Costco has different kinds of membership benefits that can get you discounts on items such as prescription drugs, hearing aids and glasses, and even your dream vacation.
The retailer also offers the Costco Auto Program, which can help you land a deal on a new or pre-owned vehicle (one of many perks and hacks Costco members can take advantage of). It can be intimidating to buy a car, but you may find that going through the process with Costco makes it easier. You might even score a great deal on a new car, truck, or SUV.
Here are a few things you should know about Costco’s program and how it can make buying a car more fun and less expensive.
1. You can avoid haggling — and getting a bad deal
Many car buyers dread negotiating a price with a dealer on a new car. But with Costco, the price is already set. A buyer still has to work with a dealer for the purchase transaction, but the cost of the vehicle has already been set through Costco.
Pro tip: If you prefer taking a DIY approach to negotiating your purchase price, there are some car-buying secrets that can help you get the best deal on a vehicle.
2. The online inventory helps you find good deals
Costco’s website has a full inventory of cars, trucks, and SUVs in your area, so you can look at different models and options to find the best deal for you. You can also choose from new or pre-owned vehicles, depending on which you prefer.
One downside is that while the website does list the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, it doesn’t list how much you’ll be paying as a Costco member. So, the price you see on the site may not be the actual price you pay to the dealer.
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3. You can get toll-free assistance
Costco offers a toll-free number you can call to get help from a representative who will guide you through the process of using the program. Costco can also help you find a participating dealer near you that offers the price discounts you want.
4. You can avoid buying a lemon
If you’re not buying a new vehicle, Costco can provide you with incentives on a factory-certified, pre-owned vehicle. This type of vehicle differs from a typical used car in that a factory-certified vehicle has been thoroughly inspected to ensure the car is in good working order before the dealer sells it to you.
Certified vehicles are also likely to carry an extended factory warranty that you can turn to if you encounter any issues after you purchase the car.
5. Costco can help you find manufacturer incentives
How do you know if a car manufacturer is offering incentives for models you’re looking at? Costco representatives can help you navigate this process so you find the best manufacturer incentives, which could make it easier to decide which car is the right one for you.
6. You get access to limited-time specials
Costco may also offer member-only specials that could save you more money on a car. These incentives do have some limits, however. There may be a short amount of time to take advantage of the offer or it may be limited to a certain make or model, for example.
Keep an eye on Costco’s website for new incentives or check with a representative of the program to see what types of vehicles may be eligible.
7. You can snag deals on a recreational vehicle
If you’re in the market for an RV, check with Costco about discounts on recreational products. The Costco Auto Program offers access to motorhomes, camping trailers, and truck campers that could be a good fit for your next adventure on the road.
8. You may get a price break on insurance
The savings may continue even after you have gotten a car through the Costco Auto Program. Costco offers auto insurance to members through Connect, which is affiliated with American Family Insurance. Costco says its members save an average of $583.60 annually by switching to Connect.
Pro tip: Costco also offers members access to other types of insurance, including homeowners, umbrella, and specialty coverage. You might save even more money by shopping for these policies. Check out the best auto insurance policies to help you save money.
9. Servicing your car might be cheaper
Another little-known Costco benefit is the lower bill you might enjoy by servicing your car through a service center that participates in the Costco Auto Program.
Check out Costco’s website for information about how to get up to 15% off the bill for parts, services, or accessories.
There are also other unexpected repairs you may have to deal with after you buy a car, and Costco may be able to help you there as well. For example, the warehouse retailer currently has a deal with Safelite Auto Glass to get members a discount on vehicle glass repair and replacement.
If you’re in the market for a new car, Costco may be a good option for you to consider instead of taking matters into your own hands and haggling directly with a dealership. Think about which vehicles are best for you, and check out local dealers who might be able to get you in a good car at a reduced price with your Costco membership. There are a lot of benefits for being a Costco member, include these hacks Costco shoppers should know about.
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This article 9 Clever Ways Costco Can Save You Money When Buying a Car originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.