Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program Review: Is It a Good Deal?
Much like Costco's car buying program, Sam’s Club offers competitive pricing on new and used cars for its members. But is it worth buying a car through the Sam's Club car buying program?
Being a member of Sam's Club can get you additional perks and discounted pricing, however, other times you may be able to get a better deal elsewhere.
Check out our detailed review of the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program and see if it's as good as advertised.
Table of Contents
- What Is Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
- Does Sam’s Club Offer Financing on a Car?
- Can You Negotiate with Sam’s Club on the Vehicle Price?
- Sam’s Club Car Buying Steps
- Does Sam’s Club Do Delivery on Vehicles?
- Sam's Club Auto Buying Program Policies
- Does Sam’s Club Offer Specials or Incentives?
- How Much of a Discount Can You Get Through Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
- Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program Review – The Good & Bad
- Is It Possible to Beat Sam’s Club Auto Program Prices?
- Alternative to Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
The Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program is a car-buying service that connects car buyers with dealerships. You can search for the vehicle you are looking for, and the program will show you the dealership with the best price.
The Sam’s Club program is for members of Sam’s Club, and it can help them buy vehicles from Certified Dealers online or in-person for a discounted price.
Is Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program Legit?
Yes, the Sam’s Club Auto Program is legit. It’s powered by TrueCar. TrueCar is a well-known and established online platform that connects shoppers to certified dealers. Check out our full review on TrueCar here.
Does Sam’s Club Offer Financing on a Car?
Sam’s Club does not offer financing options for car purchases. However, you can use the financing offered through the dealership or a third-party source.
Can You Negotiate with Sam’s Club on the Vehicle Price?
The prices that you receive at Sam’s Club are pre-negotiated. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to negotiate the price with the dealer.
Part of the reason for using the Sam’s Club program is to save on the hassle of negotiating while enjoying the discounted price for Sam’s Club members.
Sam’s Club Car Buying Steps
Here’s the process for buying a car with Sam’s Club:
1. Confirm Membership
To use the program, you must be a Sam’s Club member. There are two tiers of membership; Club for $45/year and Plus for $100/year.
2. Search Inventory & Configure
After confirming your membership, you can search for inventory. You can search for used and new cars or just browse inventory.
- New Cars. Sam's Club allows you to browse by make and model and gives you the option to configure your preferences or go with the default build. You can pick the style/trim, exterior color, interior color, and any optional features.
- Used Cars. Sam's Club allows you to browse by make and model, body style, or by price. You can also apply filters for mileage, title condition, features, if it's a CPO vehicle, if the dealership offers home delivery (Buy From Home Program), and many more.
3. Receive Discounted Pricing
You can view the pricing summary and MSRP with the TrueCar market average price. They will also show you what nearby customers paid for the vehicle.
Request the discounted price by entering your name, phone number, and address. Then, you’ll receive personalized offers from TrueCar Certified Dealers.
4. Contact the Dealer
If you find an offer you like, reach out to the dealer. You can finalize the purchase all online, or you can set up a test drive.
Some dealerships are part of TrueCar's Buy from Home program, which means the dealer will deliver the vehicle to you and handle all paperwork remotely.
5. Report the Purchase to Receive Benefits
After finalizing the purchase, notify the Sam’s Club program to ensure you get all your benefits. You must contact Sam's Club within 45 days of the vehicle purchase. These benefits apply to both new and used cars, but the car must be bought from a "Certified Dealer" to qualify. Some of the benefits you receive include:
- 20% of auto repair expense reimbursement up to $500, twice a year
- Up to two $500 auto insurance deductible reimbursements per year
- Access to a certified mechanic for any questions
Does Sam’s Club Do Delivery on Vehicles?
Sam’s Club does not directly offer vehicle delivery, but most dealerships may offer vehicle delivery for an added price.
However, be on the lookout for TrueCar's "Buy from Home" program. If the vehicle listing has the "Buy from Home" tag, they will deliver the car to your home and handle all the paperwork remotely.
Sam's Club Auto Buying Program Policies
- Guaranteed savings off the MSRP of new vehicle purchases and exclusive member savings for used cars.
- Shop from Certified Dealers.
- Only available to Sam’s Club members.
- Must report the TrueCar purchase within 45 days to receive the benefits.
- Some benefits are not available in NY or NH.
Does Sam’s Club Offer Specials or Incentives?
Sam’s Club does not offer any other incentives on the Auto Program, but they often offer them for memberships. Since you need to be a member to take advantage of the Auto Program, it’s worth keeping an eye out for membership specials. Some of the incentives make the first month of membership essentially free.
