Using Costco to Buy a Car

June 27th, 2008 · 13 Comments

I haven’t tried purchasing a car through Costco but after reading a recent blog post, I ‘m thinking I might give it a try the next time I’m in the market for a new vehicle.  This is a great story that demonstrates that Costco isn’t only a great place to shop for things like peanut butter and laundry soap, but some of their partner services are also beyond outstanding at saving you money.  The post isn’t all that long or detailed, however, he does mention that the price that he was able to get through the Costco dealership agreement was $500.00 less than any other dealer’s price.

I’d love to hear from more people that have purchased their cars using Costco’s program.  If you’ve done it, please leave a comment with your story, or you can send it to me at kimberly*at*addictedtocostco*dot*com and I’ll post it for you.


Tags: Costco in Blogs Share

13 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Costco Auto Program Limited Time Offers | Addicted To Costco! // 2010.12.02 at 7:12 am

    […] In the last 12 months, more than 500,000 Costco members have taken advantage of the Costco Auto Program to purchase new cars, trucks, RVs, or boats.   You can read some of the members’ opinions of the program through the Costco website or you can check out what my readers had to say last time I posted about the Costco Auto Program. […]

  2. 2 Kimberly // 2010.03.04 at 2:13 pm

    Here’s the reply that I got via’s Customer Support form:

    “There should not be an additional $750.00 fee in order to use the Costco Auto Program. For further information, please contact our Costco Auto Program directly at 800-755-2519.”

    So, pretty much as I’m sure we all expected, the car dealer was being something far less than honest.

    Ernesto, I really do hope that you report this specific dealership and salesperson to the folks at the Costco Auto Program before he tries this trick on someone else that isn’t smart enough to walk away from such a lousy situation.

  3. 3 Kimberly // 2010.03.04 at 2:04 am

    I have not received a response from customer support through yet. However, I went specifically to the auto program webpages and submitted my question there. If you would like to do the same (and I think you really, really should) you can find them here:
    They also list an 800 number that you can call for questions or assitance (800.755.2519)

    And for anyone else that is looking for some information about this Costco Auto Program, they have a great video detailing how it works here:

  4. 4 Kimberly // 2010.03.03 at 3:19 am

    That’s pretty similar to the tactic that I use too. Unfortunately, the Austin dealers don’t always have the most up to date websites and don’t always put their inventory on their sites. The real problem is that they apparently think they’ve got a very closed market but of the two cars we’ve bought since we’ve been in Austin, neither of them has actually been from an Austin dealer.

    We found a great credit union for financing. If you’re a member, or can be a member, you should really check them out because they almost always have the best rates for auto financing.

    Yes, here’s to hoping for a long life for your car! 🙂

  5. 5 ernesto // 2010.03.03 at 3:16 am

    the “bad” experience was on sunday afternoon…sunday night, i did my online research and got emails and calls monday morning. by doing most of this online, you can search inventories on specific dealer website, get the VIN, and go from there.

    This is what I did..I found the specific color combo online, did the deals over phone/email, and just applied for financing at the dealership. no hassles, no stress, and the dealership didnt seem dishonest at all…unlike the previous one.

    hopefully, both of us don’t have to buy cars soon….

  6. 6 Kimberly // 2010.03.03 at 3:06 am

    I wonder how they do the car search. Like, do they actually do it themselves or do it through a dealer. I know it’s going to sound like I have a car buying story for everything but… When I bought my last car the Austin dealer told me there was no way that they could find me the car that I wanted, no one had it in stock in all of the southern US. However, when I called a dealer in Houston they had the exact car that I was looking for – color, options, everything – and I bought it the next day.

    It’s all this kind of hassle and dishonesty that makes me HATE buying a car.

  7. 7 ernesto // 2010.03.03 at 3:02 am

    thanks for the feedback.
    I did contact them through but still waiting for response.

    reading a lot online about what people are saying about the program. seems like mixed results.

    the customer service was pretty poor. they weren’t willing to find me a particular car with my specifications. they said they tried to look but couldnt find one in all of southern california. …then of course they said they located one but it had all this extra stuff on it that they would sell to me at cost plus $200 to get it from the other dealer.

    i’m not going to cancel my membership at all cause the positives with costco are still many…just disappointed with this program as it didn’t turn out as i was hoping.

    pls let me know what you find out. thanks for sharing your story also.

