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We just returned from our Overseas Delivery Trip and I want to put a few things down while they're still fresh in my memory.

Travel arrangements went smoothly. We called the travel agency that Volvo uses and a gentleman named Nye worked with me to arrange our transportation to and from Europe. When I ordered my vehicle I was told that the pick up date would be 21 October, which was a Monday, which meant that we would be leaving home (flying out of Sacramento, CA) on 19 Oct. We choose to fly out around 10:00 which allowed for a leisurely departure (we're 90 minutes from the air port). I did some searching on the internet on Scandinavian flights (economy and economy plus) and the reviews weren't good, so I splurged and upgraded to Business Class (which had excellent reviews). If your budget allows upgrading to Business Class is a great move. In addition to more comfortable seating you receive a 5 course dinner and a 4 course breakfast, and the seats actually recline completely flat, so that you have a single bed. Nye completed the travel upgrades and I paid him over the phone with my credit card. A very easy upgrade.

The travel itinerary was well thought out, with enough time between flights that we weren't rushed to change terminals, but not so long that we were sitting around bored. We were met at the Gothenburg airport and taken to the hotel, where we had a very nice room. I arranged for a second night at the hotel (again arranged through Nye, at my expense) because I didn't want to pick up our new car and be forced to immediately depart. But, since we received the car just before noon the following day (with transportation again provided by Volvo from the airport to the factory) we could easily have taken possession of our new Volvo and begun our trip that afternoon, rather than remaining in Gothenburg overnight. We opted to skip the factory tour and museum, so had an afternoon to spend examining our new Volvo and exploring around town a bit before heading out.

I assumed that the GPS would have a North American map, so I had my Garmin with a map of Europe loaded and ready to begin using, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Volvo had a map of Europe, and included all of the countries that we planned to visit (this map will be changed to North America when the car is delivered here). Here we found our first pleasant surprise with our new Volvo, the GPS is really pretty intuitive. My wife and I are in our 70's, so we're not computer nerds or electronic wizards, however, we found that it only took a few minutes to learn how to program our GPS and easily found our way back to the hotel (about a 20 minute drive). As we spent more time with our car we found the GPS easy to use and very helpful. If you're going to be driving through different countries keep in mind that the first entry of an address into the GPS will be the country, and understand that there are different spellings for cities in Europe (such as Munich is often spelled Munchen in Germany). I found it helpful to use city codes (like zip codes) when programming destinations in my GPS, and city codes are usually easy to find. Also street addresses are frequently expressed differently than they are in the US. So don't get frustrated if you try programming a street address and run into problems, just take your time and use logic, it will work out.

Our trip involved driving from Sweden through Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany and France, then back up through Germany to turn our Volvo in at Frankfurt. The trip involved toll roads, which the GPS advised me of, so that I could be ready before I got to the toll booth. At the toll booth I used my VISA card and had no problem, in Denmark, Germany or France, they all took VISA. We put 2,600 miles on the car before turning it in, and we had absolutely no problems with the vehicle.

We have the XC40 Inscription T5. Since I've lived in Europe I was comfortable driving the car through small towns with very narrow streets and cruising at high speeds on the Autobahns. I found that the XC40 has a great turning radium so you can drive comfortably in tight spaces and make sharp turns. The steering is very precise. I spent a good deal of time where speed was not controlled, or was limited to 120 - 130 KM (75 - 80 MPH) and was pleasantly surprised when the fuel usage on the dash showed 27.6 MPG overall for our trip.

I didn't like the auto stop feature and learned to switch to individual driving mode each time I started the vehicle, which disabled the stop/start feature, and it does take a minute for the on board computer to download and program before you can begin using it, but these were the only two distractions we found, and we considered them very minor. We had the same problem that others have experienced with using your foot to open the rear of the vehicle, and I will discuss that with the dealer when we pick up the car. What we did find was the the T5 engine has plenty of power and cruises easily at high speed, while returning what I consider reasonable fuel mileage. The seats were exactly what we expected, supportive and very comfortable. After a 7 or 8 hour day of driving we were both still very comfortable, and my wife especially liked the extension feature of the seat cushion in the passenger seat. We lowered the second row seat backs and had plenty of room for two weeks worth of luggage.

Overall we felt that this is an excellent program. Volvo does a great job of arranging travel and accommodations, and the vehicle presentation is well done. If you're considering using this program and have the time, spending two weeks enjoying Europe in your new vehicle is a great opportunity, not to be overlooked. If anyone has questions that I can answer I would be happy to do so. We enjoyed the experience, are very pleased with our new XC40, and can hardly wait to take possession in about 3 months.

