Getting the Most from your BMW European Delivery Experience!
Participating in the BMW European Delivery Program and collecting your new car at the BMW Welt in Munich is like visiting Disneyland for Grownups! The excitement that you’ll feel the night before you pick up your car will have you sleepless with anticipation. The joy of seeing your new car that you’ve been dreaming about for months finally becomes reality, AND you’re in Munich! What could be better?
This Planning Guide is a companion to the BMW North America and European websites and has practical planning tips for having the best experience with the BMW European Delivery Program. Topics Include:
- Advance Planning / When to Order
- Selecting the right BMW Dealer to work with
- Creating your BMW European Delivery Order
- Financing and Leasing a European Delivery Vehicle
- Planning your trip to Munich and beyond (logistics)
- Winter Driving Consideration / Winter Tire Rental
- Driving your New BMW in Germany and EU Countries
- Delivery Day! – What to Expect at the BMW Welt
- Dropping off your BMW for Transport Home
- Tracking your BMW during Transport and Redelivery at your Dealer
- BMW Performance Center Delivery Option in Spartanburg (USA)
Can’t a Dealer do all of this for You?
Well, yes. It is completely possible to have your dealer handle the entire process, however most European Delivery customers are also huge BMW fans who want up close participation in every step of the process. You also have a Trip to Munich to coordinate which is outside the scope of your Dealer. With a good dealer and awareness of steps requiring advance planning, you will have an awesome BMW experience including multiple tours and a real behind the scenes look inside the world of BMW.
Can you save Money on a BMW European Delivery?
While you do save approximately 5% off of list price, you can probably negotiate a similar or better discount on a car already in the United States. The real reason to participate in BMW European Delivery is to get a car ordered to your exact specification, expose you to the heritage of the brand and BMW Culture, experience Munich (at minimum), and get a discount. Some dealers may be willing to negotiate lower than the published BMW European Delivery pricing, however that is up to each dealer individually.
Depending on the trip you are pairing with your BMW European Delivery, this guide is meant to help you with the pre-plan and review what you should keep in mind as you prepare to navigate through the process and plan your trip to Munich. Below this map of BMW Drop off locations, are individual sections which you may click to read. This guide is intended to get your creative ideas flowing!
Consider touring the exact factory where your BMW model was manufactured. Nearby Dingolfing and Regensburg is the home of many models not built in Munich. Also note that within Munich alone, there are several BMW Group related tours that you can participate in addition to the Munich factory.
Let’s get started!
Map of BMW Drop Off Cities (Click) / List Below of European Delivery Topics:
Planning for your BMW European Delivery
You will have the best experience if you plan your European Delivery and surrounding trip several months in advance. A trip with a newly minted car is a special experience and you have different opportunities when you have your own car to take on a European journey. Here are some of the initial considerations:
Start by imagining your trip to Munich and plan your calendar looking back to when your order should be placed.
- Cars may be booked in w/ BMW production up to 5 months in advance – early is essential if you wish to coordinate your pickup with a visit to the Oktoberfest in Munich or another busy tourist time in Munich.
- The minimum amount of lead time for an order is typically 60 days (before your desired pickup date)
- The minimum amount of time for a BMW Individual order is typically 90 days prior to desired pickup date
- Be aware of all BMW Welt and Factory holidays (see holiday calendar), you cannot take delivery on holidays or weekends.
- BMW Dealer allocation may affect how soon your order can be placed (depending on model, see section below on dealer selection and allocation).
- Vehicle Production Cycle. The next model year can begin production as early as June of the preceding year while other models may commence in July, August, or September. You may want to time your order for production according to the model year you want to receive.
- Review the drop-off cities (also see map above)– A journey from Munich to Paris in the fall? Or Munich to Amsterdam in the summer? Perhaps a circle trip beginning and ending in Munich visiting the Bavarian Alps, Black Forest, Romantic Road, or other German castles and villages. You can also tour some of the more distant BMW factories. Many of the drop off locations (including Munich) are at or near airports from where you may depart for your return home.
