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Ordering A Car
Old 03-21-2018, 10:08 PM   #1
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Ordering A Car

Figured this would fit in the Money forum since lease Vs buy and 'how to buy' a car is discussed here.

Has anyone ordered a car to be a particular configuration? How do you negotiate a good deal? It seems to me the dealer has no risk and limited handling costs and should price an ordered car well. And there is the wait.
US or foreign?

A lifetime ago I ordered a 1982 Honda and all the dealer could promise is I would get the next one in desired configuration when it comes on a truck. No ability to order from the factory, at least at that time, too much demand.

I am planning on replacing my 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel). DW & I have done some adventure trips (Death Valley, Anza Borrego, Dempster Hyw., sleeping in the back at Burning Man.). We are getting less adventerous but would like to retain some off road capabilities. By far most of our driving will be on the road. Looking at the Jeep Cherokee, probably Trailhawk. Also considering a MB GLC 300 4matic, which for 2019 can be ordered with a locking differential. This one has less ground clearance, not sure about skid plates but would probably be better on the road.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:26 PM   #2
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I've factory ordered my Ford F150's in the past. I think the only vehicles you can still factory order are trucks such as my F150 and larger trucks. A typical F150 (like any American truck) has dozens of possible configurations to pick from unlike car's which only have a few. A typical Honda dealership can easily find any car where as something like a Ford or Chevy pickup truck have to many possible options to have on hand.

On my last truck there was only 1 available in all of California because of the options and color I wanted. Although dealers would much rather sell what's sitting on the lot, ordering is certainly easy money for them. Little work on their part.
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Ordering A Car
Old 03-22-2018, 12:33 AM   #3
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Ordering A Car

I thought I read or heard that in most states you HAVE to order a car through a dealer. It is not legal to buy without a dealer. (Tesla is an exception, a set up they have had to battle for state by state). This is a law the dealers have paid dearly to put in place. This insures the middlemen get their cut, no matter what.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:41 AM   #4
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Ordered both my 2006 and 2016 Mustangs from the fleet manager of my local area Ford dealers. The 2006 Mustang was literally over the phone using Ford X-Plan pricing. The 2016 was in person and in town since the fleet manager offered me $200 over his true factory invoice. I realize the dealer actually earns more due to factory holdbacks but the local dealer’s offer compared favorably with x-plan pricing so I went for it. No haggle, fair price and I got exactly want I want in options. Downside: it’s about a 90 day wait for delivery. Upside: I got to track my cars through ordering, build and shipment. Bottom Line: I’d do it again, no problem.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:44 AM   #5
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We ordered our current car (Honda CRV) and used the Costco auto program.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:46 AM   #6
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While stationed overseas I ordered a Jeep Cherokee through the military exchange system (AAFES). I specified every detail from the spec and option lists provided by the factory, and told them where (which dealer) and when (on my return to CONUS) I wanted to pick it up.

The process worked well, and I was able to get a couple of options not available to most, such as a nonstandard axle ratio. The downside was that it took longer than expected, and it didn't reach the dealer until a month after my arrival in the US. So I had to rent a car for that period. The price was good too.

Another time I ordered a Dodge van directly through a local dealer and that also worked well, although I didn't get much of a price break on it.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake3287 View Post
A typical F150 (like any American truck) has dozens of possible configurations to pick from unlike car's which only have a few.
Found that out a couple years ago when I was looking at trucks and the F150's. My local Ford dealer has been running a 'we will beat or match any price or we will pay you $500' ad for years. When I tried to take them up on their offer I soon found out it's almost impossible to find two F150's that match exactly so I could never get them to match a lower price I found from another dealer.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:17 AM   #8
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I ordered a car last year but it took so long to come in, I finally found what I wanted at another dealer. Matter of fact, I just got a call this past Monday that the car had finally come in to the dealership.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:23 AM   #9
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I ordered a car last year but it took so long to come in, I finally found what I wanted at another dealer.
Same thing happened to me, although it was 25 years ago. The contract was written such that if the car didn't arrive at the dealer within X number of days, we could back out of the deal.

I don't remember the price being lower than could otherwise be bargained.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:40 AM   #10
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I ordered my new 2012 Toyota Rav4 to my own specifications in the fall of 2012. It was the last year of that model before redesign and the last model year they offered that V6. I got the sport model in the colour I wanted and with a moon roof.

I believe I got a good deal based on subsequent reading.

It did take about 6 weeks but that was okay with us. It is actually manufactured in a factory in Ontario about an hour away and at the time one of my brothers in law actually worked at that particular factory.

Fairly happy with the process.

Of course, 6 months later I was hit head on in an intersection by an elderly woman turning left into traffic but that is another story. Came within a couple thousand of being a write off. But, it was rebuilt well by the dealership and we've been happy with the car ever since.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:41 AM   #11
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Same thing happened to me, although it was 25 years ago. The contract was written such that if the car didn't arrive at the dealer within X number of days, we could back out of the deal.
And you can still work the contract/deal that way. I did it with zero dollars down.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:01 AM   #12
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I just received the 2018 Camry Hybrid I special ordered. Took about 5 weeks. Only thing I missed was a CD player as I thought it was standard.