Stan Kromfols
[email protected]
 

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I really appreciate your post. My family and I are planning a similar trip for the summer. I’m curious about how flexible your flight plans were. My husband and I have jobs where we have to be fairly proactive about asking for vacation time, so we want our pick up date to be quite precise. We are looking at an itinerary quite similar to yours. Would also welcome any additional details about what the drop off process was like. Lastly, did you ask for any features that were not standard with your car? If so, was the process fairly easy to get those ordered?
 

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Maingirl, I arranged my flight plans without really considering flexibility, so I'm not sure if you can include flexibility in your request. Your best bet is to call the Volvo travel people and hopefully you get someone as helpful as Nye and can find out how flexible you can be. One mistake I made was to arrange my drop off in Frankfurt on a Monday. They open at 0830, and my flight out of Frankfurt was 12:30 PM so I was afraid I would be cutting it close. Also, they want the car reasonably clean, and in Germany car washes are usually not open on Sundays, so I was unable to wash the car before turning it in, but thankfully it had rained Saturday so the care was reasonably clean. I went to the drop off location on my way to France and completed almost all of the paperwork at that time. It only took about 30 minutes, and when I dropped the car off the residual paperwork only took about 30 minutes, and they called me a cab, so it was a pretty simple process. It only took me 15 minutes to get from our hotel to the drop off point (our hotel was a 7 minute walk from the airport) but it took the cab driver 1 3/4 hours to get me to the airport because there was a traffic accident, but thankfully I had given myself plenty of time to get to the airport, so it didn't turn out to be a problem. But every drop off point is probably a little different, where are you dropping your car off? Also, have you and your husband ever been to Europe?

There were no features that we requested that I had not ordered through the dealer here. Most of them were already added to the car in Sweden, but possibly one or two minor things are added by the dealer when the car arrives in the USA.

Do you have specific locations that you're planning on visiting on your trip? I spent about a month researching and using Google Maps to determine driving times and scenic routes, and determining where we wanted to be each night so that I could select at least 2 or 3 possible places to stay in each location. Also, be aware that Sweden and Denmark use their own currencies, rather than the Euro, however, all of the other places that we went used Euro's and everywhere we went they accepted our Visa. I used my VISA for gas stations and never had a problem, restaurants, even at Burger King and McDonalds (yes that have many of each in Europe), so don't worry about the different currencies if you carry a name brand credit card.

Have your passports ready, and I went to AAA and got an international drivers license, just in case, but really didn't need it.

I'm sure that you'll have a great trip. And don't hesitate to ask any questions that I can answer for you.
 

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Maingirl, I arranged my flight plans without really considering flexibility, so I'm not sure if you can include flexibility in your request. Your best bet is to call the Volvo travel people and hopefully you get someone as helpful as Nye and can find out how flexible you can be. One mistake I made was to arrange my drop off in Frankfurt on a Monday. They open at 0830, and my flight out of Frankfurt was 12:30 PM so I was afraid I would be cutting it close. Also, they want the car reasonably clean, and in Germany car washes are usually not open on Sundays, so I was unable to wash the car before turning it in, but thankfully it had rained Saturday so the care was reasonably clean. I went to the drop off location on my way to France and completed almost all of the paperwork at that time. It only took about 30 minutes, and when I dropped the car off the residual paperwork only took about 30 minutes, and they called me a cab, so it was a pretty simple process. It only took me 15 minutes to get from our hotel to the drop off point (our hotel was a 7 minute walk from the airport) but it took the cab driver 1 3/4 hours to get me to the airport because there was a traffic accident, but thankfully I had given myself plenty of time to get to the airport, so it didn't turn out to be a problem. But every drop off point is probably a little different, where are you dropping your car off? Also, have you and your husband ever been to Europe?

There were no features that we requested that I had not ordered through the dealer here. Most of them were already added to the car in Sweden, but possibly one or two minor things are added by the dealer when the car arrives in the USA.

Do you have specific locations that you're planning on visiting on your trip? I spent about a month researching and using Google Maps to determine driving times and scenic routes, and determining where we wanted to be each night so that I could select at least 2 or 3 possible places to stay in each location. Also, be aware that Sweden and Denmark use their own currencies, rather than the Euro, however, all of the other places that we went used Euro's and everywhere we went they accepted our Visa. I used my VISA for gas stations and never had a problem, restaurants, even at Burger King and McDonalds (yes that have many of each in Europe), so don't worry about the different currencies if you carry a name brand credit card.

Have your passports ready, and I went to AAA and got an international drivers license, just in case, but really didn't need it.

I'm sure that you'll have a great trip. And don't hesitate to ask any questions that I can answer for you.
We have been to Europe before, and have driven in the UK/Ireland and France, but never in Scandinavia, Germany or Switzerland where we anticipate we’ll go. Thinking Munich for our drop off spot. Will forward any questions to you as they come up, but great info on the GPS (by which I assumed you mean the Sensus navigation).
 

