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Time for a new car; anyone use AAA or Costco services?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by trifectarich, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I've got a PR (about 170,000 miles) out of my '98, but it's looking more and more like it'll not make 200,000. (Or I guess I should say, it looks like it'll be increasingly costly to get it to that point.) I see in the materials I get in the mail from AAA and Costco that both offer a car-buying service.

    From what I can tell, you go find the car you want to buy, then provide them with the make, model, options, etc., and they give you a bottom-line price for you. There's nothing I see that convinces me that either of these is the way to go and either is at all advantageous over negotiating yourself. Anyone out there with personal experience using one or the other?
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    This was about 10 years ago, but I used one of those services -- think it was AAA -- and they have an "invoice sheet" that breaks down the dealer costs and makes it much easier to haggle from a position of knowledge. (Curiously enough, the one thing I learned there was that destination charges -- which I always considered to be bullshit -- were actually one of the more legit and real things on there.)

    I wouldn't pay a ton for it, but I think it cost me like 10 bucks to get on the web site, and I'd say it helped me save a few hundred bucks at least.
  3. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member


    Dunno what one of those services could do better than you, the individual consumer, can do for yourself. Too much a matter of personal preference to leave any part of it, short of most maintenance, to others.
  4. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    Use one or both of them as a starting point. I used Costco and Capital One -- to an extent against each other -- when I bought a new car a few months ago just to get some quotes. More or less as a foot in the door. It's pretty simple. You just type in what you want on their forms and it goes to the dealers. You might have to contact the dealer they give you from there, but chances are they'll be right on top of trying to get your sale.

    Both definitely gave better than average quotes. I also got quotes on my own from several other dealers and then used the best "at cost" prices I could find to get a price that ultimately fell in Edmunds' great deal category. In the end it was the Costco dealer I bought from but it didn't officially count as a Costco purchase I don't think because of all the negotiating. At least I never showed them my card or anything.

    I'd also do everything online. Definitely go test drive somewhere, but deal with the rest via email and the web. That way you can control the communication and don't waste time at the dealer. You'll also probably get a better price.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    Also, when you go to the dealer, they get one shot. If they don't offer you their best price the first time, walk.
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