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Want a free trip to Sweden, including 2 roundtrip tickets and a night at a first class hotel? ALL you need to do is buy a new Volvo. Okay, okay, having to buy a car does kind of stretch the definition of a “free” trip, but if you’re already in the market for a new car, this might be a good option.
Volvo overseas delivery
The program is called Volvo overseas delivery, and here’s the basic way that it works:
- You pick out any new Volvo from a local (US) showroom. Typically you will get a “no-haggle” price from your Volvo dealer that is 8% off of MSRP (see also this review of the program at kbb.com)
- You are given 2 roundtrip tickets to Sweden. Since we’re in the miles and points game here, I should point out that I would assume that you would earn mile on the flight 😀
- When you land, you are picked up by a Volvo limosine and taken to a first-class hotel in Gothenburg (as of this writing it’s the Radisson Blu in Gothenburg), as well as picked up (by limo again!) the next day and given a tour of the Volvo Gothenburg Factory Delivery Center in Sweden, where you pick up your new car.
- You’re given European insurance, and can then drive anywhere you want in Europe for up to 6 months. There are 20 dropoff points all around the continent, and if you bring it back to Gothenburg, then you will pay nothing to ship it back
- Volvo ships the car back to the US, where you can pick it up from your local US Volvo dealer in about 8-10 weeks.
Why does Volvo do the Volvo overseas delivery?
So, I’ve heard of new car incentives, but this kind of takes the cake, right? 😀 So why does Volvo do it? Turns out the reason is taxes. By having you pick up your car in Sweden and drive it, even for a mile, they can ship the car to the US as “used” instead of “new”, which means that the import taxes that Volvo pays are a lot less.
(UPDATE: gfb in the comments says that the tax savings is NOT the reason – that in fact it’s more likely the marketing aspect of the program that provides the real benefit to Volvo)
How much less? Well I’m not sure, but one can only assume that it’s enough for Volvo to afford to fly 2 people to Sweden and give you a night in the Radisson, as one would assume Volvo is not a charity :-D.
You do have to be a US citizen at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license and passport. European citizens (even those living in the US) are not eligible for the Volvo overseas delivery program.
Similar programs from other European automakers
Several other European automakers offer similar programs, but none is as lucrative as the Volvo Overseas Delivery program, as far as I could tell
- Audi Overseas Delivery program – you get 5% off your car, free transportation from the Munich airport and a night at a hotel, but no plane tickets. You also have to pay for your insurance
- BMW European Delivery – 7% off your car (negotiated with the dealer), and discounts on hotel and flights
- Mercedes-Benz European Delivery – 7% discount on your car, 1 night stay at a hotel, and 15 days of car insurance
- Porsche European Delivery – You negotiate the price like a regular sale. 1 night stay at a hotel, and discounts offered on flights.
Is it worth it?
Well, only you can answer that question. Generally a new car is not considered to be a great investment, but if you’re on the market for a new car anyway, something like this could make sense.
You DO get a 8% discount off the MSRP, so it seemed like you could get a decent deal on selling a “nearly-new” Volvo with only 1000 miles or so once you returned to the US. You might not break even, but considering the other benefits you got while doing the Volvo Overseas Delivery program, it might make sense.
What do you think? Ever done something like Volvo Overseas Delivery program or would you consider it?