Is Ordering a New Car Straight from the Factory Really a Better Deal?

Many automotive manufacturers have begun to offer the option for buyers to order a car directly from the factory. This option used to be limited to low-number production cars that are often collectible, but mass producers are coming to find that there are benefits to be had on all sides. But, even with benefits for the buyers, is it really a better deal to order a new car straight from the factory.

When you order a car from factory you are getting exactly what you want

Robotic arms spray paint a car body shell. When buyers order a car from the factory they get to choose the paint color .
Robotic arms spray paint a car body shell | Yuan Jingzhi, VCG, Getty Images

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With the opportunity to order a car directly from the manufacturer, buyers now have the option to choose everything they want their car to have. In some cases, that in itself can be exciting for buyers — you are getting the color options and features you want, and the car is made just for you. Really, it’s a pretty cool feeling. Is it a good deal? Almost always. Why? The answer is as simple as you’d expect, Edmunds explains.

“You might wonder why you can’t find a car with the exact options and color combination you want. It’s because the vehicles that are available on dealer lots come with popular options that dealerships think have the best chance of selling”

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Reports

When you order a car from the factory, you, as the buyer, get the choice you want, and you pay for only the add-ons and features you are actually looking for. That could mean saving money on features a pre-made vehicle comes with that you may not be interested in. Better than that, it means that you won’t be feeling disappointed with what’s already available at the dealership, not having to compromise on colors, options, or features.

Automotive manufacturers don’t have to put in any guess work

Porsche sportscars are lined up on the assembly line in the factory
Porsche sportscars are lined up on the assembly line in the factory | THOMAS KIENZLE, AFP, Getty Images

When automotive manufacturers produce cars for the masses instead of to certain specs, studies must be done to determine how much of each factor is used in each vehicle. That might not seem like a lot, but the different features and aspects of a vehicle can vary greatly even within a model, and with no direct orders, there is a lot of guesswork on the manufacturer’s parts to produce cars they believe buyers will like. This can include basic features to the particulars:

  • Exterior paint color
  • Exterior upgrades such as packages and add-ons
  • Interior color
  • Interior trim choice if there are multiple options (wood trim paneling, carbon fiber, exterior-paint matched plastic)
  • In some cases, stitching on the seats
  • Upholstery materials (leather, cloth, vinyl)
  • Add-on luxuries like heated seats, ventilated seats, heated steering wheels, sunroofs, etc
  • Add-on safety features that aren’t standard on that model such as blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control

That doesn’t even take into account how many of each trim level the factory should produce. With all of these factors there are more than a handful of combinations options.

Buyers have to wait to recieve their vehicle from the factory

Unlike going and picking up a car sitting at a dealership, ordering a vehicle from the factory takes a bit more time. There are several factors that can play into how long you are waiting, but most cars are available for pre-order before they even begin production, meaning you can be waiting for upwards of a year to take delivery of your new car. Not to fret, you aren’t making payment or owe any money on the vehicle until you take delivery, and most orders can be placed with a small deposit.

Some cars, like certain supercars, are all custom-built for customers, leaving nothing up to guesswork for the customer, but in the case of cars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, it can mean waiting years to actually get your vehicle. Now, imagine waiting years for a car you ordered from the factory just to discover you don’t like it, like Steve Wynn who paid millions of dollars for a Ferrari from the factory that he ended up hating…

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