Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,966
Registered: ‎07-02-2015

Re: Costco and Cars

[ Edited ]

We belong to Costco and also are members of USAA , both of which have car-buying assistance programs.  No way would DH or I ever even think of using them. 


No middeman is needed beween a customer and a car dealership salesperson.  It's a good sign that a buyer's reluctance or price-resistance is getting somewhere when the salesperson calls for help from the manager.


DH is the most persistent, annoying and eventually successful car-price negotiator most car salesmen have ever met.  When the deal finally gets done, the dealership manager, assistant manager and the salesperson have all jokingly told him they hope he never comes back again.  It is an ordeal that can last hours or days.


For years, I have been both bored and  embarrassed in car showrooms by the time that DH is  getting down to arguing over the last $50 on a car--$25 on the Cadillac I bought back in the 1980's. 


I often leave the room and go strike up a friendly conversation with any dealership person who isn't working with a client at the moment., just to pass the time and get away from the drama.


The lesson's amazing what discount or free or  special stuff you can get if you're willing to hang in there and keep asking for it.  There's more to buying a car than the car's price--there can be freebies for service, warranties, extra trim on the car, oil changes, car washes,  etc. etc.


It's a little easier  to play this game when you're paying all-cash for a car, but it can work even if you're not.  If you're not paying cash upfront for the car, get a loan from your bank--NOT from the dealership, so you then become a "cash buyer" to the dealer and have more leverage.


ETA......and don't do a trade-in of an old car with the new-car dealer.  Get an all-cash offer from another place such as CarMax.  Dealers play around very effectively with trade-ins.  It's best to start negotiating on a new car with a clean slate, your own budget, and no extra room for the dealer to play price games with your current car in the mix.

Posts: 32
Registered: ‎03-31-2013

We used our Costco membership when buying a car about a year ago. I thought their process seemed cumbersome (pick out your car then they refer you to a dealer, etc.) so decided not to use it. But after we negotiated our best price with the dealer and were doing the paperwork (and as kind of an after-thought), I asked if they participated in the Costco program. The saleswoman said they did and we got an additional $900 or so off on a Subaru Outback.

Super Contributor
Posts: 364
Registered: ‎08-30-2010

I have yes. I bought one for myself a bit over 8 yrs ago and then when my parents needed a new car I helped them because I have the Costco membership.

The dealership --you are directed towards certain dealers--they have built a relationship with Costco and have a book or a sheet with the price that they will sell the car to you.


Both Costco and the dealership ( two different makes of cars so two different dealerships) try to help you thru the process. Of course they can only go so far because they do want to make some money. Also I turned down different makes of cars when I was looking because the dealership that has the relationship with Costco was WAY too far for me to go.


There are other car buying programs in each state too so I looked into them, but for me Costco allowed me to have the best price.