We recently bought a new car. . .through Costco. Yes, you read that right. After deciding on a make and model of car, I began contacting dealerships and checking out other methods – I probably had 10+ quotes when I was done (this is after bargaining dealers down, playing them off each other, etc.).
As part of the process, I got quotes through affinity groups – organizations like AAA, AARP, USAA, and pretty much any type of major membership organization will have arrangements with different local dealers to provide a discounted price to its members. A friend suggested adding Costco to the list and I was skeptical at first, but figured it couldn’t hurt. Lo and behold, the lowest price on the car we wanted out of all of the negotiated dealership prices, AAA price, etc. was Costco’s. And by several hundred dollars, too.
How it works:
- Go to www.costcoauto.com and select the make and model of the car that you are interested in.
- Select “Locate a Dealer” and enter your zip code – it will then ask for your name, number, and email. Costco will then email you your Member-Only Price Sheet, with a dealership and a fixed price. This is a fixed quote, not a contract.
- Bring the Member-Only Price Sheet into the dealership to buy your car at that price (or better – you are still eligible for other rebates, discounts, etc. that the manufacturer or dealership are having). You can also negotiate on any extras, like getting the floor mats for free. Remember, since it’s a fixed quote you are not obligated to buy from that dealer – if you like the price and you go in but for some reason decide not to buy there, that is totally fine.
- Note that you will get one quote, from one dealer – Costco sends you the lowest one of the dealers they have a partnership with, so the dealer can vary by model and make. The dealer will get your name and telephone number, so they will likely call you, but no one else gets your info.
- You can research and compare cars on Costco site as well. It’s not fantastic, but it’s free (you don’t need to be a member) and the Compare feature is nice. They also have some other tools like a Buy vs. Lease calculator that I did not use.
- They have similar programs for boats, RVs, motorcycles, and powersport products. Having never purchased a boat, RV, motorcycle, or “powersport” product, I have no idea if the rates here are as good as the car rates. But if you’re in the market for a yacht, it’s probably worth checking out. Then again, if you’re in the market for a yacht you’re probably not reading my blog. . .
- BJs also offers a car-buying program. We aren’t BJs members but unlike Costco you can usually find a free 30-day trial membership to BJs floating out there on the internet so you could check it out for free (report back if you do!)