BY NANCY MILLS
DOES THE thought of buying a car stress
you out? I’ll admit I’ve had my share of
uncertainties when it comes to buying a car.
I’ve found myself asking:
• Did I get a good price?
• Are the fees I’m being charged really
• Can I purchase the car I prefer without extras?
• How can I be sure I am getting a fair
and honest deal?
It’s no wonder I did not look forward to
buying my next car. It’s probably the most
stressful activity in my life—and I’ve given
birth to two children. The reason: lack of
control over the process. You want good
value, but there are so many choices. You’re
dealing with someone skilled at bargaining,
and big money is at stake.
Some people thrive on negotiation. To
them it’s an adventure. Not me. I wilt.
Then I discovered the Costco Auto
Program (CAP), for Costco members only.
The program’s web site, CostcoAuto.com,
lets you research and decide on the car you
want. Then it connects you to the nearest
participating dealer offering the vehicle
A better way to buy
Costco Auto Program takes
the stress out of car buying
• ... go to CostcoAuto.com to research
and select the make and model you want.
• ... use the website to locate a nearby
dealership that is participating in the
Costco Auto Program and schedule an
appointment with an Authorized Dealer
• ... speak only with the contact listed
on your email confirmation. They are the
only ones authorized to give you the Costco
• ... forget to ask about any rebates and
• ... forget to ask to see the Costco
Member-Only Price Sheet.—NM
for a hassle-free (no negotiating!) buying
experience. The same procedure works for
select pre-owned cars.
Follow the rules, get a great deal
I got what I wanted because I followed
Costco’s directions exactly. I visited
DO’S AND DON’TS
Costco member and freelance writer
Nancy Mills with the Honda she purchased
through the Costco Auto Program.
For more information, go to CostcoAuto.com
or call 1-800-800-9288.
CostcoAuto.com, selected a vehicle and
located a participating dealer. (If I hadn’t
had internet access, I could have called the
Costco Auto Program to receive help from a
representative.) Ten minutes later I got a
call from Mark, my Authorized Dealer
Contact at the Honda dealership, setting up
I printed out the email I received from
the Costco Auto Program, grabbed my
Costco card, drove to the dealership and
found Mark. After a test drive, he showed
me the Costco Member-Only Price Sheet. I
completed the paperwork, and the car was
mine at a great price. I could have walked
away without any consequence. Instead,
two hours later, I was back home with my
Smooth and stress-free process
Everything went smoothly because I
dealt only with Mark, who was specially
trained to work with Costco members. If I
hadn’t liked the car I test-drove, Mark was
authorized to show me other Hondas and
their Costco member-only prices.
I also found out that I would receive a ;;
percent discount on most parts, services
and accessories at participating service
centers. The deal applies to every car in my
household, even if I didn’t buy them through
the Costco Auto Program.
And, if you complete the CAP mem-ber-satisfaction survey after you’ve purchased the car, you receive ;; percent off
parts, services and accessories (up to ;;;;
for Executive members and up to ;;;; for
Gold Star and Business members) at the
dealership where you bought it!
Decades of deals
The Costco Auto Program has helped
facilitate the sale of more than ;;;,;;; cars
in the last year alone, and the program is
now entering its ;;th year. And support
doesn’t stop at the time of sale. If you have a
question before, during or after your purchase, ask for help. “The Costco Auto
Program’s Member Advocacy Group is a
phone call away [;-;;;-;;;-;;;;],” says Dan
Martinez, Costco Services manager. He also
mentions a number of special offers that
will be available this spring.
I wish I’d known about the Costco Auto
Program the last time I bought a car. Maybe
I wouldn’t have so many gray hairs. C
Nancy Mills is a Los Angeles–based writer.