The next time you need a new car, you could always go to a local dealer or shop around online. But more and more, buyers are headed to alternative sites to buy, including Costco and Carvana.
At thousands of Costco stores across the country, cars, trucks and SUVs are for sale and sit outside the store’s entrance.
“It’s very straightforward, simple, haggle-free process,” said Rick Borg, an executive vice president with the Costco auto program.
It’s a business that connects Costco shoppers with car dealers across the county. Buyers still have to go to the dealership, but Costco promises the process is hassle-free, through a network of dealers that the warehouse company has vetted.
"The dealership sets the price that we discuss with the dealership -- making sure we have a great value for Costco members that they couldn't get normally without going through our program," Borg said.
The Costco auto program sells most makes and models. Traditional family cars, trucks and SUV’s are near the top of the sales list.
"We don't have any Ferrari or Lamborghini dealerships necessarily,” Borg said. “But we've got everything from the big three in Detroit, all the way to Lexis, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc.”
Costco has been selling cars for 28 years. Last year, the buy in bulk store sold nearly half a million vehicles.
But it's not the only place to buy a car outside a dealership.
Tempe-based Carvana looks like a vending machine full of vehicles. It's been around for four years and sells cars in 32 metropolitan areas, including the Valley.
So, the next time you need a new ride, you might want to think outside the dealership.