BMW European Delivery: Experience Europe in a BMW (My Analysis & Review)
UPDATE: BMW officially ended their European Delivery Program on May 18, 2020. BMW has stated that reservations made prior to that date will be honored.
Why did BMW end European Delivery?
BMW's built in the U.S., including all SUVs, were not eligible for the European Delivery program. Since many car shoppers were interested in these vehicles, demand for the program had been dropping. It didn't help that COVID-19 had essentially stopped vacation travel from the U.S. to Europe as well.
In addition to those factors, BMW canabalized it's overseas program through it's domestic delivery program at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Every BMW model is eligible for the U.S. program, known as the Ultimate Delivery Experience. This program includes a performance driving course with classroom and on-track modules, as well as tours of BMW's plant and museum in Spartanburg.
Who Still Offers Delivery Programs?
Domestic: You can still take advantage of BMW Performance Center Delivery in Spartanburg, South Carolina. There you can race on their performance test track while learning from BMW’s professional driving instructors.
Let's break down everything you need to know about the BMW European Delivery Experience. Starting from the ordering process, delivery, and a quick overview of the costs for a few different BMW models.
Compared to other European Delivery services, BMW does not offer as much value as Volvo's program, but BMW still provides some attractive discounts, perks, and tours when you pick up your car in Germany.
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How does BMW European Delivery work?
BMW European Delivery allows customers to purchase a car in the U.S but pick it up at the factory based in Germany. In addition to a discounted price (details further down below) and waived fees, BMW provides tours for their factory and museum.
Here’s a breakdown of the process:
- Contact your local BMW dealer to create your custom BMW, make a deposit, and save up to 5% off the MSRP. Accessories cannot be added as part of the order, but you can have them installed at your local BMW center when you return home.
- Once dates are confirmed, book your travel to Germany.
- Once you arrive, meet your Delivery Specialist at the BMW Welt to pick up your new vehicle.
- Take a tour in BMW’s first factory and/or take a journey through BMW’s museum.
- Travel across Europe in your brand new vehicle for up to 5 months (complimentary insurance lasts 2 weeks but can be extended).
- Drop off your vehicle at any one of the 12 approved European drop-off locations.
- Accept the delivery at your local BMW center within 6-8 weeks (for East Coast) or 8-10 weeks (for West Coast).
This video will give you a very detailed tour of what to expect when you pick up your brand new BMW in Germany.
How to order a BMW from Germany
You start the European Delivery experience by placing an order through your local authorized BMW retailer. Two days after the order is placed, you will receive a confirmation email. In less than two weeks you should receive a welcome package from BMW that outlines the journey.
The final step involves payment with the BMW center. About 45 days before the trip, you and your Client Advisor will finalize the European Delivery Purchase Order. Two weeks before you depart, the payments are finalized and you’re ready to take off.
BMW leasing and finance incentives are still available through the European Delivery program, however the maximum amount of time your vehicle can stay in Europe is three months instead of five.
Not all models are available for the European delivery program, the following models are excluded from the program: i3, X3, X4, X5, and X6.
You will need to provide a valid passport and driver’s license when picking up your new vehicle.
What is the BMW European Delivery itinerary and timeline?
After placing the order and finalizing payments, the next step is to fly to Munich, Germany. Unfortunately, BMW does not provide any discounts on airfare or hotels. They only provide a complimentary shuttle from the Munich Airport.
Picking Up Your BMW in Europe
Once you arrive at the BMW Welt and are settled in at their Premium Lounge, you will meet with your Delivery Specialist. They will guide you through the whole process and walk you through the main controls and features of your new BMW. It takes up to 90 minutes for the delivery process.
While at the BMW Welt, you can also enjoy the futuristic architecture and guided tours at their first factory plant. There is also over 120 exhibits to explore at the BMW museum, which is one of the most visited company museums in Germany.
Some things customers should take note of is the Bavarian Holiday Schedule, when the BMW Welt is closed. Also, there are places in Germany and other European countries where winter or all-season tires are required from October 15th until April 15th.