- Review insurance needs. BMW European Delivery program includes 14 days of complimentary road insurance. If you plan to have the driving portion of your trip be longer than 14 days (add in pick-up and drop off day), you will need to request additional insurance in advance.
- Having an idea about your desired model, travel dates, and rough idea of your road trip is your starting point. From there you begin with dealer selection and placing your order.
Selecting the right BMW Dealer for your Order
After you’ve built your ideal car in the BMW configurator, you will take that information to a BMW dealer – you can also request to be contacted by a local dealer directly through the BMW USA website. Just as all dealers may not be equal when it comes to purchasing a car on site, the same holds true (and becomes more important) if you are considering European Delivery as your purchase relationship with the Dealer will last anywhere from 2 to 6 months (or more). In this section, we’ll discuss a few tips on selecting the right dealer for a BMW European Delivery – and you should probably talk to more than one initially.
Some dealers may be less experienced and knowledgeable in the process, which, if done haphazardly may add a lot of frustration since there are key timing elements and steps to follow in order to have your car ready – with the color and options you wanted – exactly on time for your delivery date in Munich.
Qualities to consider for Selecting a dealer
You want to select a dealer that will keep you in the loop on all phases of your order and make you feel like a participant rather than a nuisance as there are several questions and steps during the process.
- Knowledge. A dealer or sales advisor who specializes in, or is deeply experienced in European Delivery orders is recommended as you want somebody who knows the steps and is keeping an internal eye on the car as it moves through the production stages and the calendar to be sure you get information in on time to line up with your travel plans.
- Dealer has a model allocation available for production in the month before you want to collect (mostly an issue for the higher-end, lower production volume models).
- Dealer Pricing – BMW has published European Delivery pricing reflecting an approximate 5% discount off the MSRP (dropped from 7% in previous years), however some dealers may offer additional discounts, while others may not. Model popularity may also affect dealer willingness to offer further discounts.
- Location – Depending on where you live, you may have multiple or a single option for selecting a dealer. If you only have a single dealer option, be sure to do as much advance “homework” as possible. All the usual “shopping skills” of researching options and pricing in advance would apply to your European Delivery order except for the special MSRP European Delivery Pricing on the vehicle itself. Try to know what you want before you walk in the door.
- Knowledge. A dealer or sales advisor who specializes in, or is deeply experienced in European Delivery orders is recommended as you want somebody who knows the steps and is keeping an internal eye on the car as it moves through the production stages and the calendar to be sure you get information in on time to line up with your travel plans.
What is dealer allocation and why does it matter?
Every BMW dealer is given an allotment of cars to order each month based on their size and sales volume which contains a variety of models to populate their inventory. It used to be that one of these allocated cars would be re-assigned to you for your European Delivery order and you could only order from what the dealer had been allocated. BMW of North America now has a separate allocation available for European Delivery cars, however it does not include every model. Those models not in the BMW European Delivery Program allocation must still come from the dealer’s own allocation. Cars subject to this are generally high-demand or limited production vehicles like the M4 or other coveted models.
If other customers are waiting “in line” to buy one of these Dealer allocated models, you may not be able to place your European Delivery order until an allocation slot becomes available for you. This is a factor to investigate when selecting your dealer and/or coordinating a delivery to your travel timeframe. You should be able to confirm with your dealer if the vehicle you want to order will come from the BMW European Delivery Program allocation or from Dealer allocation. It may only be necessary to “dealer shop” based on allocation if the car you want to order must come from the dealer’s allotment.
Cars that come from European Delivery allocation are basically an “extra car” for the dealer inventory and may also be possible to order with a shorter lead time. It may also make it easy for them to consider pricing flexibility.
Creating your European Delivery Order
Once you have selected a dealer, you’ll arrange a time to come in and create your order. Expect the process to take an hour or so.
- Bring a printout of your desired build and options from the BMW Website. Make a list of your desired options, packages and any option codes if you know them. Sometimes option ABC is part of Package XYZ – this can be helpful for you do double check the dealers work, but this is their area of expertise and if you selected a good dealer, you’ll be fine. Note that you may only order currently available options for the US Market. You cannot order features exclusive to, or meant for other markets.