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Whatever they call the automated map in the center of the console is what I refer to as the GPS. And we found it very handy that in addition to the center screen, when you are using it you also get a smaller version (details on the immediate road ahead of you) in front of the driver. Sometimes I found that very useful to figure out some of the more complicated interchanges when moving from one autobahn to another. There's a great deal of autobahn repair going on throughout Europe right now and we found portions of some Autobahns completely closed for repairs. When you're in a very unfamiliar area and the navigation system tells you what Autobahn to take, but it's closed, it gets a little tricky finding your way towards your objective. So you may want to consider having paper maps of the areas that you plan to visit, just in case.

In Germany, unlike France, almost everyone you deal with understands and will speak English. In France we've found that many locals refuse to speak English, but in Germany most locals seem to enjoy practicing their English and are reasonably good, so you have no problems communicating. Are you going to be in Munich (and as I mentioned before, if you look on German maps or road signs it will be spelled Munchen) for the Oktoberfest? If so I envy you. It's a great celebration. Hopefully you can be there for the opening parade. And when you attend the fest I suggest that you get their early. The big beer tents hold up to 5,000 people and they fill up early.
 

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I am a French-speaker and my husband speaks German, so we have our bases covered. I’m a bit apprehensive about the autobahn as I am not a high-speed enthusiast in general. Good tip on the maps. Were you able to be precise about what date you arrived? Did you take the bizarre tunnel/bridge to Copenhagen or a ferry?
 

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If you and your husband have German and French covered this will be a piece of cake. And unless his German is very good I think you'll find that the Germans will prefer to speak English. They can't help themselves and it seems to make them more comfortable speaking English rather than listening to someone who doesn't speak German correctly.

The autobahn is almost entirely very well maintained and well marked, so while traffic moves swiftly it is smooth. You can be comfortable at US highway speeds, just stay in the right hand lane. As you probably know, when driving on the autobahn it is the law that you stay in the right hand lane unless you're passing someone, and then you immediately return to the right hand lane when the action is completed. Unlike the USA failing to follow this law will get you a traffic citation, or get a fast moving vehicle right on your bumper flashing his lights very impatiently.

We took the tunnel/bridge. Upon entering you use your credit card, a very easy process. If I read my bank statement correctly it was $57.50, with an added $1.72 international purchase transaction fee. Then a bit further on you'll be on another toll road and I'm not sure what that toll amounted to. I'd considered taking the ferry, but figured that it would be less hassle to avoid trying to arrange my travel to meet their scheduled times.

For trip planning purposes I found that Google Maps was pretty accurate on the driving times, except when we encountered traffic congestion from construction or accidents.

Hopefully my information is helpful, and I'm happy to share any information or lessons learned. This may be a one time experience for you so it should be as trouble free and fun as possible.

Stan
 

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I did the Overseas delivery September 2018. The tip I got from my dealer was that since there were no direct flights into Gothenburg from Cincinnati, we could arrange to spend time in Stockholm before heading on to Gothenburg. We spent three nights and then Volvo paid for our flight from Stockholm to Gothenburg. Getting on a plane in Stockholm we didn't even have to show a driver's license or passport!
 

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I've been tracking our Volvo ever since I turned it in in Frankfurt. I went on the internet and joined a maritime association and created a fleet consisting of the ship that my Volvo was on (which I was able to find off the papers I had). I was able to go into the internet and track the progress of my vessel as it crossed the Atlantic, docked in Savana Georgia, then went through the Panama Canal and sailed up the west coast of Mexico and docked in Port Hueneme. It has since been unloaded, gone through customs and should be in transit to the dealer, hopefully arriving today. The dealer said that he would need it one full day, than it would be ready for pick up. Wowl finally gonna get my XC40. I can hardly wait.
 

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Thanks for sharing all the great info. How long does it take for your car to arrive once you leave it off in Europe?

When traveling to Europe I buy a one month high speed international data pass from my wireless carrier and use the nav apps on phone just as I do in the US.
 

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Jezza, we received our car last friday and it was turned in on 4 Nov, so about 2 months. But keep in mind that it makes a difference where you turn the car in. Since I turned mine in at Frankfurt it took longer than if I would have turned it in in Sweden, and probably would have taken much longer if I would have turned it in in France.

Using the nav apps on phone works well as long as you have service. My wife did just that, but there were areas where she had no service so the XC40 nav system came in handy. But using the combination of both systems was really helpful at times because she could use her phone and pan out long range, where the XC40 screen was limited on the distance that it would show.
 

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stan, thank you for sharing your story as my wife and I are interested in the oversea delivery as well as in the XC40. Once concern I have is when the car is being transported/shipped to the states, did the transport company protect the interior seats with plastics like how "normal" new cars are transported delivered to the dealership?
 
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