BMWs are usually cheaper to buy in the US than in Germany and other European countries for a variety of reasons. Dollar for dollar, BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches, and Audis are all cheaper to buy in the US.
US citizens can also order a BMW with the BMW European Delivery program, which can save you up to 10 % of the car’s total value of the US list price. The program was shut down in May 2020, but there are rumors it’s coming back soon.
What is the BMW European Delivery program to the US?
Not only are German cars cheaper in the US on a general basis, but the European Delivery program lowered their cost for US residents by between 5 and 10 percent, depending on the deal.
The reason for the lower prices of the European Delivery program is that this way BMW avoids BMWNA dealers and their dealership fees. Since BMW saves on that amount, that allows them to give you a discount equal to the money BMW would usually distribute to the car dealership in the US for your purchase.
Contrary to popular belief, this discount is not due to taxes, duties, or anything of the kind. Most car duties in the US are 2.5% of the value of the car, which mostly amounts between $1000 and $1500 for BMWs. And the difference is much larger with the purchase through the ED program.
Another benefit of purchasing a BMW through the European Delivery program in the US is a more negotiable price. Of course, most of the cars that are sold through ED are sold around the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), due to the extremely high demand.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a BMW which you know has a bit lower demand than other models you might get lucky in the negotiations.
The reason why dealerships are okay negotiating when you are purchasing through ED is that it does not come out of their commission and is not allocated to their inventory. If you encounter a dealer that refuses to negotiate for an ED sale, find another one. They might not realize that this is just a bonus sale for them and it won’t cost them anything to lower the price for you.
The European Delivery program for BMWs was shut down on the 18th of May 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic and rising consumer interest in US-manufactured BMWs. There are rumors, however, that during 2021 it will still be back up.
Other German car manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes still offer the program and BMW might reinstate it, or otherwise it might mean giving up the US market to the competition.
Why are BMWs more expensive in Germany than in the US?
The high supply and demand
Supply and demand have always ruled the market. BMW’s largest market used to be the US, as well as it is the largest for Porsche and Mercedes. There is a large demand for luxury sedans in the US, so these manufacturers can take advantage of their high-scale economies and volume pricing in order to tackle the competition better.
The premium car market in the U.S is far more competitive than the same car market in Europe. The numbers of sales of non-German luxury car manufacturers like Lexus and Jaguar pale in comparison to the sales of BMW, Audi, or Mercedes-Benz.
Moreover, American consumers see German products as slightly more premium than their average built American luxury sedan. This is another reason why the market is so competitive and German manufacturers tend to lower their prices a bit in order to increase their sales and market share each year.
US BMW specifications
Specifications in some countries are different than others. This is especially true for US-built BMWs since cars that have US specs often lack some of the standard luxury gadgets the German BMWs come with. A good example of that is fewer premium materials are used, including a lower grade of leather and different stock tires.
Other car manufacturers also tend to change specs for the US. For example, the US VW Passat wagon is bigger than its European counterpart. Of course, some models might fluctuate the price toward being placed higher for the American market, but in most cases, BMWs are cheaper in the US than in Germany, or Europe in general.
All BMW cars come with a luxury feel and not only the premium sedan vehicles they are offering. All of these vehicles are sold at a very fat profit margin. BMW comes closer to Porsche in comparison to profit margins more than most manufacturers. And think of Porsche as the Apple of the automobile industry.
More about BMWs
What is the cheapest country to buy German cars?
The cheapest country to buy German cars is in the US, through the European Delivery program. Unfortunately, the program has been unavailable for BMW since May 2020, but other car manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz still have the program for US residents. It cuts up to 10 % of the price of the car’s listing.
When do BMWs start having engine issues?
If you’ve bought a BMW you should expect your coolant system or some engine components to fail anywhere between 80,000 and 120,000 miles or 120,000 to 200,000 kilometers. Of course, that number depends on how often your car has been serviced and what the quality of the maintenance was.
What is the cheapest BMW model to buy in 2020?
The cheapest BMW model in 2020 was the BMW X1 which costs approximately USD $35,000. The cheapest sedan is the 2020 2 series which starts at $35,300. The X1 is a compact SUV that brings the luxury of other BMW vehicles as well as the speed you expect.