Your Munich Delivery
Flying to Munich
Lufthansa 2-for-1 [no longer offered -- A discount of 0-15% off of standard ticket price is now offered.]
When you fly Lufthansa round-trip in Economy Class from the U.S. to Europe the companion of your choice flies for free. This offer is valid only if you take advantage of the BMW European Delivery program and pick up your new car in Germany. To book this offer call Lufthansa at 1-888-552-4508 (Monday through Friday, 09:00 - 17:30 EST ). Online booking is not possible for this offer. Full details here. Just be aware that 'festers have been able to find cheaper fares than those offered through the program, especially during off-peak travel season. The paid ticket in this promotion is often higher than the best available fare that can be found, coupled with the fact that you pay taxes and other charges with the "free" ticket. The "free" ticket does not earn FF miles. Some have described the promotion as 2-for-1.5, still some savings. Some benefits of the program include being able to lock in the fare but not pay for it until ~30 days prior to travel. Also, open-jaw ticketing is permitted, which is great as it allows you to expand your travel options as you won't have to return to Munich for the flight home.
Read a review of Lufthansa's New York JFK to Munich service in Executive Road Warrior.
Arrival in Munich
Welcome to Munich! Munich has a very comprehensive public transportation system, including the S-Bahn (short for Stadtschnellbahn, which is are suburban railways), the U-Bahn (Untergrundbahn or underground), the Straßenbahn or Tram lines, and buses.
If you arrived by plane, you are at the airport, which is about a 40 minute ride via the S-Bahn from the center of Munich. Depending on your final destination, i.e. the BMW Welt, a hotel in Schwabing, a hotel in the city center, you may or may not have to transfer from the S-Bahn once you get downtown to either an U-Bahn (for example, U-3 for the BMW Welt or U-6 for the Marriott), a Bus, or a Straßenbahn.
If you arrived by train, you are already at the Munich Hauptbahnhof (main train station), which is downtown. See above for further instructions.
There is a discussion of several Munich hotels another main section of this Wiki.
The S1 and S8 trains run to the Marienplatz and Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in downtown Munich. You can buy tickets in the airport terminal. If the ticket counter in Terminal 2 is closed there is one open in Terminal 1 next to the entrance to the train station.
- The full map is available here (pdf).
- The inner area/Munich map is available here (pdf).
- Partner-Tageskarte is a group pass good for the whole day, on all the public transport in Munich, for up to 5 adults (or 4 adults and 2 children). The price depends on the region you are in. Full details are available here
- Innenraum is the inner zone (white zone). It costs € 9.
- Gesamtnetz is the all-zone, and costs € 18. This is the ticket you would use from the airport. (For single rider cost is € 10)
- If you have a few days to spend in Munich you can purchase a City Tour Card. There are individual, group of 5, 1-day, 3-day, inner area, and total area versions of the ticket. You also get discounted admission to some of the Munich attractions. The WWW page is here.
- From the Hauptbahnhof
- If you're staying at the Munich Marriott on Berliner Straße, you can take the U4/U5 to Odeonsplatz and then jump on the U6 to Nordfriedhof.
- If you're going directly to the Welt, take the U3 instead at Odeonsplatz (to Olympiazentrum). When you get off the U3 at Olympiazentrum, turn left and go up the far escalator. You will see the roofline of the Welt as you come up to ground level.
- If you're staying at the King's Center (one of the hotels listed in the BMW ED package), you can take the U2 to Scheidplatz and then transfer to U3. One note about the transfer: it's the easiest transfer as both the U2 and U3 trains arrive at the same time on the same platform. Just walk from one to the other.
Rolf's VIP Pickup Service
Many 'festers have used Rolf's VIP Pickup Service for airport pickups for transfer either to your hotel or the BMW Welt. His current price is €50, still a bargain compared to the taxis. There is a long thread full of information and experiences.
- Phone: +49 171 82 514 92
- Email: click here
If only 1 or 2 persons are traveling, another cost-effective alternative is the Lufthansa shuttle bus which will take you to Marienplatz (central Munich) or Nordfriedhof (stop along the U6 train line, which also very close to Munich Marriott (2-3 blocks) and Renaissance Hotel (across street, 1 block)). More information on the Lufthansa shuttle bus here, and the brochure is here.
The BMW Welt Delivery Center
Effective 23 October 2007 the delivery center has relocated to the new BMW Welt.
NOTE: The Welt street address is new and does not appear on many GPS or online map systems. The following may help:Am Olympiapark 1 / Lerchenauer Straße at Georg-Brauchle-Ring / Tel +49 180 2 118822.
Depending on route and traffic, the driving time from the airport (MUC) to the Welt is approximatly 30 minutes. It is 38.2 km via the A9.
