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      07-14-2011, 09:09 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Top Tips you *NEED TO KNOW* for European Delivery

Read before planning your European Delivery (and post your ED story here for others)!

If you're reading this, congratulations on joining a class of BMW enthusiasts.

I just became a first-time BMW owner last week and did the ED program, which exceeded my wildest expectations. For any car enthusiast (and even for my wife who is not), this experience will be one of the most unique things you will ever do!

I've posted below some tips from my experience. Please update this thread with your ED experience and photos as well!


-The ED program can be arranged through any BMW dealer in the U.S., but choose wisely. They don't all interpret the BMW rules and ED pricing the same way, as many others have posted here on bimmerpost.

-My experience was incredible, with a dealer who knows ED inside-out, was efficient at pulling strings and moving things along, and had thorough answers to every one of my questions!

-Remember that the dealer you choose does not have to be near you -- mine is over 1,000 miles away -- and I've never met him. (PM me for more details on this dealer.)


-They tell you to order your vehicle three months ahead of time. I did mine in two, which was perfect for me.

-You can make changes to the car up to two weeks before the build date. Your dealer should be able to tell you the date by when (s)he needs the final specs.


-Lufthansa will pick up the tab on a companion fare, but you must purchase a more pricy Y-class ticket first. For us, it worked out to be more flexible and economical to purchase our tickets independently.

-Remember the open jaw option, which doesn't add that much to your fare, but allows you the ultimate flexibility in planning your route. We flew into Berlin, train to Munich, then drove to Frankfurt over six days so we didn't have to backtrack on our drive.

PICK-UP (Munich)

.. .. ..

-Yes, I was drooling! Unbelievable experience! Plan to spend one entire day there if you can... it's worth it!

-Professional, knowledgeable staff. Amazing facilities.

-Brand new, recently built BMW Museum, BMW Plant Tour, BMW Welt. Our pickup time was 5:10pm and we arrived there 8am to spend a few hours at each of these sites, which are all next to one another. Plan to have lunch and maybe even dinner there.

-The Plant tour in English is at 11:30am, for which you need an advance reservation. My dealer helped arrange this for me, but you can e-mail BMW Welt directly if your dealer doesn't help with this.

-When you are shown to your car, you can ask the associate to program the "drop-off" location into your GPS.

-I recommend the Munich Marriott for their large parking spots, which was an accidental and pleasant surprise (a shame to get dinged within hours of picking up your new beauty).


-This is the most fun part of planning, with countless options all beginning in Munich. We contemplated multiple routes that included parts of France, Poland, Austria, and Switzerland. You cannot go wrong with whatever you choose.

-First, decide how much you want to drive per day, then look at Google maps to see what's realistic. We decided on about three hours driving per day and
still wanted a perfect itinerary without being too hectic.

-Next evaluate your assigned pick-up date and work around it. Our pick-up date was on a Tuesday (Day 5 of our 11 day trip). Remember that you can begin your trip in a diffent city and arrive in München (Munich) by public transportation. We spent three days in Berlin, then took a very nice overnight sleeper train (City Night Line) to München, arriving 7am one day prior to our scheduled pick-up.

-Your amazing road trip begins now! (Note that you don't have to drive the car at all. You can just sign for it, turn in your keys, and head back to the
airport if you want.)

-BMW makes suggestions for the road trip itself that focus on a particular theme like just lakes or scenery. We designed our own which allowed us to drive through countless small towns, several world-famous castles, lakes, large cities, as well as hours of heart-accelerating passionate driving through wooded hills of hairpin turns and jaw-dropping views. PM me for our route.

-Our dealer was helpful in answering questions about possible routes, as he has done some of these himself!


-They tell you the German rules of the road (yes, there are some) like never turning right on a red light. The most easy rule to overlook is that on small
roads with a 30kph speed limit, the driver coming from your right side has the right-of-way (often no stop signs at these intersections).

-I did not get an international driving permit, although some folks recommend it. Easy to get at AAA.

-Plan accordingly for filling your tank. Some small towns will not have the high octane gas you want. I filled mine exclusively at Shell with Premium
Racing 100 Octane for 1.72 Euros/liter (=$9.07/gallon) Ouch!

-If using your GPS, pay particular attention to spelling and the umlaut, the two dots above some German vowels. For example, Füssen is very far from Fussen, and Würzburg is not the same as Würzberg.

-You often have to reserve parking spaces at smaller hotels separately by contacting them directly. We stayed mostly at Marriotts in the cities, but had to do this for the B&Bs in the smaller towns. Booking.com has arranged for these requests to be made electronically through their website or e-mail.

DROP-OFF (Frankfurt)

-Your dealer should help you arrange this appointment with EH Harms, the third-party delivery company.

-Easy process. Takes 15 minutes to drop it off.

-If you will need a cab to the airport, let the EH Harms rep know. They will call so it will be waiting for you when you're done. (Remember to save cab
fare. About 20 Euros in Frankfurt, 20 minute ride. We shared a taxi van with two other folks dropping off their 5-series, 30 Euros.)

-Make sure to get a car wash before dropping off your car. I did not want bugs, grime, and tree sap sitting on my paint for six weeks. Remember that
shopping is forbidden in Germany on Sundays, and almost everything is closed except some petrol stations, museums, restaurants (basically the stuff for tourists is open). I could not find a touchless car wash (Mr. Wash and others) on a Sunday. I did an Express Wash at a Shell petrol station in
Nordwestzentrum, Frankfurt. The two cars in front and behind me were a brand new 118 and a 7 series, which made me feel better. They did a great job.

