Buying cars has become stressful in today’s market, primarily due to dealer profit margins and inventory shortages. If you’re a member of Sam’s Club, buying a new car might be easier. Users of the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program can browse thousands of vehicles offered by TrueCar Certified Dealers. The program also offers several incentives that otherwise would not be available if you went directly to the dealership.
Still, are there any downsides to using the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
How the Sam’s Club Auto Purchase Program Helps You Save
With the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, you don’t have to search multiple websites to find deals on the new or used car you want. The site gives you detailed prices comparing the market value of the vehicle to its actual MSRP.
According Nexstar Multimedia Cable, the company says you can save an average of $3,463 on new car purchases. Sam’s Club does not disclose how much you will save if you buy a used car through the program.
This is likely because more variables are involved in used car pricing, such as overall condition and mileage. If you are unsure whether to enroll in the program, you are still allowed to browse all available offers without a subscription.
Anyone who purchases a car through the Sam’s Club Auto Purchase Program can receive two $500 reimbursements for insurance deductibles. You can also get up to $1,000 per year (split into two $500 rebates) on auto repair reimbursements.
Plus, you’ll be allowed to visit a Sam’s Club auto mechanic to fix most routine issues for free. That means free battery tests, flat tire repairs and more. You’ll also get discounts on vehicle accessories and tire replacement services.
Simply provide proof of purchase of your vehicle within 45 days to receive these benefits. Like other bulk stores, Sam’s Club also allows its members to purchase gasoline at a discounted rate. Members do not have to participate in the auto purchase program to fill up at these stations.
Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program Can’t Do It All
On the TrueCar website, you can calculate trade-in values in just a few minutes. From there, you can take your car to a certified dealership and get another vehicle in exchange. However, you cannot use this feature through the Sam’s Club Auto Purchase Program.
The program also does not provide funding, so you will have to use cash or get a loan on your own. Most traditional dealerships will do this work for you, and many in-house financing programs offer lower interest rates. If you are applying for a loan through a credit union or bank, you may also need a higher credit score.
Most car dealerships will help you get insurance or point you in the right direction. Insurance is not included with the purchase of a Sam’s Club auto buying program, nor does the company have its own insurance marketplace.
Other disadvantages of the program
Vehicle listings on the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program only include cars from TrueCar-approved dealerships. In some cases, this can protect you from shady dealers or private sellers.
However, this makes for a limited inventory, so you’ll need to act fast when the car you want becomes available. Also, you may be able to find a deal elsewhere from a reputable seller who is not affiliated with TrueCar. The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program does not allow you to negotiate a better price.
Even with these drawbacks, the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is a great tool for finding good vehicles at fair prices. Even if you pay a little extra on your purchase, you’ll still save money elsewhere with discounts. All you need is a Sam’s Club membership, which starts at $45 per year.
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