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Are Lead Times Getting Longer?

You normally don’t have to worry that your lease car is due for renewal until the company calls you a couple months or so in advance, however due to the uncertainty that the U.K. is currently facing in the European market, you may have to think about that renewal a lot sooner.

What is delivery lead time?

The delivery lead time is the amount of time that it takes from placing the order on your new car to it arriving from the manufacturer, ready for you to show off to all your friends and family. The delivery lead time not only varies not only from manufacturer to manufacturer but can also vary from model to model and whether you’ve chosen optional extras. The normal production time on new vehicles can be anywhere from 8 weeks onwards. However, if you chose a car that’s in stock at point of order, your brand-new vehicle could be with you in less than two weeks. However, this could be about to change. 

Britain’s automotive sector has been one of the ‘star performers’ of the UK economy in recent years and is seen as having benefited from EU membership. However, with current uncertainty regarding Brexit negotiations, we have already witnessed the negative impact it is having on the motor industry. Due to this uncertainty, companies are choosing to extend the lead times on the lease cars. Whether this is for a renewal or a brand-new car, there has been a recent influx in longer lead times to receive your new car. Leasing companies around the country are choosing to increase the time before renewal to discuss what happens next in your current contract. The European markets have been directly impacted by the ever-changing news regarding Brexit and this is now leaving many car manufacturers uncertain on how long it will take to ship new models of vehicle over to the U.K. With many leading manufacturers choosing to shut down plants in our country, we are relying on our European suppliers to be able to distribute the new cars. 

Unlike a standardised product, such as a mobile phone, most new cars can be built in thousands of different specifications – the Mini hatchback is available in over 10 million combinations. This makes their manufacture a particularly time-consuming process. Where in the world a car is built can also affect its lead time. The VW Beetle is built in Mexico and just shipping it to England could take as many as three weeks. It will, therefore, probably have a longer lead time than a car built in Europe or the UK. 

Here at Britannia, we are recommending starting to think about your renewal when you have 6 months remaining on your current contract just to make sure that your new car will be available for you whenever you need it. If you have any questions or worries about the increasing lead times, please contact us and we will try to help you as best as we can.

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1st of July 2019