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Oct 10

European Delivery – driving Europe in a new car

There is a lesser known program where, if you are a U.S. resident, you can go to a European car dealer in America – BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, or Volvo – and ask them for European Delivery, or “ED” as its known on online car forums. The car will be built in Germany (or Sweden) and you will have to fly over to Europe to pick it up.

Why would you want to do such a thing? Well, when you pick up the car, you get to drive it around Europe for a few weeks. And, because you’ll likely be starting in Germany, you get a chance to try out your new car on the autobahns. The only problem is you still have to break in the engine, so that could be frustrating. (Apparently the recommended break in for a BMW is maximum 4k rpm or 100mph for the first 1000 miles – which might be frustrating on the autobahns, so maybe you could drive around Europe and then come back to Germany near the end of the trip.) At the end of the holiday, you drop off the car at one of the drop-off points around Europe, some of which are outside of Germany, and it will get shipped to you, arriving in your neighborhood 1-2 months later.

The kicker is that buying a car on ED is going to cost you several thousands of dollars less than buying it locally (unless you’re getting a Porsche, which actually charges a premium for this option). The reason is that some of the commissions and fees and taxes that get charged along the way disappear. So, the discount will basically fund the cost of your holiday in Europe, with change to spare, even if you bring someone along to share the experience. The manufacturers will even throw in a couple weeks of free auto insurance, and temporarily load up the GPS system with European maps, while you’re there.

And you can do ED on lease (which might get past the break in thing, although you’ll possibly spoil the car for the next lessee or owner). If you’re thinking of buying a car… what a great idea for a vacation.

The New York Times recently wrote an article about this, but this program has been floating around for many years.

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  11:17am  •  Travel  •   •  Tweet This  •  Comments (2)