New car delivery times: cars with the longest waiting lists

Why wait for a brand new car to be built when you can get one delivered to your door within 10 days?

Ian Dickson
Dec 3, 2019

There’s something really decadent about ordering a new car. With free reign of the options list and a chance to choose the colour, wheels and interior trim that suits you, it’s easy to get carried away when a car is being built to your own specification.

Stray too far from what’s a conventional colour and trim combo though, or go too wild with the options lists, and you might be facing a long wait for your car to arrive. While many car makers carry some cars in stock with almost immediate delivery, there’s a fair chance you’ll have to wait for your car to arrive. Especially if it’s an in-demand model.

It’s a familiar for thousands of new cars buyers in the UK, although there are ways around it if you don’t mind ordering a car that someone else has had the pleasure of speccing. If you can’t find a car close enough to your spec in stock, you could look at a pre-reg model that’s effectively new but has been registered by the dealer, or a nearly new car that’s up to a year old and will have depreciated.

 

We spoke to the major car manufacturers to ask them what the expected waiting times are for some of the UK’s most popular new cars. We'll let you decide if it's worth the wait or not.

Cars with the longest waiting lists

1. Volkswagen Polo

New car delivery time 21 weeks
Used VW Polo deals from £10,797
Monthly finance from £162

So far this year, more than 30,000 Polos have been sold in the UK cementing its place in the list of top 10 best sellers of the year. However, despite that popularity, the Polo is one of the slowest new cars to arrive - rare and exotic supercars aside.

Order one in a spec and colour combo that isn’t held in stock and you’ll be waiting longer than the gestation period of a domestic goat with a delivery time of 21 weeks.

2. Mercedes S-Class

New car delivery time 16-20 weeks
Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class deals from £23,900
Monthly finance from £361

You could buy a house in the time it takes for a Mercedes S-Class to arrive. To test the theory, we shopped for an outlandish spec that wouldn’t be available in stock.

Starting with an S500L Grand Edition, we painted it in relatively uncommon Emerald Green, specced nut-brown leather and added a few packs that bundle optional extras such as the £5k ‘executive rear package’ and the £5k ‘rear lounge pack’ for the grand price of £104k. A Mercedes dealer confirmed that, in a worst-case scenario, delivery would take four to five months.

3. Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine

New car delivery time 18 weeks
Used Volvo XC60 T8 deals from £43,390
Monthly finance from £639

The XC60 T8 Twin Engine, the plug-in hybrid version of the brilliant XC60, is built in China these days. Factoring in the build time as well as shipping it halfway around the world, Volvo said it will take 18 weeks for a T8 to arrive in the UK. In the same length of time you could have walked Route 66, the 2,500-mile road linking Chicago and Santa Monica.

4. Seat Tarraco

New car delivery time 14-16 weeks
Used Seat Tarraco deals from £20,950
Monthly finance from £261

The Seat Tarraco is manufactured at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant in Germany. It’s Seat’s first seven-seat SUV and offers lots of space and kit for the money. Order one before Christmas and it ought to be with you by the end of March. At least you’ll get the new 20-plate registration when it arrives.

5. Range Rover Sport

New car delivery time 12 weeks
Used Range Rover Sport deals from £31,280
Monthly finance from £433

The Range Rover Sport is built in Birmingham. But demand is so high for the luxury SUV that it takes 12 weeks to get one delivered if you go for a car that isn’t in stock. We love the Range Rover’s style and presence, and if you want to go off road, it’ll do so with ease. If you want one in a hurry though, you might have to put that bespoke colour on hold and go for a pre-reg or nearly new car.

6. Vauxhall Corsa


New car delivery time 12 weeks
Used 2019 Vauxhall Corsa deals from £7,990
Monthly finance from £121

A brand new Vauxhall Corsa was unveiled in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show with first deliveries to customers starting in January 2020. Order one today and it’ll be 12 weeks before you’ll get it, though Vauxhall is keen to point out that they will have cars in stock. You might be able to snap up a bargain on a run-out version of the previous car if you haggle.

7. Audi A3 Cabriolet

New car delivery time 12 weeks
Used Audi A3 Cabriolet deals from £16,990
Monthly finance from £256

In 1998, Ben Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean in 73 days. That’s less time than it takes Audi to build and deliver you a new A3 Cabriolet. A spokesperson at Audi confirmed that the A3 Cab takes 12 weeks from point of order, unless you choose a car that’s already in stock or a pre-reg car with delivery miles. It’s rumoured a new A3 will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2020 – and Audi has stopped taking orders for the A3 Saloon, which until November 2019 had a 17-week wait.

8. Volkswagen Golf

New car delivery time 12 weeks
Used 2019 VW Golf deals from £7,899
Monthly finance from £126

The Golf is a perennial favourite in the UK and with good reason: it’s a fantastic car to live with. That popularity could explain the 12-week wait for a brand-new car if you go for one that isn’t in stock. However, fancy taking the plunge on an electric car? The e-Golf only takes 11 weeks to build and be delivered to the UK.

9. Ford Fiesta

New car delivery time 5-6 weeks
Used Ford Fiesta deals from £8,100
Monthly finance from £134

You could cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again before your Ford Fiesta arrives on your drive, if you ordered one today. Since its launch in the seventies, the Fiesta has dominated the new car scene and, since 2009, has been the best-selling car in the UK. There’s plenty of bargains to be had on nearly-new versions if you don’t fancy the wait.

Cars with the longest waiting lists

Model

Delivery time

Volkswagen Polo 

21 weeks

Mercedes S-Class

16-20 weeks

SEAT Leon Cupra

16-18 weeks

Volvo XC60 T8

18 weeks

Cupra Ateca

14-16 weeks

Seat Tarraco

14-16 weeks

Vauxhall Corsa

12 weeks

Range Rover Sport

12 weeks

Audi A3 Sportback

12 weeks

Audi A3 Cabriolet

12 weeks

Volkswagen Golf

12 weeks

Volkswagen e-Golf

11 weeks

Ford Focus

7-9 weeks

Ford Kuga

7-9 weeks

Nissan Qashqai

8 weeks

Kia Ceed

6-8 weeks

Kia Picanto

3-8 weeks

Ford Fiesta

5-6 weeks

Kia Sportage

2 weeks

 

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