Now that you have your new BMW and a complimentary 14-day insurance period, you’re ready to explore the roads of Germany and Europe. Below is an overview of the cost for additional insurance:
|Insurance period in months||Cost to customer|
Shipping Your New BMW Home
To conclude your trip in Europe, BMW makes it very easy to ship your BMW back home. They will cover the following:
- European Inland Transportation
- Marine Insurance
- Customs Duty and Clearance
- S. Port Processing
- Wharf and Handling Fees
There are 12 drop off locations throughout Europe:
- Vienna, Austria
- Antwerp, Belgium
- Nice, France
- Paris, France
- Bremerhaven, Germany
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Hamburg, Germany
- Munich, Germany
- Sindelfingen, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Bologna ($662.52)
- Florence ($783)
- Genoa ($590.25)
- Milan ($698.67)
- Naples ($975.74)
- Rome ($951.64)
- Venice ($662.52)
- Verona ($638.45)
If you wanted to drop off your car in Italy, you must make a reservation and pay additional charges. You must also drop off the vehicle three days prior to the insurance expiration.
All vehicles are then taken to the port in Bremerhaven, Germany and shipped to a U.S. port. East Coast residents can expect their vehicle in 6-8 weeks, while West Coast residents have to wait about 8-10 weeks. Any vehicle that is dropped off outside of Germany may take an extra week for delivery.
Once the vehicle arrives in the U.S. it will require U.S. Customs and Department of Agriculture clearance.
What does BMW European Delivery cost?
Let’s breakdown the cost of the BMW European Delivery program compared to ordering a BMW normally from the U.S. The table below shows the typical prices for BMW's negotiated in the U.S. (on Edmunds) compared to the European Delivery prices:
|Model||MSRP||Edmunds True Market Value||Destination Fee||Total Expected U.S. Price||European Delivery % Savings||European Delivery Price||European Travel Savings||European Delivery Price + Travel Savings|
|2019 330i Sedan||$40,250||$36,750||$995||$37,745||5.00%||$38,240||$ -||$38,240|
|2019 530i Sedan||$53,400||$50,959||$995||$51,954||5.00%||$50,730||$ -||$50,730|
|2019 740i Sedan||$86,450||$71,094||$995||$72,089||5.00%||$82,130||$ -||$82,130|
|2019 X1 sDrive28i||$34,950||$32,736||$995||$33,731||5.00%||$33,205||$ -||$33,205|
|2019 M5 Sedan||$102,700||$96,843||$995||$97,838||5.00%||$97,565||$ -||$97,565|
Is BMW European Delivery a good deal? (My assessment)
Based on the cost comparison above, it really depends on the model that you are looking to purchase. Even when you do save on the price through European Delivery, it’s only for a few hundred dollars. There is a big difference on the 2019 740i Sedan, where customers are much better off buying it in the U.S. BMW doesn’t offer any complimentary airfare or hotels for any additional savings, so I would not recommend BMW European Delivery from a standpoint of pure savings. But just like other European Delivery programs, you're sure to get a great experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it cheaper to buy a BMW in Europe?
It really depends on the model, even when you do save money its only by a few hundred dollars. There are some models, like the 7 Series, where it makes much more sense to buy in the U.S. See which European Delivery programs are worth effort.
What’s included with BMW’s European Delivery?
BMW’s program includes a 5% savings off MSRP, a complimentary shuttle from the airport, and a tour of their museum and factory.
What BMW models are available for European Delivery?
All models except the following are available for BMW Overseas Delivery: i3, X3, X4, X5, and X6.
Can I extend my BMW insurance in Europe?
You can stay in Europe with your new BMW for up to 5 months. BMW offers 14 days of complimentary insurance but this can be extended. One month costs $396, three months costs $1,785, and five months costs $3,119.
How long will it take to ship BMW back home?
East Coast residents can expect to wait 6-8 weeks while West Coast residents will have to wait 8-10 weeks for their new BMW. Any vehicle dropped off outside of Germany may take an extra week.