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BMW European Delivery



  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This discussion has been edited to include all future BMW owners (3-series, 5-series, etc.) seeking purchase through European delivery.

    If you have any questions, please address them to me in email. (

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Per a recommendation from Pat the Sedans host, I am reposting the following three posts which were originally placed on the 5-Series board regarding BMW's European Delivery program.

    Best Regards

    Please bear in mind that these posts were written in response to questions from other TH members, so they might seem a little out of context.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As some of y'all might remember Riez and I have had several go-arounds about the cost effectiveness of using BMWs ED program for obtaining a new BMW. I of course am very much a supporter of the ED route, Riez is very much the skeptic. Who is right? Both of us, depending upon an individuals point of view regarding factors that are both tangible and otherwise.

    As an example, flying from the East Coast to Munich is a matter of only 8 hours over and 9 hours back (Lufthansa nonstop JFK-MUC $629, Note: Northwest/KLM have a flight that connects through AMS for $468, however, it takes a lot longer). If on the other hand, you are flying from Omaha, NE, the flight duration is more like 14 hours over and 16 hours back (OMA-MSP-AMS-MUC $598), so the economics of time change somewhat.

    That said, for the "Quick and Dirty" ED trip from the East Coast, according to my accounting, the entire thing can be done for about $1,500 (see below for the accounting) cash out of pocket and a single day off work. Using my deal as an example, I saved $5,300 off MSRP plus another $408 in sales tax for a total savings of about $5,700 on the delivered vehicle. Not too bad for missing a day of work.

    Consider the following itinerary:

    17-Apr-2003 5:00 PM – Depart from office via Limo bound for JFK Airport ($65)
    17-Apr-2003 8:15 PM – Lufthansa #411 Departs JFK ($629)
    18-Apr-2003 10:05 AM – Lufthansa #411 Arrives MUC
    18-Apr-2003 12:00 PM – Through Customs and have a bite to eat
    18-Apr-2003 12:30 PM – Buy a 3 day Munich U-Bahn (Subway) Pass ($12)
    18-Apr-2003 12:35 PM – Board the S8 train bound for Marienplatz station
    18-Apr-2003 1:00 PM – Board the U6 train bound for Freimann (if memory serves)
    18-Apr-2003 1:15 PM – Walk from Freimann station to the ED Center (1 Kilometer)
    18-Apr-2003 1:30 PM – Arrive at the BMW ED Center, and check in
    18-Apr-2003 2:15 PM – Advisor gives you a complete briefing on your car
    18-Apr-2003 2:45 PM – Driving your new BMW all of 6 miles to E.H. Harms
    18-Apr-2003 4:00 PM – Drop off process complete, walk back to the U-Bahn
    18-Apr-2003 4:40 PM – Check into the Hotel Uhland for 2 nights ($150)

    Between check-in and check-out on Sunday 20-Apr-2003, you are on your own to see the sights, shop, drink beer or just sleep. Regardless of what you do, and any money you spend, the costs cannot be added to the cost of the trip as these are discretionary expenditures, and for food, you have to eat anyway, so that does not count either.

    20-Apr-2003 12:00 PM – Check out of the Hotel Uhland
    20-Apr-2003 12:15 PM – Take a train from just outside the hotel to MUC Airport
    20-Apr-2003 1:00 PM – Check in for Lufthansa #410
    20-Apr-2003 3:30 PM – Lufthansa #410 Departs MUC
    20-Apr-2003 6:25 PM – Lufthansa #410 Arrives JFK
    20-Apr-2003 7:10 PM – Through Customs, find Limo and ride home ($65)

    Beyond the above travel expenses, the only extra expense you will incur is an extra month of financing, which in my case is $558, so according to my above numbers and the extra payment, the total cost of the trip comes out to $1,479, yielding a net savings of $4,200 on a car configured like mine. Even if you are inclined to add your lost pay (or vacation time) for the single (Friday) day off of work, it is still unlikely that you will erase the entire savings.

    If on the other hand you are already planning a trip to Europe, as I was, and if you were going to have to rent a car anyway (as I would have done), not only can you eliminate the travel expenses from the equation, but you can add back the cost of the car rental as well, which is about $300 per week for a VW Jetta class of car. Given that I spent a week over there, my total savings is more like $6,000 compared to what it would have been if I had paid MSRP here in the States AND taken the trip to Paris anyway.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Regarding negotiations with the dealer:

    I got on the BMWUSA web site, obtained the name and phone number of the four closest dealers (all within 15 miles), that took 10 minutes, tops. I then called the first dealer, got a salesman on the phone and said, "Will you sell me a 530i via the BMW European Delivery Program for $1,500 over ED Invoice?"