Most North American built vehicles can be special ordered and received in 6 weeks or so. Cars like Lexus, BMWs and others made overseas cannot be special ordered, but dealers can be allotted a vehicle with the color and model you want. Or, they can swap with another dealer.

Generally speaking: A dealer can afford to sell a special order for less than a vehicle that's been sitting on his lot. Built into the invoice amount is a hold back of 2% of MSRP which is about $700 on the average car. They also have a dealer advertising fee, dealer prep. fees and an allotment equal to 45 days of wholesale interest (floorplan.)

In other words, a new car dealer can sell the car at invoice and still make a $1,000 profit.

When a dealer sells vehicle to a factory employee, they sell it at invoice minus the 2% holdback. They are credited 6% on their parts account for handling the deal. Another factory program for friends and family (Ford's X Plan for example) works the same way but the price will be maybe $1000 higher.

Any car dealer must make a profit or he will not be in business long. He has salaries and benefits to pay. His building is expensive and so are light bills. And the dealer deserves a salary plus a return on his rather large investment.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by yakers View Post
Figured this would fit in the Money forum since lease Vs buy and 'how to buy' a car is discussed here.

Has anyone ordered a car to be a particular configuration? How do you negotiate a good deal? It seems to me the dealer has no risk and limited handling costs and should price an ordered car well. And there is the wait.
US or foreign?

A lifetime ago I ordered a 1982 Honda and all the dealer could promise is I would get the next one in desired configuration when it comes on a truck. No ability to order from the factory, at least at that time, too much demand.

I am planning on replacing my 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel). DW & I have done some adventure trips (Death Valley, Anza Borrego, Dempster Hyw., sleeping in the back at Burning Man.). We are getting less adventerous but would like to retain some off road capabilities. By far most of our driving will be on the road. Looking at the Jeep Cherokee, probably Trailhawk. Also considering a MB GLC 300 4matic, which for 2019 can be ordered with a locking differential. This one has less ground clearance, not sure about skid plates but would probably be better on the road.
I tried to order a truck, but dealer clearly wanted to move his inventory on lot. We brought in all the mfg's printout specs as if we would order right online and he typed them in. He was surprised at how low the price was, but wasn't willing to go any lower so we left. Found similar model sitting on a lot two states away that we negotiated a deal over the phone. You snooze, you lose.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:28 AM   #14
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I ordered my 2013 Jeep Wrangler from the local dealer. He told me I got a great deal!
I got just what I wanted, except the continuing and never ending maintenance issues.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:34 AM   #15
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The dealer is always going to push you to select a model that is already on their lot. They will even go as far as to tell you, well we can get you what you ordered but it might take a couple of extra months to get the car.

So in 2015 I negotiated a deal before I even walked onto the dealers lot. Then we looked at the cars and the one I wanted was not there. (Color and seat combination). So I got the song and dance, and told them, Well my money will still be good in two months...but if you wait too long it may go to someone else.

Two days later they were picking my car up from an out of state lot and delivering it to my dealer at no extra cost to me.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:58 AM   #16
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I think it varies a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer.

About 10 years ago I was looking at Toyota Tacoma pickups. The deal then was that there were exactly two option packages offered in our (multistate) market area. Different packages were offered in other areas. Essentially, the message was "Have it our way." I bought a Nissan Frontier and will probably never darken the door of a Toyota store again.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jeffman52 View Post
The dealer is always going to push you to select a model that is already on their lot. They will even go as far as to tell you, well we can get you what you ordered but it might take a couple of extra months to get the car.

So in 2015 I negotiated a deal before I even walked onto the dealers lot. Then we looked at the cars and the one I wanted was not there. (Color and seat combination). So I got the song and dance, and told them, Well my money will still be good in two months...but if you wait too long it may go to someone else.

Two days later they were picking my car up from an out of state lot and delivering it to my dealer at no extra cost to me.
I didn't find this to be my experience at all. The dealer was more than happy to order the unit to the specs I wanted. I was probably in a different market with many off road specific options available. What I ordered would not be found on a lot with minimal creature comforts and lots of off road capability plus manual shifting.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:22 AM   #18
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There's a big difference in ordering it from the dealer vs a factory order. Places like Costco, dealers, etc simply go out and find the existing vehicle sitting on a lot someplace. A factory order is when the vehicle is custom made for the customer and of course it takes months depending on the current factory schedule.

I'm guessing only truck's and high-end specialty vehicles (Mustangs, Tesla, etc) can be factory ordered. Your typical Honda Civic or Toyota Tundra can't be.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:59 PM   #19
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We have ordered a 2008 Mini, a 1982, 2010, and 2014 Camaro, and 2002 BMW. The wait is the worst, but you get what you want. I paid less than MSRP on all of them, only dealer cost I paid was prep and delivery, no mark up on cost.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:09 PM   #20
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Ordered my '16 Forester in the summer of '15. Went in with a list of options, decided on a color. It took about 6 weeks to arrive. I thought the dealer would push something on the lot but that didn't appear to be the case. It was a pleasant transaction, I probably didn't get the best deal.
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