Ordering New Car Vs. Buying From Stock

Order a car to get it just the way you want it.
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Once you have your heart set on the new pearl-white hue with a charcoal-gray interior, it is a disappointment to realize it isn't available through your local dealer. While you can order a car just the way you want it, there may be drawbacks such as losing incentives or rebates. Consider some of the advantages and drawbacks to decide if you should special order your car or choose one that is in stock.

Getting What You Want

There was a time when dealers kept a large stock of cars, meaning you could likely find what you wanted in the way of color and options fairly easily. Steven Cole Smith, automotive editor at the "Orlando Sentinel," points out that while it might cost you a bit more to order the car, the difference will be "negligible."


One drawback to ordering a car is that it can take a month or two for the custom order to arrive. Since both manufacturer rebates and dealer incentives change on a month-to-month basis, you may miss out on the best deals. On the other hand, the rebates when the car finally arrives could be even better.


When dealers order cars for their lots, they choose option packages the majority of consumers might want. If you want anything different, it could be hard to locate in stock. If you have a specific option package in mind, such as one with a certain type of wheel, then ordering your new car can give you the ability to get the exact package you want at the best price possible. Your car salesperson can go over the various options with you.

Dealer Locate

If the wait for a new car to arrive seems too lengthy, dealers can sometimes locate the car you want at another dealer. Most dealerships have exchange deals in place so that they can swap for the color or option package you're looking for. One drawback to this method is that the car is sometimes a couple hundred miles away, meaning your car will have a little mileage on it when it finally arrives.

Cost of the Vehicle

Once you have the sticker price of the exact car you want, that price should not change. You can get the price on the website of most car manufacturers by using a virtual program to build the car you want. If the dealer tries to add in additional fees, choose a different dealership to order your car. Keep in mind that some dealers do offer a better discount for an in-stock purchase, so you could save money if there is a similar car in stock.

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