-I made a special request that the German license plates be returned to me with the vehicle. The delivery company EH Harms put a sign inside the car for me. I hope the customs folks don't take them.

-Plan to take everything with you, including the hazard triangle and first-aid kit that comes with the car. You cannot leave any items in the vehicle and expect them to be returned to you.

-Remember to save cab money for the ride to the airport!


-Many others have posted the best ways to track your car on this forum.

-I personally used three methods:
(1) Get the EH Harms agent's e-mail when you drop the car off. E-mail them for an update one week after you drop off your car.
(2) Check the Wallenius Wilhemsen website to find out which ship your masterpiece is on. (click Track and Trace, then your put your VIN number in the "Cargo" section.) Their website is at least two days behind on the update.
(3) Once you know the ship name, there are several tracking websites in real-time. I used marinetraffic.com and sailwx.info. Each made up for what the other lacked.


-Dropping off in Bremerhaven probably saves a few days since all cars are first transported here by truck before being loaded on a ship. We didn't want to travel that far north, and dropped off in Frankfurt.

-I'm not sure you can truly expedite the United States portion, but it doesn't hurt to send an e-mail directly to BMW North America: bmweuropeandelivery@bmwna.com. These are the folks that can communicate directly with the Vehicle Prep Center in NJ/NY once your beauty clears customs.

-Next it will arrive at your dealer.


-Can you do both European Delivery and South Carolina Performance Delivery? YES! My dealer coordinated this, and your dealer should also. My car is currently clearing customs and I'm waiting to hear what date I can pick up in South Carolina. I will post more tips about that experience.


-Good luck, have fun, and feel free to PM me with any questions! AND POST YOUR ED ADVICE HERE FOR OTHERS!

.. ..
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      07-14-2011, 09:18 AM   #2
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nice write up!
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      07-14-2011, 09:25 AM   #3
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thanks, can't wait to do this one day!
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      07-14-2011, 01:28 PM   #4
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The Bimmerfest European Delivery forum is the best place to learn about Euro Delivery and to get advice.
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      07-14-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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Great information! I did mine almost a year ago for my 335is, and can't wait to do another one soon.

Protip: Try to couple Oktoberfest with European Delivery and the weather is beautiful that time of the year too.

Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
The Bimmerfest European Delivery forum is the best place to learn about Euro Delivery and to get advice.
This right here, it's an ED information heaven.

Along with http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index...opean_Delivery
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      07-14-2011, 03:43 PM   #6

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That was awesome!
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      07-14-2011, 09:07 PM   #7

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There are a few factual errors in your write-up that should be mentioned.

East Germany has always had "right on red" and this was partially adopted throughout Germany after the reunification.

Intersections where it is safe to turn right on red (after coming to a complete stop are marked with either a lit green arrow like we find here in the US or with a sign affixed to the traffic light. Here is an example of the sign

The second traffic related correction relates to right of way. For some reason, many Americans have a problem with this concept (this is the number 1 cause of accidents with US military members in Germany and the number one reason for failing the already dumbed down test.)

Right before left is the prevailing rule of thumb on residential streets if not marked otherwise, but main roads have the right of way.

Main roads are marked with a and a indicates that you have the right of way at the next intersection only. There are various other signs that will indicate which road has the right of way.

The section about shopping is a bit misleading as well. Store hours are regulated by each state and each state determines how many Sundays a year a store may be open, ranging from 6 to 13.Drug stores, bakeries and stores selling milk or milk products can be open every Sunday but generally for no longer than 5 hours. In Bavaria for example (a preeminently Catholic state) the above mentioned stores may only be open on Sunday at times when there are no church services.

Stores catering to tourists or stores by train stations and airports are open on Sundays and you will find some very extensive supermarkets in train stations with normal prices.

Finally, you are required to drop your car off clean. US customs will not clear a dirty car or one with signs of bugs (live or larvae) so an underbody wash is strongly recommended. The bill for quarantining and remediation of a dirty car isn't cheap and you are not given a choice. The car will be cleaned and you will be given the bill. If you don't pay the bill then Customs owns your car. The companies hired to clean the cars don't worry about swirls or how your car looks when it is done - they worry about assuring that all the bugs are dead. IIRC, the cleaning fee is in the $1k range before the fines.

That's not to say that your car must be detailed before drop-off, but you need to pay particular attention to wheel wells and the like where mud (and bugs) like to hide. Squished bugs on your car are fine but like the OP said - not good for your paint.

I'd suggest taking an online course in traffic signs and laws before you go. That'll prevent a"what the h... does that sign mean?" a near miss or an accident.

Damn. Wiki won't let me link to signs. See examples here

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      07-19-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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sticky this~
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      07-20-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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Awesome thread, should be a sticky. Subscribed.
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      07-21-2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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Top Gear Top Tips.

Doesn't even apply to me, and it was still a good read.
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      12-30-2011, 02:52 PM   #11
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      01-11-2012, 01:04 PM   #12
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Some additional tips & photos:
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      01-27-2012, 01:13 AM   #13
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Thanks for sharing, I hope to do a ED one day!
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      05-22-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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beautiful; we are doing a ED this Sept for the 2014 5 series Diesel! The exact specs aren't even out yet. Hopefully a 535d.
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