• February 23, 2021

  • Abby Nuttall

Getting a new vehicle for your fleet is a big decision and a financial commitment whether you are planning to purchase or lease the vehicle.

There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right vehicle and one of these is the time it will take to arrive and whether that fits in with returning existing vehicles, a new starter joining or any of the other reasons you might be looking for a new vehicle.

We know that one of the most commonly asked questions when a driver knows they are going to get a new vehicle is how soon it will arrive so we’ve put together this article to explain a little more about lead times for lease vehicles.

Delivery Lead Time

The delivery lead time is a term used to refer to the time it will take to deliver a vehicle from when your order is placed.

Before you source any vehicle through Wessex Fleet we will advise you on the lead time for this particular vehicle and if it’s not suitable we can look at finding something similar that fits your timescale.

The estimated delivery date for the vehicle may change during the order process but we will keep you informed of any updates we get from the dealership and the impact this may have for you.

Throughout the process we will be as honest as possible with you about the vehicle lead time and any change to this, however we are dependant on the dealers to provide us with accurate updates.

Wessex Fleet Dashboard

If you decide on a business or personal lease through Wessex Fleet then as part of the process you will have access to our dashboard which will show you two dates for each vehicle on order, the estimated delivery date and the confirmed delivery date.

The estimated delivery date will be the delivery lead time and updated as we get further information from the dealership for the vehicle. This is only an estimate and is not guaranteed.

The confirmed delivery date will remain blank until delivery is arranged with you.

In Stock Vehicles

In stock is a term that is used to refer to a vehicle that is physically at the dealership, or in the UK and expected to arrive there shortly.

Once the vehicle is at the dealership and has been assigned a registration they will then be able to arrange delivery, provided there are no modifications to complete.

As they are at the dealership, or nearly there, already we can arrange delivery of a stock vehicle the quickest. The turnaround time between dealerships on receiving the car and then delivering it onwards can vary but in general it is around a week that they need. Depending on whether the vehicle is already at the dealership, if you are having any modifications completed, where the delivery address is in relation to the dealership and their driver availability this may be slightly longer or sooner.

Factory Order Vehicles

A factory order is a vehicle which is in the process of being built or has not yet been built so is a good choice if you are looking for a specific vehicle or are not in a rush for a new model.

With a factory order you can build or amend the spec to your needs, choose the colour, engine and add any additional trim packs needed.

Depending on the vehicle you are looking for it may or may not already have been assigned a build slot, which is when the vehicle is scheduled to be built. A build slot is not always assigned when the order is placed but this is not uncommon so do not worry if this happens for one of your vehicles. Once a build slot is assigned we will have a better idea of the lead time on the vehicle but we will still keep you updated until one is assigned.

How Long Does a Factory Order Take to Arrive?

The lead time on a factory order can vary between manufactures and even models but it is typically between two weeks and six months.  

Factory order lead times depend on several factors including:

  • Model demand: if you are looking at a popular model then the lead time will be longer because there will be more orders for the vehicle. On the flip side if you are looking for a model that isn’t commonly ordered then the production dates for this may be shorter and later in the year so also have a longer wait time.
  • Additional options chosen: The additional options chosen for the vehicle also impacts the lead time as these might influence when in the order they are built as well as take a little longer.
  • Time of the year: A lot of factories focus on particular models for a set period of month or time of the year and so what time of the year we are in also impacts the lead time for particular models. Although it’s less common now there are still some factories that have an annual shutdown, where they do not produce any vehicles for a few weeks.
  • Location of the factory: Very few cars are made in the UK now, and depending on where a factory is located the shipping time for a vehicle varies.

As mentioned before we will let you know the lead time of any factory order at the time that you place the order and keep you regularly updated as the order progresses.

Making Amendments to the Vehicle

You can usually change the spec on a factory order vehicle, but we will need to know you would like to do this when placing the order or let us know as quickly as you can after the order is placed. The further along in the process you are the less likely it will be possible to amend the vehicle.

Please be aware that if you do amend the vehicle spec after the order is placed this may mean it’s build slot is moved.

If you need signage on your vehicles then we can arrange this to be done before they are delivered to you. If the vehicle is needed quickly then we can arrange for it to be delivered and the signage put on once on site.

We can also arrange for the signage to be removed at the end of the lease before the vehicle is collected by the leasing company to avoid you incurring a charge for this.

If you are looking for a fridge or freezer van then we are also able to arrange for a vehicle to be converted for you. This will usually take around two to four weeks to be done depending on what you require but we will let you know a more specific timeframe when we arrange the conversion for you.

Finance Documents Impact on Lead Time

If you are looking to add to your fleet with a lease vehicle then this will be through a business lease agreement.

There is no cooling off period for a business so depending on whether the vehicle is in stock or a factory order we can arrange delivery as soon as the documents are signed and approved by the funder.

We always advise signing the finance documents as soon as you are able to, to avoid any delay to your order.

Covid-19’s Impact

The long-term impact of the current Coronavirus pandemic on the automotive industry is still unfolding but we are seeing the short to mid-term impacts now.

Factory closures around the world for months at a time in some places has obviously put a delay on factory orders and we’re seeing that at the minute the lead times are longer than previously.

Measures that have been implemented to ensure the building process is Covid safe and social distancing guidelines are followed have also had an impact on productivity once the factories were able to reopen.

As we have been dealing with the pandemic for nearly a year now the communication we are receiving from dealers and that they are getting from the factories is much better than it was at the start of the pandemic. We are now getting regular vehicle updates like we usually would and if there are any delays we are being notified of these quickly so that we can update you.

Lockdown and Delivery

Car deliveries are still permitted during the lockdown that is currently being enforced across much of the UK, so there will be no delay to your vehicle due to the lockdown restrictions.

All of the delivery agents will try to make the handover as contactless as possible and the vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned before it is collected from the dealership.

If you would like to discuss fleet leasing or the lead time on a particular vehicle you’re interested in sourcing for your business then please give us a call on 01722 322 888 or request a call back via the button on the purple bar below.

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