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Overseas European Delivery Car Programs compared

The dollar is pretty weak but this might ‘save’ you money if you plan to buy a European car and plan to go to Europe: several European car manufacturers offer a so-called European delivery program. This is how it works: order your car in the US but pick it up in Europe, drive couple of weeks in Europe for free and return without car. The car then will be shipped to you free of charge back to the US. Benefits?

  • Discount on the car MSRP (don’t forget you can still negotiate MSRP down)
  • Pickup at the facility with often a tour (and often 1 free hotel night)
  • Free ‘rental’ car in Europe driving your car and free insurance included for 2 weeks
  • Typically you can choose from several countries in Europe for drop-off

Downsides? Long process… Ordering and picking up in Europe can take couple of months and shipping to the US often takes another 6 weeks (west coast 1-2 weeks in addition).

One question is whether you could get same discount in addition if you’d be buying it from the lot instead. It is possible in theory to get additional discount on top of the overseas delivery discount but typically this will be a lot tougher to negotiate since the dealer rather sells you the car from the lot than having to wait for several months. But can’t hurt to try. So negotiate first as if you’d be buying it from the lot.

Here’s an overview of European Delivery car programs (links included under brand):

Brand Discount Flight tickets Insurance coverage Deposit Comments
Audi 3% on A3
5% all other models except R8
15 days free

30 days 200 Euro

Pay in full prior to travel to Europe incl. German VAT (refunded at drop-off) optional driver day
for extra cost
BMW up to 7% varies per model 1 ticket excl. taxes, 2nd ticket must be booked with Lufthansa 14 days free

1 month $225

? wait time is about 3 months

Mercedes-Benz 7% on most models 2 for 1 on Lufthansa 15 days free ? free Europe Portable navigation provided if you ordered Navigation
Porsche 16 days free Pay in full prior to travel to Europe incl. German VAT (refunded at drop-off) Factory delivery
Volvo about 8%
varies per model
2 free SAS tickets 15 days free $2000
full 30 days before delivery
 
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