    His response was, "Hmmm, we don't usually do that kind of deal. Can I call you back in 10 minutes?"

    "Yes, my phone number is..."

    Eight minutes later, he called me back and asked me, "If I agree to this deal, are you ready to buy right now?"

    "If you agree, I will be there in less than an hour to sign the paperwork and pay you a deposit."

    The entire transaction was over in less than two hours from the time when I first looked up the list of the dealerships.

    Trip Planning:

    In my case, this is less of an issue as we were going to Europe anyway; however, using, it took me about 20 minutes to make the plane reservations R/T to Munich and the hotel reservations in Paris. As we were going in April, I didn't figure on having too much of a problem finding hotel rooms while we were touring, and I didn't.


    I do not count this as a valid expense. Passports are good for 10 years, and can be renewed by mail. A new Passport costs $85 (regardless of whether it is a new issue or a renewal) to process. In addition, you need two "Passport Photographs" of yourself, so when I include my time to have the pictures taken, the time to print out the application (, fill it out, lick the envelope, stamp it and mail it, we are still talking less than $200, which works out to $20 per year. Given that I used my Passport twice last year, the cost that can be allocated for my ED trip is $10.

    Miscellaneous Expenses:

    IMHO, expenses for meals and such are not valid as one must eat anyway, that and you are fed two meals (dinner and breakfast over, and lunch and a snack on the way back) each way. In Europe many hotels include a breakfast or offer one for a very nominal charge (the Hotel Uhland is no exception). Basically that means that you need to provide for your own dinner Friday and Saturday nights and you Lunch on Saturday, everything else is covered. Once again, you will need to eat anyway, will it cost you more to eat in Munich than here in the States? Probably not by much, if at all.

    Exchanging Currency:

    We now live in the era of the ATM, I haven't "Exchanged Currency" since 1991. These days, you simply walk up to the nearest ATM, stick in your card, and out pops local currency, debited directly to your account, and with no "Exchange Fees" associated, you get the EXACT prevailing exchange rate.

    Waiting around in airports:

    Hmmm, nobody can "Bill" all of the time, we all need some "Down time". I use airport and airplane time as the time to catch up on reading the latest Tom Clancy or Nelson Demille. Maybe I'm just wierd, however I actually look foreward to this time just so that I can relax. Needless to say, in my mind, this is "No Charge".

    Final Thoughts:

    Riez, you must understand, you and I sing from the same page of the BMW Hymnal on most things BMW. I know that I can count on you being my "Loyal Opposition" regarding the ED thing, as you can count upon me being the same for you. In the end, we are both right, it just depends upon what one's priorities are. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    According to my salesman: Not only do ED cars not come out of the dealership allocations, and not only do they count toward bonuses and commisions, they also count in the calculations for what the dealership gets allocated in future years.

    It is certainly in a dealerships' best interest to sell as many ED cars as possible, even at a minimal profit.

    Best Regards,
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    ED can be a good deal, but you're skewing the numbers.

    1. $5300 MSRP savings sounds awfully high. Assuming you make the same deal over invoice, you'd have to be getting a 7-series or something to make this work out. The savings is more like $2500 on a 3-series. Obviously, the more expensive the car, the bigger the potential savings.

    2. You're not going to save sales tax unless you do some shenanigan with your DMV. You're going to get charged sales tax by your local dealer exactly as if you bought the car at the dealer.

    3. You're forgetting the 2-3 months of carrying lease/car payments on a car you don't have. (30-days prior to delivery and 6-8 weeks getting the car home).

    - Mark
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Fair enough, I wrote the above according to my memory, so, I just checked the numbers, and here is what I came up with.

    Vehicle Price:
    MSRP: $47,395.00
    My Price: $42,180.00 (ED Inv + $1,500)
    Savings: $5,215.00 (I was high by $85)

    Sales Tax: (I Leased my car in NJ, so 6% is the tax)
    @MSRP: $1,137.48
    @My Price $824.58
    Savings: $312.90

    What I forgot to mention (and why the numbers that I backed into from above came out the way they did) is that last year when I got my car, there was a thing known as a "Luxury Tax" as well, which was 3% above $38,000.

