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Ok, I have been asked a couple times about my ED (ugh, yeah, that is European Delivery, not the other thing...), so I will post the story here as well:

Ok, an overview of the car in case you haven't read through the whole thread, it is a 2010 A3 TDI with the Titanium Package. We put 2013 miles on the car in two weeks while in Europe. Overall, I think that we averaged around 38mpg over the duration of the trip which included stops in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.

Friday 5/21: Depart ORD arrive at JFK, miss flight to Pisa by literally 2 minutes. : ( Get upgraded to Business Class though on the flight out the next day, free hotel room.

Saturday 5/22: My wife had never been to NYC so we took the subway to downtown and did a bus tour.

The Plaza Hotel from Central Park.



Who doesn't need solar panels on their Maybach!



I am a big Seinfeld fan, and couldn't help but laugh and think of Kramer when I saw this



And then it was out to JFK to hop on an airplane. Champagne awaited us at our seats!

Sunday 5/23: After two hours of sleep awoken to a French Toast Breakfast and I was so stuffed I could barely move, luckily a couple hours later we landed in Pisa, Italy. Immediately off to the Leaning Tower to check it out.

I tried to push it over the rest of the way, but it just wouldn't budge!







Then we took a train from Pisa to Milan, shoved in a small room with 6 other people, during very hot temperatures, miserable!

Monday 5/24: We toured Milan for the day.

There was this castle (I forgot the name).





The Duomo, amazing, I can only imagine the craftsmanship that went into building such a thing





That night we took an overnight train from Milan to Munich, once again MISERABLE! Sweaty and hot, stuck in a room with 6 other people, once again got only about 2 hours of sleep...

Tuesday 5/25: Delivery Day! Greeted at the Munich Central Station by Wagner, with an Audi sign. Driven to the Forum in a black A8L (I presume, for some reason probably 50% of the cars in Europe don't have badges identifying the model...). Delivery went pretty well, the majority of the people at the Forum DIDN'T speak English which was surprising and at times a bit of a problem. We had to ask for the Munich sticker, so remember to do this, for some reason it wasn't included in our paper work.
Here is the car parked out front of the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt, out of about 100 deliveries they did at the factory that day, only 4 were for Americans doing European Delivery. Multiples S3s, RS6s, and TTRSs...



In front of the Audi Museum:



We did the factory tour which included seeing almost everything, except the paint process, from stamping the steel for body components, to welding the body to the final assembly of the A3, we walked the whole line. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed...

Probably the car that got me started on Audis. My Dad and I went to the 12 hours of Sebring (when we lived in FL) and stood at these guys pits for about an hour, such a great experience/memory







And to be able to buy one of these one day, such a cool car.



These are all of the German/European owner cars in front of the forum that took delivery the same day I did.







Yes, this is a 200k Euro Q7 V12 TDI, didn't even know they made it



A shot of the inside of the Forum and the delivery area



 

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And my car, waiting for us to pick it up!



After the factory tour, we toured the museum and got on the Autobahn to Dusseldorf. Got the car up to 120mph.

Wednesday 5/26: Leave Dusseldorf, head for Amsterdam. The only stop in Dusseldorf was our hotel and a brewery called Zum Uerige, definitely worth the stop, seeing actual barrels of beer being served and rolled around took you back into the old days.
In front of the hotel in Amsterdam, by far the coolest city I have ever traveled to, everyone was so nice there.



That is a bike parking garage in Amsterdam, I think they said it has room for close to 3k bikes.



Other stops in Amsterdam included, Arendsnest and In de Wildeman which are bars.

Thursday 5/27: Leave Amsterdam, head for Brussels but first we toured the Anne Frank House.



In front of the Onze Lieve Vrouw van Koningshoeven Abbey in the Netherlands, they make La Trappe brand of Trappist beer. My wife and I are both beer geeks, we stopped at lots of world renown bars and 4 of the 7 total Trappist Abbeys.



After La Trappe, we headed for the Westmalle brewery/monastery.



First time filling up the car, I wish that diesel would be this easy to find in the US...



Friday 5/28: We toured Brussels for the morning and then headed to Brugge for the night.

The Mannekin Pis in Brussels, not really sure why this thing is a big sightseeing hit, he is about 18" tall



The Grand Place.



