New car delivery delayed what do i do?

Hi! this is my first time here. I’ve been told(via phone call on the 28th Nov) that my new car that was due to be picked up on the 30th November had “not arrived” and that they didn’t know what had happened to it. Now I’ve been told I won’t have it till the 10th December (pick up a few days later for extras to be added).
Is this normal? I was told they had found a car and that it was on its way. It seems bizarre to me that they would only find out on the day the car was due to be delivered that it wasn’t coming. Am I able to ask for any compensation? It’s really stuffed up my december as my current car is extremely unreliable and I can’t drive it anywhere to do christmas shopping.


Welcome to the forum. That is a pretty ordinary way to start the holiday as well as buy a new vehicle.

As you imply, not advising you until the day it was to be delivered reflects poor business practices, although it could have been delayed in shipping/transport and they were not made aware until late in the game and are equally chagrined. Your best approach would be to ask why the delay rather than having a go at them, and then asking for a loaner. Many new car dealers routinely provide ‘free’ loaners to their service customers so they should be happy to accommodate.

Expect to be responsible for any damages and the petrol is probably on you but could be negotiable under the circumstances. You may have had to sign a liability form when you test drove, so this would be the same.

If your sales team pushes back ask to speak to a principal (MD, owner, sales manager) and put your case.

Any explicit rights you have will be in the Australian Consumer Law and then the sales contract. This ACL page may help your case and inform how you move ahead.

The operative paragraphs are

When a business accepts your payment for products or services they must supply them to you within the timeframe they have indicated or if no time was specified, within a reasonable time.

If you do not receive the products or services you have paid for, your first step should be to contact the business to try and resolve the problem.

Please let us know how you were able to resolve this.


A follow on from @PhilT is that many insurers that would cover an owner would be willing to extend the policy to cover the loaner if they are informed (may come at a “service cost”) of the reasons. Always get the coverage put in writing, a teleconversation is not a good business practice to ensure your coverage. Or you can take out short term insurance to cover for the loaner time but this tends to be more expensive than extending coverage on an existing vehicle (eg you advise the loaner is to replace your unsafe car until the new one arrives).


Second delivery was meant to be for today. And I’ve just had the call saying it hasn’t arrived at the dealership. And that they aren’t sure when it will arrive. They are going to email the place they get them from and said they would get back to me on Thursday. I was expecting a car well before christmas but I would be very surprised if this thing turns up before the end of January.

Is this normal for new cars? I’m really starting to get worried. I also still have no reliable car now for the christmas period.

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As has been noted above there are some steps you can take with the Dealer. Is it normal for new cars, well in some cases it is depending on when they manufactured the vehicle , where it is coming from, any shipping delays due to lost cargo or strikes or shipment breakdowns and acts of nature.

Have you paid? have you got a loan contract you are paying, have you sought a loan vehicle in the interim, these are some of the things that may determine if you should seek compensation or indeed if you should ask for a “loaner”. Asking about when a car is arriving is not the same thing as seeking redress for interest lost or paid, for lack of transport and similar issues. What you perhaps need to do is list what you want until the issue is rectified and then send a demand for those “wants” formally to the Dealer. Until you seek that the Dealer may just be happy to send emails until the car eventuates. If you are a CHOICE member use the CHOICE help service to get letter templates and see what other agencies may be able to assist you.


Did you ask for a loaner and how did that go?

That is not reassuring. One would reasonably expect they would ring and speak to someone now and tell you today or in the morning, not Thursday. It might be a delay tactic.

It seems unusual because importers know where their cars are and delays for cars in Australia are transport arrangements, subject to bush fires and floods, but usually predictable within a few days.

If you purchased a vehicle that was not yet in Australia, international shipping and customs clearance can be hard to predict end-to-end. In that case the supplier would have to chase up the shipper and shipping agents, which could account for a 2-day response to ‘where is my car’.

Can you post more details such as the make, model and dealer and whether it was supposed to be local inventory or ‘on the way’ from [manufacturer] and if there was anything special such as unique paint or factory installed options or accessories? It would be helpful for us to better understand your predicament.


I ordered a Kia Picanto X-line with a few extras. White. They told me when I was at the dealership the first time that they had stock in Melbourne and would give
me a call once they had a hold of one - that was 8th November (and said it should only take a few weeks to arrive which I thought odd as melbourne isn’t that far surely?). I never got a call but my contract said approximately 25th November delivery date so I just figured I’d wait it out. I got a call the week beginning 18th saying they had one and it would arrive on the 28th but would need after market stuff added and so made an appointment for me to pick it up on the 30th.
Then on the 28th I got the call saying that the car had not arrived on the truck. Then they said that it would be arriving on the 10th but that I should expect to pick it up about the 12th or 13th.
Then today I got told it wasn’t on the truck.

I do understand that it’s coming from overseas, clearly Melbourne didn’t have any. I didn’t ask for a loaner as I figured I’d just wait for this second date.
I feel i’ve been lied to a number of times here and that they don’t have any idea of how much or where their stock is. Been a terrible buying experience so far.


The only further advice I can give is to ask [quite strongly if necessary] for a loaner.

If you have not paid or can get a refund for non-delivery (see @grahroll’s post) shop around. Since you need the car now ask if the vehicle is in stock, and consider demos or ‘dealer used’. The latter are low k vehicles, sometimes less than 20km, that are ways the dealers can offer big discounts on a particular car. The difference between demo and new is when the warranty started and any kms, and the difference between that and used is a used car has been registered, often to the dealers executives. A ‘dealer used’ versus a ‘used’ is who registered it.

You might consider asking your dealer if they can source a demo or ‘dealer used’ for you. In any case you should be provided with a loaner under the circumstances so long as you are doing business with that dealer.

Otherwise not much more advice I can offer, so good luck getting it sorted.


Thank you for your advice! I really appreciate it.