PDA

View Full Version : Car buying programs


Chaoster
03-07-2011, 11:05 PM
I was wondering if anyone used either the AAA or Costco car buying program? How was the process? I was curious as to how much one would save. I thought about going to a dealer without the program and then going back with the program and see the the price would be for the same car. Also does anyone know what fleet pricing is?

Cheshire Figment
03-08-2011, 12:27 AM
A couple of years ago, before buying my Ford Edge, I tried the Costco program.

It was a failure. The only Ford Dealer in the Orlando area participating was about three miles off Exit 86 of I-4. I normally get on/off I-4 at exit 55, so it was 31 miles extra on I-4 for me.

I was planning on getting a special order, as I needed to be able to install a lift for my ECV.

I then went to the Ford Dealer directly at Exit 55 of I-4. Not only did they beat the price by $400, but they also tossed in four free oil changes during the first year.

SplashMo
03-08-2011, 12:38 AM
You want to use a site you trust to see what dealer invoice is. Then see if costco will get you within 200-300 dollars from invoice. If so they will hook you up with the fleet sales (usually) and I call them and indicate that the entire process must take les than 2 hours and I go one hour before they close. Never but the extended warranty undercoat, etc...

With the poor econemy maybe you can drive a harder bargen...

Also Costco Auto finance was a good deal but the dealer may have better...

ssawka
03-08-2011, 07:08 AM
What I did was researched a fair price for the car I was interested in, then I went on AAA and selected the car and options I wanted. AAA sent me an email with three dealers in my area that were participating and what they agreed to take off the invoice. Then, I went to one of the dealers and tried to negotiate myself to see if I could get a better deal.

What the dealers agree to with the AAA program is a certain amount off the invoice, so you should ask to see the invoice before mentioning the buying program. Also, do some research on the Internet before going to the dealer so you know what the "true" invoice should be. Also, don't let them use incentives to make you think you are getting a better deal. Remember, incentives are between you and the manufacturer. Don't let the dealer have any of your repeat! Also, and this is important, if negotiations are not going your way, head for the door. Most dealers will quickly cave!

princessnoelly
03-08-2011, 12:26 PM
Dealership have to pay to participate in these programs- many do not participate.

The price you will get on the car depends on the car. If it's a hot car and there aren't any available then you can't negotiate on it. If it's a standard car with regular equipment then you'll get a good deal. Ask how long the car has been on the lot too. Dealers try to turn their inventory every 90 days. If you can find a car that has been there for 6-9 months they are more willing to sell it.

Ask the dealer for invoice. Most dealers are willing to sell a car at or below invoice if the customer asks.

Consider a certified used car too.

Check with a local credit union on their rates for the cars. BUT, make sure you have good credit before you start demanding things (over 730 score). Check the manufactures websites too- they often have special rates but these are usually only good on new cars or certified used.

Programs change at the end of each month so when the sales person tells you the same deal won't be available or they don't know- listen. The programs are put out by the manufacturer NOT the dealer- dealers have no control if owner loyalty or special rates will be available.

The economy has been hard on dealers but they still have to pay employees, insurance, heating, water, etc. The manufactures have taken away the opportunity to make lots of money on selling a car.

Also if you google- vehicle model invoice price you'll get a good idea of what that car costs.

Good luck!

PlutoPony
03-08-2011, 01:09 PM
We have recent experience using the Costco program on a new model that's in demand. The story we got was that each dealership negotiates their participation in the program, including how much over/under invoice they will sell each model - and in fact we were told that they could actually exclude some models from the program. There are set guidelines from Costco for how the dealership is supposed to work with the customer on this program, one of which is that they must show you their invoice for the car ala full disclosure. Technically they are only obligated to use the Costco price on cars in stock, not special orders or dealer trades, although both dealerships we talked with were willing to extend the pricing on dealer trades.

JB2K
03-08-2011, 02:59 PM
USAA offers a similar program (https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/car_buying_services_products) for their clients -- I, too, am shopping for a new car and this looks appealing to me...

ssawka
03-08-2011, 05:26 PM
Dealership have to pay to participate in these programs- many do not participate.

The price you will get on the car depends on the car. If it's a hot car and there aren't any available then you can't negotiate on it. If it's a standard car with regular equipment then you'll get a good deal. Ask how long the car has been on the lot too. Dealers try to turn their inventory every 90 days. If you can find a car that has been there for 6-9 months they are more willing to sell it.

Ask the dealer for invoice. Most dealers are willing to sell a car at or below invoice if the customer asks.

Consider a certified used car too.

Check with a local credit union on their rates for the cars. BUT, make sure you have good credit before you start demanding things (over 730 score). Check the manufactures websites too- they often have special rates but these are usually only good on new cars or certified used.

