Costco RV Loans Review
When you think about it, almost everyone knows what Costco is all about — warehouse prices, bulk appliances, food items, and electronics deals, but also famous for Costco RV loans they are provide for purchasing RVs.
Surprisingly, you won’t find RV displays on their lot. Instead, they’ve interestingly named it the Costco Auto Program, something we find just apt and astute for the purpose it serves.
Costco doesn’t sell RVs directly, but the Costco Auto Program deals with dealerships and RV dealers directly across the United States.
What the brand does instead is to connect customers through their Auto Program and offer lower pricing in exchange for their RV. To clarify, though, the Costco Auto Program does more than just finance RVs.
They also deal with an extensive network of sports vehicle dealerships across the country.
Through these certified dealers, the Costco Auto Program offers RVers a lighter on-the-pocket and hassle-free price experience. If you don’t want to bargain car prices, this Costco Auto Program is a good option for you.
The Working System of Costco Auto Program
If you’re a member of Costco and looking to buy an RV (or car), you can either contact a member advocate or navigate the Costco Auto Program website to get started.
Navigating the websites won’t deliver the personal touch a direct call or email will give you. Still, it’s a quicker way to get information about the offers and short-time manufacturer rebates that are accessible to you.
Here’s a quick three-step guide for using the Costco Auto program.
- Figure Out Your Car Choice: Using Costco’s website, you can compare and select various car models.
- Locate a Dealer: After selecting the type of car you want, you need to find a Costco-certified dealer in your area. Once you’ve contacted one or more of these dealers and given your information to them, they’ll set up a test-drive appointment, and you can take things from there.
- Complete the Paperwork: Once you’ve test driven your selected car and are satisfied with the overall experience, the dealer will show you the Costco pricing. And if the RV price is perfect for you, complete the necessary paperwork to finish the entire process.
Requirements for Costco Auto Program
Costco Auto Program’s only requirement is that you have to become a Costco member (if you aren’t one already). The Business or Gold Star Membership price costs only $60, and the Executive Membership price doubles up to $120.
Advantages of Buying an RV From Costco
Costco members who use the Costco Auto Program for purchasing their recreational vehicles are mostly happy with their RV deals and pricing. One key reason is that they don’t have to haggle personally with the seller.
Moreover, the RV purchase process is straightforward if they buy it through this program. Here’s a summary of some of the key benefits of the Costco Auto Program, so you’ll know just what you’re getting with their loan service.
- Usually, the dealers are fully familiar with and used to dealing with the Costco Auto Program. You’ll therefore be dealing with a knowledgeable salesperson who has already worked with other Costco members while purchasing your RV.
- Costco will negotiate your prices, so you won’t have to discuss or bargain the RV’s price while purchasing.
- Costco’s assigned team members will help you conduct the entire process. Even after purchasing the RV, they will be available if you require assistance.
- For registered members, Costco offers a special price sheet, where they break down everything – including the price – into an easily understandable format.
- On the Costco RV loan rates, the members get a discount.
How Does Costco Select A Dealer?
Costco’s financing program approaches financing an RV the same way they approach other aspects of its business. For example, the company considers only dealerships with strong social media reputations and high scores on customer satisfaction.
These selected dealers also have to pass the mystery-shopper tests, with at least one salesperson on their team having Costco certification.
Costco RV Loans Pros and Cons
The Costco Auto Program has its pros and cons, even as it’s an excellent option for many RV buyers. Here’s a look at some of the excellent and not-so-good aspects of the program:
- Excellent Platform for Research: Costco members can easily compare different automaker models side by side. You can easily compare engines, prices, entertainment, and other things with different models.
- Applies to Financing and Leasing: You get a Costco discount on your RV purchase price whether you buy the car with finance, cash, or lease.
- Well-established Price Discount: The Costco membership discount doesn’t require you to do anything special before qualifying.
- Costco Member Advocate: You can immediately contact a Costco member advocate if you don’t like any part of the overall process. From 6 AM to 7 PM, these member advocates are available to attend to any issues you may have.
