Costco Sold Nearly 400,000 Cars Last Year

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

When it’s time to purchase a new ride what’s the first place that comes to mind? For most people it’s probably a dealership. But did you know it’s possible to buy a car or truck at Costco? In fact the membership warehouse sold nearly 400,000 vehicles last year.

Did You Know Costco Sells Cars?

That figure is twice as high as it was back in 2008 and this performance puts them on the back bumper of AutoNation, the country’s top vehicle retailer, which delivered about 533,000 cars and trucks last year.

The curious thing is that Costco doesn’t necessarily sell vehicles. What the company does is leverage its purchasing power to get discounted prices for members, which number more than 45 million in the United States. They’ve partnered with a vehicle-buying service called Affinity Auto Group and they work with local dealers and ensure prices are better than what’s offered by rivals.

SEE ALSO: What Really Goes on at Dealerships, Part II

This strategy adds up to big savings. Purchasing through Costco can save buyers as much as $1,000 per vehicle. Ensuring dealers uphold agreed-upon prices the retailer sends out mystery shoppers.

Curiously Costco does not actually profit from selling cars. They offer this service as a way of attracting new members and keeping existing ones happy. The annual fee to join their club is $55.

And it’s not just members that are taking advantage of Costco’s vehicle-sales operation. Automakers are now coming to them to participate and there’s even a waiting list for dealers to get involved.

In the fourth quarter of last year GM sold more than 43,000 vehicles through Costco, a figure that accounted for about 6 percent of their domestic deliveries during that time period.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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  • Scottturner Scottturner on Jun 09, 2015

    One yr ago I decided to abandon my last work and I never felt so good in my life... I started freelancing at home, for this company I discovered online, few hours every day, and I profit now much more than i did on my old job... Payment i got for last month was for $9k... The best thing about this is the more time i got to spend with my family... ---->See more HERE

  • Glen Glen on Jun 12, 2015

    Is it possible for you to investigate the pricing differences between a vehicle purchased through Costco and a service like TrueCar? I wonder if they are the same or if one offers better savings than the other. Thanks!