New car purchase: How do long waiting times impact buying decisions

What percentage ends up in a different make/model? What percentage ends up cancelling it altogether?

BHPian gngdev recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was looking for a car to replace our First-gen Ford Figo that we sold on Feb 22. I was looking at C-SUVs mainly and finalized Nexon EV.

We test drove many cars during the shortlisting process and incidentally got a VW Taigun to replace my parent’s 2009 Dzire Zxi as well. That story is documented here.

Now I was waiting for my Nexon EV to be allotted and the EV Max was launched. I changed my booking to the Max and continued to wait. While I was waiting for the car to be allotted, I started thinking about whether I really needed a new car right now? (I could say that the recession signals across the world were a factor in having this thought). I thought over this for many days and eventually got the booking cancelled 1 week ago as I could live without a new car. Today, I got a call from my SA that the car is allotted and if I would like to reconsider the decision. I halfheartedly confirmed that the decision to cancel is final.

This got me thinking, about how long waiting periods usually affect the purchase decision?

What percentage ends up in a different make/model? What percentage ends up cancelling it altogether? I think the impulse decisions may be affected a bit as the head will get a bit more time to convince the heart that maybe it is better to let go.

If I had got the car allotted earlier, I would have gone ahead with the purchase. I had even got the forms from Banks to apply for the loan. The VW Taigun purchase process was so fast that we had the car delivered in 5 days after the test drive, so there was no time to rethink the decisions. Eager to hear about the experiences of the eminent members of this forum.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

I see a hell of a lot of Team-BHP posts where the original choice was dropped because of long wait times (e.g. XUV700). I have also seen many posts where a model was picked up because of quick delivery.

My expectations from my personal car are very high. Hence, if I really really love a car, I will wait even 1+ years for it. After all, if I’m going to drive it for 10 years, a year of waiting won’t bother me. Will just use my existing car for a bit longer than planned.

Here’s what BHPian Raghu M had to say on the matter:

Simple, I have the money and if I am ready to pay I should get a product right away. I am not a fan of waiting periods. Although 2 to 3 months sounds fine, more than 1 year (example – 7OO and Thar), is ridiculous. The company loses many prospects during this time. I also don’t buy electronics online that have some window time during which sales are done. If you are the manufacturer, you need to be aware of the fact that every customer is important. I understand the chip shortage issue but it cannot run forever. Why are companies taking bookings that they cannot honour within a few weeks is beyond my understanding.

I got to know from someone that the 7OO’s waiting period is well over 18 months. The world changes in 6 months. The markets were crazy in Feb/March and now they have nosedived. Tech changes overnight. I for one would not go for a car that is not available in a few weeks’ time. Many people change minds in between. They may see a better product, change their decision altogether or even need the booking money for some urgent needs.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Not going to wait for a car for more than a few weeks. A couple of months tops. We are talking about mass-market cars, not something bespoke or made to order. If the manufacturer can’t get their production sorted, that’s on them.

I’ve seen that waiting periods have become a ploy to push buyers towards more profitable models or variants. Want a Fortuner 4×2 manual? “Saar 8 months waiting. But if you upgrade to GR-S, that can be made available in 15 days”. A Celerio CNG will require a 6-month wait, but the petrol AMT is available tomorrow. Kia Sonet base model, they will try every trick in the book to not take the booking and push you towards the higher ones. It’s as if certain models are created either for purely marketing purposes (starting xx.y lakhs) or as a legal and official way of charging an extra premium for quicker delivery.

Here’s what BHPian Indepth had to say on the matter:

My 2 cents:

  1. There is no harm in waiting, as long as the period is reasonable. Typically, one starts proper planning for a car max about 6 months ago, so 4-6 months is ideally the maximum tolerance. Anyway, it sounds ridiculous when I tell myself that I have to wait 18 months for the car!!
  2. Many things change during the waiting period. For example, prices may shoot up beyond expectations, so a re-assessment on monthly basis is a must.
  3. New launches/ facelifts happen all the time. A car not considered before can suddenly appear valuable.
  4. The needs/preferences could change. I was a Sedan lover but got converted to SUV, simply because nothing in the sedan segment appeared VFM (in comparison to SUVs).
  5. 18 months is good enough to get married and even reproduce. So, a Thar booking could suddenly become one for Carens, with or without your consent.
  6. Slowly yet steadily, we are moving towards electrification. Do re-consider especially if the wait period is in years.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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