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I hate the car buying process.
My wife has set her sights on a 21 Touring. MSRP 48500, dealer came down aound 4k without me even asking. Can I now just ask for the Costco discount to be subtracted, should I negotiate then mention Costco? Or do I have to go through Costco to get it?
 

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I hate the car buying process.
My wife has set her sights on a 21 Touring. MSRP 48500, dealer came down aound 4k without me even asking. Can I now just ask for the Costco discount to be subtracted, should I negotiate then mention Costco? Or do I have to go through Costco to get it?
If you are ordering an Ascent as compared to buying one off a lot then I suggest you stipulate what options you want and get multiple dealers and programs to bid on it. I posted multiple video links on the car buying process that will save you thousands of dollars and big headaches along the way. Take a look at many of these videos before you start the process. You wil learn a ton if you have little experience with car sales. No program is automatically better than a good negotiation. Do not be lulled into thinking otherwise.

I compared pricing at four dealers and two auto brokers to get my best price and then I also negotiated from there. I did this from the comfort of my home. I did a similar process at 33,000 miles for my Gold Plus extended service contract and saved $1000 - $2000.

I also had my financing already approved through my bank although in the end I went through Subaru. I maintained my power and options by doing so.

I chose to buy gap insurance but did not use the dealer and saved a good amount of money in doing so.

I did not go for any of the other protection plans they throw at you.
 

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I hate the car buying process.
My wife has set her sights on a 21 Touring. MSRP 48500, dealer came down aound 4k without me even asking. Can I now just ask for the Costco discount to be subtracted, should I negotiate then mention Costco? Or do I have to go through Costco to get it?
I bought my 2020 Ascent Touring in July through the Costco program and paid $41,500 before tags and tax, which was exactly the amount on the Costco referral document. The deal with Costco is that you use the Costco website which takes you to their program. Fill out the information and then they'll tell you which dealerships participate, but Costco will not give you the price until you connect with the participating dealers. Additionally, Costco will give you their discount on any accessories and email you a coupon to use after your purchase for accessories. Important to note is that using the Costco program means that you are entitled to any and all other Subaru incentives like financing and rebates. My favorite aspect of the Costco program is that your satisfaction is guaranteed, it's quick, the price is upfront, and the best you can get; so there shouldn't be any additional negotiation - though given how Consumer Reports just removed their recommendation from the Ascent, it wouldn't surprise me if you could haggle them down if their lot is full of them. If the dealership gets sleazy you can report them back to Costco and they'll deal with them. Once I was ready to buy, the whole process of delivery took about an hour.
The dealer did ask if I was interested in their extended warranty program and gap insurance. IMHO - extended warranties have little ROI so it isn't worth it. As far as gap insurance goes, it's best to check with your auto insurance about it as most do offer it or automatically include it.
Cheers,
Jonathan
 

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The Costco buying program isn't a fixed discount and it's not "on top of" anything already negotiated. It may or may not be lower, depending on where you are, etc. I agree with packout...get prices from multiple sources/programs and then hone the negotiation.
 
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As far as gap insurance goes, it's best to check with your auto insurance about it as most do offer it or automatically include it.
Cheers,
Jonathan
Based on experience this is a myth. My State Farm agent says its not offered and doesnt even recommend it in general. I know it can be offered on the lending side and again based on experience never "automatically included".
 

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Yup, that's a google result ;)

Do some more research, State Farm insurance doesn't offer it. State Farm bank does, but that's a financial institution.
 

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Yup, that's a google result ;)

Do some more research, State Farm insurance doesn't offer it. State Farm bank does, but that's a financial institution.
you are correct.

"Does State Farm offer gap insurance? Yes, but with restrictions and by a different name. State Farm gap insurance is called “Payoff Protector,” and technically isn’t insurance coverage per se. Payoff Protector is available only to those who got their car loan from a State Farm bank, and it’s included automatically when you close on your car loan. If your vehicle is determined to be a total loss before the loan is paid off, State Farm Bank will cancel the difference between the insurance payout and the unpaid principal balance due on the loan."
 

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Based on experience this is a myth. My State Farm agent says its not offered and doesnt even recommend it in general. I know it can be offered on the lending side and again based on experience never "automatically included".
Not to be argumentative, but Travelers Insurance offers gap insurance as does AAA Auto Insurance. Cost is about $11 per year. At that price, it is worth checking into it with your insurance company as it would not be a good thing to not have it and your car be totaled out during the first couple of years while the depreciation curve is steepest.

Cheers,
Jonathan
 

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It's also not good to be upside down in a loan. But to each their own :)
Agreed. I took the 0%/ 63 months Subaru/Citi loan and increased my monthly payment in order to pay it down early. My estimate keeps me ahead of the gap.
 

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Not to be argumentative, but Travelers Insurance offers gap insurance as does AAA Auto Insurance. Cost is about $11 per year. At that price, it is worth checking into it with your insurance company as it would not be a good thing to not have it and your car be totaled out during the first couple of years while the depreciation curve is steepest.

