If you’re looking for a new lease car then you might have already checked out our article on delivery lead times but since we wrote that piece the industry has been massively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Which is why we’ve put together this piece to explain a little more about the impact that coronavirus has had on manufacturing and transporting cars.

You can also download this handy PDF if you’d like to read about the reasons behind the longer lead times at a later point.

As many in the industry have expected for some time the pandemic has caused us to see longer lead times on vehicles arriving in the UK for you to drive.

Currently, there are four main reasons that we are seeing extended lead times on factory orders which are:

We’ll take a look at each of these in more detail below.

Factory Closures

During the pandemic, there were lockdowns around the world which saw everything bar essential travel and essential workplaces being closed. This meant that car plants, factories, transportation companies and showrooms were all shut for various periods of time around the globe.

Though most are now back up and working, with some changes to procedures the closures from over the past year and a half have seen a backlog of orders build up. This means that new orders are waiting longer to be assigned a build week and when they are assigned a build week this is a litter further in the future than they would have been pre-covid.

Covid-19 Protocols

Like the rest of the world car manufacturers have had to put in place safety protocols and procedures to minimise the risk of their workers spreading the Covid-19 virus, and to ensure that their workplaces are compliant with the regulations in their country.

These include:

  • Introducing one-way systems in their buildings
  • Putting more space between different assembly points to allow social distancing
  • Fewer workers in on a shift
  • More frequent and deeper cleaning to reduce the risk of transmission which eats into production time
  • General social distancing measures around the buildings

All of these measures, and many more that individual companies have introduced, means that the time it takes to produce a vehicle is now extended to ensure a covid safe environment for employees.

Additionally, if a worker tests positive then there may be partial or full factory closures whilst the areas they have been working in are cleaned.


We’ve written an entire article on why microchips are needed in modern cars and the reasons the world’s automotive industry is currently experiencing a shortage of them.

The shortage means that there are many manufacturers who are now unable to produce some models, or the time it is taking to do so is much longer as they have to factor in the wait time for the necessary chips. This again adds to the overall lead time that we are seeing on factory orders.

Transportation Delays

Just like at the factories, transportation companies docks and ports have had to put in place coronavirus strategies to ensure their employees are as safe as possible from the virus. These include having to put in place social distancing measures, increased cleaning between handovers and contactless deliveries. These steps again add to the overall time it takes for a vehicle to reach its end location.

Although the number of new Covid-19 cases are declining there are still new cases and if a transportation driver has a positive test then this can delay the delivery of a new vehicle. Ports and transport companies have put in place procedures that mean the vehicle cannot be moved for a few days if this is the case and then must be thoroughly cleaned before being transported again.

If you are leasing a vehicle through Xcite Car Leasing we will keep you as up to date as possible on your new vehicle’s lead time based on the information we receive from the dealership.  

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