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Dear Car Coach: I'm looking to buy an Audi and I heard you could pick it up in Germany. What do you know about this and how much does it cost?

C.S., Amherst

Dear C.S.: I just did a European delivery and can tell you that it was a fantastic experience. There is no fee for European delivery and the company covers one night's stay near the delivery point, but you have to pay for your airfare.

All Audi models that are sold in the U.S. are eligible for the European delivery program, which was developed due to growing demand from Audi customers interested in experiencing the Audi brand in Ingolstadt, Germany, Audi's worldwide headquarters. Customers take delivery of their Audi at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt and can take guided tours of Audi's factory and the historical museum. (The program includes complimentary meals at the fantastic Forum restaurant). Both tours are amazing and worth the time, even for those who aren't car enthusiasts.

Customers choosing to participate in the European Delivery Program receive 15-days of comprehensive vehicle insurance, export license plates and registration, that are valid in all European Union nations as well as non-European Union nations such as Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Monaco. Customers can purchase additional insurance, registration and export license plates for a maximum of 90 days, should they choose to stay in Europe longer than 15 days.

When the customer's trip comes to an end, Audi offers 14 drop-off locations throughout Europe at no charge.

The Audi European Delivery Program also includes:

*Up to 5 percent off MSRP on all qualified models and up to 3 percent on the Audi A3. Dealer determines final pricing.

*Complimentary transportation from Munich airport to Audi recommended hotels.

*Ocean shipping and marine insurance

*Customs duty and clearance

*European and U.S. wharf charges

Once you arrive at the factory, you need to show your passort to prove ID, then you sign a form and can take delivery of your vehicle. The process is simple and most people spoke English. It then is up to you how many days you choose to stay in Europe, but the expenses are on your budget.

While we were there, three other couples from the United States were also there to pick up their cars. Audi delivers about 100 cars per month to the U.S.. You will receive a binder with all the details once you have decided on European Delivery; this binder will answer all your questions.

Five manufacturers offer European Delivery: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo and Audi. If you can afford the car and the vacation, I highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity.

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Dear Car Coach: We have a 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500 Diesel 4x4 that we use to pull a fifth-wheel camper. It's time for new tires. What tires would you recommend? We don't do any off road driving. My husband is thinking of an all-season tire. We have General Grabber tires now but are not happy with them. They seem to wear out quickly.

C.P., Buffalo

Dear C.P.: When looking for replacement tires for a vehicle that is towing a trailer, make sure to get the correct load rating. The fact that we also drive in snow should be considered. There are 13 different tires available for your truck with prices that range from $180 to $240 apiece. Since you are looking for all-season on-road traction and long life, you might consider the Michelin LTX M/S2 or the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO. When you make your final choice of tire, look at the side of the tire; it has information that is important. The Uniform Tire Quality Grading System allows consumers to compare tire treadwear, traction performance, and temperature resistance. The federal government requires tire manufacturers to grade their tires in these three areas and place the information on the sidewall of the tire.

Since treadwear is important, the treadwear grades are an indication of a tire's relative wear rate. The higher the treadwear number is, the longer it should take for the tread to wear down. A control tire is assigned a grade of 100. Other tires are compared to the control tire. For example, a tire grade of 200 should wear twice as long as the control tire. We have some great tire stores in town so make sure to shop around and online for the best prices.

email: contact@laurenfix.com