  8. 8 Kimberly // 2010.03.03 at 2:41 am

    I’m going to write to the customer support people at Costco and ask them about this because I think it is so ridiculous. I’ll post back anything I find out.

  9. 9 Kimberly // 2010.03.03 at 2:39 am

    I’m going to guess that the particular dealer was trying to make his bit on the top and thought you would go for it. My husband and I had a similar situation when buying an Infinity. We were supposed to be able to get a certain price through the Nissan partner discount program, but the dealer just lied and said it was going to have to be more; think he had reasons but none were believable. We ended up going to a different dealer, in Dallas, and got the correct price. Funny thing is that they actually ended up selling us the car from the Austin dealership. In any case, my point is that car dealers don’t always have a level of honesty with regards to pricing and these programs.

    I would definitely report the dealer to Costco because I’m positive that he was totally making things up about there being a fee. Much like you I have to believe that it wouldn’t be worth it for people to use the program if there was such an enormous fee.

  10. 10 ernesto // 2010.03.03 at 2:31 am

    I tried it but it didnt work out for me. The dealer said that using that program there is an $750 fee. They tried to charge me that when I was there. I’m planning on giving feedback about it costco. I didnt think there was any associated fee like that…otherwise why would people go through it.

    Instead, i did my own research online through and cars direct, got different dealers to contact me and i got a 2010 acura tsx for 26998 (including destination charges). The invoice price on costcos website is $26959. plus 1.9% APR for 3 years.

  11. 11 umbriago // 2008.07.01 at 10:13 pm

    Hey, I did, too! Two years ago. I am not much of a haggler, but I am much of a cheapskate, so I decided to give it a try. Basically, it worked this way: I chose the car I wanted, submitted my info, and in a day or so I got a call from the designated Costco dealer. I went in, picked out a car from available stock (I’m also not choosy), and they said “this is the price,” and it was about $1,500 off MSRP. This was during GM’s 0% financing offer, almost two years ago to the day, and when you combine the Costco price with 0% financing, it was a no-brainer. (I got a Pontiac Vibe, which gets about 35 MPG, so I could not be happier today.)

  12. 12 Kimberly // 2008.07.01 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Michelle for posting your take on using Costco to buy a car. It’s nice to know that buying a car can actually be a less than painful experience. 🙂

    I also wanted to make sure that I posted the URL to the Costco Auto website:
    You can use it to research vehicles, find out the benefits, as well as locate a dealer in your area.

  13. 13 Michelle // 2008.06.27 at 4:20 pm

    We used Costco to purchase our car a number of years ago. It was the most stress-free car-buying experience we have ever had.

    My husband had done some research online, and pretty much knew what vehicle he wanted to check out, before we hit the lot. Using the paper “catalogue” that was provided by Costco, for the local dealers who would support the Costco discount, we pulled onto the Jeep lot, and of course were met by someone who was eager to sell us a car.

    My husband looked around for a bit, asked some questions, did some test driving, and then made his choice, adding that we had our Costco membership with us. The salesman looked at us, and said, “Oh!” He then went into his office, wrote a number on a piece paper and said, “This is our Costco price. We don’t barter on it. Take it or leave it.”

    That was it. I had braced myself for the long haul, of living at the dealership for the better part of the day, but it didn’t happen that way. My husband looked at the price and filled out the paperwork right then and there. Gone were the endless hours and useless games of some salesman running back and forth to his manager, working so hard to save us a few dollars and seeing if we could get an am/fm radio thrown in for free. We were in and out in a very short amount of time and had a very relaxing car-buying experience…two ideas that I never thought I would put together.

    I am quite certain, that when it comes time for us to get another new car, we will once again choose Costco’s car-buying program. I share our experience with anybody I know who is looking to purchase a new vehicle in the hopes that they can be spared some stress, as well a save a few extra dollars.

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