Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program Details (vs. Costco)

17 mins read

If you’re looking into selling, buying, or trading in a vehicle, then the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is definitely something to consider taking advantage of.

With convenient search and comparison tools, access to unbeatable deals, and tons of post-purchase bonuses, the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is intriguing to say the least. Keep reading to learn more!

Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program

Auto Buying Program Details

The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is operated by TrueCar, an automotive pricing and information website that endorses and connects consumers with certified dealers of new and used vehicles and trade-in programs.

Through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, you can sell your old vehicle, search for a new vehicle, or trade in one vehicle for another.

The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program makes it easy to:

  • Get cash offers on your car in minutes
  • Research and compare prices on new and used vehicles
  • Get a personalized quote from a dealer online

It’s important to note that you can’t actually buy a car directly through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, but you can get a quote from a dealer and then go directly to the dealer to purchase your new vehicle.

By purchasing a vehicle through a participating dealer, you can get access to thousands of dollars worth of post-sale benefits when you report your purchase to TrueCar.

One last thing we’ll note here is that while anyone can use the Sam’s Club Auto Buying website to search for the values of new and used vehicles, only active Sam’s Club members can actually take advantage of the service.

If you’d like to get an offer on your vehicle, trade in your vehicle, or get a quote from a dealer through this program, then you’ll need to sign up for a Sam’s Club membership first.

What Is Included In The Program?

The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program includes the following services:

  • Sell your vehicle – Search for a certified dealer who can make you an instant cash offer on your used vehicle.
  • Buy a new vehicle – Build your ideal vehicle profile, then search for cars from actual dealerships that fit your specifications. You can even plan out a payment schedule before receiving a quote.
  • Buy a used vehicle – Search for your perfect used vehicle based on price, make/model, body style, and/or location.
  • Buy an elective vehicle (EV) – Sam’s Club makes it easy if you’re searching for an EV. You can shop both new and used while searching for special deals and discounts.
  • Trade in your vehicle for something new or used – Whether you’re buying something new, used, or electric, you can trade in your old vehicle to a certified dealer through The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program.
  • Report your purchase and earn extra savings – If you purchase a vehicle through a certified TrueCar dealer, you can report your purchase and earn up to $2000 worth of additional savings post sale.

Here’s a list of additional benefits you can receive when you report your vehicle purchase through TrueCar.

How Does Sam’s Club Auto Program Work?

To take advantage of the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, the first thing you’ll need to do is sign up for a Sam’s Club Membership.

Once you have your membership, you can visit the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program website.

From there, you will have the option to sell, buy, or trade vehicles by searching for offers, quotes, and inventory, or report a purchase if you’ve purchased a vehicle through the program.

Regardless of what you’re hoping to achieve with the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, the first thing you’ll be asked to do is confirm your Sam’s Club membership. So, have your member info ready! You will also be asked to enter your first name, last name, and phone number.

Sam’s Club Auto Program website

If you’re wondering about things like haggling for a better deal, rest assured that the dealers working with TrueCar are committed to offering the lowest possible price to consumers without the need for additional negotiation.

How To Sign Up For Sam’s Club Auto Program

To take advantage of the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, simply follow these steps:

  1. If you aren’t already a Sam’s Club member, join by clicking here or visiting a Sam’s Club location in person
  2. Once you have your membership set up, visit the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program website and confirm your membership
  3. Navigate to the part of the site that fits your needs using the options along the top navigation bar, choosing from the following:
    • Sell Your Car
    • Shop New Cars
    • Shop Used Cars
    • Shop EV (electric vehicles)
    • Report Your Purchase
  4. If you’d like to do some research before getting started, you can also click the “Research” dropdown menu to check out car reviews, car ratings, car comparisons, and deals

Who Are Sam’s Club Auto Program Dealers?

The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is operated by TrueCar, which has over 500 certified dealers.

These TrueCar certified dealers range from franchise dealers to small, independent auto dealers. The best way to find out which dealers in your area work with the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is to shop by location.

When you visit the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program website, navigate to the “Used Cars” tab, then scroll down to the section that shows a list of US cities. Click on the city nearest you. From there, you can also edit your search to show new car results if you’d like. Each listing will show the dealership offering the vehicle for sale.

Some major car dealers that work through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program include Carvana and Vroom.

How Much Is Sam’s Club Auto Program?

The only cost associated with using the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is the cost of your Sam’s Club membership.

Sam’s Club memberships start at $45 per year, and range up to $100 per year.

Once you’ve purchased your membership, you’ll get access to deals and savings through the program, but you will still have to pay the price of your new or used vehicle.

If you are selling a vehicle through the program, the amount you receive will be determined by the offer you receive from the certified dealer.

How Much Can You Save With Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?

How much you save on a car through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program will depend entirely on the vehicle you choose.