Our walking tour of Belgium was courtesy of Cantillon Brewery that has it on their website. It took you by all the big sites in the city and then ended at the brewery. I would definitely recommend both. The brewery has a self guided walking tour, which includes some tasting, my wife and I did not care for their open fermented brews, but it was cool seeing a brewery straight out of the 1900s.





Brugge Belgium, definitely a must stop place. Everything appears to be straight out of the 16th Century.



Saturday 5/29: We left Brugge and headed for Westvletern monastery.

Drinking the "holy grail" of beers at Westvletern along with the car in front of the monastery





After Westvletern we headed for St. Bernadus, which unfortunately was closed.



After that we headed to Ieper to do a WWI driving tour.

This is Ieper.



And some of the WWI monuments.





Misc. A3 content.



For dinner that night, we went to Wally's Farm in Poperinge. This was probably the highlight of the trip. It is a family style dinner house, where Wally who is a Elvis enthusiast provides the entertainment. If you are in the area you HAVE to stop here for dinner, it was awesome. And probably the only place on the trip where we were the only tourist.





 

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We stayed the night in downtown Poperinge.

Sunday 5/30: Leave Poperinge and head for the Chimay brewery.

When we were driving to the monastery outside of Chimay, I thought it was weird that the road had tall guardrails all over and then there were rumble strips. Apparently we were driving on a section of the Circuit de Chimay



Outside of the Auberge de Poteaupre at Chimay.



After that we wanted to head for the Orval monastery/brewery but didn't have enough time, we had to get to the Nurburgring!





Driving around probably the most famous corner on the track, the Karussel corner (my wife was taking the pictures).





After the Nurburgring we head for Heidelberg for the night.

Monday 5/31: Leave Heidelberg and head for Triberg.

But first a tour of the Heidelberg Castle and a shot of the famous Heidelberg Bridge.







On the way to Triberg we stopped at the Fluchenstein Museum (hopefully that was the name) which is a small collection of German houses from the 1600s re-assembled like they would have been at the time and showing how life would have been.



At Triberg Germany, in the Black Forest



The falls in Triberg.



The worlds largest cuckoo clock, you can tour it for 2 Euros and then another 1 Euro to hear him talk about it, sort of a tourist trap, but cool nonetheless...





After Triberg we headed to Zurich, as our staging ground for the Alps. We should have pre-booked a hotel because Zurich was expensive!

Tuesday 6/1: Leave Zurich and head for the Alps!

I had planned on driving through some roads in the Alps and wanted to go along the routes that the guys from Top Gear took, so we headed south. We started with the San Bernadino Pass, then on to the Fluella Pass (it was snowing at the top and there wasn't a sign, so we didn't stop, I just didn't want to slide off the road...), then to the Stelvio and Umbrail Pass.



(That should have been the lake at the top of the San Bernadino Pass, but it was still frozen over.)









Only the "front" side of the Stelvio Pass was open, the back side was still snowed over, as you can see in my picture, the snow was higher than the car. We had to take the Umbrail Pass down since we were heading back into Austria/Germany which was a but unnerving since a decent part of it was a dirt road...

This is looking at the "gnarliest" section of the Stelvio Pass, the orange are the plastic temporary guardrails; some car either fell off the top and rolled all the way down to the bottom and took out all the guardrails, or the snow destroyed them as it melted down.

On the way up to that portion there were actually some one lane tunnels that are carved out of the side of the mountain, and are too long to see to the other side. I was following a van through it when he all of a sudden slammed on his brakes and whipped it into reverse, there was a car coming from the other direction. Backing up in a tunnel that is barely wide enough to see in, in the dark, in a brand new car, was very nerve racking...



Why would anyone ever put a town at the top of the Stelvio Pass is beyond me, maybe they had planned on it being a watering hole for the car enthusiast getting to the top.

 

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After the Alps we headed to Fussen to see the Neuschwanstein Castle, but unfortunately Thursday was a bank holiday when we had planned on dropping off the car, so we ended up having to cut Neuschwanstein out of the schedule.

Wednesday 6/2: Leave Fussen stop at the Andech Monastery, check in at the hotel in Munich to empty the car out and then head to the drop off site. :(



(Unfortunately it rained most of the time we were in Germany for the second part of the trip, so never got to have a beer in an authentic beergarden!)

We hit up the Hofbrauhaus that night!



