Magazine article Medical Economics

Tour Europe in Your New Car?

Magazine article Medical Economics

Tour Europe in Your New Car?

Article excerpt

If you're planning to buy some first-class wheels and you like traveling abroad, these companies may have a deal for you.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Saab, Volvo. Five car manufacturers, five ways to tour Europe behind the wheel of your own new car.

Programs that let Americans pick up their new cars in Europe have been around at least since 1965, and for one main reason: Buying cars can be cheaper abroad than it is in the United States. In fact, sometimes it's so much cheaper that the savings can offset the entire cost of a vacation in Europe. The manufacturer may even pay for airfare and hotel stays.

Repeat: The cars are sometimes cheaper. BMW, Saab, and Volvo offer either a set European-delivery price or a recommended discount off the US sticker price. But Mercedes quit offering its 10 percent discount last year; now, you pay US list price. With Porsche, you pay up to $4,075 extra for European delivery.

Still, sale price isn't everything. "If you figure out how much you save by driving your own car in Europe instead of renting one, you can afford to buy two," jokes family practitioner John Egerton of Friendswood, TX. In 2000, Egerton and his wife picked up a Saab convertible in Sweden. "We drove it all the way to northern Italy, then through France to the UK." he says. "That was fun."

Here's how European delivery works: You order the car in advance-some manufacturers recommend as much as five months' lead time (see table below). …

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