- If you have no idea about color or interior selection, have look at the brochure and advertising. BMW will always showcase popular color combinations and that can be helpful to you. It is also sometimes helpful to visit as many dealerships as practical to view color combinations or interiors in person. Some folks know exactly what they want, while others may need inspiration. For some choosing a color can be annoyingly angst creating. You can have whatever you want – you just have to decide what that will be!
- Build the car that YOU want. Don’t calculate what color or options will be good for resale. A BMW European Delivery car is one of those “Dream Come True” bucket-list items and you shouldn’t scrimp if you don’t have to. If you’re concerned about resale, then consider leasing your car.
- Your order must be in the name of the person who will pick up the vehicle in Munich. You cannot buy the car in a company name or pick up a car on behalf of someone else.
- Your dealer may require a deposit. It is up to you to ask if your deposit is refundable or not should you cancel. This can vary by dealer and state according to law.
- You may be required to complete a credit application. This is not to begin financing, but rather allows the dealer to run your credit to ensure that you should be able to finance/afford the purchase. This may be done even if you intend to pay cash – again, varies by dealer policy. Unless you are on a short timeline and need to finance soon, you will re-do this step closer to your delivery date when it is time to finance.
- You should request that the dealer print out your order from the system. This will allow you and your sales advisor to review the entered color, wheels, and options to double check that nothing was missed. It will also provide you with a production number which is how you track the order through the BMW system as a VIN number is not assigned until the vehicle is actually in production.
- You should ask your dealer how long before your order becomes locked in the system. It may be possible to make changes in your order on longer lead-time orders. However, there becomes a point 6 to 8 weeks before production where changes will no longer possible as manufacturing and parts must be arranged specific to your build. If you are on the fence about a color or adding an option, you often have a small window of opportunity for making a change. However, don’t leave this to chance. Knowing when your order is going to be locked is helpful. Sometimes you’re ordering a color and you’ve never seen it in person – expect a little angst and anticipation but know that changes are possible until the order is locked.
- Next Model year options may be different. If you are placing an order that will be built later in the year as the next year’s model, you may not have the exact same set of options or colors to select from – your dealer will advise you if this applies and re-connect with you as soon as the next model year specifics hit the system. This is also why orders don’t lock down until a certain point in the process. Again, you want a dealer who keeps an eye on things!
While you buy the car from a BMW Dealer, your Dealer first buys the car from BMW of North America. BMW wants payment from the dealer no less than 15 days before delivery to you in Munich. Therefore, your dealer may ask you to arrange your financing 30 or to 45 days in advance so that things will be ready when needed.
- Finance through BMW Financial Services (recommended)
- Lease through BMW Financial Services (recommended)
- Cash or other outside financing
If you are not paying cash outright, the clear winner is BMW F/S because most other lenders will not lend money for a car that is not physically located in the United States. BMW F/S understands this, will make such loans on BMW’s, and it makes choosing them an obvious choice. They also carry insurance on your vehicle during transport as your German road insurance does not apply. So, in the event your car “falls off the boat” or becomes otherwise damaged or destroyed (not likely) on its journey to the US, it is insured when financed through BMW F/S.
Rates and Terms are generally competitive, but you may want to explore financing in advance of starting your BMW European Delivery Program order.
How is Leasing handled for BMW European Delivery?
You can now lease your BMW European Delivery Program car much as you would a regular vehicle purchase with terms, fees, residuals and such. Your lease term will commence on the day that you pick the car up at BMW Welt in Munich. BMW F/S may be your only leasing option as they will lease a vehicle not currently sitting in the United States. Additionally, BMW F/S includes a credit to your account in the amount of one payment to partially compensate for the time that your leased vehicle will be in transit to America.
If you finance or lease your car, you must drop your car off for transport to the US within 90 days of pickup.
