BMW European Delivery Experience – Summer 2017


We recently purchased a BMW 5 series through BMW European Delivery(ED) program and I wanted to share our journey from ordering to delivery and overall experience.

Our experience, like so many others, was incredible. We spent 12 days and drove over 1,200 miles through Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. From BMW Welt delivery to driving through small towns in Switzerland, it was an experience that our family will never forget.

Ordering Process

Quite similar to how you order a new BMW at your local dealer. We ordered the car through Kimberly BMW in Davenport as they turned out to be the most knowledgeable and competitive dealer in the area in terms of pricing and ED planning. Dan and Kris were easier to work with, respected our time, and always kept us informed. We traveled with two young children so their help and insight was extremely valuable.

Timeline

Please keep in mind that European Delivery could take three to four months from ordering to getting your car home, but if you are able to wait, it is well worth it. We placed the order in May, took delivery on July 20th at the BMW Welt (German for “world”) and car was delivered at the local dealer in mid September.

Pricing

BMW offers 5% discount on the base MSRP of the vehicle that you’re ordering. Please note that options are not discounted for the European Delivery. In addition, i3, X3, X4, X5 and X6 vehicles are not available through ED program (X1 is an exception).

Planning

While trip planning is similar to any other trip that you may have taken in the past, there are few nuances that I’d like to point out.

Luggage – Make sure that your luggage will fit in the car that you’re picking up in Munich. If you’re not sure, try it out at your local BMW dealer in a similar vehicle. This is even more important if you’re traveling with young children.

Child Seat – We took our kids with us so child seat was a necessity. It is easier to take your U.S. spec child seat with you and check it with your luggage. If you don’t want to do this, you can also buy a child seat at the BMW Welt (€200).

Hotel/Parking – Most hotels don’t have private parking so traveling with a brand new car could be stressful. In addition, parking spaces are just not large enough for a full-size sedan aimed at the US market. As suggested by others, we used Booking.com to book all out hotels as their website allows you to filter hotels that have private/dedicated parking. It will cost you additional €10 per night but if you’re bothered by cars parked too close to you, private parking is the way to go. Also, private parking areas are usually empty as locals rarely use them.

Delivery

Once your order is in the system, you can request a pickup date/time. Delivery process takes about 90 minutes so plan accordingly. BMW lounge is available all day for delivery customers with breakfast and lunch included. BMW Museum and BMW factory tour (English tour at 11:45am daily) is highly recommended. For BMW factory tour, please make sure to reserve your spot by emailing them your preferred date.

Driving through Europe

BMW provides a temporary tourist registration and insurance for 14 days (up to five months’ additional coverage may be purchased). You can drive around Europe before dropping off your BMW at one of 12 European locations. Please note that BMW tourist plates and insurance is not valid in every EU country so make sure you know exactly where you can and cannot go. Also note that some EU countries require vignettes (toll stickers) before you can drive on their highways. During our trip, Austria and Switzerland were the two countries where we needed to buy these stickers. These stickers can be bought from the gas stations near border crossings. There are steep penalties for not having these stickers so make sure you have one before you cross the border.

If your car is equipped with navigation, BMW will load European maps in your navigation system before the delivery. In order to use the navigation efficiently, we found that entering GPS coordinates in decimal format was the quickest way to get the right address loaded in the system. Also, make sure to update the car display settings to show metric data (km and kph) rather than U.S system (FPS – mile and mph). While Autobahn has certain sections with unrestricted speed, other areas are speed restricted and speed cameras are everywhere. Knowing your speed accurately is the key to avoid hefty speeding fines that will arrive at your home address in the United States. Also, traffic roundabouts aka Traffic Circles are everywhere, so if you’re uncomfortable with them, please brush up your knowledge on how to use them.

Drop Off

We dropped off our car at Log In Out located at the Munich International Airport. Drop off process is quick and takes about 30 minutes. You are expected to wash and returns your car in clean condition to avoid unnecessary delays later during shipping. If you don’t have time or don’t want to wash your car yourself, Log In Out offers washing and waxing service for €40. Please note that you have to make a drop off reservation at least five days before the drop off date.

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