New cars stock shot via PANew cars stock shot via PA


Buyers happy to wait for up to a year for new cars because of semiconductor crisis

  • Poll by What Car? finds that people are becoming more understanding about the crisis
  • Ten per cent of those looking to buy a new car are willing to wait between nine and 12 months
  • Importance of dealers keeping customers updated is emphasised

Time 7:00 am, October 20, 2021

Buyers are happy to wait for up to a year for their new car because of the semiconductor shortage but they want dealers to keep them updated.

That’s the latest findings by What Car? as part of its weekly industry research.

A poll of 1,245 people looking to buy a new car found that 10 per cent of them were willing to wait between nine and 12 months.

Meanwhile, the share of those happy to wait more than 16 weeks for their new car has grown from an average of 20 per cent in April to 34 per cent in October, according to weekly surveys that had an average sample size of 2,060.

What Car? said that suggested buyers were becoming more flexible and understanding about the longer wait times caused by the ongoing microchip shortage.

The poll of 1,245 people also found that 82 per cent of buyers were aware it had pushed waiting times for new models to beyond a year in some cases.

Of those new car buyers quizzed, a fifth were willing to wait more than six months for their next car.

The latest research also found it was important that dealers kept buyers updated on their order.

Sixty per cent of buyers said they’d accept their delivery times being extended if the seller was upfront about it possibly happening.

More than two-fifths (43 per cent) said they’d prefer monthly updates, while 40 per cent preferred them to be every week.

However, where expectations on waiting couldn’t be met, 46 per cent said they’d switch to another manufacturer’s vehicle with better availability, while nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) said they’d think about buying from stock or a used car.

Meanwhile, 15 per cent said they’d consider alternatives from the same manufacturer.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘Waiting times on new models have been pushed beyond a year in some instances, yet our research shows buyers are adjusting to this.

‘We’ve seen a gradual increase in the average accepted waiting times from buyers, with some now willing to wait up to 12 months for their order to arrive.

‘It’s important for dealers to be proactive and communicative with buyers when it comes to long waiting times, as things like weekly and monthly updates on the order can make a big difference when it comes to customer satisfaction and relationships.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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