Costco takes the hassle out of buying a new car
BY WILL FIFIELD
Getting a good deal on a new car can This feature offers reviews and road-test
be confusing and stressful, even if articles, details on leasing versus buying, a
you’ve done your homework. It’s loan and finance calculator and tools to help
often a complicated process: There’s members estimate trade-in values.
the purchase price, financing and maybe a After he studied the vehicle and his local
trade-in. You have to figure in dealer incen- market, Kochel called Costco’s Auto Program.
tives, such as cash rebates and other entice- He received the name of the local participat-ments from manufacturers. ing dealerships and set up an appointment
Then, you face the finance manager, who with one of the authorized dealers.
is adept at countering all your Before meeting with the
arguments and wants to sell “It took very little dealer, Kochel set up financ- cars on his terms—at a higher ing for the new car through
price than you planned and at time to complete Costco’s Auto Financing &
an interest rate over which you Refinancing Program. The
have no control. the deal ... compared process was painless, Kochel
However, Costco mem- says. He filled out an appli-bers have two very effective with other experiences cation online and was con-tools available to help put I’ve had buying cars, tacted about 15 minutes later
them in the driver’s seat when with an approval.
buying a new car. this was as easy as Here’s how the financ-
Five steps to a great car deal
Costco members in the market for new
vehicles can use Costco’s Auto and Auto
Financing & Refinancing programs to
save money. Here’s how.
1. Apply at costco.com for a loan with
Costco’s Auto Financing & Refinancing
program. (This program helps members
finance new and used vehicles,
2. Call Costco’s Auto Program at 1-800-
800-9288 to locate a participating
dealer near you.
3. Meet with the authorized Costco
contact at the participating dealership.
4. Select a car and purchase it with a
Blank Check from Capital One
5. Drive away happy!
The first is Costco’s Auto ing program works. Once
Program, which allows mem- buying a can of soup.” approved, members receive
bers to get rock-bottom pric- a Blank Check®from Capital
ing on vehicles at more than —James Kochel One Auto Finance within had buying cars, this was as easy as buying a
2,000 participating dealer- three to five business days can of soup.”
ships. The second is Costco’s Auto Financing (for an additional $15 charge, it can be sent “With rates as low as 3. 8 percent APR, it’s
& Refinancing Program, which offers dis- overnight). The Blank Check locks in the notsurprising Mr. Kochelsaved money,” says
counted loan rates through Capital One rate for 45 days, but members are not oblig- John Lees, director of Costco’s Auto and Auto
Auto Finance®. ated to use it. Financing & Refinancing programs.
These two programs helped James Kochel Armed with his Blank Check and knowl- John adds two important notes about
of Missoula, Montana, get a low purchase edge of the market value for a new Honda Costco’s Auto Program. First, it’s important
price and lock in a favorable loan rate when he Element, Kochel, a locomotive engineer for that members deal with the right person at the
recently purchased a new Honda Element. Montana Rail Link, went to the dealer and dealership. “Make sure you make an appoint-
First, Kochel determined the market value made the purchase. He says he thinks the ment with the Costco-authorized contact,” he
of the vehicle he wanted through the Costco Auto Program ended up saving him about says. “He or she is the only one at the dealer-Auto Program’s “Car Research” feature. $4,000 on the purchase price. ship who can get you the Costco price.”
To learn more about Costco’s Auto Program,
which is available to all members, call 1-800-
800-9288. For the best financing and refinancing rates, visit costco.com, select “Services”
and then “Auto Financing & Refinancing.”
And the rate he was offered through the Second, the amount a member saves
program was lower than the rate the dealer- depends on the make and model purchased.
ship could offer, so he saved “a significant “Members will realize significant sav-chunk of change” on the loan. ings through both programs,” says John.
“It took very little time to complete the “And the whole process will go as smoothly
deal because all the details had been worked as possible.” IC
out before I showed up,” Kochel says. “This
is the first brand-new car I’ve ever purchased,
and compared with other experiences I’ve