Wateman's German bought 2011 BMW M3 convertible. Photo © 2012 Don Bain

Five ways buying a BMW in Germany may work for you

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European delivery programs have been around a long time and are available from most Euro automakers with mixed records of the experience. We recently talked with one man who shared five ways buying your BMW in Germany may work for you as well as it did for him.

Cameron Wateman, as we shall refer to him for this report, is not your average Joe, but he may represent the average buyer of the 2011 BMW M3 convertible he picked up in Munich last year.

He’s a mature, successful businessman with a lovely home in an exclusive suburb of Denver. He has two grown children and has entered the empty nest stage of life. He is a frequent international traveler thanks to his profession and had never bought a new car before in his life.

The First Way is Price
He’d heard about the European delivery programs for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo and even Porsche so his first motivation was saving money.

“The great thing about it was you should save enough money to pay for the trip,” Wateman said. “I’d have to call the dealer to confirm it, but I think they have to pay for the car before they even begin to build it. Of course, they finance it for you, so I didn’t have to write a check for the value of the car.”

He put 30 percent of the value down and financed the balance though BMW. This model is about $70K and has only a couple of available options. Basically, the standard model comes more or less loaded.

“The same car if I bought it here would cost $15,000 more,” he said.

The remaining balance was arranged in a two-year note at 2.4 percent interest, an excellent rate any way you slice it.

Second is Travel
Wateman was going to Munich on business anyway, so it worked out better for him than it might for others, but the big bonus is you can drive your car in Europe for a month with BMW picking up the insurance tab. He went immediately to Innsbruck to ski.

Rental cars are exorbitant in Europe, so if you’re planning a European vacation, this is another way it can save you money.

“You get a free rental car and they’re paying the insurance, so all you’re paying for is gas,” he added. “Rental cars cost an arm and a leg in Europe.”

So Wateman recommends it for anyone planning a trip to Europe and thinking of buying a new BMW or other European make.

“For somebody wanting a European vacation and wanting to drive, this is just ideal.”

His only caution is if you plan your European delivery for winter, by German law it has to have snow tires, so that is an additional expense. In that case, you have to return it to Munich where the snow tires are put on by a third party. Otherwise, you can drive it as long as you like and drop it off at any of numerous locations all over Europe for shipment back to the states.

“You’re allowed to drive it for up to a month for no charge and if you want to go longer than that then you have to pay for the insurance. BMW pays the insurance for a whole month and then they pay everything to ship it back.”

Third is Personalization

When you buy from the dealer, you are more or less steered to what they have on the lot. You want a burgundy model with a gray interior and all they have is a burgundy with black – so you compromise to have it sooner rather than later.

“You can specify color, interior and everything, just like a new house,” he said. “The reason I got the M3 is it’s a bit of a sports car, but you can still get four people in there or carry stuff.”

He considered and drove a Z4, but the two-seat roadster provided more connection to the road than wanted and he is very pleased with his decision over a year and 6,000 miles later.


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Hi Ian interested in buying the new x3 at the end of 2017, would I save money flying from the uk and picking up the car in Germany,and driving it back to the UK. Regards Jimmy Smith