Driver guide

New car delivery times (lead times)

02 / 03 / 2022  |  Driver Guides
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As the world economy recovers from the pandemic it has seen shortages in a few areas from gas and oil to rubber and microchips. The semiconductor shortage is well publicised and has impacted the automotive industry, and many other industries around the world, for over a year.

It’s a good idea to place your new car order early. Lead times provided on our ordering website are indicative only and, in many cases, vehicles are taking longer to arrive.

To control numerous technologies ranging from electric windows to infotainment screens and active driver safety systems, new cars may require around 3,000 microchips.

The outcome of all this is that it may take longer for your new vehicle to be delivered if it’s a factory order. For some models, this can be over 12 months.

The lead time information on our ordering websites is only a guide – once you’ve placed your order, we’ll be able to confirm a more accurate lead time. But just to make you aware, in most cases we’re seeing longer lead times, which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

If you need a car quickly, we regularly have in stock options available. If Zenith provides your company car or salary sacrifice car scheme, get in touch with us to find out more.

If you haven’t already ordered your car, here are a few top tips:

  • Place your order as soon as you can
  • Some manufacturers are prioritising some models over others – if you need a car quickly or would like more accurate lead time information, do your research or get in touch and we’ll be happy to provide guidance
  • You may be offered a choice – be flexible, if you’re happy to accept a car with a slightly different specification, your car may be delivered sooner.



This is the length of time it takes from when you order a brand-new vehicle to when it arrives, ready for you to drive away and enjoy.

A factory order allows you to customise a car to your exact specifications. Model, body, engine, trim level, colour, and in-car entertainment are all options. When you order your car, the factory makes it to those exact specifications – built just for you.

Manufacturers are doing all they can to reduce lead times but due to a range of factors from shortages of parts to transport, new car orders are taking longer than usual. Take a look at our semiconductor guide for more information.

When you have ordered your new car and it has been approved, our team will place your order with our extensive dealer network. At this point, if there are any anticipated changes to your lead time, we’ll contact you to let you know.

Our driver ordering websites are indicative only – accurate lead times will be provided after an order has been placed and the dealer has been contacted.

Get in touch with your dedicated driver team who will be able to talk you through your options.

Based on current data, the average lead time for a brand-new vehicle is seven months, however lead times vary between models, manufacturers and month-to-month. Whilst some models may arrive sooner, lead times for certain models are currently over 12 months. We’ve also seen that some electric vehicle (EV) models have shorter lead times than petrol and diesel equivalents.

Yes, we often offer ‘in stock’ vehicles with delivery in as little as six weeks. Get in touch with your dedicated driver team for more information.

Already placed an order?

There’s nothing for you to do – we’ll be in touch if anything changes.

Ready to place an order?

Log in to your driver portal or contact your dedicated driver team today.