Average wait for delivery of a new vehicle is 3.6 months but customers have to wait 7 months for an Audi Q5 or VW Tiguan.

It may sound strange to a North American where the car market for volume brands is far more commodified than in Europe, but the average car buyer in Germany has to wait 3.6 months for delivery of a new car.

That figure was for July, and waiting times are falling, according to a study by the CAR Institute of the University of Duisburg-Essen. The previous number was 3.8 months.

The average wait for a VW is now 5.2 months, while for Audi it's 4.9 months. It's the same with import brands too. Average delivery time for a Hyundai is 5.3 months and 4.9 months for a Kia.

Waits are even longer on SUV models, with an average of 5.4 months. Delivery of a VW Tiguan takes an average of 7.1 months, it's a 7 month wait for the Q5, and 6.5 months for the BMW X3. The Hyundai ix35 has one of the longest waiting times with an average of 10 months for delivery.

Cars in Germany (like in many European markets) are mostly built-to-order. The advantage is that a customer gets the car exactly the way they want it, in terms of equipment and finish. The disadvantage, compared to North America, is that the cars tend to be pricier and one has to wait months for delivery.

Gallery: Shorter waiting periods for German car buyers