With most products, special ordering means that you are going to get exactly what you want. However, special ordering a new car isn't always that simple. Once upon a time, car manufacturers would be happy to build you what you wanted.
Today? Not so much. Here are a few things to consider before you special order a new car, truck, or SUV. Most automakers don't accept orders on new vehicles between two and three months before the end of the production year. Generally speaking (depending upon model and manufacturer) you can't order anything between the months of April and August because production years tend to end in the last few months of summer. The auto manufacturers that produce their vehicles overseas usually prefer not to accept special orders.
The two months it takes to special order a car becomes four months because it usually takes two months to ship the car overseas. Although overseas auto manufacturers may accept special orders, it is usually discouraged. There are some auto manufacturers that only offer certain features (like a sunroof for instance) as part of a "package." This package may include some features you don't want, and you may want to special order your car so you can buy the feature without having to buy the whole package. Unfortunately, a lot of auto manufacturers are unwilling to accomodate this request (Honda and Toyota are famous for offering certain options only as part of a larger package).
Make sure you find out first, but sometimes you can't really order what you want. If you just have to have a specific feature, then you should special order a car. You must realize, however, that doing so may decrease your vehicle's resale value. When you order a vehicle that's truly special and unique, it could be difficult to find someone who wants to buy your car later.
People want cars that look like all the other cars out there. Consider this before you order features that make you car really different. Finally, before you special order a new car, consider buying a car off the lot.
Although you may have to compromise on things like features or color, you will probably get a better deal. Most of the time, buying a car from the lot is the best deal. Dealers pay interest on all the cars on their lot, so they want to sell those cars quickly as possible. If they don't, their inventory costs them quite a bit of money in finance charges. So dealers will discount what they have now before they discount something two months out.
It used to be that you could special order whatever kind of car you wanted, but those days are fading fast. Dealers want you to buy what they have, auto manufacturers often don't want to honor special requests, and shipping times and production cycles have conspired to make ordering cars very difficult. Special ordering just isn't what it used to be.
Author Jason Lancaster, a car business veteran, created AccurateAutoAdvice.com. You'll find accurate advice on how much a new car should cost and special ordering a car.