Costco Car Buying Program

After 10 years of faithful service, our Toyota Corolla recently needed to be replaced. So we decided to use a Costco service in which we are referred to a dealer who would show us the invoice price, Costco no haggle price, and manufacturer’s suggested retail price (link to program).

But prior to using Costco, we needed to choose what to get. After looking at the various makes and models, and relying heavily on Consumer Reports recommendations, we chose the 2008 Honda CRV LX. It is large enough to carry stuff that our Corolla could not while, at the same time, not being so large as to be difficult to park. In addition, unlike the Toyota RAV4, the spare tire is not stored on the rear hatch. Crash reports have found that having the tire on the hatch tends to significantly increase repairs costs due to the tire itself causing collateral damage to the hatch that would not otherwise occur in a rear end collision. The only down side from switching from the Corolla to the CRV, as far as I could see, would be the significant drop in mileage (from high 20s for the Corolla down to just below 20 miles per gallon for the RV).

Having made the decision to get a CRV, we contacted Costco who in turn forwarded my name and phone number to a local Honda dealer (Windward Honda). The dealer called me in a couple of days and we set up an appointment.

The day prior to the appointment, I called the dealer to confirm the date and time. However, what I got was outgoing voice mail saying the sales person assigned to me was on vacation and would not be back until a couple of days after the appointment. The message went on to say I should talk to the sales manager.

So I called the sales manager and he indicated the manager in charge on the appointment day would see me. So come that day, the manager in charge assigned another sales person (Tom Frias, Sr.). This moving us around to different people was not appreciated, but seemed to have worked out in the end (see below).

Tom showed us the model we were interested in and then took us to the office to look at the prices. Having done that, the only problem we had is they didn’t have the color we wanted in stock (and would take three months to do so). As an inducement to buy another color, they offered to lower the price even below the already low Costco price. Not needing a kick to the head, we agreed and drove off the lot with a new CRV.

We are so happy that we are Costco customers and are even more so after I filled out a survey by Costco on my buying
experience. As a reward for my time, Costco sent to me a $50 certificate good towards any parts or service from the dealer (which I redeemed yesterday).

All in all, we are pleased not only with Costco, but also with Windward Honda (even though we had to switch sales people). If you are looking for a new car, and you are a Costco member (if you aren’t, you probably should become one if for nothing else then the savings you get through this program), check out the car buying program. It could save you substantial money. YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.



6 responses to “Costco Car Buying Program

  1. Not a Dell-car? ^_^

    I always wondered why Honda didn’t start makinhg hybrid cars. The CRV looks ideal for that with plenty of room for batteries and not looking/feeling sporty enough to incite a racy driving style.

  2. Hey Dan,

    The only problem with the Costco program is that the dealer has to give Costco a comission and every dealer I’ve ever know would have happily given the customer the comission rather than the store.

  3. Auto Insider:

    Well, I guess we disagree on this because every dealer I’ve ever known would have happily pocketed the commission and laughed all the way to the bank.

    Perhaps that’s being too harsh but when you realize these folks add “Additional dealer markups” of $2,500 to almost $3,000 to each car, and then try to get people to buy extended warranties costing another $2,000 I can’t find a lot of sympathy for them.

  4. i would be curious to know how much discount costco offered and also what the final price paid was compared to the “invoice” cost.

  5. Honda has made a hybrid Civic since 2003 – and it’s a darn good car (we’ve been driving one) & better mileage than the Prius! The Insight was the first – and still the highest gas mileage of any hyubrid on the market from a major auto maunufacturer.

  6. AutoInsider is actually wrong. Costco does not receive a commission from the sale.

    The dealer actually pays costco a flat rate for the lead. Whether or not you purchase the car. It isn’t that much, and its not a percentage of the sales price.

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