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Stab at an ED FAQ

Old 09-24-2007, 11:48 PM
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Default Stab at an ED FAQ

Most of this stuff came from you guys, add in whatever I missed.

AudiWorld European Delivery FAQ

This is draft 0.2

This FAQ is meant to cover questions not clearly addressed by the info on the AUDIUSA website. I.e., read the website first.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Nothing. Actually you get a discount based on MSRP.

Q: How much discount?

A: 5% off MSRP for most models, check the AUDIUSA website for updated numbers and new models.

Q: Can I still negotiate?

A: Yes. It's still a negotiated-deal between you and a dealer. The MSRP policy says 5% off MSRP (for most models).
To compensate the dealer for the discount, Audi gives the dealer 3% (of MSRP).
So, for an MSRP-basis deal, 2% of MSRP comes from dealer profit. Don't worry his children won't go hungry.

Q: So, what's the dealer cost?

A: Invoice, minus 3% of MSRP, minus to-dealer incentives (if any). Audi does not do dealer holdback.

Q: Base MSRP, or including options?

A: Seems to be base MSRP plus factory options, but we can't find this in writing from Audi.
Dealer options (window tint, etc.), destination charge, and taxes are not included in the discount.

Q: Is this a grey-market European car?

A: No. It's the very same exact car you'd get from a dealer in the USA. You just get to borrow it before they put it on the boat.

Q: What cars are eligible?

A: The evergreen list is on the AUDIUSA website. Note that there is a memo from AUDIUSA to the dealers
originally sent out in October 2006, that contains the list from back then. While the procedures part
of the memo is correct, the eligibility list no longer is. If your dealer is not up to speed, he may be
going off that old list, and you'll have to ask them to call AUDIUSA.

Q: Can I lease and do this?

A: Yes. You can now. But, that old October 2006 memo incorrectly says you cannot.

Q: Can I do this with a car loan?

A: Not that we know of. If a local bank or credit union is willing to give you a loan knowing it's for ED, then
maybe you can.

Q: Who's AUDIUSA?, or Will I be at the mercy of my local dealer on this?

A: There's a person at AUDIUSA in charge of the ED program. Her name is Kathy Bis (pronounced like "dice", but with a B).
She's very helpful and will answer ED client phone calls and email at [email protected] or [email protected]
Use the ED email, in case she's on vacation, or gets transferred. The phone number is 248 754 4601. please also see the next Q.

Q: When do I call her (AUDIUSA) vs. the dealer.

A: The dealer is supposed to handle questions and initiate the order. That's what they get paid for. Use the dealer first,
and consider the AUDIUSA ED department to be "second-tier tech support". If everyone calls and emails with questions that
should be handled by the dealer, they may start to not take calls and emails directly from buyers. Please be courteous.

Q: How old is the ED program?

A: They restarted the program (after a several year hiatus) in October 2006.

Q: What's a commission number?

A: It's the main alphanumeric identifier for Audi orders including ED orders. If you do ED, try and find out the commission number
from your dealer as soon as you can, so you can refer to it later, in correspondence with AUDIUSA.

Q: What's the catch?

A: Not a catch really, but there is one issue. You have to put down a deposit for VAT (like a European sales tax).
If you've traveled to Europe, you know all about VAT. It's alot, but someone has to pay to subsidize Airbus. You pay VAT
on things you buy in Europe, but if you export them, you can get a refund. They don't want Europeans coming to the US to buy
an Audi, do ED, and drive off in Europe, never to return. So, you put down a VAT deposit (19% of what you pay Audi).
As long as you drop the car back off at one of the dropoffs within 90 days, you get the money back, all of it.

Q; Do I still pay sales tax here?

A: Yes, like a normal car purchase, and there's no refund. Nice try.

Q: Do I have to wait like when I do the airport tax refund thing?

A: No, the VAT you give the dealer is a deposit, not a payment that the EU refunds. As soon as you drop the car off,
the VAT deposit is refundable. You either go to the dealer to get it, or they can send it to you, or you can get it when you
pick up the car after it's shipped if you don't mind waiting a few weeks.

Q: So, what's the big deal with VAT?

