Why are car waiting periods getting longer, and how can one deal with it?

There’s an unusual delay in the delivery of new cars as waiting periods grow longer. Let’s look at the reasons and some ways to deal with it.

Why are car waiting periods getting longer, and how can one deal with it

New car waiting times have increased recently for almost all the popular models, both new and existing. While every much-anticipated new car launch has always seen a waiting period, long waiting periods have become the norm lately.

The unusual turn of events since the beginning of 2020 can be blamed for most of the delays seen in new car delivery. A prolonged waiting period in getting a new car can be an anxious time for the car buyer and have a financial impact as well.

Car waiting periods in 2021

There are some unique factors that have caused delays in the delivery of new cars of late. The highest waiting period is often reserved for new car models that get overwhelming response among car buyers. But why are some commonly available models facing unusual delays? Let’s take a look at some factors.

  • Increasing demand: India is a developing country, so new batches of first-time car buyers will continue to emerge, sustaining the demand for cars. As the enforcement of the vehicle scrappage policy is getting stricter, new cars will be in demand even among existing car owners. There was a demand suspension last year due to the lockdowns and a sudden surge in booking was expected. With the threat of COVID-19 infection continuing, there’s an increased preference for private modes of transportation as this is seen as a safer option. Public transport is perceived by many as infection hotspots, and anyone who can afford it is switching to personal cars and two-wheelers. The lower rate of interest on auto loans has also encouraged people to book new cars.
  • Dearth of components: The low production of semiconductors has seen a decline in car delivery as the automobile industry remains dependent on China and Taiwan for the same. With the increasing number of electronic components, semiconductors are a vital part of modern cars. From speed sensors to steering angle, automatic transmission to RPM, semi-conductors are important for many car functions. Even features like ABS, EBD, hill assist and airbag deployment function on semiconductors. 
  • Production slowdown: For a major part of last year, automobile production ran with reduced capacity. There was a complete shutdown during the first lockdown. This created a backlog that will need some time to recover. Meanwhile, as demand picks up, automakers are forced to work overtime to fulfil deliveries. The obvious result is long waiting periods.
  • Supply chain disruption: If getting the car out of the factory is one part of the challenge, getting them to the dealers is another problem. Movement between states has been erratic, which has led to delays in the arrival time of the cars. Raw materials faced similar delays on their trip to the factories. 

Related: 25% rebate on road-tax; waiver in registration fee for new cars: What the new vehicle scrapping policy means to you as a car owner?

Coping with new car booking delays

The first thing you need to do while tackling a waiting period is to regularly be in touch with your dealer and the salesperson. They can update you on where you stand, and the arrival of the next batch of cars, so that you are aware of the expected time of arrival.

If this is your first car, you will be stranded without a personal mode of transport for the entire waiting period. However, if you have an old car, the best way to deal with this delay is to hold on to the existing one after booking the car. With some car models taking up to 10 months to arrive, your old car may come in handy during the waiting period. 

Make sure that your delayed car delivery doesn’t lead to any price escalation or financial loss. You are probably paying more per kilometre in its absence, be it through cabs or your outdated fuel guzzling car. Minimise these expenses to a minimum to ensure that you don’t end up losing money due to the wait. In the new car booking process, you should read the booking documents carefully to ensure that the price of the car is fixed and not subject to future price fluctuations. The last thing you need is to be told that the price has increased due to unforeseen causes.

Related: Everything you need to know about car insurance

If you are planning on a new car booking online, you can check the waiting period of your car options. While a Mahindra Thar has one of the highest waiting periods of up to a year, while the wait list for Maruti Ertiga, Hyundai Creta, and Nissan Magnite range between 3-4 weeks and 9-10 months. Even a common car like Maruti Swift is running up to five months late. The waiting period is hardly a criterion in choosing a car, but long waiting periods can force you to reconsider your choice. 

With a vibrant used car market in India, choosing a used car is a viable alternative. If you need a car urgently and are not looking for a specific new launch, you can choose from decent second-hand options. There are several benefits of owning a used car, none more so than the financial benefit. If you buy from a trusted dealer, you even get warranty cards for the first few months or a year. 

Related: New-age car features to check out before you buy your next car

Last words

The decision to buy a new car is often motivated by the desire to upgrade to a superior lifestyle. Newer cars have advanced features, and car buyers often have their heart set on some of them. Naturally, having to settle for an alternative model can be frustrating. If you are dead set on buying a car that has a long delivery period, keep a reliable mode of commute for the interim period, follow up constantly with the dealer, and be mentally prepared to wait it out. Just bought a new car? Here’s what you need to do next!


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