- Applies to Different Car Types: Costco’s car-buying program deals with different types of car manufacturers, including certified pre-owned and new cars. Also, you can easily find and get a used or old vehicle, but in this case, the prearranged pricing of Costco will not be available.
- 15% Discount: Members who participate in the Costco Auto Program will get a 15% discount on servicing, parts, and accessories. However, the discount does not apply to airbags, oil changes, or state-required inspection services.
- Lack of Enough Transparency: As long as you don’t contact the dealer, you will not know about its discount. However, according to the report, $1,000 is the average price discount, but it may also get much higher.
- Limited Dealerships: The number of dealerships in Costco is 3,000 or more, but this number is minimal, and that may be an issue if a member is looking to partner with an RV brand that Costco doesn’t partner with.
- No Guarantee on Exact Vehicle: When searching for a vehicle on the Costco site, there is no guarantee or confirmation that you will get the exact vehicle you saw online since the vehicle may no longer be in stock.
- Limited Sales People: Per dealership, Costco requires only one Costco-certified person. So you have to wait for a while if that person is busy or has a full appointment with other members.
- Price Haggling Required: You may still need to haggle on the RV’s price when you go to the dealer because the dealership may try to get extra or more money from you.
How Much Cost Can You Save From the Costco Auto Program?
Reportedly, Costco members save between 22% and 25% of their RV’s retail value if they use the Costco Auto Program.
That’s a significant saving for an RV purchasing cost. Moreover, the member generally doesn’t need to bargain personally with the dealers, so they can save time along with their money too.
However, the Costco Auto Program runs an Internet Sales Price model, which means the price you see is effective only on the featured RV and not on every RV model.
In order to attract potential buyers, the dealerships advertise huge savings on purchasing RVs. But the advertised discount applies only to the one RV on which they are giving a discount.
The dealers throw low prices online to get the customer’s attention. And the customers visit the dealership to save their money and time.
Essentially through the online advertisement door, the dealer gets buyers. Once the dealer reaches a buyer, they can sell various models to the customer. It’s a technique used by many RV and car dealerships, so you’ll also need to watch out for that when buying one.
Why Buy an RV Through Costco RV Loans?
Costco members who have bought their recreational vehicles using the Costco Auto Program claim they get the vehicle at really fair prices.
They’ll also tell you that the RV purchase process was less stressful, something not quite common with many other alternative options. Overall, though, as a Costco member, here’s why you may want to purchase an RV through the company’s auto program:
- No need to negotiate the price as you get the pre-negotiated pricing with the dealer.
- Specially trained dealers and the salesperson is familiar with the Costco Auto Program.
- Transparent and easy-to-understand pricing.
- The members can get Costco Advocate support if required during, before, or after purchasing the RV.
Costco RV Loans Alternatives
If the Costco Auto Program doesn’t work for you, you can use other programs or alternatives to get the best RV purchasing deal for you.
There are many alternatives to pursue regarding an RV purchase process if you are unsatisfied with the Costco Auto Program. Here’s a look at a few popular ones.
Hire a Professional
Hire a car broker or professional who will find the best recreational vehicle for you. The broker will negotiate and haggle the price on your behalf. However, this service comes at a fee depending on the broker you’ve partnered with.
Do It Yourself
So, if you don’t want to pay more money than the price of your RV, you can complete the entire process yourself. You can use the online guide and information to complete the job.
Use a Competitor
You can use other competitors of the Costco Auto Program if you feel you may get a better deal on your RV purchase. We’ve listed below the top three competitors of the Costco Auto Program presently:
Overall, the Costco Auto Program for RV buyers ensures less stress, convenience, and confidence, but like every product, it won’t appeal to everyone’s needs.
There is some lack in this Costco Auto Program as it doesn’t offer upfront pricing, which can be a deal breaker for some. RV buyers may also have to haggle multiple things with the dealer, even though that shouldn’t be the case in theory.
So even if you are a Costco member, but you aren’t confident in dealing with and negotiating with people, you might want to go with other options instead.
We hope our detailed Costco RV loan review above proves helpful in helping you decide what side of the fence you’re on. And should you think it is not the best option for you, feel free to go with some of the alternate options we’ve listed as well.