A: The only big deal is that you have to have the 19% extra dough temporarily available to do ED.

Q: Why do they do this (extra costs, free stuff, and a discount)?

A: Marketing tells them this program builds Audi loyalty, making you more likely to buy another Audi next time.
And, of course, their competitors do it. Let's not forget that.

Q: Seems too good to be true, no?

A: Well, buying a new Audi to get a free European vacation is like buying a 747 to get free peanuts, but if you're buying
a new Audi anyway, then it really is a way to get a European vacation paid for and then some. If you're buying a new Audi,
have oodles of frequent flier miles, and a few spare vacation days, it's almost silly not to do it. If you can plan it
around a company-paid business trip to Europe, even better. Then it's darn near free money.

Q: Do I have to ship the car back, or insure it?

A: No. Shipping and the shipping-insurance are included just like if you bought it in the USA. You just drop it off, and they
do the rest.

Q: Why are there no set dropoff locations in Italy? Is this the excellent customer-service Italy is famous for?

A: The dropoff service in Italy is a contracted driver service that Audi hires to drive your car back to the Munich dropoff.
I'm sure they're bonded and all that, but most people don't want to turn their new car over to an Italian driver they've
never met for a fun trip across the Alps, while the engine is still breaking in. Good advice = don't drop off in Italy. Ever
see Ferris Bueller's Day Off?

Q: So I just drop it off and go home?

A: Yes, but it's been recommended that you get it washed first. That way there's less chance of scratches or bird-droppings
staining the paint. Other manufacturers' ED programs recommend this, but Audi doesn't say anything. I'd also take about 100 digital
pictures (at max rez) of every bit of the exterior and as much of the interior as I could, at dropoff.

Q: Where are the dropoffs?

A: See 56330509373.0004374aa56a79377a4cd&ll=48.107431 ,6.855469&spn=13.707272,29.267578&z=5& om=1
The locations are as accurate as I could get, but don't take them as perfect down to the last 100 ft. All the exact addresses,
phone numbers, and opening times for each dropoff are on a special list provided in the welcome package.

Q: For specialty cars, does the dealer need to have an available allocation?

A: No. For ED, the dealer gets an extra allocation from Audi. This is nice if the car is rare (e.g., RS's).

Q: Do I have to put down a deposit when I order?

A: AUDIUSA does not require it, nor do they take any money from the dealer to accept the order. I'd put some small amount
down at order time, just to secure the deal.

Q: When do I pay for the car (or sign the lease so the finance company can release the finds to the dealer)?

A: The dealer has to be paid (or lease papers signed) and have the VAT check before you leave for Germany. They can be paid
any time after the car has been assigned a VIN number, which will be generated as the car is produced. I'd go in during the scheduled
production week, but call first to make sure there is a VIN. AUDIUSA has to send you some paperwork after you pay, but before you leave,
so give them a week or 2 to get this done. If you are trying to get the car as soon as possible, then, yes, the timing is a little
tight. Audi will hold the car for 60 days after it's made if you want.

Q: Can the dealer try to renegotiate the deal when I go in to pay for it?

A: Obviously not supposed to, but I'd get a firm written agreed-upon quote when the order is placed, and put down a deposit.
They can probably wriggle out of anything if they tried, but a price in writing and a cashed deposit check would give you a good case.
There are no reports of this happening.

Q: The AUDIUSA website is a bit vague concerning schedule. How does it really work?

A: Order time seems be 8 to 16 weeks depending on the model. Garden-variety models will be less, and special models
and those made by Quattro GMBH (RS's) in Neckarsulm will be more. You won't know until your dealer looks it up in the computer.

1. Order the car. Go have a beer to celebrate finally making up your mind.
2. Immediately or within a week or so, you should know the commission number.
3. Within 2 weeks or so, you should know the "actual production week", as opposed to the "requested production week".
Call you salesman and ask, or email AUDI ED.
4. The car will be available three weeks after the start of the production week (e.g., if production week starts on monday the 3rd,
pickup on or after monday the 24th).
5. If there is insufficient time to get a frequent-flier award ticket or a decent airfare, you can ask for a delivery date up to 60
days later. However, you will have 6 to 12 weeks to book tickets even if you are picking it up on the first possible day.
6. During the production week, but at least a week before departure, go pay the dealer.
7. Go get the car.
8. Have fun.
9. Drop off the car.
10. 6 to 8 weeks later, dealer calls and you go get the car.