Cash payment is always an option
You can always purchase the car outright either with cash or funds from other sources such as a home equity line, etc. Just be prepared for the dealer request payment up to a month before your delivery day to make full payment. Also note the “gap” in marine/shipping insurance when not financing through BMW F/S. You should discuss this with your Insurance Agent. It may make sense to initially finance with BMW F/S to have coverage during transport, and later payoff or refinance if it is advantageous to you. Lastly, when I say “cash” payment I mean writing a check or transferring funds. Dealers are required to report actual green cash payments that exceed $10,000 to the IRS. Be sure to consult your tax advisor, BMW dealer, yada yada…
What comes next?
Once your order is in, you will begin receiving communication from BMW of North America regarding your upcoming delivery. A few weeks before your scheduled delivery, they will send you a collection packet containing detailed instructions, vouchers for your tours (which you must book), and paperwork that you will bring with you when you come to collect your new BMW. The BMW North America European Delivery Group is knowledgeable and helpful and can answer almost all of your questions on the spot. They can be reached directly at (800) 932-0831, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning for your Trip to Munich and beyond
The other half of the European Delivery experience is planning where to drive and what to do with your awesome BMW in Germany. Aside from the Autobahn, there are scenic drives both within and outside of Germany that are excellent sightseeing and driving experiences.
You can handle the trip planning, but here are some suggestions and factors to consider making your road trip go smoothly:
- Make certain that your luggage will fit into your new car! This seems so simple, but if you’re collecting that cute convertible, you’d better know that every piece of luggage you are planning to bring will fit in the space you will have. Even though Germany is relatively safe, you don’t really want to leave any of your belongings in the back seat on view for passersby. You can always take your suitcase(s) to your local BMW dealer and try them out in a similar car on the lot. Your dealer will understand, but you will be glad that you thought this through!
- Look for hotels that have ample and secure parking available – for this particular road trip, you’ll want to pay a little extra attention to the available parking at any of your hotel stops. Hotels in city centers sometimes have strange and cramped parking. A 7-Series is a big car, but in an “olde” European city center it is a total BEAST in a parking garage. You will gain appreciation for folding side mirrors. Just know what parking to expect before you book!
- Shy away from the parking valet if possible. I had a young valet open the door of my new Porsche into a wall in a tight parking space and it was not a happy day for me or the hotel owner. Minimize opportunity for things to happen.
- Do you need extra Insurance? The BMW European Delivery Program includes 14 days of road insurance which may only be extended (no less than two weeks) in advance of your delivery. Bumping from 14 days to 1 month is approximately $400, and additional months (up to 5) are roughly $600/month. If you are planning to stay for 3 weeks, be sure to add the additional insurance. Your pick-up and drop off days are counted in the 14 days that you must carry insurance.
- Contact your insurance agent to determine if you need any additional property, or travel medial insurance coverage while you are abroad.
- Buy a Map. Go to Amazon and order an old-fashioned map of Germany or Europe so that you can see the “big picture” to better help with your driving route for your trip. Even if you rely on GPS while driving, it will be a good backup to have handy.
- Map out all of your stops and hotels with address and phone detail and create entries in your phone and/or take a printout with you. You will need these to enter into your navigation system and can have the BMW specialist assist you entering them when you pick up your BMW in Munich. You may also be able to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto if you have these options on your vehicle.
- Contact your cell carrier to investigate an international data and roaming plan for your phone. Make this a pre-travel to-do list item. It will be an invaluable tool since you are driving and will want to use maps and have a phone in case of emergency.
- You will be given a warning triangle and first-aid kit which are required by law in Germany, and coupons for two reflective safety vests (that you can collect in the BMW Lifestyle shop in the BMW Welt). A vest is required by law for every passenger. Plan to purchase additional vests if you have more than two passengers. You can pack and bring these from home, but the ones from the BMW Welt typically have the BMW branding on them, and you may keep them at the conclusion of your travels as a (practical) souvenir.
- Driving in the Summer is much easier than in Winter for many reasons.
- Beside the better weather, you have many more hours of daylight for driving each day.
- The Autobahn is well marked but doesn’t always have direct lighting on the exit signs which are more easily missed at 130kph.
