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If you're thinking of leasing your next lease vehicle with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, chances are you'll have lots of questions regarding the delivery lead time?

To help explain how delivery lead times work, we've put together a short blog post on what to expect when ordering a lease vehicle, how long it takes to deliver a lease vehicle and how you can help speed up the process.

What is a delivery lead time?

The delivery lead time is the amount of time that it takes from placing the order on your new car to it arriving from the manufacturer, ready for you to show off to all and sundry. The delivery lead time not only varies not only from manufacturer to manufacturer, but can also vary from model to model.

Taking aside the fact that the manufacturer is making the car to your exact specifications with all the bells and whistles that you have asked for, there are other factors that determine when your car will be in your possession, and these include:

  • When in the dealer’s order cycle the order is placed. You may have ordered a car that is not on the forecourts yet, and like everyone else wishing to drive that particular model, you will have to wait for the official release date
  • The demand for the vehicle you have chosen. The clamour for particular models can be great and there may well be a waiting list for cars that are being launched as opposed to cars with upgrades and existing models
  • The time of year. Manufacturers may be concentrating on certain other models to the 'detriment' of others at certain times of year, especially if there is a new car launch on, and it may be your choice that 'suffers'
  • Availability to Nationwide Vehicle Contracts from the manufacturer. If we have stock allocation of a particular model, we can usually deliver the vehicle sooner than those cars which have not been built yet

How accurate are the delivery lead times?

When a car is ordered, our brand supplier gives us an estimated delivery date for us to quote our delivery lead time from. This is our best estimate, and whilst we try to make sure that delivery dates are as accurate as possible, we are at the mercy of the manufacturer. On rare occasions, production can take longer than estimated, especially when you consider that some cars are being created to your exact specification.  

If there is a delay to the lead time of your vehicle, we will keep you up informed so that you can make any alternative arrangements if necessary. Please be aware that Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has no control or influence over manufacturer lead times so we cannot accept any responsibility for any losses or inconvenience caused because of a delay from the manufacturer.

How long does it take for a factory order car to be delivered?

If the car is being built to your exact specification (e.g. you have asked for a specific colour, engine or technology to be added to the vehicle), this is what is known as a factory order.

Lead times for factory orders vary from product to product and can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months.

Things that make a significant difference to a lead time include the gearbox choice, engine choice and even the particular variation of the chosen model, as well as the number of options chosen on the car, especially those with a technological slant such as driver aids. This was no more exemplified better than when Volkswagen launched their Mk7 Golf with an option of a rear-view camera. Because there was a problem further down the supply chain in VW getting hold of the camera, there was a more-than-expected delay in delivery.

As a benchmark, most manufacturers can deliver a factory order within four months. If you have ordered a prestige model or a car with a lot of features, it can take longer, with manufacturers such as Land Rover sometimes taking up to eight months.

lady driving car

How can I get quicker delivery?

The simple answer to this is to choose a model that is marked as 'in stock'. Stock models have already been built so the delivery lead times are much shorter. On occasion, some stock cars have also been pre-registered prior to customer allocation. This means that they have already been allocated a registration plate number with the DVLA. Other times, a stock model will not be registered with the DVLA until the day before delivery.

For pre-registered vehicles, customers get the balance of the manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance cover. If the warranty expires during the contract hire period, the customer will be liable for any repairs or breakdown costs, unless, of course, there is a maintenance package purchased and included as part of the contract, in which case repair costs may be covered subject to the maintenance terms and conditions.

How long does it take for a stock car to be delivered?

“In stock” vehicles are normally available for delivery within three to four weeks. For selected stock vehicles, we may be able to offer delivery within 7-10 days upon receipt of the correct vehicle documentation. Please be aware that due to stipulations set by the finance provider, we may be unable to deliver a lease vehicle until the statutory cooling off period (usually 14 days) has expired. We also must be in possession of your signed finance agreement and processing fee, as well as a copy of your proof of insurance before we are able to deliver the vehicle. 

Have a question about delivery lead times? Leave a comment below or contact one of our Customer Service Representatives for help and advice.


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