My schedule, as an actual example:

7/12 Order car and place deposit
7/16 Order into computer due to software snafu
8/7 Received commission number and actual production date (9/24) from Audi
8/8 Received welcome package
8/15 Requested 10/15 delivery date (from Kathy)
8/17 Delivery date of 10/15 confirmed / ok'd (by Kathy) - ok to book travel.
9/27 Go pay the dealer and get bill of sale.
9/29 Received final paperwork for pick up.

10/15 Delivery
10/22 Dropoff
11/14 Ship arrives in the Port of Houston
11/20 Car arrives at dealership and delivery to me.

Q: Where can I go?

A: See the website for locations where the insurance is valid. Basically it's all the EU, plus Switzerland the city-states, but not
most of the crumbling ex-soviet nations. If you want to visit Pripyat and Chernobyl, you won't be covered.

Q: Can I use the Audi Sat-Nav?

A: No, the Euro nav DVD and US DVD work with different firmware in the Sat-Nav unit, so you can't just pop in a copy of the Euro DVD.
This may get fixed in the coming years. Remember the Germans wrote SAP, so Germans + software = fiasco.

Q: So, I have to use maps? made from paper?

A: General advice is to buy/borrow a portable nav unit with European data loaded. If you have to buy, you can resell
later or use in the US in another car, or save for traveling, etc. I always recommend them to people traveling/driving in
unfamiliar lands. In the past 2 years they have transformed from useless distracting toys, to very useful tools.

Q: I'm doing ED purely to save money. Can I just go there on frequent flier miles, dropff the car and come home?

A: Yes. However the consensus is that you'll regret the lost opportunity. At least take a weekend. Some dropoffs require
advanced notice. Take that into account.

Q: Can I just go driving in Europe?

A: Yes, most countries will honor a US drivers license. Around the world, some places want you to have an
International Driving Permit. Austria is one of these places, and it's also likely a place you'll want to take your car.

Permit is a misnomer. It's just a translation of your license to several other languages.
You still need to carry your US license with it. You can get an IDP for $15 and two passport photos at an AAA office, same visit.
They make it while you wait.

They don't check at the border or anything, but without one, you're risking a hassle.

Q: Any driving tips?

A: Do not linger in the left lane and do not pass on the right. I don't mean it like your high-school driving instructor a suggestion on how to be a polite driver. Never ever do them at all in Germany. Don't use a cell phone while
driving either.

Q: Are there any "key things" I need to say or ask when picking up the car?

A: Tell them where you plan to drive. Some countries require breakdown warning triangles and yellow safety jackets, etc.
The Audi Forum will know what you need and tell you. Alot of the required bits will even be given to you for free.

Q: Where can I find all those obscure travel and driving tips?

A: The US State Department webpage is actually a fairly decent resource. The consular information sheets have sections on driving.


and the main page:

The state department gets infinite grief from foreign countries when they post any kind of warning, so if there's a warning,
chances are it's real, and should be kept in mind. If they're telling you not to go, they'll say "avoid all non-esential travel to".

For their example, their cautions about Italian pickpockets and bump-and-shuffle scams is very accurate.

There is also this good site for driving in Germany:

Q: I'm picking up in winter, any worries?

A: Germany and the Alps do get snow. If you want to head up into the mountains, maybe avoid December, January, February, and March.
The main autobahns will be cleared with German efficiency, but if you have never ever driven on snow....

Q: I'm not a big international traveler. What should I know?

A: I travel internationally on business about 5 or 6 times per year, all over the place. Here's what I can tell you:

Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date. You never know.

Carry a copy or two of your passport ID page in your luggage. It will help get a replacement if yours is lost.

When you get off the plane, you first go to passport control. You'll recognize it by the long line. You need the desks for
non-EU visitors. They can be identified by the even longer lines. Then you get your bags, and you're out.