- In the summer, you can spend the bulk of a day in a city and still have daylight in the afternoon for your drive to your next destination.
- Sundays can be a good day for longer road trip segment as many more things are closed, traffic will be lighter, and you can just focus on a fun driving day.
- If you go in the Fall or Winter, check the floor mat situation. If your new BMW does not come with floor mats, or even if it does, I recommend going to the auto parts store (or good old Amazon) and getting a cheap set of floor mats to take with you to protect your new car as you may encounter rain, snow and mud. You can leave the mats behind or in the car when you drop it off and they may or may not be there when you get the car in America, but that’s not the point. Cheap, functional, and “fits in your luggage” to Germany is what you want.
Winter Driving Restrictions to Consider
- Winter tires are required by law from October 15th – April 15th unless you order all season M+S tires with your vehicle (BMW’s generally come with performance tires), you will need to rent a set of Winter tires.
- BMW partners with a 3rd party wheel exchange service that will exchange your wheels before you collect your vehicle at BMW Welt, and then switch them back after you drop it off for transport to the U.S.
- Exchange wheels are not usually pretty – they’re functional – so don’t count on fancy wheels for your Winter tire swap.
- Wheel swapping is easiest (and least expensive) if you do a Munich Drop off because dropping off to any other city requires that you pay to have your wheels delivered to that city to be reinstalled on your vehicle before transport and the rentals must also be returned to Munich.
Other surrounding countries have similar (but not identical) laws regarding Winter tires and Snow Chains that you should investigate before mapping your road journey.
Winter Tire Rental Service
- BMW Partners with a European Delivery Winter wheel rental company called EDWinterTires.com for all Winter Tire rental services. It is your responsibility to reserve and pay for your tire rental, and you should reserve your tires as far in advance as possible.
- Tire rental begins with a 2-day term with a pre-determined amount of mileage allowed, and each additional day adds cost and allows for extra driving miles.
- Depending on the BMW vehicle, the initial 2-day term ranges from 235 EUR for a 1-Series to 480 EUR for an M5. Extra day daily fees range from 27 to 55 EUR for each additional day. Remember that this charge also includes the labor to install/uninstall and storage of your swapped BMW wheels while you have the rented Winter set.
- Partial days count as a full day.
- You MUST make an advance reservation as each model has a finite available supply of wheels offered on a first come, first served basis. When reserving, you will supply your production number so they may confirm the appropriate wheel required and coordinate with BMW Welt to have wheels installed prior to your delivery.
- Note that some countries also require snow chains be in the car at certain times (i.e. Switzerland in the Alps), and you should check all requirements for your itinerary if you plan on driving during Winter months.
- In Germany, you can expect to see rain and snow as well as sunny brisk days. It’s beautiful, but you must be prepared (by law!).
Driving your BMW European Delivery Car in Germany
- Driving on the Autobahn in Germany is easy, and many believe that the Autobahn has no set speed limit, however that is not entirely correct.
- Germany has an “Advisory Speed Limit” of 130kph (81mph). Additionally, cities set speed limits which can even change during the day due to weather and traffic conditions.
- You should be aware that liability laws change (not in your favor) if you cause or are otherwise involved in an accident while driving over 130kph.
- The main thing to remember is always keep to the right unless you are passing. You should research this topic before your trip to understand local speed laws.
- If you are considering a trip to the Nürburgring there are websites dedicated to this, and they do have certain times available for tourist drivers. Understand your risks, insurance, and weather conditions and decide if you should visit as a driver or as a spectator.
- The license plate issued to your car will be a tourist plate which looks different than a resident plate. Hence, you will be somewhat identifiable as a tourist. It will have an expiration date embossed on an orange strip on one side as these plates are only for temporary use. You can generally keep your plates when you drop off your car, except if you take it to a location where it must be later driven to a transport depot (e.g. any Italian city) in which case the plates need to remain on the car.
License Plate Trivia: You can generally tell where a car is registered by the license plate. The plate will begin with one, two or three letters. The fewer the letters, the larger the city. Munich plates have “M”, Stuttgart “S”, and Berlin “B”, while Ingolstadt will have “IN” and Dingolfing will be “DGF”, and so on. It can become a great guessing game to name the cities as you make your way around Germany.
