Consumers that are in the market for a new vehicle have more than one option to shop for the best deal. This is especially true for car buyers who want to customize a new vehicle. Although you still have to work with a dealership, the car you buy comes uniquely designed straight from the factory. How does ordering a new car from the factory differ from other methods for making a car purchase?
First, the dealership acts as an intermediary between you and the factory. Second, buying directly from the manufacturer allows you to add options not available for the same make and model sold at the dealership. Third, timing matters when you purchase a vehicle from the factory.
Here are some tips to make the factory car buying process run smoothly.
Long before you make the initial call to the factory, you need to perform meticulous research to ensure you buy the car of your dreams. Write down everything you want in a new vehicle and then use automotive website search engines to whittle your choices down to a few models. Make sure you remain under your budget, which typically means item lining every optional feature you want. Once you have narrowed your vehicle options, research what websites such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book have to say about performance and design, as well as safety and entertainment features. The primary advantage of ordering through the factory is because you know exactly what you want customized for the new car.
Working with a dealership has one advantage: You can time the sale or trade in of your old vehicle to match the timing of purchasing a new vehicle. Ordering from a factory requires more planning, as you want the new car to arrive at the same time you sell or trade in your current vehicle. One mistake made by consumers is panicking when time is running out for the purchase of a new vehicle because the buyer of your car is days away from stopping by to pick up the car. Ask about the timing of a factory delivery and ensure the time is clearly stated in any contract you sign.
Work with the Right Dealer
The business relationship you develop with a dealership is one of the keys to ordering from the factory. From submitting the order to establishing the date for delivery, the dealership needs to provide superior customer service. The dealership must promptly inform you of any changes in your order, as well as frequent updates about the status of the vehicle. Read customer reviews and network with friends and family members to solicit dealership recommendations. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you have several choices for dealerships offering the same model car. Remember that even though dealerships operating under the same brand sell similar cars, this does not mean the dealerships provide the same level of customer service.
The Deposit Must Be Refundable
Most dealerships working on a factory car order require a deposit to secure your commitment to the purchase a new vehicle. Make sure you receive the entire deposit back within a designated period, if you change your mind about ordering from the factory. Some dealers might put wording into the contract that your deposit does not release until they can sell the car you custom ordered from the factory. Dealerships typically hold deposits for cars that are unusual in color or are unpopular trims for the model.
You Still Have to Negotiate Like a Pro
One of the misconceptions consumers have about factory ordering a new vehicle involves negotiating. Just because the dealership acts as a go between you and the factory does not mean you skip the negotiation step of ordering a new car. Research what other car buyers have paid for the same vehicle and contact other dealers to receive price quotes. Set a strict limit on the maximum amount you will pay for the vehicle. Remember that models in high demand typically cost more than what you would expect to pay for the standard and optional features that come with the car.
The last and perhaps most important tip for ordering a new car from the factory is to put everything in writing. Read the proposed contract to see if there are any hidden fees and that every customized option you asked for appears in the contract.