How Much of a Discount Can You Get Through Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
According to Sam’s Club, members saved an average of $3,463 off the MSRP when buying a new vehicle between 1/1/20 and 12/31/20. In addition to saving on the vehicle’s purchase price, members enjoy the numerous perks once they report their purchase to Sam’s Club. Of course, member’s actual discount varies greatly depending on their location, specific vehicle, dealer, dealer incentives, and more.
Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program Review – The Good & Bad
Pros: Here’s What I Like About the Sam’s Club Auto Program
- Fair Price. It shows you what others in your area paid for the same vehicle, which can help you get a fair price.
- No or Limited Dealership Visit. Save time at the dealership.
- Online. Receive pricing from a dealer online, including the discounts and incentives available.
- Member Savings. On average, members save $3,463 on new car purchases.
- Member Perks. Enjoy Sam’s Club perks for other costs of car ownership like batteries, tires, free flat tire repair, and more.
- Savings on Gas. Exclusive gas discounts at Sam’s Club locations.
- Free Vehicle History Report. Sam's Club provides a free vehicle history report through AutoCheck.
Cons: Here’s What I Don’t Like About Sam’s Club Auto Program
- No Negotiation. While the program provides discounted prices for members, there’s no guarantee that the price is the best possible option. There’s always a chance you could negotiate a better price on your own.
- Dealership Follow-Ups. Dealerships may continue to call even if you requested the final Sam’s Club price but did not go through with the purchase.
- TrueCar is Free. You can use TrueCar without the cost of a Sam’s Club membership.
- Limited to TrueCar Inventory. The program only shows TrueCar’s inventory, meaning you may not see all used cars available in your area.
Is It Possible to Beat Sam’s Club Auto Program Prices?
It is absolutely possible to beat Sam’s Club prices.
To get the best car price, you should leverage multiple sources.
Check several car-buying programs to look for deals, and contact dealers on your own.
While negotiating on your own takes more time and effort, it may be able to save you even more than Sam's Club Auto Program prices.
Alternative to Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program
While the Sam’s Club Auto Program may be a good option for existing members, it’s not the only way to save when buying a car. Here are some other alternatives to consider:
- FindTheBestCarPrice: Powered by Rydeshopper, we work with the most comprehensive network of U.S. dealers to help you get the best price on a new vehicle. We also offer helpful resources for getting a competitive price on a new car or connecting with multiple dealers at once.
- Rental Car Companies: Buying a vehicle from a rental company is an affordable way to get a high-quality used vehicle. Here we compare the top rental companies to buy from, including Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise.
- Costco Auto Program: If you’re already a Costco member, then the Costo Auto Program may be a better option. Read our full review of the Costco Auto Program here.
- Rocket Auto. Rocket Auto is an online vehicle marketplace for buying and selling vehicles. Their goal is to improve the car-buying experience through customer-centric shopping. Read our full review here.
- Shift. Shift is a digitally-driven company that offers car buying and selling. Shift owns all the cars they sell and offers haggle-free pricing. Read our full review of Shift here.
- Carvana. Carvana is another online used-car dealership that provides financing. Read our full Carvana review to find out more about how it works.
- Vroom. Vroom is an online used-car dealership that provides a simple experience that streamlines car shopping. Read our review of Vroom here.
- Carmax. CarMax is a national chain of used car dealerships with a strong online presence as well. They also offer curbside pickup and delivery options. Read our full review of CarMax here and check out CarMax vs Carvana.
Can I Buy a Car From BJ's?
Unfortunately not, BJ's ended their auto buying program. However, members can still get exclusive savings and free maintenance on tires.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Sam’s Club related to TrueCar?
TrueCar powers the Sam’s Club Auto Program. Essentially, shoppers complete the process through TrueCar and simply report the purchase to Sam’s Club for additional perks.
Is it worth buying a car through the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
If you are shopping for a new or used car, it’s well worth looking at the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program to check prices. This is especially true for current members. However, if you are not a member and are only considering purchasing the membership for the program, only do so when Sam’s Club offers incentives.
Does Sam’s Club sell used cars?
Sam’s Club does not sell cars, but their Auto Program does connect buyers with used cars. You can use their program to shop for used cars.
Does Sam’s Club sell new cars?
Sam’s Club does not sell any cars, but you can shop for new cars using their Auto Buying Program, which connects you to a network of dealers.
Does Sam’s Club lease cars?
Sam’s Club does not lease cars, and you cannot use their Auto Buying Program for a vehicle lease at this time.
Why should I buy a car through Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
If you are a Sam’s Club Member, you should at least consider purchasing through the Auto Program. Ultimately, you should buy from the program if it’s where you can get the best deal. Keep in mind that pre-negotiated deals will save you a lot of time, but may not be the best price.
Can you trade in your vehicle through Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program?
The program does not include trade-ins. However, you may be able to negotiate your trade-in separately with the dealer.