Thanks to our forum member, “fun2drive”, here is a really good article on How to Do the Perfect BMW European Delivery?
If you can not find someone local that knows how to do these and does these all the time then don’t use that dealer. Go with someone that does these for a living. Why? Because this is the process. You order the car working with your CA who is working with the Euro Delivery Center BMW folks in New Jersey. It is just like specing any new BMW but the deal is that you do not get confirmation for around 10 days so after the order is placed. Until you get that date back from the dealer don’t book any travel to Europe. This is why ordering the car early and booking your travel early AFTER you get a confirmation date is important.
You will need time to arrange your flights and as long as you and your CA have picked a time then you can lock your travel in. 3 months is really minimum to do this an others have planned out as far as 6 months. It all depends if you use frequent flyer miles or want a particular class of service or have some travel plans in mind. I had right at 3 months and it was the perfect amount of time for me.
Some CA’s need a deposit and some do not require it. Mine did not even require me to put a deposit down on a $55K car. Trust with your CA is the key word here. If you can not deal long distance with someone then do not do the ED with a dealer out of your local area. I did because I know for sure that there were no CAs in this area that had done hundreds of EDs and I wanted someone who had and that does this week in and week out. My car is a 335i Convertible and this posed a problem because the pricing was not available until less that 1 month before I picked the car up. However I had a verbal agreement with my CA of what range of money I would pay over dealer Euro Delivery cost.
There are MSRP, Euro Delivery, and dealer Euro Delivery pricing. Usually you receive 7% of the MSRP of the car when ordering it ED and a nice $500 back from BMW NA for loyalty too once you send some paper work in and you must be a member in good standing for 1 full year. Dealer Euro Delivery is a lower price yet from ED pricing and the CAs I dealt with all were willing to sell me the car at a number over their pricing. Expect that number to be $1000-1500. This works out, at least for me, to around 10-10 1/2% off of the MSRP.
Remember Euro Delivery only made sense to me because of the cost savings. If the car you want comes out of the dealer allotment for BMWs (M’s, and other car in high demand) then rethink the Euro Delivery deal because the dealer will have to take this out of his allotment and that means he will most likely want MSRP unless you have a relationship with the dealership.
Biggest drawback is that you pick your car up in Munich and drop if off waiting on it to arrive back in the USA to your dealer. This can take up to 2 months. So you do not have use of the car for a significant period of time and you will be tracking the delivery using the BMW Owners Circle. Also you must pay for the car 2 weeks before you arrive to pick up the car and it must be paid in full. You can negotiate a lease as well and get some huge savings. You will most likely not order the car locally and if that is important to you don’t do ED.
Driving the Autobahn and Autostrada at unlimited speed limits in some areas of Germany and Italy. Driving your car on a European vacation. I was not able to do this but assuming I order again I most certainly will spend a few weeks in Europe. BMW pays for your insurance on the car and you can drop the car off in a number of places in Europe and fly back. It is turn key so once you drop the car off at the drop center you pick the car up at the dealer as you would with any other car you ordered. Another big reason for me was saving a lot of money.
This is a brand new model selling for or above MSRP and I have my convertible coming in 2 months with around a 10 % off that number. 1 April 2007 Today the adventure begins. I departed Florida for Ohio last week because I have a home there but more importantly I flew out of Dayton because the seats were available on frequent flyer miles. If you contemplate doing this be advised if you use frequent flyer miles book months in advance.
I booked 3 months in advance and if I do this again I would suggest booking 6 months in advance. I know that might be hard to do if you don’t know when you intend to pick your car up. Model change over of a new model will complicate things. I suggest working with a Client Adviser Z((CA) again in my case Irv was the best choice) that knows how to do this because someone not skilled in ED will just frustrate your life. I was lucky on the flight over as the plane was very empty. Very unusual as I lived in Europe for 3 years and flew back and forth across the Atlantic and this never happened in 20 crossing but one other time. Expect a packed plane unless you book your flight at a strange time like Sunday evening or Wednesday afternoon.
