What Are the Average Wait Times for a New Car for 2022

The pandemic has made car buying more complicated. It’s hard to believe that the average price for some used cars, not even luxury brands, would increase by nearly $10,000. Additionally, most dealerships won’t even consider haggling on prices, given the demand for vehicles.

You can still save money by ordering a new car directly from the manufacturer. This is also a definite way to get all the features you want and avoid dealer markups. The only problem is that new car orders have highly extended wait times.

Why are new car deliveries taking so long?

Close up of a line of cars, could be new cars that could have wait times for a new cars.
A line of cars | Getty Images

Even though it’s been over two years since the pandemic started, the chip shortage still affects new car deliveries. Automakers are still having problems securing semiconductor chips, most of which have been allocated to other electronic devices. As a result, automakers are stalling their production timelines or leaving out some standard features.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is also still surging in many countries that manufacture the parts for American cars. With more workers calling in sick, production can’t carry on normally. There are also fewer ships to import cars from overseas to the U.S..

The average wait times for new cars

According to Forbes, the average wait time for a new car can be four to twelve weeks. Depending on what vehicle you want, you could be waiting even longer than that.

For example, AutoExpress UK says that most buyers only wait four months for a Ford EcoSport. However, if you want a Mustang Mach-E or Bronco, you might be waiting more than a year before your vehicle arrives. 

The type of car you’re getting might also affect how long you’ll wait. With gas prices soaring in almost every state, demand for EVs and hybrids has increased. Automakers are also prioritizing shipments with their best-selling cars, typically SUVs.

CarBuyer reports that anyone who wants a new BMW could be waiting up to nine months. The average wait time for a Land Rover ranges from six months to a year. Some automakers have more stock than others, such as Honda, with its promises to deliver vehicles in less than a month.

However, most automakers can’t and won’t provide specific lead times. After all, there’s no point in getting a customer’s hopes only to have unexpected delays dash them. The best way to get the most accurate delivery times in your area is to speak with your local dealership.

In years past, you could often buy a new car on a dealership lot that same day. However, this is becoming less common because limited new inventory usually sells out quickly. Forbes also reported that automakers will probably stop underwriting extensive dealer inventories because there aren’t enough new models to go around.

Still, as Forbes outlines, even the build-to-order process is prone to delays. Some automakers have a specific timeline for building each order, while others consolidate BTO cars into batches.

Building the actual car only takes a few days at most. However, it can also encounter weather and inspection delays once it has reached its shipping port.

When will normal car delivery times resume?

There probably won’t be a steady supply of semiconductor chips until at least 2023, which will lead to reduced wait times. However, Forbes predicts that automakers will start pushing BTO in the future because it has so many benefits.

With BTO, automakers have a more accurate idea of which cars are the most popular with consumers. Dealers don’t have to spend as much money maintaining inventory that isn’t moving fast enough. If new car prices can stay comparatively low than their used counterparts, it will also be a better deal for consumers.

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