Costco Car Buying Experience
The program has benefits that many people think make it well worth the extra steps. If you are someone who wants a no-hassle, easy car-buying experience, the program could be a great option for you. Many of the trappings of the dealership experience are stripped away and you only have to focus on getting the car you want and driving away happy.
costco car buying experience
Using the program offers quite a few advantages over the traditional dealership experience. A member has the luxury of searching for cars in the comfort of their own home and can use the search function to choose all the different features they might want with their new vehicle. This makes shopping for new or used vehicles much more convenient and less time-consuming than going to different dealerships and speaking with dozens of salespeople.
When you shop for a car at a dealership, you will also most likely have to deal with things like high-pressure sales techniques and haggling. If you are someone who does not like these kinds of tactics, the auto buying program may be the right choice for you. Costco does all the negotiations for prices before the cars are listed and the price that you are offered is the price you are going to pay.
Even if you are not a member, becoming one might be worth the price if you are thinking about making a vehicle purchase. There are several benefits that come along with buying a car through Costco and their participating dealerships. Understanding these benefits can help you decide if it will be worth the price of setting up your membership.
The low-pressure nature of buying a car through the auto program also opens you up to options you might not otherwise consider. Since the inventory is held by authorized dealer contacts, you can scale down your search to cars that are available in your area. This lets you choose from cars that you might not have known would be a good fit and go give them a test drive at your convenience.
Not only can you avoid the high-pressure sales tactics of the dealership, but you can also shop at your convenience and according to your schedule. Everything you see on the website is what is included with the vehicle and there are no surprise elements for you to contend with. This all adds up to a much easier shopping experience.
Costco also takes all of these things into account when they are working on the pricing for the vehicles. This lets you take advantage of these incentives without having to fight for them at the dealership. Because of this, the buying process with the auto program is much more convenient while still saving you money.
One of the ways to avoid this is to research the dealership that your car is being offered at before you go and look at it. This will give you a good idea of what other people have experienced at that particular dealer and what their process is like.
For the most part, the auto program is for people who want the least amount of haggling and are not comfortable with the traditional car-buying experience at a dealership. If you feel like you are good at working out a deal, you may be able to get a lower price on your own and may even get more for your money in the long run.
If you are not interested in purchasing your car through the program but still like the idea of buying your car online, there are other options available to you. As innovations and changes happen in the auto dealing industry, there are going to be some companies that offer better deals and better services than others. Knowing which companies you can use to get similar services to the Costco Auto Program can help you choose one that fits your needs and budget.
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Many U.S. consumers don't like haggling over car prices. Nearly half (48%) of shoppers say negotiating the price of a new car is the worst part of going to a dealership, and 42% fear getting ripped off, according to Autolist. Those concerns could explain why Costco's Auto Program, which arranges no-haggle car-buying discounts for members, is growing in popularity and may be the best place to buy your next set of wheels.
Although the Costco car buying process makes up the core of Costco's Auto Program, the warehouse club has also used its clout to wrangle other benefits for members: at least a 15% discount on automotive parts, services, and accessories at participating service centers. A savings cap of $500 applies on each visit, and there are some exclusions. Card members can also get $100 off work at a dealership (or $200, for executive members).
There are more than 3,000 participating Costco Auto Program dealers in the United States and Puerto Rico. Costco trains and certifies dealership employees, some of whom may act as representatives for other car-buying programs or serve on a dealer's internet sales team. These employees are tested occasionally by Costco mystery shoppers to be sure they're following through on discounted pricing and the pledge to provide a good, no-stress buying experience. Dealerships that fall short during a review can be kicked out of the program.
Costco locks in prices by negotiating on members' behalf, using the size of its customer base as incentive for dealers to come in with their best offers. But shoppers aren't required to buy and can use the Costco pricing when bargaining and buying at other dealers. Regardless of how good the deal is, an auto program quote gives Costco members a valuable ballpark price point for car shopping.
NerdWallet's Reed says he wouldn't recommending joining Costco just for the auto program. Even though he has used the service and observed that drivers can get fair prices buying vehicles in plentiful supply, he says rock-bottom prices are more likely for those who play hardball. "The Costco program isn't always the lowest price. Shoppers who want to contact multiple dealerships and maybe do a little haggling can possibly get a better price." Redditors echo his thoughts: Although many are pleased at the no-hassle feel of the experience, others say they got a better deal by shopping and negotiating the old-fashioned way.
Costco isn't alone in offering group-buying discounts on vehicles, so if you don't have a Costco membership and don't want one, there are alternatives. "Shoppers might try a broker, or a car concierge who might charge a fee but will offset it with a better deal," Reed says. He also recommends checking with AAA, banks, and credit unions.
Factory add-ons are part of the Costco member price. Participating dealers agree to a minimum savings on any additional accessories or add-ons, and many offer more than the minimum discount. But it's still up to buyers to get the deal properly financed, negotiate the value of any trade-in, and navigate the world of add-ons and upsells, which can still add some stress to the shopping experience. "You still have to safely navigate the finance and insurance office," NerdWallet's Reed says. "This means the finance officer will pitch additional products to include with your car. It's a good idea to think this through beforehand, so you can make sure you know what you want. Often, these additional products can be purchased later, at a lower price, elsewhere."
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Similar to our experience in Maui, the package we booked for Arizona included a full-size car rental, a daily breakfast for two, and the waived mandatory daily resort fee, which added up to huge savings for our family.
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I booked a trip through Costco Travel to Kauai and saved over 1K for exactly the same flight, hotel and rental car, plus received Cash back. It was our first experience with them but definitely not our last. 041b061a72