicles, such as pickup trucks, come with so many different options and configurations that it's impossible for a dealer to stock them all. You may have a difficult time finding some obscure option installed on the car you want - and special ordering may be the only way to get it.
Another benefit to ordering your car directly is that the dealer may offer you a better deal. It's an easy sale for them and they won't have to incur any financing costs for keeping the car in inventory. This is especially true if you're wanting a hot-selling car that's in high demand. If you're willing to special order it and wait for delivery, you'll likely get a better deal.
One of the biggest issues with ordering a car from the factory is the wait time. It can sometimes take several months to get the car delivered, and oftentimes, you won't have any idea when that will be.
In a worst-case scenario, the unions may go on strike and shut down production. You could end up waiting a few extra weeks or even months.
Another disadvantage is that you may not get the same incentives being offered at the time you placed your order. Incentives are applied when the car is delivered - so if the manufacturer decides to discontinue their rebates while your car is being built, you're out of luck.
If you have a trade-in, the car will likely have to be re-appraised when the new car is delivered. If the wait time has been months, your used car may have dropped in price by a good amount. I recommend that you don't involve a trade-in if you're going to order a car from the factory.
Finally, special ordering is usually limited to the domestic brands. You can order a foreign car, but the dealer will just simply try to fill your order with the closest match instead of actually having your car custom built at the factory. BMW is an exception - they're currently testing out made-to-order vehicles for some of their models.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid