There are a number of vehicles that you can purchase in the United States and take delivery overseas and have a great vacation driving your new vehicle, then drop it back off for shipping to your dealer in the U.S. I am surprised more people do not take advantage of this great program, but in 2015 it was less than one percent.
The automakers who offer this service do a spectacular job of making your delivery experience exceptional, with courtesy transportation to and from the airport, a special delivery room, some offer meals, and will help you navigate your trip before returning the vehicle. Most will offer you a tour of their assembly plant, and some even give you discounts.
Here is a breakdown of those who offer this service:
Audi has two pickup locations in Germany in either Ingolstadt or Neckarsulm. They offer a 5% discount from MSRP except in the case of R8 and RS. In addition Audi will give you a tour of the assembly plant and serve you a meal, they’ll put you up at a hotel for one night free of charge, and will get you to and from the airport. They will also loan you a GPS unit if your car is not equipped with one, if it is, Audi will load German maps into the system, then switch it to the U.S. version before shipping the car.
BMW does its deliveries in Munich, Germany and offers the service on their 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7-series, Z4 and X1. The is one of the most popular. They give you a factory tour, have a lounge with food presentations, an engraved key chain, and a souvenir picture. In addition, if you choose to, you can take delivery in the United States at the BMW Performance Center. BMW also has arrangements with a number of airlines for discounted airfare.
Mercedes-Benz offers up a 5-7% discount off MSRP no destination charges for those who take delivery in Sindelfingen, Germany. You will get a tour of the factory and two tickets to the Mercedes museum. They will serve you breakfast or lunch in the delivery center, free taxi vouchers, a travel concierge, and local navigation maps. Mercedes offers the longest time to stay, offering up to a year before you have to return the car for shipping.
Porsche lets you choose between two delivery locations, either Zuffenhausen or Leipzig, Germany. They provide you with GPS maps for your stay, a private factory tour, free admission to the Porsche museum, lunch in a VIP lounge. You also get a souvenir photo, free taxi vouchers, one night stay in a hotel, discount airfare through Lufthansa, and you get to try out your new vehicle on the Porsche test track.
Volvo will supply you with two round trip tickets for airfare to get you to Gothenburg, Sweden. They give you one free night of lodging, and offer a 3-10% off MSRP depending on model. They will load up your GPS and you can rent winter tires if you go during bad weather months. Volvo will allow you to stay six months before shipping the car back.
Obviously, these programs are not for everyone, but if you were planning a European vacation anyway, how cool is it to order exactly the vehicle you want, see where your car is made, and then tour the country in it. Just be sure to plan your vehicle order well in advance to coordinate the rest of your trip.
Photo Credit: BMW