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March 8, 2020
I’ve always been intrigued by European Car Delivery Programs. It’s a compelling offer: sign up for a vacation to Europe, get treated like a VIP, and come home with a discount on a very big souvenir, your new luxury car.
Experts like Jon Spira tell captivating stories where you can pick up your brand new Porsche in Germany and race it on the Autobahn for less than you would’ve paid picking it up at your local dealership.
But are these programs worth it? Over the past few years, manufacturers have tightened their belts and removed many of the extra perks that used to be included.
So I decided to see how European Delivery Program’s stack up against a car price you could negotiate for pick-up in the U.S.
Table of Contents
Let’s take a look at how each manufacturers’ European deals compare to local prices. But first…
The idea is you buy a luxury car from Mercedes, Porsche, or Volvo (Audi, BMW, and Saab retired their programs) and pick it up at the factory in Europe. You’ll typically get a discount on the price of the car plus a travel deal. After you visit the factory, you can cruise around Europe for a couple weeks and drop off your car at a pre-approved location (these vary by manufacturer, but most have about 12 drop-off locations in different cities).
All programs include a factory tour and meal, international car insurance and registration for 2 weeks (about a $200 value). When you’re done they’ll ship the car back to the U.S. for you free of charge, but keep in mind this is not the same as the destination fee (typically $895). Mercedes is the only one to waive the destination fee as well.
BMW also includes a nice perk where you can pick up your car in the U.S. at the BMW Performance Driving school in South Carolina and learn how to race on their track like a pro.
Note: BMW officially ended their European Delivery program on May 18, 2020. Here's why it was discontinued.
|Manufacturer Website||My Reviews||Price Discount||Pick-up Location||Airfare||Hotel|
|BMW||BMW European Delivery Analysis||5% off MSRP||Munich, Germany||Not included||Not included|
|Mercedes||Mercedes European Delivery Analysis||7% off MSRP & destination fee waived ($925)||Sindelfingen (near Stuttgart), Germany||Delta voucher of $200||One night|
|Porsche||Porsche European Delivery Analysis||No discount||Stuttgart or Leipzig, Germany||Not included||One night|
|Volvo||Volvo European Delivery Analysis||2-10% off MSRP||Free @ Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 other pick-up locations (transfer charge, $392-$1447)||Round trip tickets for two included||One night|
So how do the European deals compare to pricing in the States? In the table below I started out by selecting 5 models around the $50,000 range. I figured that if you’re buying a $500,000 Maybach, you probably don’t care too much about cost, but if you’re looking at cars with one less zero, you might still want to do a little comparison shopping.
After I selected a few models, I went to Edmunds to find out what they suggest is a good target price in the States if you were to haggle with local dealers without picking up overseas. Then I compared that to the European Delivery deals with and without travel perks. Savings are calculated based on estimates of $700/roundtrip flight and $150/night at a hotel. Perks like meals, factory tours, are international insurance are not included in these numbers.
|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 BMW 530i Sedan||$53,400||$50,678||$995||$51,673||5.00%||$50,730||$ -||$50,730|
|2019 Mercedes GLC Coupe||$47,300||$44,573||$995||$45,568||7.09%||$43,945||$350||$43,595|
|2019 Porsche Macan SUV||$49,900||$47,936||$1,250||$49,186||0.00%||$49,900||$150||$49,750|
|2020 Volvo XC90 SUV||$48,350||$47,625||$995||$48,620||9.00%||$43,999||$1,550||$42,449|
Would you consider flying to Europe to pick up your next car?
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Programs typically include a discount on car price, a European travel package, factory tour, international car insurance, and free car shipment to the States.
All manufacturer programs except for Porsche are a better deal to pick-up overseas. See a full price comparison between US pick-up and European delivery.
Mercedes, Porsche, and Volvo each offer European delivery.
The best value in a European delivery package goes to Volvo. View Volvo’s program details and the runners-up.
The Audi European car delivery program was discontinued at the end of 2018.
No, Volkswagen does not offer European delivery.
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