However, generally speaking, Sam’s Club members can receive exceptional deals on new and used cars and receive exclusive savings that aren’t available to non-member shoppers.

According to TrueCar, the average amount saved by customers reporting a purchase of a new car through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program was $1,688 in 2021.

Ultimately, dealers set their own pricing, so the amount of money you save will vary depending on where you choose to purchase your vehicle.

Benefits Of Sam’s Club Auto Program

The perks of using the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program are almost too abundant to list! But we’ll try.

  • Conveniently search for a cash offer on your old vehicle without having to bother with Craigslist, calling around, or posting flyers
  • Compare prices of new vehicles with your exact specifications, all in one place
  • Search the lowest prices on new and used cars in your area
  • Trade in your old vehicle for something new with the click of a button
  • Receive post-purchase savings up to $2000 from TrueCar by reporting your purchase

When you report a purchase of a vehicle through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, you will receive these added benefits:

  • 20% repair reimbursement if repairs are needed on the vehicle purchased through the Auto Buying Program (covers up to $500 reimbursement on repair 2x per year in all states except New York and New Hampshire)
  • Insurance deductible reimbursement (covers up to $500 2x per year on insurance deductibles you’ve had to pay on your vehicle – not available in NY or NH)
  • Unlimited access to expert opinions from auto technicians (speak directly with a certified mechanic to get advice on repairs, costs, concerning noises, etc.)

Sam’s Club Auto Program Reviews

Overall, consumers and car experts alike agree that the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program delivers distinct benefits to consumers. The numbers don’t lie, and according to TrueCar, consumers report an average of $1,688 in savings on MSRP on the actual purchase price of new cars purchased via a TrueCar certified dealer.

But is there more to the story?

According to LendingTree, the average amount saved on MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) by consumers in 2020 was almost $2000 more than what TrueCar reported just a year later. So, with the direction the new and used car market is going these days, it’s possible that programs like the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program aren’t actually saving consumers as much money as they used to.

Even more interesting is that according to a couple users on the r/AskCarSales subreddit, the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program isn’t really much different than the TrueCar service on its own.

And guess what? Using TrueCar directly is completely free. So… is it possible that the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is just an incentive to get more people to buy Sam’s Club memberships? It’s possible, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Sam’s Club Auto Program Reviews

FAQs

How is Sam’s Club related to TrueCar?

TrueCar is an automotive pricing and information website that serves as the platform for the Sam’s Club’s Auto Buying Program. While True Car does not own the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program, Sam’s Club contracts through TrueCar to operate their auto buying program.

Does Sam’s Club sell used cars?

Sort of. Sam’s Club operates a program through which members can search for deals on new and used cars. However, these vehicles are sold directly by participating auto dealers and are not sold directly through Sam’s Club.

Does Sam’s Club lease cars?

Yes. Sam’s Club Travel & Entertainment has a rental car program.

Can you trade your vehicle through Sam’s Club car buying program?

Yes. The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program offers a trade-in option for those looking to sell an old vehicle and get something new.

Which is better — Sam’s Club or Costco?

Choosing between Sam’s Club and Costco depends on a lot of different factors. 

First off, Sam’s Club has fewer locations across the United States, so not as many shoppers are within reasonable distance to be able to shop there. While Sam’s Club has about 600 warehouse locations nationwide, Costco has over 800.

If you do live close enough to both Sam’s Club and Costco to choose either one, some of the benefits of choosing Sam’s Club include lower membership costs (basic membership starts at just $45 per year, versus $60 per year at Costco), more free Tire Center services, and the interchangeability of Walmart and Sam’s Club currency.

The Sam’s Club Tire & Battery Center is definitely one of the biggest perks of having a Sam’s Club membership, as it beats out the benefits of the Costco Tire Center. Sam’s Club members qualify for things like free flat-tire repairs, free installation of car batteries, and way more at the Sam’s Club Tire Center.

However, Costco shines through in a lot of ways, including product selection and the number of organic and natural products they carry. Many shoppers find that the quality of products sold at Costco is higher than what’s sold at Sam’s Club. Plus, Costco has a somewhat more generous return policy, and (if it matters to you), they’re not owned by Walmart.

Conclusion 

Overall, the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is a great thing to take advantage of if you’re already a Sam’s Club member. It offers undeniable savings on new car purchases, plus a ton of convenient search tools, resources, and options for selling and trading in vehicles.

That said, if you’re considering becoming a Sam’s Club member just to take advantage of the Auto Buying Program… don’t do it! The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is essentially just a somewhat more personalized version of TrueCar, which is a free service available to everyone. Even things like the insurance deductible reimbursement and 20% auto repair expense reimbursement are offered by TrueCar without the Sam’s Club Program.

So… if you ask me, you’re better off just going directly through the TrueCar network and skipping the middleman.

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