Driving your BMW in Other European Countries
- Your included insurance covers your vehicle in other European Union countries, and you will be advised of any exclusions; however, you should familiarize yourself with the driving laws for any country you plan to take your car.
- Several EU countries require that you have an International Drivers Permit IDP – it’s basically a multi-language translation of your driving license and can be obtained in advance from the Auto Club for about $20. You generally don’t need one for Germany, but depending on where you may encounter Polizei, it could prove helpful. Austria is the closest neighbor that does require that you have an IDP.
- Pay attention to posted speed limits. Enforcement cameras are used throughout Europe to catch those not obeying those limits.
- Know in advance if the countries you travel to have toll roads or require Motorway Vignette decals to be placed on your windshield. The car rental company Sixt has a clickable map showing which countries require individual tolls or vignettes to help you with a quick overview. The cost for a vignette is reasonable with Austria, for example, offering a 10-day decal for approximately 10 Euro.
- Know in advance how tolls can be paid on the routes you plan to drive. While cash and credit are often accepted, it may only be offered via certain lanes, etc. Do your homework!
- Only route your trip through countries where you feel comfortable driving your vehicle. BMW’s have been targets of thieves in the past and common sense should rule the day. Use appropriate judgement when deciding where to go as you will be parking your car somewhere nightly. If you stay within Germany, there are many BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW and Porsche cars – you will not stand out like you might in an eastern country, etc.
Don’t really want to drive your new BMW in Europe?
It is possible to accept delivery of your car at BMW Welt and immediately turn it in on the spot to be shipped to the U.S. This “Tap and Go” service has a nominal fee (approx. 85 Euro payable only in cash at BMW Welt) which covers transportation of your vehicle from BMW Welt to the port. If you plan to do this, you should advise BMW before your delivery day. It is still required for the person named on the order to accept the vehicle before it can be turned over for transport.
Delivery Day / What to expect
When the big day arrives, you’ll want to take it all in! Consider blocking out the whole day for your BMW Welt Delivery experience as you’ll have plenty to do in addition to collecting your car. It is possible to take a shuttle in from the airport directly to the BMW Welt, collect your car, and drive off. However, the better way to do things is to start the morning off at BMW Welt with a tour. Your European Delivery package includes a free factory tour and entry to the BMW Museum which can each consume about to two hours apiece. The delivery process itself takes about 90 minutes and you will have an appointed time. There are exclusive places to lounge and have a snack for delivery customers, so plan to enjoy it and don’t rush.
You are allowed to bring up to 4 people to your delivery appointment, however the principal driver(s) will want to focus on the product specialist who will go through all of the car features and help to configure some of the settings. They do have an area for kids to enjoy which may be helpful. It is not a babysitting service, but an area with educational games and mobility learning opportunities to entertain young ones while you learn about your new BMW.
For German customers, BMW offers 3 levels of collection experience called “Exclusive”, “Premium”, and “Basic”, each with differing levels of activity, time spent with specialist, tours included, and even how much gas will be in the tank. All customers from the USA receive the “Premium” level service as outlined on the BMW Welt website.
Be on time for your Scheduled Delivery appointment at the BMW Welt
BMW Welt delivers between 80 and 120 cars each day (hitting 160 at peak times) to customers from all parts of the world. BMW operates on a “just in time” principal where your new car will arrive and be prepared for delivery to the BMW Welt “just in time” for your scheduled delivery day with the notion that you will be driving it away shortly after to make room for the next incoming customer car. If you are late for your appointment due to travel, illness, or other unforeseen circumstance, it is important that you contact you BMW European Delivery coordinator in the US, and/or the BMW Welt. They will do their best to accommodate you, but you may have to re-schedule if you are visiting during a busy time. You will be best to plan a timeline that won’t stress you out. It is always a good plan to arrive into Munich on the day before scheduled pickup and go to the BMW Welt rested and refreshed the next morning.
