Here's How to Buy a New 2022 Ford Bronco Without Overpaying
There’s no secret handshake, but there are a few tips you can follow to get your hands on Ford's hyper-popular, new SUV without paying a huge markup.
The best way to get a deal on a 2022 Ford Bronco is not to buy one—yet. With severe shortages in manufacturing, shipping, and labor caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it's a challenging time for car buyers. Witness the double-digit-percentage price increases for new and used vehicles across the country and among all vehicle segments.
Waiting another year or two before buying another car is the surest way to not overpay your purchase. But if you can't wait to buy one of today's most exciting new models, like the new 2022 Ford Bronco mid-size SUV, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars over the vehicle's list price.
Despite the demand, it is possible to buy a Ford Bronco today without overpaying. We talked with a Ford dealer to uncover a few strategies for getting your vehicle quicker, negotiating a smaller dealer markup, and avoiding markups altogether. While these tips were written with the current Bronco situation in mind, you can implement them with other popular new vehicles in short supply, too.
Get a Bronco Cheaper
When the sixth-generation Bronco launched in 2020 for the 2021 model year, automakers were only beginning to reopen plants they had shut down due to the pandemic, which led to the first production Broncos not rolling off the line until mid-2021. Even then, early-production Broncos shipped without some semiconductor chips, and quality-control issues with the hardtop roof grew the backlog.
As months went by with few deliveries, thousands of Bronco buyers who reserved a 2021 model directly through Ford had to reorder their vehicles as 2022 models. Ford is crediting some buyers the price difference between the 2022 and 2021 models. However, the final selling price on the lot is set by Ford dealers, which has led to price markups of more than $40,000 at dealer auctions, according to Chris McMahon, owner of McMahon Ford in Norwalk, Connecticut.
One way buyers can avoid overpaying is to be flexible with their Bronco trims, colors, and options. McMahon says many people have waited more than 18 months for their dream Bronco because the most desirable models and options are in limited supply. That includes the Bronco’s optional hardtop and trailer hitch package, and the Sasquatch Package that includes serious off-road hardware like 35-inch tires. The Wildtrak trim (along with the sold-out First Edition) is among the most coveted Broncos.
Buyers can also avoid dealer markups if they qualify for a discount through Ford's A plan (for employees), Z plan (for retirees), or D plan (for dealership employees). As of late 2021, Ford was not offering X plan discounts (for suppliers and other partners) on the Bronco.
Get a Bronco Faster
If you’re more concerned with time than money, Ford says the fastest way to receive a new 2022 Bronco is to order a four-door with a soft top. (The hard top can be added later, although Ford says it won’t be available as an accessory ordered through the dealership until 2023.) You'll also move up in line if you order a base or Big Bend trim without the Sasquatch Package or trailer hitch. According to McMahon, ordering a relatively sparse, less-desirable configuration will also help you negotiate the price with the dealer.
Another strategy to obtain a Bronco sooner is to purchase a dealer demonstrator—although these are so rare that you may still pay a big premium. From the start, Ford required every dealer to stock at least one demo unit (and a maximum of two) for test drives. The automaker prohibited sales of these vehicles until they reached six months on the lot, or a couple of thousand miles from test drives. Recently, Ford allowed dealers to order a third demonstrator, which can be sold to existing reservation holders without any restrictions.
Play the Waiting Game
If you’re willing to wait to avoid paying a premium over the MSRP, the easiest solution will be to place an order with a dealer that agrees not to add a markup to your vehicle. Signing a Buyer's Order with the dealer locks in the price, but it may also obligate you to purchase that vehicle once it arrives. Be sure to read the fine print.
Your final strategy is to wait until the new Bronco frenzy cools off. "This is not going to last forever. The market will adjust and we'll get back to some sort of normalcy," McMahon said. "This is a phenomenon." Exactly how long the ordering backlog will last is anyone’s guess. Our best estimate? The queue won’t be cleared before 2023.
Plus, by waiting, you’ll be on the hook for any price increases Ford implements between now and when you buy. If you wait long enough, you may avoid the current markup mania, but even once that passes, Broncos are unlikely to be sold at significant discounts.
In the meantime, impatient shoppers should remember that the Bronco isn’t the only rugged option out there. While the Bronco is one of the hottest SUVs on sale right now, there are several vehicles with similar off-roading capability. Our list of the best Ford Bronco alternatives has several options that may be easier to find and cheaper to buy.