    2002 Luxury Tax:
    @MSRP: $281.85
    @My Price: $125.40
    Savings: $156.45

    Final Tally:
    Vehicle: $5,215.00
    Sales Tax: $312.90
    Lux Tax: $156.45
    Total savings: $5,684.35 (For 2003, that savings would be $5,527.90)

    In the end my number (once again, written from memory) was off by $15.65, not too bad for a year. ;-) That said, the same car bought this year for the same price would both cost a little less, and receive less savings, and for the same reason, the Luxury Tax went away as of 1-Jan-2003.

    Regarding my negotiated deal; some dealerships will deal on cars in stock, some on cars on order, some on ED cars, and some on any or all of the above. Due to the reasons posted in #316, I was able to get a $1,500 over ED Invoice deal, I never asked about a car purchased from their allocation.

    Regarding Sales Tax; I have lived in (and bought cars in) seven different states, and with the exception of New Hampshire (where I now live), which has no sales tax at all; the tax is calculated upon the negotiated price of the car, NOT on MSRP. So, the better the deal you get, the less tax you pay.

    Regarding transit time; I picked my car up here in the States three weeks to the day after I dropped it off in Munich. Granted, that was in NJ, in CA we are talking an entirely different story.

    Regarding lost payments; I did in fact include the extra up front payment required for the ED Program, which in my case was $558. I did not include the "Lost Time" while the car was in transit, which was three weeks, which works out to another $398.

    I hope this clears up any confusion. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    you continue to compare $1500 over ED invoice to U.S. delivery MSRP. People who are willing to negotiate $1500 over ED invoice can just as easily negotiate $1500 over US delivery invoice. This reduces all your numbers about about half.

    Second, my understanding is that ED cars must be paid for in full 30-days prior to delivery in Europe. And most folks report the car taking 6-8 weeks. This is certainly more than a single extra payment made while you have no car to show for it.

    Just to anticpate your next post, you're going to say that ED cars don't come out of dealer's allocation so you can drive a better deal. While this may be true in some tight markets, I don't think it is true in most markets. Certainly, $1500 over invoice is very doable on a non-M 3-series or 5-series right now and you can do even better on some models of 5-series. Finally, you can always bargain more aggressively for a car on the lot. So deal-wise, I'd call it a wash.

    We can split the numbers several ways but apples-to-apples, there are very few ED buyers who realize a total net savings of $5500 as you purport. On the average, it is more like $2000-$2500 from which you need to subtract any incremental travel costs.

    - Mark
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Just to anticpate your next post, you're going to say that ED cars don't come out of dealer's allocation so you can drive a better deal. While this may be true in some tight markets, I don't think it is true in most markets."

    Sorry, this is absolutely true in every US market. In my shopping experience, I found it easier to get the dealer to bend on the ED price then they were on the price of a car that came out of their allocation. In fact, the three dealerships that I have visited over the last several years had very little unsold inventory either inbound or on their lots, so why should they bargain? Another thing to consider is that while an ED car does not come out of the allocation, it DOES count toward future allocations, thus another incentive for a dealership to sell ED cars.

    FWIW, I have stated that the savings on a vehicle like mine is about $5,500 (when compared with MSRP), on the Vehicle. I have also stated that IF you were not already planning a trip to Europe, and did a quickie three day trip, you would have to deduct a minimum of $1,500 for any savings on the car (including one extra finance payment), and depending upon where you live, as many as two more payments while the car is on the water.

    Of course, the flip side of this is when an individual is already going to be there. In my case, my wife and I were going to be in Paris, and we were going to rent a car and tour around Europe a little. In this type of scenario, we actually found it to be cheaper to fly into Munich instead of Paris, where we picked up my car, and had a blast driving through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and then back into Germany. Not only were the airline tickets a bit cheaper, but we had no rental car expenses at all. Based upon the way I am inclined to do my accounting, I got to add the cost of the car that I did not rent on top of the savings on the vehicle. So, I saved about $5,700 on the "Out The Door" price of the car, less 7 weeks of payments (1 month pre-payment, and 3 weeks in transit -- $558 + $398), plus the rental car savings ($300), giving me a total savings of $5,044. Not too bad.

    Best Regards,
  • kevinjskevinjs Posts: 19
    I am trying to find the site of the ed prices. i found on one site, the ed msrp, but not the invoice prices, which is where the real savings come in. please inform
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Please look at the PDF's over on

    You will find the invoice prices down on page two of each of the price sheets.

    Best Regards,
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I have no issue with your computing a number based on MSRP. But it is meaningless as a guage of ED costs savings - you can't assume someone would drive a hard bargain on ED but walk in and pay full list for US delivery. People report here and elsewhere of doing $1500 over invoice on US delivery every week.