The main entrance to the BMW Welt is only about 100m from the Olympia-Zentrum stop of the U3 subway line. As you get off the train, there are signs on the platform that point you directly to it.
The BMW Welt is busiest on Mondays, Fridays, and days preceding or following a German holiday (see 2006 Holidays here).
The Delivery Process and Important Car Documents
When you arrive at Welt, find the entrance to the Premium Lounge (you may be guided by BMW personnel if you mention that you're there for a pick-up.) After you check-in, you'll have some time in the lounge, which is stocked with drinks and food. Have your passport ready to present as identification. You will be given documentation regarding your vehicle among them: an International Car Registration booklet (the title to car, do not lose!), insurance policy and Green Insurance Card, General Conditions of Insurance, information regarding Roadside Assistance, a copy of the Purchase Order you signed (use it to make sure all the options you ordered are in the car), Owners Manual, and directions to In-and-Out (the dropoff location at the Munich airport -- MUC). You will also get a list of the dozen or so other drop-off locations in Western Europe.
You will receive an Umweltplakette for the inner city low emissions zones. You will need to have the Plakette on your car's windshield before driving into one of the zones (which are clearly marked with signs stating "Umwelt Zone" and images of the acceptable Umweltplakette by color). The number on the Plakette must match your car's Ausfuhrkennzeichen. The fine for driving in an Umwelt Zone without the Plakette is 40,00 € and a penalty point in Flensburg.
You will be reminded to keep all of the car keys and the title to car in your possession at all times. The Acceptance Receipt form warns that "Car keys and documents left in an unattended car will invalidate insurance theft coverage!". The green insurance card (or International Motor Insurance Card) for summer 2007 looked like this only it's printed on green paper. A requirement of the insurance is that you keep all keys and paperwork with you at all times. However, it is now confirmed that the use of valet services is acceptable provided that they only have access to the valet key, not a general purpose key.
The list of countries where insurance coverage is valid is extensive, and includes countries outside Europe! Note that IR is crossed out (i.e. no insurance coverage), and further note that IR is the country code for Iran, not Ireland (IRL) as some people have incorrectly posted in bimmerfest. The certificate of insurance from Allianz looks like this. BMW European Delivery provides 14 days of premium insurance and tourist registration with no additional cost to you. However, should you decide to extend this, additional coverage is available for purchase in 30-day increments only. This coverage must extend to your drop-off date and can be arranged through your local BMW Center and must be done in advance to your pick up date. The European Delivery department must be notified a minimum of 2 weeks prior to pick up in Munich in the event of an insurance change. The change of insurance cannot be done upon arrival in Munich. See bmwusa.com for the cost of extending insurance beyond 14 days.
The export plates (Ausfuhrkennzeichen) must remain on the car. You can no longer remove the front plate when you drop off the car.
NEW Feb 2008: BMW is advising that some non-EU countries may not recognize the export plates, and recommends that travel be limited to EU countries + Switzerland. "Please be advised that your new BMW can only be driven in European Union countries, which include the following: Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and additionally Switzerland. All other countries are restricted because of the temporary tourist plates that are not recognized in non-EU countries. Also consider when planning your travels that you may not drive through any country that is not part of the EU." See the welcome letter (used in Apr 2008) from BMW here for full details.
New: June 2008: The bmwusa.com site has recently added Monaco and Norway to the list of approved countries.
New: April 2009: The maximum insurance and registration period is now limited to 5 months, down from the previous 6 months. If you lease a vehicle, 90 days is still your maximum allowed time in Europe.
As of summer 2007, the countries covered under BMW Assistance Plan appear to be: Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, U.K., and Ireland. See this attachment for a copy given out in August 2007.
Since deliveries have moved to BMW Welt, cars are no longer delivered with a full tank of fuel. This is due to, we're told, fire regulations because the cars are stored in an enclosed space although Germans can elect to have a higher level of delivery service, which includes a full tank of fuel. Your car will have approximately 4 gallons of fuel and you will be given a map to nearby service stations. I got this one. Many 'festers have found more cost-effectively priced gas by fueling in other areas.
Bimmerfest European Delivery Sign-In Book
Please sign the Bimmerfest BMW Welt Sign-In Book! The book is located at the reception desk of the Premium Lounge.
Planning Your Day(s) at the BMW Welt
Give consideration as to what you want to do at the BMW Welt in addition to the actual orientation and delivery.
Possible activities include:
- Factory Tour
- BMW Welt Tour
- Main floor exhibits
- Dining at Restaurant International
- Enjoying the cafés (excellent Austrian cakes and pastry)
- Visiting bookshop (next to the large café, not the main shop)
- Visiting the main shop
- Exhibit in the Doppelkegel
- Free Wi-Fi in Die Welt! Take advantage since either it cost money (Telekom) or you need a German mobile number (The Cloud) for Wi-Fi everywhere else.
