Can You Buy A Car In Transit To A Dealer?

By

Managing Editor

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing expert, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Follow On: Twitter

, Managing Editor - August 16, 2021

If the car you want isn't in stock, it may be possible to buy one that's in transit to your local dealer. Due in part to an inventory shortage resulting in high prices for new cars, more buyers are placing orders. In some cases, putting down a deposit may help stake your claim on a car or truck that's still on its way to a dealer.

The best way to explore this option is to check with your local dealers. For example, Toyota generally tells dealers about vehicle allocations, letting them know in advance which models, trims, colors, and options will be shipped to a given region. This info could give you an edge if you're looking for a specific configuration.

The downside is that this could create a commitment on the buyer's part. Rules may vary from dealer to dealer, and exploring this option could come with risks. For example, is a deposit refundable? Can you place a deposit with multiple dealers? The answer to these questions may depend on a dealer's particular policy.

Buying a car sight-unseen may not be something shoppers are accustomed to. That said, it's important to understand the difference between a reservation, order, and taking delivery. Your dealer will be in the best position to explain your options for the brand in question based on the car you're planning to buy or lease.

In addition to having your dealer tell you about allocations or ordering options, consider checking inventory listings. For example, Chevy's online locator tool can tell you when a car or truck is estimated to arrive at a dealer in your area. Tools like this could help give you an edge if you aren't planning to delay your purchase.

Even if you know exactly what you want, simply finding inventory near you could be the biggest challenge for now. With no end in sight for the ongoing chip shortage, some predict relief may not come until 2022 or 2023. As a result, getting your hands on your dream car may not be nearly as easy as you expect.

This Month's Biggest Car Rebates

, Managing Editor

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing expert, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Do Not Sell My Personal Information|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer|
COPYRIGHT 1999-2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com