Special ordering a new car is supposed to mean that you get exactly what you want, usually within a couple of months. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Here’s what you should know…
Most automakers don’t accept orders on new vehicles between two and three months before the end of the production year. Generally speaking (depending upon model and manufacturer) you can’t order anything between the months of April and August because production years tend to end in the last few months of summer.
With some manufacturers there’s no point in doing a special order. A lot of companies make cars overseas, and because these cars have to travel across the ocean, there’s more than just the standard two-month to complete the special order — there’s also the two-month shipping time. Because of the amount of time it takes, overseas manufactures don’t really like to do special orders. If it’s even possible to order a car, it’s often strongly discouraged.
When you’re thinking about special ordering a new car, keep in mind that some automakers only allow you to buy cars within certain option groups. If you’re looking at getting one or two options from the package, special ordering might be a waste of time. Toyota is famous for making customers buy option groups, and so is Honda – for example, a lot of times they won’t sell you a sunroof unless you buy the “sunroof package.”
Special ordering a car doesn’t always make the most sense. If there’s a special feature or package that you absolutely have to have, than by all means do a special order. But when you order a specific feature or package, try not to order something too out of the ordinary because it will affect your resale value. If your car is too unique, you may not be able to find a buyer when you’re ready to sell. People tend to buy vehicles that are similar to the other automobiles on the road, so don’t order a car that’s so different no one will want it.
The last thing to think about before you order a new vehicle is that you might be able to get a better deal buying off the lot. You may have to compromise on the color, or features, or both, but if you buy off the lot you’re always going to get a good deal. In fact, buying off the lot is almost always the best deal, the reason being that new car dealers have to pay interest on every car that’s on the lot – every day that a new car sits on a lot, it costs money. Therefore, dealers try to sell the cars they have quickly so they don’t end up paying a lot of finance charges for inventory.
In other words, new car dealers are more interested in selling the inventory they have on the lot right now than the inventory they’re going to get in two months.