My connection from AA Chicago to Frankfurt was uneventful except getting through Frankfurt. I strongly suggest if you are not a seasoned traveler to do a connecting flight in Frankfurt rather then picking your way through this mess at Frankfurt. I connected with LH and it was confusing for me and I have been through Frankfurt at least 7 times. 2 April now I am in Munich.
I am staying someplace that is close to downtown (Eschen Golden Tulip) but not close to the old delivery center. The new delivery center, Welt, will be open in October and will be an experience I am sure. This is the end of a long long day which started in Ohio over 30 hours ago. Jet lag advice from someone who has made more trips across the Atlantic then I would like to admit to. If at all possible do not take a long nap. Maybe 30 minutes tops. This will seem impossible but if you can gut it our and go to bed early you will be very close to on the time cycle of Germany and lets spaced out for a few days following.
3 April I was picked up by a BMW employee and good friend of the Bimmerfest forum, Herr Rolf Raffelsieper (email@example.com) is a lover of cars and a great ambassador of Munich. I wish I was able to go visit the BMW museum as well as other sites but time did not allow. If you want to have someone lay out places to see then I would use Rolf to aid you in that while you await your new baby.
I checked out of the Golden Tulip motel in Eschen and Herr Rolf picked me up promptly at 6:45 am. Never fear you will be up way early anyway if you fly over the previous day due to the 7 hour time change from CDT. The old delivery center is close to the factory in Munich opens at 7:30 and we were the first Euro Delivery people to show up. Once you provide your passport and some paper work is done you are free to head up stairs to a small caf to enjoy something to eat and drink while they get your car.
BMW sends you a welcome package which includes a voucher for drinks and eats for your family or friends with you during the experience. Bear in mind that the BMW employees go first for pick up because they have all their paperwork filled out. We waited around 45 minutes then my name was called and a BMW advisor sat with me to finish my paperwork and then we headed out to a nice garage with maybe 15 or 20 new BMWs.
My 335 convertible was sitting all shiny and new ready to head down the road. My advisor asked if there was anything I wanted to know and how much detail did I want in regard to knowing all about the car. I said I currently drive a BMW convertible but things associated with the new hardtop would be helpful. We spend about 10 to 15 minutes going over a few things like the Comfort Access that will open the hardtop, lock windows, things like this. Once I was satisfied my advisor wished me god voyage and departed.
Once outside the garage I turned on my Garmin Nuvi with Euro SD card and drove out after BMW verified I was driving away in the correct car with correct VIN. So that is how the Euro Delivery goes. Not that big a deal but I strongly suggest having some form of electronic navigator with you unless you have the NAV installed in the car. In that case be sure to get the CD that has Europe on it because you will get lost even with these aids.
Paper maps are necessary as well but don’t bother with AAA, Get some maps at a good service station on any Autobahn or Autostrada. Pay the money and then you have some back up. Driving on the Autobahn, one of the reasons to get a car like this in the first place.
BMW designed this car to run at high speeds and for long distances. My experience is that as long as you don’t run the car past what was recommended in the manual (I did in regard to speed but not rpms) then you should be fine and enjoy the experience. I lived in Europe for 3 years and I get used to driving high speed pretty fast but if you have never driven at sustained speeds over a 100 mph then be prepared to do it gradually.
Europeans have long ago learned to drive on these roads and they drive well and have good road manners. Expect if someone signals to pull out that they will, trucks and cars. European philosophy is that you should allow them to do that. Do not act like an American and drive in the left (fast) lane.
It is rude and it will get you a ticket in virtually every country. Look to be sure you are clear, signal and then merge into the passing lane. Pass then merge back into the right lane. Work up to the high speeds because you will find that in Europe they don’t always mark road work with the miles of warnings done here. You will need to be alert or you will have an accident. You will need to do heavy braking at times if you get caught unaware so be prepared. You will not see Europeans talking on phones, doing makeup, drinking and eating. You will get used to driving fast just get used to stopping fast to if you have too.
