Originally Posted by Comfy
Can someone explain to me how do we save $$ on doing a European delivery please. To me , the cost of travel , airfare/ hotels will simply outweigh any savings you may make on the negotiated price. So where's the saving part?
Well if you are doing it looking to do it for a significant savings, you won't find it. Plus you are going into it with the wrong mindset and doing it for all the wrong reasons. It's all about the experience of picking up your custom built car and driving it throughout Europe. Think of it as a vacation and an excuse to plan a trip to Europe. I purposely planned our trip so that we would make it for Oktoberfest in Munich. Plus I planned a vacation where my wife and I could take both sets of parents to travel Europe. We didn't have kids yet, so it was a perfect opportunity for all of us. I always looked at ED as the potential savings from your car might cover the cost of your trip.
I'll start by saying, this comparison is definitely a very rough estimate in potential savings and costs. Depending on which car you are getting and where you live, this may determine how much leeway you may have on negotiating on a price without ED. While some have negotiated a discount between 5-7% on their own, let's start with a premise where you are paying the full MSRP without ED first. To keep things simple, let's just say for a $50k car, the 5% ED savings would be $2,500. You get a free night of hotel at Kempinski (probably closer to $300) but you can probably find cheaper hotels for less, so let's just call that $200. You also get free transportation to the factory from Munich, which is almost a 1 hour drive (not sure how you would calculate this cost, a taxi ride might be $50-100). For us, we had 6 people and around 12 items of luggage that needed to be transported. Audi worked with us and was able to accommodate my entire group and gave them the full experience as well. While not great food, you get all the food you can eat while you are at the Audi Forum for the day. You get to take delivery on your brand new car. You can experience the factory tour and visit the Audi museum. There's no real cost associated with those, but it was definitely a nice experience to be pampered for the day.
The cost that people don't take into account would be the comparable rental car and insurance you would need to substitute your new car. Audi pays for up to 2 weeks of car insurance for your car. We had to rent a second car (Mercedes C180) for 1 week. We got a great deal at $400 without any insurance (our AMEX card fully covered our rental), so that could be potentially $800 if you rented for 2 weeks. Add on insurance (at around $20-30 per day) and let's just call it an extra $300 for the 2 weeks. So if you maxed it out and stayed for around 2 weeks, the cost saved on a rental car could be around $1100 on the low end.
So using some of my assumptions, you saved potentially $2500 + $200 + $1100 = $3800, so let's round that up to an even $4000 for 2 weeks or around $3500 for 1 week.
Now for your costs. For our trip in October 2013, we went from Munich -> Ingolstadt -> Austria -> passing by Italy to go through Stelvio Pass -> Lucerne -> Paris -> Brussels -> Amsterdam. Hotel costs all depend on what you are looking for. We avoided "cheap" hotels but our hotel costs ranged from $100-300, but the calculated average was around $150 per night for 1 room for 2 people. Let's just call it around $1000 per week. Our airfare costs were a little over $1100 per person round trip to fly from California to Munich, then from Amsterdam back to California. I'm not sure where you would be flying from, but I'm flying the furthest distance, so that cost would potentially be cheaper for most. This is just the very basics of transportation and hotels, not considering food, gas, and other expenses. A one week trip would cost you around $3000 for 2 people and $4000 for 2 weeks. So like I mentioned at the beginning, in the end, the potential savings from doing ED will approximately cover the cost of your trip. Now of course, this was under the assumption you were paying full MSRP, which I know is a very loose assumption.
Having gone through European Delivery on our SQ5, I recommend it for people who like to travel and have the vacation time. I wouldn't recommend taking as many people as we did, probably whatever you can fit in the car you are purchasing is the right amount. While it can get stressful trying to plan a trip while dealing with the timing of it all, as opposed to simply into a dealership and driving a car home that same day, I actually enjoyed the anticipation and planning the trip. I say GO FOR IT and enjoy the journey.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, since this stuff is still pretty fresh in my mind plus I still have all my notes from our trip. In addition, there are some even more experienced guys on the ED discussion group as well. Good luck with whatever option you choose.