Costco fleet pricing


Well-known member
Buying a new truck soon. Someone told me about the fleet pricing from costsco--said it the only way to go. Anyone ever used it or heard of the program? Thoughts or comments on it. Was wondering if its worth my time lookig into it and signing up. Thanks


Well-known member
im not into costco either, however you choose the vehicle on the lot then it gets fleet priced and then you return to buy if you like the set price.. It sounds to good to me-something must be up. A few big farming outfits around me are starting to purchase all their trucks this way. It sounds like it cuts out all the sensless BSing (negotiation)-which im all for. thanks for the reply


Kiss The Ring
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (deadducks @ Feb 19 2008, 07:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
What do you mean grey market?[/b]
Costco has setup literally hundreds, maybe thousands of shell companies in order to procure product from companies who normally not sell to Costco. Example - I used to work for GT Bicylces and at the time GT only sold to authorized bike shops not big box stores like Walmart, Target, Costco. We were tipped off that a local Costco was selling GT product and we were able to trace it back to a Russian distributor that was diverting product back to Costco. They do it with a ton of product. That is why you will see products one week and then never see it again. These products don't have a valid warranty because they were not sold by an authorized dealer. I have other beefs with Costco but I won't get into those.


Kiss The Ring

take a look at

I've priced out two cars through them and then looked up the exact car in the dealers inventories. Went down to the dealership and asked if they can match the carsdirect quote. They said yes and the deal was done. I think I paid about $250 over factory invoice, which I consider fair. They need to pay their bills and feed their families so I don't mind paying them. I'm not one of these guys whose going to make sure I screw somebody out of money just so I can save a buck, but not everybody is like me.


Well-known member
Not gonna get into the BigBox store thing, but I will say Fleet Pricing can be a great deal. A lot of your dealers will do it too, and it's a good way to get a better price on your vehicle without going through all the BS on the showroom floor. Usually get a fixed price, and you take it or leave it. If you take it, you come in, pay the man, and drive home in your new ride.

Call your dealership and ask for fleet sales.


Our last truck was in '04. We priced fleet numbers and dealer incentives. In the end, noone could match the dealer "year end" incentives.


Well-known member
Fleet pricing can be a great deal. If what they put out on display in front of the store is an example than I wouldd say the prices aren't anything special.
Often with fleet pricing you get a bare bones rig. Sometimes the fleet trucks are real nice. You never know.

I got my truck in 04. Gas had just shot up over $2 and no one was buying rigs. I went in to the dealer to look at the loss leader they had in the paper and of course it was sold. I told them I would buy one at the same price, and lo and behold, they had several available.


Just pick out a vehicle and then go to a dealership and ask to see the fleet sales manager.
You will get the best possible price that way.
Costco is fine for bulk food stuff.
But I wouldn't buy a car from them.
Trust me. I've bought a few cars in my day.
And was in the Auto Bizz for a long time.

Eric Mayer

Well-known member
Let's talk facts, not rumours.

I have purchased a Honda CR-V using the Costco "Fleet" pricing plan, as well as a Toyota Tacoma 4x4 using Cars Direct.

Honda CR-V Purchase:
Before I did either purchase, I made sure to find the true invoice price on my vehicle. When you contact Costco, they will give you the name of the dealer in your area that is a part of their Fleet pricing. In our case, it was Miller Honda in Van Nuys, CA. We spoke to them, made sure they had the vehicle with options we wanted. After the test drive, etc, we sat down and they showed us the invoice for the vehicle. The dealer then added $300.00 to the invoice price (that was the negotiated amount with Costco at the time of our purchase, for a Honda CR-V). The invoice pricing matched what I had already investigated, so we were in business. Also, if you purchase any options not already on the vehicle, you pay the dealer's cost on those options (must be at the time you make the deal). You are not buying the car from Costco, instead you are getting Fleet pricing because of the large customer base they can send to that dealer.

The only thing they did to try and get us, was to boost the interest rate by 1.5%. We had sterling credit and at the time I knew that Chase Bank was offering a much lower rate than Honda Finance. We were in and out in about 1 hour, with the price we had planned on, as well as the interest rate we assumed we would get. The dealer also went out of their way to make sure everything was explained nicely to my wife and covered all the bells and whistles on the vehicle.

