Ordering a Custom Car

Off the Lot v. Ordering Your New Car

When you've picked out your car, done your budget, arranged your financing, and talked with the dealer, you are usually by far ready to be done with the process. There's nothing quite like the feeling when you leave your old car behind and take delivery of the new one, and most people like that to happen as soon as it can.

But sometimes, exactly what you want isn't sitting on the dealer's lot at the moment you are. Maybe it's not the right color, maybe the features aren't precisely what you were hoping for. Is it a deal breaker? Maybe, maybe not. So, is there a greater advantage to picking something that's ready to be driven home, or is ordering exactly what you want the way to go?

When you buy from dealer stock, you're obviously limited to what is in stock - what the manufacturer chose to send. The dealer pays a predetermined monthly rate to the manufacturer, so this is factored into your negotiation. However, the dealer has incentive to "move" this stock off the lot, especially if it's been sitting there for a bit and isn't a hot seller, and if little things like color or minor features aren't important to you, you can often drive the car home as soon as that day and any offers or rebates that are good on "delivery day" will be easily available.

When you order, you get exactly what you want, in the color that you want inside and out, with all the features you want. You don't end up with a higher end package you don't need or a bare bones model you'll want to get things installed on. The dealer doesn't have to pay anything to keep it, which can help you financially.  And if something perfect appears in a dealership before your order comes in and you change your mind, there's no risk. You aren't locked into anything until you sign the final paperwork at delivery.

Do keep in mind though, like any custom order, it's not going to be an immediate pick up. Most likely you'll be waiting at least a few weeks. If you know you need a replacement car quickly, it may be tough to wait out. 

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