Factory order and lead times

How a car is built and lead times work
How a factory order works and lead times associated
When leasing your brand new car, it's quite common to factory order a vehicle. This means it's fresh from the factory and built to your exact specification...as conservative or funky as you like!

With that in mind, it's always helpful to know how that works and how long it's going to take to get your new lease vehicle.

What we're going to talk about
  • How does a factory order work?
  • How long does a factory order take?
  • Can I change the spec of my factory order?
  • How can I get a car sooner?

If you don't find what you're looking for, don't hesitate to contact us here.

How does a factory order work?

A factory order has several stages, which include Order Placed > Awaiting Build Week > Scheduled/Confirmed Build Week > Transit to Ship > On Ship > Arrived at UK Port > Arrived at Dealer.

Order Placed
The first stage is placing the order and having it confirmed by the manufacturer. Nice and easy!

Awaiting Build Week
Once your order has been confirmed, your lease car goes into a queue of all new orders until it is given a build week by the factory. There is no certain timeframe in which a build week is allocated, it's all dependant on how many orders are in the queue.

Scheduled/Confirmed Build Week
When the factory allocate a build week to your lease vehicle, we can give you a very accurate date as to when the vehicle will be arriving in the UK. If a build week is only scheduled, it can move back and forward, however if it's confirmed, it won't change.

Typically, a vehicle arrives approximately 4 weeks from the confirmed build week, but please check with us first as some cars can take a tad longer (for example, an Audi Q5 can take up to 8 weeks as it's build in Mexico!).

Transit to Ship/On Ship
This is when your lease vehicle has been built and is being moved from the factory to the port. Here it'll wait until it's loaded onto a (very large) boat and shipped to the UK!

UK Port
Once the vehicle arrives at UK port, it's thoroughly checked over before being moved to the dealership. From the day it arrives in the UK, it usually takes between 7-10 days to move it from the port to the dealership.

Arrived at Dealer
Now your lease vehicle has arrived at the dealership, it goes through a PDI (pre-delivery inspection) before being offered out for delivery...providing nothing flags up during the PDI, of course!

And voila, you are now an expert in lease vehicle factory orders.



So, how long does a factory order take?

No car is the same and lead times are forever changing and vary. Several factors have an impact on the lead time of an order, such as where it’s built and what it’s built with. Take a Q5 for instance, these are built in Mexico and can take up to 12 weeks just to be shipped to the UK. Then, if you add a panoramic glass sunroof, that could end up adding a week on depending on if the manufacturer has enough sunroofs ready to be fitted.

Many other factors can have an impact, too. If there is a surge in orders on a certain vehicle, if a new model is released, if the factory closes (as we’ve seen recently) or an accident occurs, if the ship sinks or there is a recall. All of these things can have an impact.

When you place your order, we’ll be given an estimated delivery time from the dealer which we can work towards. As this can change and often does, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, we’ll update you throughout the progress so you’re fully in the loop.


Can I change the spec of my factory order?

I’m indecisive, too, don’t worry. If you want to change anything on your order, do it ASAP. If the change is a small one (changing the colour, for example), then it’s likely that it won’t effect the lead time, whereas a bigger change (adding a sunroof for instance) might delay the build by a few weeks.

However, if you don’t let us know ASAP, it might be that we can’t make any changes to it, like if it’s already gone into build for example. If that’s the case, we’re going to have to place a whole new order which means starting the process again!



How can I get a car sooner?

Of course you want your new car soon. Who wouldn’t? But somethings are worth waiting for, especially if you want to be particular about the car and what it looks like and comes with. That said, if you can’t wait, the best way to get a car sooner is to go for a stock car or a car that is built and already on its way to the UK.

If you’ve ordered a vehicle but want one sooner, just let us know and we can send you a list of options available to replace your current order. Providing you haven’t ordered a high value car, or a really funky spec (we once ordered a green car with brown leather…), there is no charge to swap your order.

If you want to discuss leasing and how it might benefit you, please don't hesitate by getting in contact, or completing a callback form:

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