    IOW, your $5K figure is bogus as a tool to be used by someone who wants to truly know how much they'll "save" by doing ED. There are lots of variables, but I think $2K is more representative of the true savings. I'll let things ride at that and stop belaboring this.

    - Mark
  • smb6smb6 Posts: 1

    I went to and now have confidential wholesale price for a 2004 model BMW 330Cic [effective April 1, 2003].

    This board [helpfully!] has given me the approach to get a dealer to agree to [for example] $1500 over ED invoice.

    Is that price based on: "Base Price Euro Delivery Munich Pick Up" on the site?

    Also should I expect to ALSO pay in addition to the [my example] $1500 over ED invoice the DESTINATION & HANDLING fee that on the site shows an additional $635 cost?

    Are there any other "typical" fees I should expect a dealer to try to additionally throw at me when I am negociating the ED price?

    I really want to buy a 2004 330Cic ASAP for ED.

    This board's help has been amazing.

    Thanking ALL in advance.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The way you calculate a "$1,500" over deal is as follows:

    Start with the "Base Price Euro Delivery Munich Pick Up", add the invoice cost of each option (the same price as a domestic purchase), add the "Destination & Handling" (which is $695 by the way), and then add dealer profit (I think that $1,500 is fair).

    The only other "Extra Charges" that are sometimes valid are the "Regional Advertising" (or MACO) costs. Some markets charge MACO regardless of whether the car is ED or not, in other markets, ED cars are exempt.

    Let us know how you do.

    Best Regards,
  • loubctloubct Posts: 39
    smb6: I ordered an ED purchased 2004 330 CIC al couple of months ago. Take the ED Invoice (Confidential Wholesale Price) for the car and all options. Add in the destination & handling fee. The only other fees that you should be charged are the "dealer profit" & and processing fee (~$40). I did not pay an MACO fee. Also options for the car are priced at ED Invoice. You can email me if you have any questions. I am going to Munich in May.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    When buying a BMW in Houston, getting $500 off of US MSRP is about as much as you will get. So consider the following 03 BMW 325i strippy (D&H is the same in all situations.

    US MSRP 27800
    US invoice 25460
    ED MSRP 25855
    ED invoice 23530

    If ou pay MSRP, your ED savings is $1,945. this may not be worth the cost of ED. Even when dealing up from invoice (US invoice-ED invoice), your savings drops to $1,930. The reference becomes, how close can you get to ED invoice considering that most BMW buyers (non-enthusiasts) pay close to US MSRP when they pick up a car from the dealer. If you order you vehicle, you still have to wait. There are alot of hidden costs that can be involved in ED. But if the original intention is a vacation, like Shipo and others, then the vacation cost is separate from the vehicle purchase. The vehicle purchase just tops off a marvelous vacation.

    Also, the more expensive the vehicle, the greater the savings. I would also note, those that buy more expensive vehicles (7 series or Volvo S80) probably spend more on their vacation but might also be traveling on frequent flyer miles. So the cost of ED really varies from person to person. What may be a savings for Shipo might be a major expense for you.

    What is preferred? Go to a BMW center, see the car that you want. With the options you want and get it for a fair price. Drive off the lot that day.

    The intention of ED, you can check the BMW, Volvo, Saab, M-B and Porsche site, is to time your car pickup with your vacation and avoid the rental (about $400 a week for a midsize car). I, personally, would not consider the two pickup. I like driving in Europe and with your car is a bonus. With M-B and Porsche, it can cost your more doing ED. I think with Porsche the cost of doing ED is $2000 additional.
  • not to add fuel to the fire, but i ended up ordering a 330i for June European Delivery. the savings for me were about $3340 after taxes, etc. my wife and i were going to go to europe in the fall, so we just pushed up our trip to the summer (high season, unfortunately). the savings more than pays for the trip. :)
  • 1violinist1violinist Posts: 338
    Having lived in Europe for a few years I think ED would be a great opportunity for me to go back and revive the good ol' days.. in a brand new bimmer! :-)

    I have a couple of questions for the ED experts here:

    1) When buying thru ED program can you order a European trim that's not offered at the US dealers?

    2) Does shipping time vary depending on which ED center in Europe you leave your car at (Paris vs. Munich for example)?

    3) When your car arrives in the US, does it get delivered to your house or do you have to pick it up from the dealer?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Question 1: Usually no, however, BMW has occasionally allowed Euro-Only options such as cloth interiors and sun shades to be ordered on North American cars, regardless of whether they were ordered through the ED program.

