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Is the BMW European Delivery Worth it?

BMW has a program that lets you order a car in the states, and then pick it up at the factory in Munich.  You can tour the BMW Museum​ and then drive your new car around Europe for a a few weeks before having it shipped back to your home.

Are the savings you get by going through this program worth it for the experience of "Autobahn Testing" your new car -- or is the stress of driving a brand new car in a new county too much to make an enjoyable vacation?

European Delivery

2 Answers

answered first by
Debbie from San Francisco

I don't have first hand experience with this, but I have a family member who was seriously considering doing this with Mercedes Benz's near-identical program because their friends had did it and were very pleased with it.  I'd imagine most European Delivery program experiences to be similar, so these were the things that they considered and weighed out:

  • Cost -- I heard you could save up to 15% what you'd pay stateside.  If a car cost $100k, that's $15k.  That's more than enough to cover the extras of your European road trip.  Even if the discount were 5%, $5k is still plenty of cheddar to save/spend in Europe.

  • Payment -- I'm pretty sure this is one of those things you either have to pay for the entire cost upfront, or use their financing services and probably strictly on their terms.  Makes sense because they're making the car just for you and since the car doesn't actually exist yet and isn't even in the U.S., you'd probably have hard time getting your own financing.  So yeah, be prepared to be expected to have the entire car paid off before you start making arrangements with BMW to fly to Europe.

  • Model -- Save the super luxury European cars, a lot of them manufacture some of their models elsewhere, including the United States, so obviously, you can't get European Delivery on those.  (Maybe if the model that you want is made in the U.S., you could arrange to fly out to the mid-West or the South for pick up and go for a great American road trip instead.  No heavy discount, though :P)

  • Experience -- You get to drive around Europe in your brand new whip!!!  And you're pretty much treated VIP throughout the entire experience.  Likely flying first class, pick up in a luxury car at the airport, factory tour, meals, 5 star hotel, among other things -- and those are all included with the program.  In regards to the road trip, they have a lot of different travel plans to a bunch of different European countries, several of which have places where you could drop your car back at so you don't have to drive back to the factory for drop off.  BMW will probably be able to hook you up with passes to a lot of the attractions on your way.

    The program itself includes a certain number of days of car insurance for you to drive around Europe, probably a week to a month, but if you want to stay longer, they can help with arrangements and offer you heavy discounts on a lot of things.  Similar to that, you could bring another person or your family to Europe with you for this experience and they'd hook you up.

  • Driving in Europe -- To go with my above enthusiasm about how "You get to drive around Europe in your brand new whip!!!" as a perk/pro, my downside/con of would be, "You have to drive around Europe in your brand new whip".  Every time I think about driving in Europe, I think of this exchange from Under The Tuscan Sun:

    Frances: Do traffic lights mean anything around here?
    Marcello: Yeah, sure. Green Light - avanti! avanti!, yellow light - decoration.
    Frances: And what about red light?
    Marcello: Just a suggestion.

    Granted, some countries are more strict than others (just like some states and cities are more strict than others), as a non-European, I would watch out.  Every country is different.  If someone were caught speeding, he might get thrown in jail for the night in one country, while another might suspend his license for a month, and while another might just make him pay the penalty on the spot.  Make sure to research these things as you plan your trip. 

    Your BMW car insurance will bail you out of things like running out of gas or something happening to your car, but it wouldn't bail you out of driving and parking infractions.  Don't mean to freak you out -- my family took a road trip through several European countries some years ago and we were fine :P

  • Timeline -- Expect to wait several months for your car.  When you order the car, it doesn't exist yet.  You wait a couple months for them to build it, then you fly out to Europe to drive it for a couple weeks, then you fly back to the States and wait a couple more months for them to ship it over to the East Coast and then deliver it to wherever you want it delivered.  I would give it six months, and that's being conservative.

  • Logistics -- BMW has everything figured out for you.  From flights, to land transportation, to lodging, car insurance, whatever tourists arrangements have to be made, shipping insurance and taxes on your car, etc, they've got it all covered.  Your car is guaranteed to be able to pass inspections and make it into the United States versus if you bought a car in Europe and tried to ship it back yourself.

Said family ultimately didn't do the European Delivery this time around for the combination of reasons below, but said that they're still highly considering it for their next car:

  • They didn't want to wait months to be able to drive their car; they wanted one right away
  • While "just looking" at a dealership, they were offered a fantastic deal on a car
  • They had planned to pay in cash, but upon the mandated credit check, they had such great credit that they were offered to be able to drive the car off the lot with no down payment and given 2-3 years to pay it, interest-free.  Who can turn that down?!

Still though, when I first heard about the program, I thought, "If I can ever pony up the cash to buy a BMW or MB new, I'm totally doing their European Delivery Program", because it sounds like such an amazing experience.  If I have the time and money for the car, I pretty much get a "free" luxury vacation along with the car, plus the entire experience of the European delivery program versus if I bought it in the States where I, well, just get the car.

Good luck in making your decision! :)

5 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Andy from Innsbruck

Didn't know that program existed either... sounds cool though! Don't worry about driving around in Munich/Germany, people drive fast but secure, lots of street signs everywhere, so it's not hard to find your way around. Use a GPS nonetheless if possible. Take your time to get used to the high speed on the autobahn, always stay focused and hit the brake as fast as possible when you see the brake lights on the car in front of you turn on, then you're perfectly fine!

1 thanks

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