Programs change at the end of each month so when the sales person tells you the same deal won't be available or they don't know- listen. The programs are put out by the manufacturer NOT the dealer- dealers have no control if owner loyalty or special rates will be available.

The economy has been hard on dealers but they still have to pay employees, insurance, heating, water, etc. The manufactures have taken away the opportunity to make lots of money on selling a car.

Also if you google- vehicle model invoice price you'll get a good idea of what that car costs.

Good luck!

Also, remember that the invoice they show you is not what the car is actually going to cost the dealer, they get incentives too and processing fees, so when they tell you they are "selling it below what we paid" it simply isn't true.

Also, when negotiating, ask the dealer what the "out the door price" will be, so you know exactly what you will have to pay.

Lastly, recheck the math on everything. Dealers make extra off of "math mistakes" all the time. I caught one trying to rip me off about $300. I had ask them to give me an estimate on a trade-in. I didn't tell them though that I had already gotten an estimate from CarMax. They offered me $1000 for the trade-in and drew up the estimates accordingly. When I said I didn't want to do the trade-in, they went back to the manager to redo the numbers. When they came back out they had actually added $1300 back on, like I wouldn't remember what the original number was.

Green Tea
03-09-2011, 07:19 AM
I was going to use the Costco program. The first dealer they attached me to was clueless and just kept throwing numbers around. I said that isn't how this pgm is supposed to work. There was not a Costco in the area, and maybe I was the first match they had. Enter replacement dealership. They knew exactly what the price would be, no hassles. But I did email a few other dealers and ask for their best price. Those were lower. So I did ultimately buy from the dealer Costco sent me to, but not at the Costco price. It was the end of a model year. At the beginning of a model year it might be the best deal going. At the closeout time, it was not.

If a buyer isn't going to negotiate and search for the best price, it would be a very easy and stress free way to purchase. You will get a good price. If a buyer is cut throat and as tenacious as a spider in getting the lowest price possible, then it isn't going to give you that.

ssawka
03-09-2011, 08:20 AM
I was going to use the Costco program. The first dealer they attached me to was clueless and just kept throwing numbers around. I said that isn't how this pgm is supposed to work. There was not a Costco in the area, and maybe I was the first match they had. Enter replacement dealership. They knew exactly what the price would be, no hassles. But I did email a few other dealers and ask for their best price. Those were lower. So I did ultimately buy from the dealer Costco sent me to, but not at the Costco price. It was the end of a model year. At the beginning of a model year it might be the best deal going. At the closeout time, it was not.

If a buyer isn't going to negotiate and search for the best price, it would be a very easy and stress free way to purchase. You will get a good price. If a buyer is cut throat and as tenacious as a spider in getting the lowest price possible, then it isn't going to give you that.

That's what I don't really like about the Costco program. They put you in touch with the dealer, so you have no idea what discount you are suppose to get. With AAA they send you an email showing the various dealers and how much off the invoice they are promising.

Green Tea
03-09-2011, 08:57 AM
That's what I don't really like about the Costco program. They put you in touch with the dealer, so you have no idea what discount you are suppose to get. With AAA they send you an email showing the various dealers and how much off the invoice they are promising.

Interesting. When I tried the AAA program years ago, the dealer was about 3 hours away, and they would tell me NOTHIN over the phone or via email. I had to visit in person and they would show me the price. No budging on the in person deal. I am very glad they changed that!

Lewisc
03-09-2011, 09:03 AM
I've used the COSTCO program. If the car is in demand the program price may be excellent. End of the model year. A dealer with too much inventory. Some people could haggle a better price.

Generally a person who's willing to haggle between dealers could save a few dollars. It's a different buying process. You get a bottom line price, upfront that's reasonable. The dealer makes a few dollars and you get a good price. Not everyone wants to spend a few days going from dealer to dealer just to save a few dollars.

Some cars the COSTCO price is below dealer invoice. The program recognizes the value of hold backs, incentives etc.

The program is excellent if you're the kind of customer dealers can "push around".

here757
03-09-2011, 09:44 AM
anyone can use the car buying program from usaa. :banana:

ssawka
03-09-2011, 10:40 AM
Interesting. When I tried the AAA program years ago, the dealer was about 3 hours away, and they would tell me NOTHIN over the phone or via email. I had to visit in person and they would show me the price. No budging on the in person deal. I am very glad they changed that!

I'm not sure if it depends on where you are located or not, since AAA is realy a network of regional clubs. I belong to the AAA Mid-Atlantic.

LilGMom
03-09-2011, 10:41 AM
USAA offers a similar program (https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/car_buying_services_products) for their clients -- I, too, am shopping for a new car and this looks appealing to me...

We used the USAA program in October and got a very fair deal on our new Ford Edge (which I really love).