That is the more difficult part of driving the Autobahn or Autostrda. How fast is fast? Who knows. For me when you get over 160 kph that is fast. I drove my new car up to 140 mph for some periods, a good deal at 130 mph and a lot of driving in the 100 to 120 mph. Expect most everyone to do around 100 mph as going much faster eats diesel or gas. Even at around 100 mph I was getting better then 25 mpg. Also expect a lot of traffic and lots of over the road trucks. They drive at 60-100 kph so as I said before, be aware as they will signal and pull right out. Dropping the Car or Truck off You have two ways to do this.
You can pick the car up at the Euro Delivery Center and drop it off at the E.H. Harmes drop off location a few miles away or you can drop the car off at any number of places in Europe. You must check because the list changes from time to time. I dropped my car off with 292 Autobahn miles on it in Frankfurt. You have 2 weeks of paid BMW insurance and a full tank of expensive Euro gas when you pick the car up so go use it. Once you get to the drop off location you should remove these items if you want them because they will be removed from the car when you pick it up. The German tourist license plate, note that it will be good for 2 weeks then you will need another plate, remove it if you want it. The drop off technician will assist you in doing that.
The first aid kit is a nice thing to take with you. Remove it and when you come back you should either take the scissors out if you carry on or check your bag. The warning triangle which is usually in a blue plastic cover should be removed. I stowed all of these in my carry on bag and left the scissors in my motel room and had zero issues. I also took my owners manuals so I could read up on all the systems in the car. I suggest you do the same thing. The drop off technician will need some of the paperwork like EPA entry form and such from a stack of papers given to you by your advisor at the Euro Delivery Center.
Remember the papers I filled out before I went out to see the car? Well now you can bring home and hold close all the papers that you were given except for what the shipper needed. Everything else should be left in the car. The paperwork takes 20 minutes if you are the only one there and longer if you have to wait. Be aware that these shippers are first rate but the signs and directions getting to them are to be honest difficult. You will get lost even with a nav system. Just expect that as part of the experience and whatever you do don’t cut the time close as you just put a lot of extra stress on yourself. They will call you a cab or if you are close to the airport they can even drop you off so expect one or the other. I was leaving the next day so I caught a cab to my motel.
4 April flying back to the USA Well the return flight is no big deal and you have handled the arrival so this will just be a repeat but with a few very good things to note. First once is going West back to later times zones is much easier on you adapting then going East which you did on the way over.
You also have the BMW coming so that is a good thing too. Give yourself plenty of time going through the airport as 2 hours out of Frankfurt, one of the worst airports in Europe to get around, is normal. Yes I did my processing in and it took only 15 minutes but I also carried my bags with me, have done this a number of times, arrived early, had a light passenger schedule at the airport because it was Wednesday. Ice in your drinks is another good reason to come home as well as air conditioning.
You will find most of Europe doesn’t use it because it is expensive. You have that in your car but unlikely to find it elsewhere unless you check. Do check because Europe is really hot in the summer and when I was stationed in northern Italy it was 100 degrees in June and unlivable and unsleepable at those temperatures. Over view I have tried to explain what the European Delivery process is all about. I think this is a gift not well used by the members. BMW AG and NA have allowed us to use the BMW we are buying in Europe and experience what the car is capable of. It will be the last time you can legally drive 140 mph.
The experience of a different culture is worth the trip as well. Europeans are not like Americans. They see there current position (notice I said position not job) as worthy of their best effort. Not something they are getting by with until they get a better one. The old adage I was looking for a job when I found this one DOESNT apply in Europe. That means you should expect a better quality of service then you get here and also you do not tip in Europe, the price includes tip. Hope you find this useful. My local email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and if I can be of any help for someone doing this or even thinking about it I would be happy too.