Being a car buff I've heard of European delivery for years and years and looked into it a few times. I know not a lot of people have heard of it before. For those of you who haven't it goes like this: You purchase the car in the United States at your local dealer then you go to Europe to pick it up. You spec what you want on the car, the model, the color and the packages. Then you order it from the dealer and prior to going to Europe you pay for it. That can be financed normally or you can choose to pay cash. Each manufacturer has their own way of doing it but that is the general idea.
In late 2012 I started playing around with the idea of actually getting a European Delivery BMW. I had 3 cars at the time and one of them was a Manx style dune buggy my dad and I had built. I swore that I was going to keep that car forever and I had had it for nearly 20 years. So I had some decisions to make. I hardly drove it and I couldn't keep all three cars so I made up my mind to sell the buggy and my Scion xB. I would still need a vehicle to drive as I ordered my car and took delivery. So I decided that my Dodge Ram Cummins was the most practical vehicle in my inventory and I needed to keep it.
So up for sale went the Scion and the Buggy. The Scion sold within a week or two. Now I was down to two cars. I listed the Buggy on Ebay Motors, on The Samba and several other places. It didn't officially sell for months. In the meantime I ordered my BMW 135i. I ordered it in the silver with a red leather interior. I ordered the M Sport suspension and a couple of the packages offered including the electronics package. More on that later. That order was placed in December of 2012.
Around middle to late January I got a serious offer on my Manx. He started making payments to me to be fully paid off when he actually bought the car. So that was a load off my mind. It was a specialty vehicle and one that was going to be harder to sell. Now I had my down payment money and money for my trip to Europe.
It was planned to have the car built and ready for delivery by the first week of April of 2013. This was all coordinated through my local BMW dealer. When ordering there were two prices listed, European Delivery price and Domestic price. The European Delivery price was quite a lot less than the Domestic. It saved me approximately 8-10% at the time, based on the Euro and the costs being listed for each. You still pay destination charge that is included in the price of every new car but no additional charge for taking delivery in Europe.
I decided to pay for my car using BMW financing. It was just easier to coordinate for me and the rate wasn't too bad. I could have done better by shopping around but the ease for a European Delivery car was just better to go through the dealer for my personal experience. So about a week or two before we headed out to Europe I went into BMW to get financed and pay my down payment. At the time of my purchase, BMW was selling Dinan products directly through the dealership and I ordered a stage 2 Dinan tune which was included in the purchase price and the financing. That was to be put on when my car arrived in the United States.
My parents, they were coming with me on the trip, and I booked our plane tickets and one of the hotels to stay in when we arrived in Germany to pick up my car. We arrived in Munich in the afternoon of April 4th 2013. We stayed at the hotel we had booked which was fairly close to the BMW factory and Welt, which is what BMW headquarters is called. We walked down the street to get some dinner and a local pizza shop and then went back to our hotel to get some sleep after a long day travel.
The next morning, April 5, 2013, was delivery day. We got up ate breakfast at the hotel then went to the Welt to collect the car. They first have you sign some paperwork and do some checking on your passport and other goodies then they get you to your salesman. They then take you down to their lower areas to show you video of how various aspects of your car works the ABS, Stability Control and other things. Then they bring you back up to overlook your car on the turn table. You can see some of the pictures from a distance.
Finally they take you down to your car show you around how to operate the electronics and adjust your seat and all the little things you need to learn about your new car. They also showed me how to operate the navigation system. It was handy that I got that package as the navigation was loaded up with maps of Europe. We used that the entire time to get around where we needed to go as we didn’t have cell phone data to use. When the car arrives back at the dock in the United States the maps of the U.S. are then loaded.
Included in the delivery day was the BMW factory and museum tour. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the factory but we were allowed pictures in the museum. There were some very cool originals there. It was interesting to note that the famous BMW kidney grill has been in existence since almost the beginning.
Also included was food. They provided snacks and lunch that you could go back for more over and over. We were at the factory and museum for most of the day. We ate in between times and got to enjoy the time there. In the Welt itself were some new cars, some concepts and the BMW goodie store. They included a choice of a couple of things to get from the store so I got a couple of souvenirs.
At the end of the day we drove off in my brand new 135i and parked it back at the hotel we had stayed at the night before. Included in European Delivery is also insurance for driving around for a total of 2 weeks. Our plan was to take my car and see a few different places. The next day we headed north to see Stuttgart, home of Porsche. We saw the Porsche museum then headed south back out of Germany. We didn’t know the next places to stay but had a broad stroke of what we planned to do.
Towards the end of the trip we went to Normandy and stayed with some great friends of my parents who now lived there. I had met them a couple of times but not very gotten to know them a lot until that trip. Truly amazing people. The pictures below of my 135i are from their place in Normandy and as you can see parked in the parking lot when visiting Mont Saint Michel. I will have to write a blog of my European trip with my parents on the travel portion of my website.
Thanks for visiting and remember to “Strive to Arrive”