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Coronavirus: New car buyers face long delays as lockdown eases

Published 03 June 2020

Car buyers who want a factory fresh vehicle are facing lengthy delays and disappointment as manufacturing plants struggle to get production back to normal following the coronavirus COVID-19 shutdown.

Car buyers will be forced to wait up to six months for a new car built to their exact requirements, or be forced to choose a stock vehicle that was produced before the European COVID-19 crisis began. contacted a number of dealers, posing as a car buyer, in order to find out how the coronavirus shutdown has affected the market. One SEAT showroom said they were not taking any orders for new factory cars until further notice, while another admitted that customers would face delays of up to five months for a new factory-built Ibiza.

Ford is currently quoting a 22-week lead time for a factory ordered Focus and 18-weeks for a new Fiesta. Volkswagen dealers, meanwhile, are warning customers that they may have to wait for six months for a new Golf.

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Vauxhall and Audi are quoting waiting times of up to 15 weeks for new factory-built cars, although one BMW dealer said he was confident he could get a factory built 3 Series within eight weeks. 

New cars, built to a customer's individual specification, typically takes between eight and 12 weeks to complete. However, car buyers have told that many dealers are struggling to fulfill deliveries for cars that were ordered before the COVID-19 lockdown started in March. 

However, while waiting times are increasing,’s research shows that buyers can make savings on nearly new and pre-registered cars that have been sitting gathering dust and depreciating during the lockdown.

Pre-registered cars are effectively surplus stock, sold cheaply to dealers who then register them before selling them on as ‘ex-demo’ or ‘delivery mileage’. Buyers can save as much as 30 per cent off the list price on a Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Honda Civic right now.

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Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, said: “Retailers indicate that there are many new cars currently available in dealerships’ stocks and manufacturers’ compounds and, as a result, we do not foresee any major delays in the short-term, depending on consumer demand.

"Retail customers who order a vehicle with specific options or trim specifications that are not normally kept in stock may face different supply challenges depending on which factories have already reopened”.

Have you experienced long delays on a car you've ordered? Let us know in the comments section below... 


Wilfred Reynolds    on 15 June 2020

Ordered Peugeot e-208 just before lockdown. Dealer has no build date yet.

   on 23 June 2020

I ordered a bmw 330e in December 2019 and I've been told it still isn't built. The dealer can't currently advise of a build date let alone a delivery date!

Jeff Richards    on 21 August 2020

I ordered a Audi Avant with panoramic sunroof a few weeks ago. Initial delivery date was estimated end of October. Told this week that Germany had now confirmed March next year because of the Panaoramic roof.

Terry Atkins    on 31 August 2020

Ordered an A4 Avant Black edition in July, told to expect delivery in late been told second week in February!!

   on 19 September 2020

ordered a vauxhall grandland bk in march looking at december its ridiculous

Simon Lynch    on 30 September 2020

I have just ordered an Audi A3 s-line, and have been told January at the earliest

Duncan Fenwick    on 2 October 2020

I ordered an A4 Avant back in May and was originally told October. This has since slipped to a still unconfirmed 25th January, planned March delivery. Audi just keep telling me it's due to covid delays. But really 50 weeks! One Audi employee told me that the entire A4 range was on hold as they hadn't passed their RDE testing. More lies....

James Perry    on 5 October 2020

I've ordered an A6 TFSI E Quattro and it's saying late March. I don't think it will take this long having spoken to the dealer as i haven't specified many things inside it but, still, 20 weeks to build a car is a bit of a joke. I'll keep an eye on it for a week or so and then i might pull the plug on it

Chris8    on 18 October 2020

I've just ordered a BMW 1 series and have been estimated end of December/start of January. If that's accurate then it looks like BMW are back to normal.

   on 4 November 2020

I ordered a Ford Transit Connect at the beginning of July 2020 and was given a mid September build date and delivery by end of October. Subsequently put back a month, and now put back until mid December.
Second hand values have gone up £2k

Darren Hinds    on 25 November 2020

Ford Focus ordered 17 August, still no build date, waiting almost 15 weeks. It’s a joke as it only takes 48 hours to actually build the car!

smott    on 5 January 2021

Ordered Audi Eton Sportback 6th October 2020 I have been told end of January for delivery... Ive got a funny feeling this will not be the case.

   on 5 January 2021

Ordered a grandland X 1.2 elite nav 31st July 2020 phoned dealer 23rd December for update told me it hasn't started being built yet.

   on 19 January 2021

Ordered a Ford Kuga ST - Line X on the 9th of November. No additional options, just stock as none in the country. Was quoted 2 - 4 weeks, a max of 8 weeks. ETA pushed back and forth and now ETA is no longer available for the dealership. I have been advised it's not in the country, stuck in Southampton. They have a huge backlog of cars to be delivered to dealerships. I've no idea when I'll get my new car. It's just sat there. I must be honest, I don't think it's the dealerships who are the issue. It's the actually companies themselves. Taking orders for cars when they have huge backlogs and promising false hope to customers.

   on 20 January 2021

I ordered my Audi A4 Avant Black Edition on the 3rd of June with initial September Delivery. Still not here and just keep getting the same 'Next week' response.

Janice Hawkins    on 4 February 2021

Ordered in December last year a mobility car crossland x elite nav was told 5 months I rang dealership and was given a date 28 of this month But I really don’t think it will happen going by others who are waiting

Carla k    on 18 March 2021

Hiya I have also ordered the crossland did yours arrive?

   on 16 February 2021

Ordered a BMW X1 on 4th Sept last year. Today is 16th of Feb 2021 that’s 23.5 weeks or 5.5 months which ever way you look at it. I still do not have a build day ?? for the car. It’s a good job I am not in a hurry for it.

   on 15 May 2021

Ordered a Ford Tourneo Connect in January. Originally Quoted end of April, then was updated in March and was quoted 12th March then car was built on March 16th and on the move by 6th April. However still no show. It hit Holland New Flashing April 30th now they say it's in Liverpool but still may be weeks before it arrives now quoting 29th May.

alan denison    on 7 June 2021

Ordered Q5 in early March 2021 with a estimated delivery date of mid August. Build week has been pushed back from early June to mid September. And even then - it will take 8-10 weeks to get from Mexico to UK. So maybe it will arrive by Christmas...??

   on 10 June 2021

ordered a Q3 sportback in September 2020 have just heard that it will not go into production until November 2021 so delivery may be January 2022 ! So it could be over 16 months from order to delivery.
Can anyone beat that?

Kenneth syder    on 28 June 2021

Ken Syder

I ordered a Vauxhall combi elite xl in March was told by the dealer they would keep me up
Dated on what was happening witch they did for a while but now they don’t seem bothered
Nobody is telling me anything my own inquiries are saying November but the dealer is
Telling me nothing I think this is a terrible way to treat a customer I am a mobility customer
So those people who think we are getting priority service should think again I’m getting no
Information from anybody .

eli weisz    on 8 July 2021

I Have the same order and in the same situation as you I ordered my combo in the beginning of march

Edited by eli weisz on 08/07/2021 at 07:01

   2 days ago

Ordered a Ford Focus ST Line X from Gates of Harlow in June. Estimated build month was quoted as October. Just received email from the dealer, build now estimated November ……. I’m now thinking It might be 2022 before I see my new car!

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