My favorite airport to get into Europe is Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS). Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is the worst. Frankfurt (FRT)
is a good airport, but confusing to navigate in the terminals. London Heathrow (LHR) is a zoo. So is London Gatwick (LGW).
Milan Malpensa (MXP) is ok. At Amsterdam and obviously Frankfurt, you can get right on German high-speed rail (ICE) at the airport.

For connections after intercontinental flights, I consider the minimum connection time to be 3 hours.

Make sure your prescriptions are full enough, plus some extra.

You may need a power convertor depending on what you bring. Most stuff nowadays will autosense voltage and be ok, in which case
all you need is an adapter plug. Airport shops are a good place to get these.

I always recommend traveling with a mobile phone. The one you have might already work there (if GSM), or just need to be enabled.
If not, look into renting one. Since everyone has them, pay phones are getting rare, and the ones in Europe often use only
phone cards that you're not going to have. This is not a place to cut a few bucks off your trip.

In Europe, Visa and Mastercard are not the same, like here. Visa is better to have.

It's also good to have a backup credit card. Don't take just one or one close to maxed out.

Regarding currency, I get a little cash at the departure airport while I'm waiting (maybe $200-$300's worth) as backup.
Then I use credit cards as much as possible and ATM's if I need more cash. Only use hotels and touristy-change places
if you're desperate.

Don't forget the chargers and cables for all your electronic crap.

Trains are a great way to get between cities, with the best being in Germany. If you can get a great flight deal into Frankfurt,
Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich, etc., do consider finishing the journey to Munich or Ingolstadt by rail. You can look up all the schedules
and fares on

Europe's national pasttime is going on strike. Be prepared.

Gels and liquids have a 3-ounce limit each and they all have to fit into a 1-quart ziplock bag, but that's only for carry-on.
If you haven't changed your hairstyle since 1985, rest assured you can still bring a gallon of hair gel, but only in your checked
bag. This limit does not apply to prescription medicines in the original container from the drug store.

Don't put pills into bags or film cans, etc. You're asking for trouble. Buy travel-sizes and/or leave them in the original

Don't do anything dumb like put a whole bottle of non-dairy coffee creamer powder into a ziplock bag in your carry-on.

The US dollar has really fallen in value lately. I shouldn't be too critical since anyone reading this is likely to have
just spent a bunch on a foreign car. Just expect everything to be more expensive than you thought.

In Europe 24/7 is 3 and 3/7, nothing is open 24 hours. The work/life balance is 10% work / 90% life.

In August, all of Italy take their vacation...for the whole month. Don't visit Italy in any part of all.

Drive with the doors locked and the windows up in the city.

Gasoline is expensive, but you probably knew that. Budget for $7/gallon.

If you really want an adventure, consider a round-the-world (RTW) ticket. Each major airline alliance has their own version.
You can fly around the globe over a period of up to 1 year, and make 3 or more stops anywhere. It's sort of like a bus pass valid
on all the carriers of that alliance. You don't even have to advance book, except for the first leg. They're about the same price
as an intercontinental round trip. For Skyteam,

Most important advice:

Relax. Allow plenty of time, or even better, an extra day here or there. When in the "travel" part of your vacation,
you're in the hands of and at the mercy of others. Try not to freak out at every uncontrolled event that affects you. No matter
what happens, it's very unlikely that you'll die. If things really go haywire, prioritize, and deal with one thing at a time.

Don't travel on a shoestring budget. When you travel, you are accepting a small amount of financial risk. The worst
travelers I see are those so broke, they can't afford to make a phone call, let alone an unanticipated meal. If you're buying a
new Audi, this shouldn't be a problem. Don't let an unexpected hotel stay (due to a travel agent or airline screwup) ruin your
whole trip. Pay the man and deal when you get home. If you're the type of person who is unable to control their emotions when it
comes to money matters, then international travel is not for you. Buy your Audi off the lot and take your vacation at DisneyWorld.

If you can stay loose and plan right, then Europe is every bit as beautiful as the pictures and you'll enjoy it and want to go
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:44 AM
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Default Excellent - thank you! (here is some shipping info that might be useful for your trip)

I just got an email from the representative in Bremerhaven this morning. Gives us an idea of ship date/time to the West Coast. Appears that a ship leaves port every Thursday and must drop off by Monday of ship week.

