Aaron Widmar
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How to Special Order a Car from a Dealership

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special order a car from a dealership process procedure

When you buy a brand-new car, you don’t have to settle with whatever the dealership already has in its inventory. You can order a version of the vehicle that’s specifically tailored to your performance, style, and capability preferences.

If you plan to special order a car from a dealership, here’s what to expect.

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4 steps to special order a car from a dealership

Step 1: Decide what you want

Automakers’ websites have tools where you mess around with a car and configure it exactly the way you want, from the color to the engine to the trim. Use this configurator to determine what exactly you want your car to be. Then, print off the specifications to take to dealerships.

Step 2: Look around

Before you decide to order your car from the factory, make sure that none of the dealerships in town already have it on in stock. You could find the exact arrangement — or something very close — in a dealership’s existing inventory, which would save you time and money.

Step 3: Talk with a sales rep

Go to an authorized dealership that sells the brand of vehicle you’re buying and talk with a sales officer so they can place your order for you and work out your financing plan. If you want to negotiate, do so now before placing the order.

Be prepared to pay close to full price, though. When a dealership already is in possession of a vehicle they’re trying to sell, they’re more willing to negotiate the price so they can get rid of it. If you special-order a car through a dealership, you’re more likely going to pay full MSRP, minus whatever discounts you qualify for.

Step 4: Be patient

When you order a car, you won’t drive it home the next day. You’ll have a wait 2-3 months for it to be built and delivered to the dealership. Make sure you have reliable transportation in the meantime until your special order is ready for pickup.

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