Costco Battery Core Charge Explained

What Is The Costco Battery Core Charge?

Battery core charges are charged by all retailers that sell batteries with iron cores. These charges are required by law and help encourage proper recycling of valuable materials.

Costco charges a refundable $10 core charge on each car battery purchase in accordance with environmental law. This mandatory core charge is meant to encourage recycling. The $10 fee can be retrieved when the customer returns the old battery to any Costco Tire Center location for recycling.

The price Costco charges for their battery core charge is in line with competitor prices. Walmart, for example, charges between $5 and $10, while the fee tends to max out at around $25. Battery sellers are legally required to charge at least $5 for a core charge on each battery sold.

Costco Battery Core Charge

What Kinds of Batteries Does Costco Sell?

Costco sells automotive batteries from a company called Interstate Batteries, a privately owned US company. Interstate Batteries supplies both automotive and recreational batteries to Costco shoppers, meaning that you can purchase a battery for your car, boat, golf cart, lawn mower, motorcycle, ATV, and more.

To start shopping for your next car or recreational battery from Costco, click here.

Warranties And Returns

All Interstate Batteries sold at Costco come with a 36-month limited warranty covering manufacturer defects or unexpected failure. If your battery fails during the warranty period, you may be eligible for a refund or replacement.

However, if your battery has been used improperly, you will not be eligible for a warranty claim. This includes if your battery has been uninstalled and reinstalled in a different vehicle since its original installation. 

To read Costco’s full battery warranty terms and conditions, click here.

How To Get Your Battery Core Charge Refund

All you have to do to get your battery core charge back is…

  1. Wait until the battery you purchased from Costco is ready to be replaced or recycled
  2. Take the worn-out battery along with your original purchase receipt or other proof of purchase to any Costco Tire Center location
  3. Give the old battery to an employee along with your receipt, and they will administer you your $10 refund

If you purchased your car battery on, you can use your “Order Shipped” email as proof of purchase. Your return and refund will need to be processed in person regardless of how you made your purchase.


Can you return an unused Costco car battery?

This depends. In most cases, Costco only accepts returns on car batteries under warranty claims (which presumes that the battery has been installed and used). However, some Costco locations may be willing to accept returns on car batteries if it is explicitly clear that the battery has not been used. This means that the battery cannot have been installed in a vehicle. Keep in mind that car batteries are listed as an exception to Costco’s typical return policy, which could make it more difficult to return them for a full refund.

Can you return an old car battery at Costco?

Yes. Costco car batteries are covered under warranty for 36 months, during which time they can be returned or replaced due to manufacturer defects. However, car batteries are not covered under Costco’s standard 100% satisfaction guaranteed return policy, so they can only be returned in certain circumstances.

Does Walmart give cash back for old car batteries?

No. You cannot get a refund on the cost of a used car battery from Walmart. However, you might be able to receive the refund for your core charge in cash.

Can you take any type of old battery to Walmart for recycling?

Yes. Most Walmart locations accept household batteries, car batteries, cell phone batteries, and more for recycling.

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