Military Sales & European Delivery
Hey all, I don't really have the time to write up a ED story to the level of many other members, but since I don't think too many people do this I wanted to quickly share my thoughts on the process. I've been in Iraq since August, and almost the whole time have been in touch with Lisa at First Choice MSP. Of course I had some reservations about purchasing any car - let alone an M3 - entirely through e-mail and the occasional phone call, but Lisa was an invaluable help. I couldn't be happier with the service I received, and the entire process has been without undue stress. When I got my mid-tour leave dates I realized I would be able to swing European Delivery. Although Lisa had never set this up for a client, she had no problem getting in touch with Diplomatic sales to arrange it. I had to get a little creative with the mail to get the Power of Attorney for registration (plus a check for the VAT in case you sell the car to a German for a quick buck) to Munich in time, but all was well. Imagine my fear when my leave date of 25 April approached and Iceland began terrorizing air travel!
Luckily, I made it to Frankfurt the morning of the 27th, a day before my pickup at BMW Welt. I had such a busy schedule meeting friends and family throughout Germany that I wasn't able to take the factory tour or anything else really cool, so that will have to wait until next time. Tom talked me through the basics of the car - like everybody else, the staff at BMW left a great impression on me - and then it was off to Neuburg for the night, followed by Berlin. I visited friends in Vilseck, drove back to Ramstein, and then left the car at my parents' while I flew off to Stockholm and Barcelona (awesome cities). By the time I got back to Germany, I had a few more days with the car, but having almost reached 1200 miles I took it pretty easy. I investigated getting the service done, but you have to book German BMW centers a good 3 weeks in advance, plus front the cash and get BMWNA to reimburse you.
On the 11th of May I dropped the M off in Frankfurt, with a stop at the car wash in between. Imagine my shock to see all the cars parked outside of the small office with bird crap everywhere. Especially on a beautiful Black on Black M3 (at least German birds have good taste). I hope my car didn't spend too much time in that lot.
The downside to Military Sales is you get less visibility of the process (for example, I have no idea how I would track my car's movement to Charleston). I also have to find out about the additional options - wheel/tire warranty, anyone? - on my own. Hopefully the local dealership is helpful. Anyway, if you are deployed and considering purchasing an M3, I highly recommend doing European Delivery. An extra bonus is that by the time I redeploy in late July, the car should be waiting at the nearest dealership with its break-in service done!
The internet here is less than stellar, so the photos are reduced to the smallest possible size. I went with the Jerez/Fox Red combination, and have to say I'm quite pleased! I also opted for ZCP, and found driving around in Comfort mode for hours at a time on the Autobahn pretty comfortable.
If anyone has any questions about the process, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help. Lord knows I'll have plenty of my own questions once I'm a full time owner back in the States!