Buying a new Golf wholesale?
July 25, 2010 10:39 PM   Subscribe

Hi all, a friend of a friend some years ago bought a new VW Golf directly from the factory somehow and self-drove it to the UK. It was apparently vastly cheaper. Does anyone have recent experiences with this kind of thing -- pros and cons etc?

One thing that leaps to mind is warranty and servicing -- would I get the same warranty? I'm expecting so -- Golfs still do seem to have a reliability problem still despite shining in every other area -- when I was given a new Golf for my job in 2003 the engine needed replacing (loose metal in one of the piston chambers) and the sunroof also needed replacing at different stagings. The nominal price for replacing a Golf engine was GBP16,000!

Servicing however maybe that's not covered.

any thoughts / experiences appreciated!
posted by kiwi.es to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
My dad did this with his BMW a few years back. He picked it up in Germany, drove it around a little, and then gave it back to BMW for them to ship to him overseas along with their regular deliveries. At that point it was considered a used car, and was no longer subject to whatever import duties and taxes new cars get hit with. I believe this was a cheap way to pick up a current 3-series. I'm fairly certain he's covered by the usual factory warranty, and the arrangement worked for him because he wanted to take a driving vacation in Europe.
posted by migurski at 12:03 AM on July 26, 2010


Volkswagen does not currently have a Factory Delivery Program.
posted by rhizome at 12:37 AM on July 26, 2010




I'd check current prices. Last time I checked (two months ago), UK cars were about 20% cheaper than in Germany.
posted by devnull at 2:46 AM on July 26, 2010


IIRC Top Gear did this a while ago and they made a serious saving. That said, they bought from a Dutch dealer rather than the factory gate.

Remember however that the pound has been in the shitter for 2 years or so, so do your foreign exchange calculation carefully
posted by dmt at 4:13 AM on July 26, 2010


I'd check current prices. Last time I checked (two months ago), UK cars were about 20% cheaper than in Germany.

That's the business model for this company: "The UK is the cheapest place in Europe to purchase most makes of left hand drive vehicle. This is largely due to the exchange rate; the weak Sterling means that your Sterling or Euro goes a long way when compared to paying in Euros at more expensive European dealerships."
posted by iviken at 5:04 AM on July 26, 2010


yes, the keyword that you ought to search on is European Delivery. It generally works out by giving you a savings on taxes and import fees though, depending on how your home currency is faring against the Euro, it may or may not have a cheaper sticker price. My father did a similar thing with a Mercedes that he bought 10+ years ago. He said that, in the end, with the cost of shipping, it wasn't that much cheaper than buying a new car domestically, but it does mean that you get a free rental car for a road trip around continental Europe, which made it totally worthwhile for him.
posted by bl1nk at 5:52 AM on July 26, 2010


A coworker purchased a new Volvo like this about 10 years ago, and wound up saving money even factoring in the cost of airfare to Sweden (or maybe airfare was part of the deal, I'm not sure). I don't remember how substantial the savings were but it was apparently enough of an incentive to make the trip.
posted by usonian at 6:58 AM on July 26, 2010


My dad did this with his BMW a few years back. He picked it up in Germany, drove it around a little, and then gave it back to BMW for them to ship to him overseas along with their regular deliveries. At that point it was considered a used car, and was no longer subject to whatever import duties and taxes new cars get hit with. I believe this was a cheap way to pick up a current 3-series. I'm fairly certain he's covered by the usual factory warranty, and the arrangement worked for him because he wanted to take a driving vacation in Europe.

This isn't quite right. (I did European Delivery of a BMW a couple of years ago.) ED cars aren't considered used; the savings come because the manufacturer sells the car at a lower wholesale price than regular delivery. Import duties and taxes -- and warranty coverage -- are the same as if you'd picked up the car at the dealer. (This is probably part of why you don't buy direct from the factory; you have to go through an American dealer.)

Basically European Delivery is a form of advertising. The manufacturers are willing to make less profit on ED cars because everyone who does it (including me) comes back and raves about the experience.

Unfortunately I don't believe any of the manufacturers that currently offer European Delivery do so for anyone outside of the U.S. and Germany. Even the extension to Germany is a new thing; when I picked up my car, the folks at the BMW Welt told us they'd just started allowing it.
posted by asterix at 11:32 AM on July 26, 2010


If you order a VW from a dealer in Germany (and possibly also Austria), you can go to autostadt in Wolfsburg (the VW factory) to collect it. The coolest ever car towers would make the whole trip worth it in my eyes. Unfortunately I believe that the option to collect from the factory is at extra cost to having it delivered to your local dealer.

Incidentally, UK import duties and taxes are payable on all cars brought into the UK which are under 6 months of age and have less than 6,000km on the clock, according to the HMRC.
posted by car01 at 1:59 PM on July 26, 2010


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