Customers gas up their car at Costco Wholesale Corp.
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12 Ways Costco Can Save You Money on Your Car

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Customers gas up their car at Costco Wholesale Corp.
Kevork Djansezian / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images North America / Getty Images CC

Geared Toward Savings

Sure, Costco is best-known as the land of bulk groceries, but consumers who focus solely on food could be missing some sweet deals when it comes to something they probably use every day: their cars. That's right: Costco may be able to save you money on everything from auto maintenance and gas to oil changes and car buying itself. Read on to discover how to get more mileage out of your membership to help with your automotive health. 


Not a Costco member? You can apply here.


Related: The 28 Best Finds at Costco

Costco Auto Program
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Costco Auto Program

Costco may be able to save you some cash next time you're in the market for a set of wheels. The Costco Auto Program offers fixed member pricing on both new and pre-owned vehicles at 3,000 dealerships nationwide, and it frequently offers special savings events, including one just launched featuring Chevrolet. The warehouse club sold more than 689,000 vehicles through the program in 2020. While Costco is able to leverage its sizable customer base to arrange low prices with participating dealers, buyers who are willing to shop around, ask the right questions, and negotiate may nab a better deal, especially if they have a trade-in or special financing concerns. Still, the program is worth a look for anyone who feels a little queasy when they step onto a car lot.


Related: Is Costco the Best Place to Buy a Car?

Gas
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Gas

Filling up at Costco is one of the easiest ways for members to save. Costco historically has averaged per-gallon prices nearly 20 cents cheaper than its competitors, according to GasBuddy, an app that helps consumers find the cheapest gas. But never assume you'll be paying bottom dollar at Costco's pumps. Double-check price comparison apps such as GasBuddy for help, and don't forget to consider grocery stores' gas bonus programs. Kroger, for instance, lets customers take roughly 10 cents off each gallon for every $100 spent and doubles fuel points for most gift card purchases.


Related: 20 Ways to Save Money on Gas for Your RV

Rental Cars
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Rental Cars

Costco members who book rental cars through Costco Travel can benefit from member-exclusive discounts and coupons with four major car rental companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise. Another fringe benefit: In most cases, renting through Costco means one additional driver fee will be waived. This can be a substantial savings if you need a second driver, since the fee can be from $10 to $15 a day. Of course, it still makes sense to compare rates, especially since Costco's discount doesn't extend to all brands. Significant savings can be found with smaller, lesser-known companies. 


Related: 10 Things to Know About Costco Car Rental

Women Pay More for Car Insurance
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Insurance

Costco members can go through Connect by American Family Insurance to save on car insurance — an average of $582 in the first year after switching. Executive members get more benefits, including roadside assistance and lifetime policy renewability. The savings depend on several factors, including the type of car, driving record, and demographics such as age, location, and marital status. Competing companies may offer other price breaks that make more sense for your situation, so check with other insurers, too, to see if they sell a service that can help you save.


Related: Is the Costco Executive Membership Worth It?

mechanic
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Car Repairs

Even if you bypass the Costco Auto Program when you're in the market for another car, you can still take advantage of another of the program's perks: Costco members get 15% off parts, labor, and accessories at the 3,000-plus dealerships that partner with Costco. The discount program isn't good on oil changes or tires and airbags, however, and savings are capped at $500 per use. Be sure to ask questions before having any service done to find out what's covered. 


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Batteries
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Batteries

When it's time to install a battery, it's a service best completed before your car can't be restarted. Costco-purchased batteries come with a 36-month warranty. Costco sells only Interstate brand batteries, which generally score well in expert testing. Prices are solid, too: For instance, an Interstate 51R-500 battery that would fit a 2015 Honda Accord was around $75 on a recent Costco visit; a similar Everstart Maxx battery sold by Walmart was about $130, and a similar AutoCraft battery from Advance Auto Parts was $150.


Tires
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Tires

Time for a tire change? You can also find tires at Costco, and lots of them. Whether you'll save, of course, depends on the kind of tire you'll need, but Costco typically offers competitive deals, including a recent offer of $100 to $150 off a set of four Michelin tires. It was also runner-up in Cheapism's analysis of the best chains for tire installation and changes. Its tire change program includes mounting and nitrogen inflation, and mechanics will install new rubber valve stems.  Costco also throws in free lifetime rotations, balancing, inflation checks, flat repairs, and a road-hazard warranty when you need some help.


Related: Smart Things for Singles and Couples to Buy From Costco

Trunk Storage/Organization
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Trunk Storage/Organization

If you're tired of hearing your groceries or other cargo slide around in the trunk, it may be time to make a change and get some help. Costco is usually a good place to check for organizers that can be toted from the car to the house and back again. In-store, we’ve seen that the warehouse store often sells convenient pop-up organizers, cargo bins, and collapsible crates for at least a few bucks less than they’ve sold elsewhere, including Amazon. Keep an eye out and check for price changes throughout the year online, though spring is traditionally when organization products tend to hit stores.


Related: Declutter Your House With These Essentials From Costco

Oil and Other Automotive Fluids
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Oil and Other Automotive Fluids

Do-it-yourselfers can skip the local auto-lube joint by stocking up on synthetic or conventional oil and other fluids at Costco. Six-packs frequently go on sale; a recent deal offered $10 off a six-pack of member-favorite Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic oil. We’ve also seen fuel system cleaners such as Chevron Techron and lubricants like WD-40 selling for cheaper than they do at competitors including Amazon and Home Depot.


Related: Cool Gifts for People Who Love Cars

Miscellaneous Auto Upkeep
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Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are a reliably good deal at Costco, and like oil, they go on sale periodically. Michelin Guardian Hybrid Wiper Blades, available in 11 sizes, were recently $3 off each as drivers look to ready their cars for colder weather. 

WeatherTech Trim-to-Fit Car Mats
Costco

Miscellaneous Auto Accessories

Anyone who babies their car can save a little by buying products that will keep it more comfortable at Costco. For instance, we’ve seen Febreze Car Vent Clips at a discount, as well as WeatherTech Floor Mats that were going for half what they were at Target. Other items that may offer savings: Accessories including phone mounts, car cleaning supplies, and sunshades.


Related: 25 Products to Get Your Car Road-Trip Ready

Car Seats
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Car Seats

While selection is hit and miss, Costco often has some enviable deals on car seats. For instance, we once spotted the Graco 4Ever, which converts from an infant seat all the way up to a booster, for $200 compared with $300 at Buy Buy Baby and Target, or $260 on Amazon. In this competitive product category, though, it’s essential to compare prices and needs.