Step 3: Place the Order
This is where the fun begins. You can order the car exactly how you want it and not worry about whether you've chosen a hard-to-find color or option. Play around with the configuration tools on the automakers' Web sites to see the different colors and packages.
Volvo offers a unique perk: It lets the customer order Europe-exclusive colors, wheels and interiors. Customers can also choose options for the vehicle à la carte (blind-spot monitoring, for example) rather than having to order an expensive tech package with other options you may not really want.
It is important to note that as cars become more global, they may not always be made in the automaker's home country. For example, the BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 are not eligible for European delivery. That's because BMW builds them in Spartanburg, South Carolina, rather than Germany.
After choosing the vehicle and its options, you'll essentially be paying for the car as if it were on the dealership lot. This means you'll arrange financing, make the down payment and handle the trade-in with the dealership. In fact, you might make the first couple payments without seeing the car. Some dealers will collect the German value-added tax up front. The dealership usually refunds this tax after the vehicle arrives in the states.
After placing the order, you should receive a formal delivery date in a week or two. It is now safe to buy the plane tickets and plan out the rest of your trip.