    Question 2: Shipping time does in fact vary, that said, the difference between Paris and Munich is probably irrelevant. That said, drop it off in Rome, and it will most likely be several weeks different, not to mention an extra thousand miles on the Odometer. If I am not mistaken, when you drop your car off at most of the southern European locations, they drive your car some or all of the way back to Bremerhaven. From Munich and Paris, your car is trucked to the port.

    Question 3: When your car makes it to the U.S. port, it goes through the VPC just like any other new BMW, and on to the dealership where you ordered it. You then get the opportunity to have your car "Delivered" to you a second time (first time in Munich, the second time at your dealership).

    Best Regards,
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    My cut at answers:

    1. Generally no. I have heard a few rumors of a dealer going to bat for a special "behind the scenes" order through BMWNA for a special color or trim, but it is very uncommon and there is no routine process for getting non US options on US spec cars.

    2. At a couple dropoff sites (like Italy I believe - check BMW's web site), your car is driven back to a port, so that would definitely add time. Beyond this, I'm not aware of any pattern in shipping times. Since the car-carrier ships don't run that often, you're looking at quite a bit of +/- variability that will likely dominate over any port's advantage in shipping time.

    3. That's up to the dealer, but I'm sure most would do it. Once the car arrives at your local dealer, it is just like any other US delivery.

    Hope this helps,

    - Mark
  • 1violinist1violinist Posts: 338
    Thanks a lot for the info!

    Another silly question: when you receive your new car in Munich, does the odometer read 'zero' miles? I know it sounds crazy, but I just like to turn the key and see 000000 ... :-)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry, between the production line and the European delivery center, there are trucks, parking lots, vehicle prep centers, and probably a few other things that the car needs to be moved for. If I remember correctly, mine read something like 000001.2

    Best Regards,
  • 1violinist1violinist Posts: 338
    Thanks Mr. ED! :-)

    I came across this site. I think it's pretty good. What do you think?

  • cabaistecabaiste Posts: 31
    I'm picking up an ED 330xi 6 speed at the end of this month. I'm in the "Shipo camp" when it comes to the savings. They're HUGE ! I'm saving $5500+ off MSRP with an ED from a dealer who agreed to $500 over ED Invoice. Even if we all agree that I should be able to get a healthy discount from a dealer (I'd imagine I could negotiate $2000 off a local dealer in Northern NJ), I still save a lot more than the cost of a trip.
    I'm taking a long weekend ski break in Garmisch rather than heading up to Vermont. With airfares under $300 RT from the East Coast to MUC right now, theres never been a better time to do an ED (its a pity the Dollar has fallen against the Euro though, guess I cant have it all!)
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I will add to Shipo and markjenn

    Q1. Your dealer might no go to bat for you, but depending on the accessories. They could be purchased at a BMW center. You generally get cheaper prices by using a center that is not owned by BMW AG.

    Q2. The closer that you drop off to Bremerhaven or Antwerp, the better your chances of getting your car quicker. RoRo generally goes from Bremerhaven to Zeebrugge to Southampton then to N.A.

    Mine got to the U.S. fast but got help in at Port Neat, NJ. Then my car got trucked to S.C. for processing. My car should have only took four weeks max.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I want to know if this happens often. I went thru BMW Finance when I financed my car. I did the loan about one month before pickup, but I did not make my first payment until I got home from England. Is this the norm? It seems that most cases that I have read about, the individuals had made a payment before going to MUC.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My wife and I stayed in the Grand Hotel in Garmisch last April. We really loved it, have a wonderful time.

    Best Regards,
  • cabaistecabaiste Posts: 31
    I'm picking up an ED 330xi 6 speed at the end of this month. I'm in the "Shipo camp" when it comes to the savings. They're HUGE ! I'm saving $5500+ off MSRP with an ED from a dealer who agreed to $500 over ED Invoice. Even if we all agree that I should be able to get a healthy discount from a dealer (I'd imagine I could negotiate $2000 off a local dealer in Northern NJ), I still save a lot more than the cost of a trip.
    I'm taking a long weekend ski break in Garmisch rather than heading up to Vermont. With airfares under $300 RT from the East Coast to MUC right now, theres never been a better time to do an ED (its a pity the Dollar has fallen against the Euro though, guess I cant have it all!)
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    How did you folks get such cheap airfare? Orbitz and Expedia are quoting 1900 round trip for travel in the summer!
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