Vehicle Registration and Road Insurance
Your BMW European Delivery vehicle has been pre-registered and assigned tourist license plates and includes 14 days of complimentary road insurance, or the term that you pre-arranged in advance for up to 5 months. It is not possible to add additional insurance when or after you collect your vehicle as it must have been pre-arranged. Among other things, your insurance requires that you must carry all keys and registration documents with you and never leave them behind in the car whenever parked. You may also wish to confirm what insurance, if any, applies to theft of personal articles left in your vehicle. This may not be included as part of your road insurance.
Bring your Questions!
You get an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with a BMW product specialist who will review all of the features of your new BMW. This is the person to ask questions about your new car. You will certainly learn a few things that you did not know, and the “bonding” process with your new BMW will begin! Sample topics to cover:
- Navigation Maps for Europe. Since you will be driving in Germany and Europe, if your vehicle is equipped with a navigation system, you will be given a USB drive with European maps and instructions to load them into your BMW. Be sure to add this to your question list to review with your BMW Specialist.
- Review Break-in Procedures. Modern cars have far fewer restrictions when it comes to breaking in than the cars of yesteryear. You should add this question to your list to discuss with the BMW Specialist. Brakes and new tires generally have a 500-mile break in where hard off-the-line acceleration or hard braking is discouraged, while the engine and transmission may have different best practices for the first 1200 miles. Be sure to ask!
- Roadside Assistance. BMW will provide you with a roadside assistance number to contact similar to that provided in the United States.
At the conclusion of your delivery presentation, you will drive your car directly off of the delivery platform in the BMW Welt down a special ramp leading to the outside boulevard for your driving adventure to begin. This is why you may want to request a delivery in the afternoon so that you can take your factory tour and see the museum before you depart.
For the first few minutes it will feel a little surreal as you get your German road bearings. Sometimes, just a journey back to the hotel will be enough to conclude the day. You can head out first thing following morning for your ultimate journey. You may want to consider missing peak traffic hours as you ease into the German driving experience.
TIP: If you have more than one day in Munich, you can certainly take delivery on one day and enjoy the factory tour, museum visit and rest of BMW Welt on another. There is a lot to see at the BMW Welt!
Dropping off your BMW European Delivery Vehicle
When your holiday comes to an end, you will be taking your vehicle to one of the designated drop-off locations. See map for overview and see this list from BMW of North America for the address, telephone and e-mail contacts.
- You should book an appointment for your drop off at least 4 days in advance. This enables the drop off center time to obtain your paperwork from BMW and be ready to accept your vehicle.
- If you plan to drop your car off in any Italian city, you must reserve 14 days in advance, there is an additional charge depending on city, and you must have at least 5 remaining days of insurance as your car will be driven back to Munich for you. If you don’t fancy somebody else driving your new BMW on the Autostrada, you may want to stick to the other drop off cities.
- If you have Winter Tires rented, be sure that you have coordinated with EDWinterTires.com for the wheel exchange. This is easy in Munich but will incur a charge if you drop off in other locations as they must transport your factory wheels to that location.
- You should completely empty the vehicle of everything that did not come in it from the factory. You cannot transport souvenirs, luggage, or other items as they are not insured for loss and may be removed and discarded at the vehicle preparation center (VPC).
- Remove and keep your warning triangle, first-aid kit, and safety vests if you wish to keep them. They may or may not be there when you next see your car in the US.
- Remove and keep your front and rear license plate*. Bring a screwdriver or other appropriate tool with you to the drop off as you need plates on the car while driving there but will want to keep your plates as a souvenir. (Dental floss works well for double sided tape if your plate is applied this way). Some drop off locations require that you leave the plates on the car, you might inquire in advance in case you want one to “fall off the car” before you turn your car in. Plates generally remain when you receive the car in the US, but there is no guarantee.
- Make a note of any items in need of attention (rattles, inoperable features, etc.) and leave one copy in the car and e-mail one copy to your dealer. This gives them the opportunity to address your concerns at the VPC or at the dealership before the car is redelivered to you.