"As per schedule from the shipping line there are the following both vessels from EMDEN to SAN DIEGO at the moment (we need the car 3 days before shipment in Emden):

Departure date (Emden):____________________Arrival date (San Diego):

18th of October____________________________8th of November
25th of October____________________________15th of November
01st of November___________________________22nd of November

ATTENTION: It is possible that the shipping line will cancel the vessel or change the departure/arrival date."
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:12 AM
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Your the Man - You brought up points I never thought of.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:34 AM
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Default Here's a good link to include for driving in Europe...

Very good for "first-timers" who aren't used to the road signs and basic rules of right-of-way (i.e., the whole "priority road" and "car on the right has the right-of-way" thing).<ul><li><a href=""></a</li></ul>
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:04 AM
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Default Ship Dates... Quattrings...

Quattrings, you seem to really do your research... We seem to be going through the same process, both with Euro Delivery and a fully loaded S5 in the first allocation. Unfortunately for me yours has entered into factory production much earlier than mine... I should be able to pick mine up on November 12th, putting me back until Christmas for US delivery.

Do you know if that drop off, shipment is the same for vessels leaving for the East coast? I, like you want it back here asap!

I assume you'll try to drop yours off the 22nd of October?

I'm interested to know everything else you've been able to learn from your dealer and AoA, as my dealer doesn't seem to be able to get very specific info. Kathy Bis says i can pick it up the beginning of the second week... I was hoping to get it friday the ninth, though... Any idea who i could ask questions like that? and if i can somehow get the Euro headlights with the clear blinkers? i can't stand the amber US spec ones.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Ship Dates... Quattrings...

It seems we are in the same process! I'll try to answer your questions the best that I can. To be honest, I dont get a lot back from the Audi corporate level. Sometimes they answer my emails, other times they just ignore me or at least it seems. Communication is super flakey.

The best thing to do is to contact your drop off point directly using email. Those guys are great and you can get an answer near the same day. I believe that East coast shipping occurs once a week as well, so you should be okay on that one. All Audi cars destined to the U.S. are leaving through Emden, DE.

We think the same on the amber blinkers - lol I never liked the amber setup and prefer the cleaner look of the Euro lights, I asked Audi if I could buy them from them on the car and they stated the car Must have US_spec lights. I needed to order springs anyway so I contacted and they were able to get me the HR springs and euro headlights together. I have them both ready to go but I still need a car to install them on... I did not want to risk removing the amber on this car and decided to go the right way and replace the entire housing. Of course the internals need to be attached but it's pretty simple. Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:01 PM
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Good one. Added.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:28 PM
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Great FAQ! So with ED you're paying for 3 months of, say, lease that you don't have the car?
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:43 PM
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Thanks so much for a great FAQ. I'm a bit confused on the VAT: do they just hold the check or do they cash it? When is it due to the dealer--when you order the car or at the 4 week before pickup point?
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:53 AM
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Default My experiences

I did my ED Oct of 08 and had an absolute blast. I'm hoping to go back again this summer to pickup a TTS. Here are some of the things I experienced.

GPS - They automatically gave me a loaner at the Audi Forum at pickup. I did get lost using it. It led me to some bicycle path inside a park one rainy night. Luckily it was dark, so no one could see me driving down the staircase to get back on the road.

Car Loan - I did a car loan thru USAA told them exactly what I was doing and they were fine with it.

VAT - The dealer never even cashed my check. He figured it would be more trouble than it was worth to hold my money for a month or so.

Delivery Time - This is the zinger. From drom off in Frankfurt to delivery at the showroom was 21 days.

Airport Pickup - We flew into Frankfurt with the intention of taking the ICE train. Kathy Bis offered to have their driver pick us up for the 2.5 hour drive. How could I resist. It was the A8. I got alot of good tips on driving RAPIDLY on the Autobaun.

For anyone even remotely thinking about doing it I would heartily advise it. Traffic in Paris is a bitch, but that is what the underground is for. The only issue I had was at the border crosing into Bern Switzerland. They wanted to see all of the papers, and asked me if the car belonged to me.
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