Cheers,
Jonathan
My auto insurance is Shelter and they offered it.

Now to be fair I have not spent time to confirm the listing below and I already know that State Farm sort of offers it but only through their bank (I did not even know they had a bank for financing autos). I suspect this listing is not complete as it doesn't even list Shelter.

Gap insurance providers
You can buy gap insurance from most major car insurance companies, though there are some exceptions. Below is a list of gap insurance providers, and details of their offerings, based on a 2020 research report by CarInsurance.com Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner.

  • AIG
  • AAA
  • Allstate
  • Ameriprise
  • American Family
  • Central Mutual
  • Chubb
  • CSAA Insurance Group
  • Esurance
  • MetLife
  • Mapfre
  • Nationwide
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA
 

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I had a bad experience with the Costco program. The dealership that they pointed me to (DCH in Riverside CA) could not get me the car I wanted. Bunch of back and forth emails...here's what I want. They'd respond with, "well here's what we have.". Okay, that's not what I want. Can you get me what I want? They'd respond, "of course. But you need to come in (during a pandemic) and we need to check your credit before we make a dealer swap". Really freaking annoying.
 

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I had a bad experience with the Costco program. The dealership that they pointed me to (DCH in Riverside CA) could not get me the car I wanted. Bunch of back and forth emails...here's what I want. They'd respond with, "well here's what we have.". Okay, that's not what I want. Can you get me what I want? They'd respond, "of course. But you need to come in (during a pandemic) and we need to check your credit before we make a dealer swap". Really freaking annoying.
I had one of those nasty experiences with two dealers in the Denver area December 2019. I would never do business with a dealership that is run that way. I told them exactly what I wanted and never deviated. all they had to do was order the darn thing in and walk with their profits but no they had to be obnoxious and try to sell me something off their lot or from another's lot that they had a larger profit built into it. Not only was it not what I wanted, in many cases it wasn't even close. It was like they needed more powerful reading glasses when reading my emails. Once I complained to the sales manager and he was just as bad (I guess no surprise there). If I knew about SOA at the time, I would have reported them.
 

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I'm currently working on a used CPO.... Costco program only offering $1k discount. And not at the dealership that has the vehicle I am targeting.

Due to used vehicle, dealerships not willing to do inventory trade with each other, and that is totally understandable... As it doesn't make sense - profit wise - for them to do so.

C.
 

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Look, programs like Costco's as well as the many iterations of True Car and other affiliations out there are not generally going to provide the best price that can be obtained by a savvy buyer who's willing to "do the dance" necessary. But these programs do serve a purpose for buyers who don't enjoy the negotiation thing with dealers. It's another reason why Subaru's VIP program partners can be helpful while also supporting some decent charitable work...it's an "easy" 2% off invoice on new vehicles (only minor limitations) for making a potentially tax deductible donation to a participating program partner. (there's a thread for that... ;) )

One other thing about these programs...they are merely a gateway to getting program pricing. The dealers are all independent businesses and some are, shall we say...not necessarily going to be a shining beacon in your life. Don't reward them with your business if they don't treat you well.
 

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The best non-negotiation method is the manufacturer's employee purchase program for affiliates. If you are employed by a large company that does significant business with an auto manufacturer, check with your benefits department or website to see if you're eligible.

I purchased 2 Mazda's when my employer was a significant supplier to Ford (when Mazda was a Ford subsidiary). All the paperwork came straight from Ford HQ and the dealer was just the delivery agent. Literally spent 15 minutes at the dealership just to complete the title, registration, odometer and sales receipt and was handed the keys.

The price was the manufacturer invoice less 10% with no add-ons. No dealer fees or even transportation charges. The dealer owner came out to meet me and thank me for being a Mazda employee and a customer of his dealership. A true VIP treatment.

As a retiree of major auto manufacturer supplier and consultant, I can still get employee pricing on GM, Ford and FC, but not for Subaru. 😢
 

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I did use an employee purchase discount a number of years ago, but it wasn't as good as Subaru's VIP pricing. "Your mileage may vary" always applies with the specific program. That clearly was a very good program you had available, Titan.
 

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I got a Subaru discount through work on my 2011 WRX. It was great, heavily discounted and valid at any dealer (they couldn't decline it). My local dealer (who is pretty straight shooting) said they would have never been able to beat it. In the end my dealer could get the car I wanted so I drove to Chicago with that document and got the same deal there. On top of that, it gave me a discount on the extended warranty. And they had another deal where if you bought an extended warranty you got a point off the Subaru loan rate.

In the end I think I paid about 2% interest, got pricing no dealer could offer, and also got extended warranty/free oil changes for about $500 out of pocket (or in that ball park).

Even more funny to the story, the Chicago dealer was open late (until 8pm) but it was too late to get official financing approval. So the guy said "we aren't running all this until tomorrow and you are essentially driving away in a car that you haven't yet bought or paid for"...lol.
 
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