Have any of you fine folks ever purchased a new car through Costco? If so, pros/cons?
I have not, but I have tried truecar and edmunds. You have to get all the quotes and prices figured out before you step in the dealership. So, the steps would be research, test drive to narrow your choices down to whichever car and also knowing all the trims/options you want.
Then get the quotes. I always pay cash, so that takes all the financing stuff out of the way. From what I have heard, costco hooks you up with someone at the dealership and it makes the transaction smooth. The quotes I got from them was always higher than the others, so I ignored it. Remember, you always wants to deal with the internet sale manager at the dealership. So when you walk in and a regular salesman approaches you, ask them to lead you to the right guy. Otherwise you will be wasting your time and theirs. The regular ones want to sell a car at MSRP.
Costco takes some of the stress out of buying a new car by offering a discounted price with no haggling, Truecar and the dealers Internet department also can offer a decent discount without having to negotiate. I checked Truecar and Edmunds after receiving a online quote from the local dealer, The dealer was right in the middle of the group but within $50 of the others.
You could save even more negotiating on your own, but for some it’s worth it just to get a fair price without jumping through all the hoops. You still have to fend off the person in the finance office (extended warranty and all the other stuff they peddle)
I close today on a new car (Toyota Prius V) using the TrueCar system through Consumer Reports. I also checked Edmunds but started out with Costco since I detest haggling. From all my web research on Costco’s program (which is actually run by another company with Costco’s blessing) you may not get a rock-bottom price, since Costco gets its cut too, but it will be a negotiated price through at least one vetted dealership in your locale. I filled out Costco’s form and the local dealer called me immediately (be prepared). I was just trying to see how the program worked.
So I paid $14 for Consumer Reports’ report on the Prius, which offers pricing through TrueCar. When you complete that form, it automatically goes to participating dealers (two Toyota dealers in my area) and they contacted me immediately. Since I had already started test driving the car with another dealership, I went back and mentioned what I had been doing on TrueCar and they said they would accept TrueCar’s price if I showed them the personalized certificate TrueCar generates. The MSRP on the Prius is $35,300 (it’s loaded) and the dealership accepted TrueCar’s price of $30,900 including destination but not sales tax or license/fees. Looks good to me, and no haggling. And even though TrueCar says “In-stock models”, my dealership found the exact car and color we were looking for about 55 miles away and went to pick it up. I’m sure there will be a push for extended warranties and such, but I’ll let you all know how it goes.
I tried. I filled out the form to have a dealership of the particular car I was looking for contact me. The dealership never did. -shrug.
Some of Costco’s benefits are loosely overseen. Any time a 3rd party gets involved, be prepared to not get what you thought you were going to get. Example, I bought my last phone via Costco. I was supposed to get the activation fee waived via a refund in the 2nd or 3rd bill as a Costco benefit. Never happened. I made some inquiries, and no one ever got back to me. My next phone purchase will not be via Costco because the only real money advantage was that activation waiver. The little “new phone kit” they send you as the other benefit of buying through them is silly and went straight in the trash.
I bought 2 Prius through Costco. They were about as low as you can get without haggling inclusive of Destination charges. Other fees like Doc fees were capped. I think it was $50.
2014 Model 2 for 20800 and a model 3 for 22400. These were with destination charge without tax and other doc fees.
Just returned from the Toyota dealer. The TrueCar price quote WAS honored even though the car was not in-stock, and the meeting with the finance dude was pleasant. No undue pressure but its his job to sell you extended warranties, paint protectant, yadda yadda. I did opt for free service through 5 years for a grand, but said no to everything else. My “no thanks” ended each offer. But the sales tax line item made me want to dump tea in a harbor! Sheesh.
What great advice! Thanks all. I’d not heard of TrueCar or knew that Edmunds.com had a similar purchase plan to Costco. Looks like I’d check out TrueCar first.