Is it Cheaper to Buy an SUV From Costco?

Let’s face it, we’re all looking for the best deal on a new vehicle. Shopping for a new SUV is equal parts exciting and frustrating. You can read countless reviews and go about selecting the kind of SUV that you want. But even after all test drives and kicking of tires, it can frustrating as heck to try to negotiate to get the best price.

There are some new services that promise to help lower the cost of buying direct from a dealer, but do they really deliver? Here is the lowdown on some of those programs.

Costco Auto Buying

If you are a member of Costco, along with 45 million other Americans, you may have noticed that they now seem to be selling vehicles. They’re really not. What they are doing through their Costco Auto Program (CAP) is trying to help members get the best deals at participating dealerships, at no charge, through a referral service.

Through the power of millions of members and their buying power, CAP does help many buyers get some good deals on new vehicles and skip the negotiation. However, results can be mixed. In fact, many customers report that they were able to get better deals on their own than the CAP was presenting to them.

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Buying Online

Whether you are a member of Costco, USAA, Amex, or some other “affinity group” that provides assistance with auto purchases today, they are all basically using the same source. The network is called TrueCar, and it operates by having agreements with a vast network of dealerships. Said dealerships agree to deliver discounts through this network yet, sadly, these aren’t always the rock-bottom figures that customers are expecting.

Traditional Car Dealers

While walking into a car dealer to negotiate a deal isn’t at the top of most people’s favorite things to do, this is still the best way to get your desired price in some circumstances. We’re not talking about the hard negotiation and hours of stare-downs of times past. The key today is to be well-informed and spend a good deal of time preparing before heading to the dealership.

A popular strategy that works very well is to combine these methods for getting price quotes on a vehicle. If you are a member of Costco or USAA, ask their auto-buying service to get you a quote on your targeted vehicle.

In the meantime, do your own research as to the car’s value and average sales price. Contacting a dealership through email to ask for price quotes on specific vehicles, and even opening negotiations over the phone or through email is another favorite tactic to get the price you want while cutting down on the stress of negotiation.

There are many options for purchasing a new SUV today. Buying through the Costco Auto Program may work well for some while not producing the best price for others. To get the best deal on your new car, you should be willing to combine some of these tactics and your own research while still negotiating if necessary.

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