Winter Driving and Summer/Performance Tires
- Summer/performance tires lose adhesion significantly under 7°C and temperatures in the winter months are of course much colder than that
- It is illegal to drive on summer tires on the autobahn if it has snowed or in wintry conditions. If you do so and get into an accident, you would possibly not have insurance coverage
All season tires are legal in Germany year round. The winter tire requirement usually applies to ED BMW's if you have a sports package or BMW with "summer" tires.
NEW Oct 2007: There is a winter tire rental program available for people who will drop-off in Munich. See this thread in bimmerfest.
If you are picking up your car in Munich and it is snowing outside, you can pay Harms a small fee to pick your car up at the Delivery Center when it is not snowing.
All hard drive based iDrive navigation systems will have the European Maps enabled before your pickup at the Welt. Upon re-delivery, during the Vehicle Preparation process, North American maps will be enabled.
Hints, Tips and Tricks
- Do not leave anything visible in the interior of the car when you park, regardless of how close you are to the parked car or how safe you believe the parking spot to be.
- Thinking of exceeding the speed limit in Europe? You might want to do some research on the penalties before you leave. In general, the laws in each country in Europe vary widely, and they can be very stricly enforced. A few extreme examples: you can receive a mandatory 18 days in jail for driving 16 mph over the limit in Norway, and fines in Finland can be proportional to your income, and have been as high as $70,000. One source for information on traffic enforcement in Europe can be found here.
- "USAREUR: Defensive Driving in Germany" Video
- German Road Signs PDF
- Hold on to your change! Many public toilets along the autobahn charge €0,50 to enter and use the facilities. When entering the toilets walk up to the turnstyle, deposit your €0,50, collect your receipt, and then walk through the turnstyle. Keep your receipts - you can used them for credit towards purchases at the rest stop for food, drinks and snacks.
- Vignettes/Toll Stickers. Many countries require the purchase of a vignette (a toll sticker that goes on your windshield). These are most easily bought at or near the border of the country at filling stations or at ADAC or ÖAMTC locations. Currently Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic require drivers to have a vignette. (Slovenia requires a vignette as of July 1, 2008.) These vignettes vary in cost and duration. For example, Austria sells a 10-day vignette, but Switzerland only sells one-year vignettes.
- Umweltzonen/Low Emissions Zones. Many countries including Germany have instituted Umweltzonen. The Umweltzone in Munich is everything within the Mittlerer Ring (but not the Ring itself). Other cities with Umweltzonen include Berlin, Hannover, Stuttgart, and Düsseldorf. A green Plakette signifying the class of your vehicle must be adhered to the windshield. The Plakette should provided at the delivery but you will need to adhere it. Ask for the Plakette if they didn't provide it. Failure to have the Plakette adhered (leaving it visible on top of the dashboard is not sufficient may result in a Bußgeld of 40,- €.
- Major cities in Italy are starting to impose congestion fees on cars entering the city centers. Watch out for signs that say "ZTL" in Bologna, Florence, and Milan. (Additional information and links are available in the Popular Destinations section of the Wiki.)
- A Parkscheibe is used to indicate when you parked your car. Where parking is limited (i.e. 1 hour parking) you will need to place this on your dash to indicate when you parked your car. If the parkscheibe indicates you have been parked too long (or if you do not have a parkscheibe) you may get a parking ticket. Ask the Welt for recommendations, or get one from a gas station.
- Safety Vest: Most EU countries (i.e. : Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Montenegro and Spain; Finland at night; required in Germany only for commercial vehicles) require you to carry one safety vest in the car per person, and to use it if you park on the side of the road and are outside of the car. You can use your “gift card” at the Welt to buy these at the store, or purchase one at the Mini dealer across the street. These are typically 8-9 Euro from BMW, although can be had for much less if you purchase them at a travel organization (AvD, ADAC) or auto parts store.
- Free Parking: You don’t need a car in Munich do you? Park your car at the Welt if you are staying for a few more days. They will give you free parking passes for the underground parking, but you have to ask for them at the front desk of the VIP lounge.
- International Driver's Permit (IDP). IDPs are required in Austria, but not in Germany. They are useful everywhere, however, as they provide translation of your US license and may help break a language barrier. IDPs are available for $15 from AAA.
- Gas prices are significantly lower in countries such as Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic compared to Germany. (At least in 2008, Slovenia is cheaper than any of Austria, Germany, or Italy.) If you are heading out of the country (or even just near the border) – only take the gas you need, and fill up when you cross the border. When you return the car to Harms it is required to have less than ¼ a tank before it is transported (not that you want to take any German gas home with you at those prices).