Toyota Tacoma Purchase:
I researched through Cars-Direct, as well as invoice pricing elsewhere. The truck I wanted was to be a 4-cylinder, extended cab, 4-Wheel Drive with a stick-shift. I came to find out this was almost impossible to find in SoCal. Well, I contacted CD and they had a rep call me. He searched the database but could not find the exact vehicle I wanted. I ended up having to do the search on my own and located the exact truck at El Monte Toyota. I actually called my rep and told him where it was. The pricing on Cars-Direct was pretty dead-on, but for a few options on the truck that I didn't really need. No problem, as it wasn't that much more expensive. CD did the negotiating for me and I went ahead and got financing through a local credit union so I didn't have to play the interest rate game with the finance guy.

Since I had already test drove a truck just like it, I walked in to El Monte Toyota, handed the guy a check and signed the docs. He drove the truck up, handed me the keys and bid me a nice day. I stopped him and said what about explaining a bit about the truck. He very quickly walked the vehicle with me and sent me on my way. Much different than Miller Honda. I got a good deal using Cars-Direct (about $200.00 over invoice), but I probably could have gotten the same, had I wanted to spend half a day there negotiating, walking out, coming back, etc.


On the next vehicle, we will probably go through Costco if they still offer the same pricing/service. It's a lot easier, IMO.


Ferd Berfull

Well-known member
I bought my 97 F250 through the Costco deal. FOund the car I wanted on the lot, walked in and wrote a check after seeing the invoice ( I, too, had done my homework ahead of time to know invoice prices) and I was out of there in 45 minutes. I most likely could have saved 1-200 dollars driving to Portland or Salem hours away and negotiating but I didn't want to play the games. I got what I wanted exactly, when I wanted it w/o any game playing by the dealers. I'd do it again.


Well-known member
When I worked for Ford in the late 50's an employee could pick out the model and price and were notified which dealer would have the vehicle & when they'd be able to take possession.A local dealer who a ford exec routed lots of sales thru looked the car over changing the invoice to reflect the police pak & extras installed on the vehicle however he was informed if he messed with the invoice of an employees vehicle Ford would close his business immediately.He left it alone and continued getting lots of priority business in fact he had the largest ford sales volumn for that part of New Jersey & New York State.


Well-known member
So if you guys have the experience with the way dealerships REALLY work, answer me this please:

What is the price the dealers REALLY pay for the vehicle? One would be led to believe that it's the invoice price. Methinks that dealers can't stay in business, sales people can't live on the commission on $200 margin, and pay for the lights, support people, etc.

I know dealers make money on service, etc.

But they're in the CAR SELLING business. So what's the answer? Dealer incentives, hidden discounts? Of simply "Invoice" means retail, not the wholesale price the dealer paid?


Well-known member
I worked for a Ford dealership for a short while when I was fresh out of college and hadn't found work in my career yet. This was many years ago, but I assume it still works the same way.

It was explained to me that the dealer invoice is indeed the dealer's price at the time the vehicle is ordered for the lot. However there is a profit called "holdback" that is essentially a kickback from the manufacturer to the dealership at the end of the year based on sales achevement, promotions participated in and several other factors. Salesmen commission is figured on the profit over invoice at the time of the sale and depending on the dealership, sometimes on the profit made through financing margins. However no commissions are paid out of the holdback. It is clear margin for the dealership and is an incentive package to the dealership for high performance. Back in '82 holdback amounted to several hundred to even a couple of thousand dollars per vehicle depending on the price level of the vehicle.

What this amounts to is even if you get a dealer to sell you a vehicle below dealer invoice, they still make profit on the vehicle. The one who gets screwed is the salesman who only gets what is called a "minimum deal" on the vehicle. Back then the salesmen at our dealership made $50 on such a deal.


Well-known member
I was in the market for a Dodge 2500 last week. I walked into a dodge dealership here in San Diego and looked at some new trucks. I couldnt believe they wanted $55,000 for a fully loaded truck! I told them that I wanted to see the costco price and they brought out an invoice and told me too add 500 dollars to the top of it. The 55,000 dollar fully loaded truck was reduced to 41000 out the door. In the end, I opted to buy a used truck that they had on the lot which was a 3500 quad cab, diesel, 4X4, leather, sunroof, ect. The guy who painted the numbers on the window messed up big time and inverted the mileage with the price. The mileage said it was 39000 on the window but actually had 29000 and the price said 29000 but was supposed to say 39000. I got it out the door for 31000 and the dealership ended up losing 2000 from what they bought it for because they had to honor the price.

Bottom line is, if your looking for a new vehicle, the costco price is by far the way to go. You get a great price and there is no more negotiating for hours with the sharks

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