By Steve Fisher
SHOPPING FOR AND buying a new car can
often be accompanied by frustration over what
seems to be an overly complicated and time-consuming process.
For those who want to move past that process,
there’s the Costco Auto Program (CAP). In the past
five years, more than one and a half million vehicles
were purchased through the program, with Costco
members taking advantage of the great deals vetted
by the auto program’s consultants. Some members
have even been so impressed they’ve turned to CAP
more than once.
Doug Krogh, who retired from a 27-year career
in law enforcement in Washington state, is one
“I hate doing the little games that the dealerships do,” says Krogh, who purchased his first
vehicle through CAP in 2008. He recently purchased
another car through the program. “I went online to
the Costco [site], put in the car we were looking at
and I got my dealership,” he explains.
(Following the process precisely is key; see
“How it works.” Some car dealers may claim to be
in the program when they’re not.)
Krogh checked with other dealers but says,
“No one was able to beat the Costco price.”
He reports, “My dad purchased a Ford Focus for
my sister, not using Costco.” A short time later,
Krogh introduced him to the program to get a car
for himself. “The second Ford was $1,000 less ... for
the same car.”
Monish and Elvina Doshi share a similar car-
buying experience. Elvina purchased her first car
through CAP in 2002. At the time, she was getting
her master’s degree in health administration at the
University of Washington in Seattle.
“My mentor, who negotiates deals for hospitals,
said the best deal, hands down, was the Costco Auto
Program,” Elvina recalls. “And he does a lot of nego-
tiating for businesses.”
“I was with her when she bought it,” adds
Monish. “I’m maybe a little pessimistic by nature.
Someone has to prove it to me.”
The salesman brought out a binder with the
Costco Auto Program pricing. Monish wanted to
negotiate, but the salesman told him, “No, that isn’t
how this works.” Still unconvinced, Monish led
Elvina out of the dealership and they looked else-
where. No one could beat the price. So they came
back to the CAP salesman.
“It was the most pleasant car-buying experience
ever,” says Monish.
Now living in the Los Angeles area, they recently
purchased two new vehicles and once again tried
CAP. Despite their first positive experience in
Seattle, Monish’s caution again took over.
“We did our homework, we checked the online
prices, we scrubbed it by checking with dealerships
outside the one we were dealing with and everyone
gave us the confidence we were making the right
decision [with the Costco Auto Program],” he says.
“They couldn’t beat [the price]. They said, ‘Take it
and run.’ ”
And that sure beats playing games. For more
information, visit costcoauto.com. C
The Costco Auto Program also
offers motorcycles, powersports
and RVs. Whether you purchase
through the program or not,
you can still take advantage of
15 percent off certain parts and
services at participating service
centers (RVs are not included).
Elvina Doshi (left) and Monish Doshi (right)
in their new cars, purchased through the
Costco Auto Program.
HERE’S HOW TO take advantage
of the great convenience and savings offered through the Costco
Auto Program. Be sure to follow
these steps carefully to make sure
the car-buying process goes as
smoothly as possible.
1. To begin, go to costcoauto.
com, then to the “Build &
Research Vehicles” section to
see new makes and models,
read vehicle reviews, compare
cars, view photos or virtual
tours, research safety information, view manufacturer rebates
2. Choose a vehicle and
locate a participating dealer near
you. Within 24 hours, an
Authorized Dealer Contact from
the participating dealership will
contact you to schedule an
appointment. You will also
receive the contact’s information.
Call or email only this authorized
3. When you meet with the
authorized person, view the
Costco Auto Program Price
Sheet, which shows the prearranged Costco member savings
on the vehicle you selected.
Check the vehicle’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price to
see how much you save as a
4. If you have questions
about anything throughout the
process, call the Costco Auto
Program right away at 1-800-
800-9288 to talk with a program
In our digital editions
Monish and Elvina Doshi describe their
experience with the Costco Auto
Program. (See page 12 for details.)
Costco’s Auto Program doesn’t play games