Thursday 6/3: Check out of our hotel in downtown Munich and head for the Kempinski to check in, then back downtown. The Kempinski was a beautiful hotel!



We stopped that night for dinner and drinks at Augustiner Keller.





Friday 6/4: Wake up and head home. :' (

All in all the car was a blast to drive. The brakes leave something to be desired and unless you keep the revs up in the diesel, it doesn't have much for guts. I had my moments with the DSG, if there is a way to totally lock it out from down shifting let me know. Going through the passes in the Alps, every time you hit a hair pin you had to slow down which the DSG would down shift from 2 to 1 causing a big lurch when I hit the gas again. Luckily, most of the "issues" that I had with it are situations that will never be seen here in the US or the way I will drive it over here. The car cruised perfectly fine at 120mph on the Autobahn with only a bit of wind noise, which was to be expected.

The trip itself was unforgettable and probably a once in a lifetime opporotunity. In our opinion, two weeks was plenty of time to see everything that we did. We aren't much for museums or anything, so about a day to a day and a half in each place gives you a good enough amount of time to walk around, see the sights and get on the road.

Thanks for looking if you got this far and let me know if you have any questions. We took over 1300 pictures...
 

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Awesome story, thanks for the post!

Do you mind if I archive this thread to link it to the Audi A3 TDI buying guide? The European delivery is unique to Audi vs. VW.
 

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Awesome story, thanks for the post!

Do you mind if I archive this thread to link it to the Audi A3 TDI buying guide? The European delivery is unique to Audi vs. VW.
No problem at all, hopefully we can get some more people interested in doing it!

To be honest, it was actually your site that helped me find out about the program in the first place (since Audi does such a terrible job of advertising it, compared to BMW)!
 

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Very coool....but you couldn't tip it over because I was on the other side holding it up with a finger! I think everyone who goes there has one of these pictures.
 

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Did you have to pay the entire VAT tax price up front and then get refunded by AoA? If so, how much were you charged?

Awesome trip and nice car! I've considered doing for my next next vehicle (and Audi) after my Golf TDI tenure us up in 2013.
 

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Did you have to pay the entire VAT tax price up front and then get refunded by AoA? If so, how much were you charged?
Yes, vehicle must be paid in full in the USA (including tax and tags) and in addtion you must pay the 19% VAT, which gets refunded upon your return.

Also, you are sort of "forced" to finance through AoA because most banks won't let you take out a loan and give them the title to the car 3 months later. Luckily, I got a better rate with AoA and didn't have to search around.

I actually made 3 car payments before I ever got the car state side.
 

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Yes, vehicle must be paid in full in the USA (including tax and tags) and in addtion you must pay the 19% VAT, which gets refunded upon your return.

Also, you are sort of "forced" to finance through AoA because most banks won't let you take out a loan and give them the title to the car 3 months later. Luckily, I got a better rate with AoA and didn't have to search around.

I actually made 3 car payments before I ever got the car state side.
Awesome to know! Did you lease or finance? I see an Audi A4 avant in my future via Euro delivery ;) Ibis White just like your beautiful A3. :thumbsup
 

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Awesome to know! Did you lease or finance? I see an Audi A4 avant in my future via Euro delivery ;) Ibis White just like your beautiful A3. :thumbsup
I financed my car, not sure if I would lease and do ED since you would really be losing time with the car and paying for it.
 

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What sort of deal were you able to negotiate. I know the "published" discount was 5% off MSRP on most and 3% on the A3, which is really a joke, when most cars are / were selling close to invoice (7% under MSRP) without any ED "discounts".
 

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What sort of deal were you able to negotiate. I know the "published" discount was 5% off MSRP on most and 3% on the A3, which is really a joke, when most cars are / were selling close to invoice (7% under MSRP) without any ED "discounts".
Hmm, in Chicago no dealers were going to budge from list except on the demo cars. I was happy with the 3%.
 

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Do you know if the Audi program is still an option? We asked a local dealer just last month if it was possible to that A3 TDI with manual transmission by picking it up in Germany. Said he would call back; never did.
I once DID the "tourist" delivery through VW and picked up a Jetta diesel in Wolfsburg in 1982. Drove it for one year while living in Germany and shipped it back with new VWs. It was a great decision for us: 20,000 miles often with four passengers and two tents.
 
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