The European Pick-up Option
Just imagine yourself in your new BMW or Porsche racing around the autobahn before jetting home to meet your automobile stateside. It’s an available option that even comes with an array of VIP perks such as significant discounts from a car’s list price and special-access factory tours.
Here is what you can expect from some European car companies.
Aside from the thrill of driving on public roads at a legal 155 mph—the electronically governed limit on most German cars—the greatest appeal of Mercedes-Benz’s European delivery program is a 7 percent discount on the retail price of most models. It also comes with niceties such as 15 days of zero-deductible comprehensive insurance, shipping costs to the United States, and a tour of the factory.
Mercedes-Benz recommends placing your order through a local dealer four months in advance but notes it can sometimes accommodate requests in as few as three weeks.
The optional Black Forest-Alps Rally package ($1,300 per couple) offers a self-guided tour of the region with four nights at a luxury hotel. And no visit to Stuttgart would be complete without a stop at the new Mercedes-Benz museum. Housed in a daring example of modern architecture, the museum exhibits the company’s century-plus history in a broad pathway that winds gradually downward through several stories to the ground floor.
Not only is European delivery a good excuse to visit Germany, but it actually makes financial sense. Cars purchased through BMW’s program qualify for discounts of up to seven percent, which can usually cover the expense of a roundtrip business-class ticket on Lufthansa. BMW’s list of extras include 14 days of zero-deductible comprehensive insurance, shipping costs to the United States, and a visit to the manufacturer’s museum in Munich.
If you haven’t made other plans for your time in Europe, BMW offers buyers a trio of self-guided tours: Lakeside, Alpine, and Castles. Each lasts five days and costs between $3,100 and $3,650 per person. BMW’s Munich location is easily accessible to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France.
A note: Since BMW’s X5 and Z4 models are built in the United States, they cannot be purchased through the European delivery program.
If there’s one marque that begs for European roads, it’s Porsche—and that’s why it’s almost criminal to pass up a chance to master the winding Tuscan lanes or Alpine passes before the car settles into life as a commuter or a weekend warrior. Depending on the model you order, you’ll head to one of two locations: Most sports cars are built near Stuttgart, Germany, while Porsche assembles Cayennes in the former East German city of Leipzig.
Unlike most programs, European delivery from Porsche is an extra cost option that will add a few thousand dollars to a car’s list price. That said, the Porsche program includes the expected perks: comprehensive insurance, shipment back to the United States, and a complimentary hotel room during your first night in Europe. It also comes with optional tour packages and a 35 percent discount for first- and business-class flights on Lufthansa.