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New cars vs leasing vs stock cars – what’s the difference?


Buying a car through carwow helps you get the best buying experience whether you’re after a brand-new or used car – or even if you want to lease rather than buy your next set of wheels.

There are three ways to get a deal through carwow: by buying or leasing a factory order car, or by buying a car a dealer already has in stock. Read on to find out the differences, as well as the pros and cons of each method.

Factory order vs stock vs leasing
Things to consider Factory order Leasing Stock
Immediate delivery  
Several weeks’ build time
Fully customisable specification
Delivery included
Depreciation risk
Option to own the car outright

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1. Factory order – building and owning your perfect new car

A factory order is where you pick the exact specification, colour and optional extras that you want your new car to have. It’s then built to your configuration in the factory, and once it’s been finished it’ll be shipped to your chosen carwow dealer – or even delivered straight to your front door. If you don’t mind waiting for it to be made, a factory order is the way to get the exact car you want. You can pay for a factory order car with cash or by finance.

Pros and cons of a factory order

Buying a brand-new car means you get exactly what you want in terms of trim level, engine, colour and equipment. You’ll get your perfect car and you’ll be able to buy it at a dealership close to you, without the hassle of negotiating prices with dealers. A new car will also offer the satisfaction of being a car’s first owner, and it’ll arrive with only delivery miles on the clock.

Buying a new car is great, but there are some things you’ll have to bear in mind before you commit to a factory order. You’ll have to wait for your car to be made and shipped over to the dealer – waiting times vary, but expect to wait at least a few weeks before getting your shiny new car. If you’re buying a performance car, you’ll usually need to drive sensibly for a while so all the components work as they should – this is called a running-in period. Sometimes, not letting the car run in can invalidate the warranty.

How can I get a factory order through carwow?

To get prices on factory-order cars, simply configure the car from our homepage. Once you’ve finished and have contacted your preferred dealer, they’ll be able to sort out any finance package, and let you know how long it’ll take to be built.
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2. Leasing a brand-new car

Leasing or ‘Personal Contract Hire (PCH)’ can be a great way of driving a brand-new car for a few years. It’s similar to a long-term rental contract. A bit like with many mobile phone contracts, you won’t own the car if you’re leasing it but you’ll get to treat it like it’s your own. The leasing company will be the legal owner, and once the lease has finished you’ll have to give the car back. Sometimes the leasing company might offer you the option to buy the car at the end of the agreement – but that’s not guaranteed. It could suit you if you fancy having the latest model and upgrading your car every few years. Most lease cars are built to order too, so expect to wait a few weeks for your particular car to be made.

Pros and cons of leasing

Lease deals are only available for brand-new cars, so you’re covered by the same manufacturer warranty as if you’d bought the car. Most deals will be less than or the same length as the warranty so you don’t have to worry much about repairs should anything go wrong with the car. Tax and delivery are included, so you might save some time and money, and new cars don’t need an MOT until they’re three years old. The other benefit of leasing is the ability to change your car every couple of years to get the newest model in exchange for a regular monthly payment.

Leasing isn’t for everyone – you won’t own the car and there are mileage caps and penalty fines for excess wear and tear, so you’ll still need to take care of it like it’s your car. Lease deals also lack some of the flexibility of a PCP finance package – you’ll have to keep paying the monthly payments or face a hefty charge. You’ll also have to wait for your car to be built.

How can I get a lease deal through carwow?

Again, just configure a car through our homepage – once you’ve done this and arrived at your showroom page, you’ll see ‘Browse leasing deals.’ Click that and you’ll be able to select the car you want, the length of the contract, the mileage restriction and the initial payment.
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3. In-stock cars – buying new, nearly new and used cars

If you don’t want to wait for your new car to be made then it’s worth checking out the thousands of cars available for immediate delivery. These cars are either new, pre-registered, ex-demonstrator models, nearly-new or used. Our partner dealers might have your perfect car in-stock ready to drive away – so it’s worth checking our stock lists once you’ve configured a car.

Pros and cons of in-stock cars

One of the main draws to buying an in-stock car is immediate delivery – you don’t have to wait for your car to be built. If it’s already been registered but not used (called a pre-registered car) then it’ll likely be cheaper than a brand-new factory order version of the same car.

You have less flexibility with a stock car too. Okay, you might be able to find the exact car you want already sitting on a dealer’s forecourt, but chances are you’ll have to compromise slightly on things like colour, options or engine choice. Also if the car’s nearly new or pre-registered then you won’t be listed as the first owner, and it may have been driven for a few hundred miles already.

How can I see carwow’s in-stock cars?

Head to the ‘Your showroom’ tab at the top of the page and you’ll see ‘Browse in-stock new and used cars’. Choose the car you’re after and refine it by budget, colour, engine size, fuel type, trim level, gearbox type and whether it’s new or used.
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