In Reply to: Just back from Euro Delivery of my 540i (long) posted by Nicole Hamilton on August 18, 2000 at 08:24:20:
Euro Delivery is addictive, isn't it?
I think there's a number of people who do it just for the vacation - when the car gets back to the US they sell it - and do this 8, 10, 15 times.
You also see a lot of Audis and Mercedes being driven aggressively but it's pretty obvious they're not in the same class with BMW.
My experience is that the Benz E-class is the most common fast-lane vehicle. Remember, though, that a 540i is very rare in Europe, your average 5er is a 525d or 523i. Likewise, your average Audi A8 is a FWD 2.5L turbodiesel, not the Quattro V8s we get here.
If you think you might ever be interested to do European Delivery (oh! you should! :) be sure to get the navigation system. It was superb.
I'd say 'helpful, but not perfect'.
"if possible, make a U-turn."
I know that one well.
When we came into a city, it even let us call up a list of local hotels and (except in France) find out their prices and whether they had parking, etc. We'd pick one by clicking on it and it'd take us right to the door. It made driving through Europe so easy.
We universally found that the hotel, restaurant, etc. database was very limited, only one of the places we'd decided to stay were in there.
The only thing difficult about driving in Europe that we found was dealing with the horrible parking garages.
They're all across the board - some are very tight, sized for Golfs. Some have big lanes, etc.
So if you take all the really stupid people off the road, guess what?, driving is a whole lot nicer experience.
The percentage of totally clueless is much lower. You're going to find your blood pressure goes up 20 points for the next month, dodging fast-lane-crawling minivans and SUVs that have declared themselves turn-signal-free zones.
By the time we figured out we were on our own to get our free meal, they'd already closed the cafeteria except for just some snacks.
Don't sweat it, the food is nothing special and they're usually out of half the items on the menu.
No matter what anyone tells you, you cannot drop off your car just any old time you want. I had been told it was 24-hour dropoff and that calling for a couple days before was merely a formality. Not so!
As long as you're planning to get there during business hours on a day they're open, booking a dropoff date doesn't seem to be needed. But you've got to watch those holidays, and the Harms offices work business hours and may be closed over lunch.
and we stayed right in the middle of the cities, e.g., a block from the Champs-Elysees in Paris
No wonder you had parking problems. Did your Paris hotel have parking?