- You may be instructed to have the car washed before you turn it in. This helps to asses any paint or other damage when you turn the car in.
- You may be instructed to have approximately ¼ tank of gas or less remaining in the vehicle. Less fuel is safer for transport.
- Take photographs of all sides of your car and the interior. You will want proof that you turned the car in without damage or wheel scrapes. Be sure to document the mileage.
- You may want to drop your car off a day before you fly out or continue your travel journey. This significantly lightens the pressure of finding the drop off location, completing paperwork and catching a flight on a single timeline. For Munich, the drop off is at the airport, however any appointment to drop off should be at least 4 hours before your scheduled flight. Alternatively, if you drop off the day/night before, you can take the S-bahn back into the city center once you drop off your car. Some drop-off locations are near shipping ports, while others are near airports. Review and plan this in advance!
Shipping Transport – Tracking your vehicle.
It is possible to track your vehicle once it gets onto a ship. You can most easily find this out by contacting the BMW NA European Delivery desk or have your dealer make the inquiry as they can help you pinpoint the exact name of this ship your vehicle is on. From there you can go online and use one of the maritime shipping trackers to watch the ship as it makes the journey to the US. This can be more fun than you might think!
While generally quoted with an estimate of 6 to 10 weeks, transportation time can vary according to:
- Where you drop off the vehicle. All cars are taken from your drop off to Bremerhaven to be shipped. The closer you drop to Bremerhaven in the North of Germany, the faster your car gets on a boat.
- What part of the US you live in. East coast cars can arrive up to 2 weeks sooner than cars going to the West Coast.
You can also track the status of your BMW 24/7 by calling 800-831-1117. When prompted say “vehicle production status.” Have your production number or last 7 characters of your VIN Number ready for the latest update.
Once your vehicle reaches the US port – it is delivered to the BMW Vehicle Preparation Center (VPC) where it is inspected and cleared for delivery to your dealer. Once cleared, it is transported and delivered to your dealer, who will clean and prep it for delivery to you.
Redelivery of your European Delivery vehicle at your local BMW Dealer
Expect the usual delivery experience as if you bought the car directly at the dealership. Your car will be shiny and clean! They will have a BMW Genius review features and answer questions or demonstrate anything that you need assistance with. Your financing will already be completed, so you just get to experience the fun part.
(Alternative to European Delivery, or Addition to it!)
BMW Performance Center Delivery in Spartanburg, NC
Performance Center Delivery is the US equivalent of the European Delivery program with a few key exceptions:
- You can order ANY current BMW model to be delivered (BMW X-vehicles are possible since they are made in Spartanburg)
- You will participate in an exhilarating track day experience on the day you collect your new BMW. BMW has you drive one of their vehicles (as opposed to your own) that is usually a model similar to the one that you purchased.
- You can visit the USA BMW Zentrum Museum and take a factory tour when you come to collect your vehicle.
- You will drive your new BMW away after delivery – it does not get shipped beyond Spartanburg. This could mean a cross-country road adventure depending on where you live.
It is possible to do both a BMW European Delivery and a BMW Performance Center Delivery. You are able to specify that your BMW European Delivery car is to be delivered to Spartanburg as the final destination instead of your local dealer. You can then participate in the Spartanburg experience and get full US experience and some track time! There is no added cost to do a Performance Center Delivery – you just have to drive home (wherever that is) after you collect your BMW.
Additional information is available about the Spartanburg Factory Tour, and the Performance Driving courses which may sway your decision to opt for a Performance Center Delivery. Likewise, if you can’t make the trip to Europe, you can always order your car specifically to be delivered at the Spartanburg BMW Performance Center.
In addition to getting a shiny new BMW, you can create any kind of wonderful vacation you desire. Having your own car to drive in Europe is a special feeling and gives you the opportunity to tailor a trip only limited by your imagination.
Consider visiting small villages and having a dinner in a spot for locals. You may encounter less English spoken but knowing just a couple of menu item names will get you by and you will have a memorable experience.
Make the most out of your BMW European Delivery and then you’ll understand why so many people consider it the trip of a lifetime! – JK