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Military/Veteran Discounts

P3 F0

Well-Known Member
None
USAA's car buying program is top notch and I was able to get an amazing deal on my new car. Definitely worth a look if you're in the market.
I'll third this. Just used it. Great price, no hassle, no negotiating.

I hear there are great military discounts at the Gatlinburg TN attractions, if you're interested in that kind of thing.
 

Sheepdip

Member
Contributor
For those who have used USAA car buying....I always thought the deal was lower fees/rates, but it sounds like they have agreements with manufacturers for lower purchase prices?
 

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
For those who have used USAA car buying....I always thought the deal was lower fees/rates, but it sounds like they have agreements with manufacturers for lower purchase prices?
For new cars, they basically have a datamine of all the incentives that are possibly available to you. So let's say it's March and the flavor of the month is March Madness incentive for $2000, then a $500 military discount, then some random incentive of $1000 or 0% financing or whatever. USAA will return a flyer you print out for the make/model/color/options in your car for a minimum of those incentives off the sticker price (and there are ALWAYS incentives, although certain times of the year are better for buying cars). You don't have to go there and haggle and have the salesman try to pretend they don't exist, then talk to his sales manager to pretend to get 'permission' to sell you the car at $3500 under sticker price at 0% financing.

I don't know how it works with used cars. Perhaps they know what the dealership acquired the car for and cuts it down to the minimum for them to make some kind of profit? Dunno.

The only downside is that when you go to the dealership, they might not have that vehicle in stock, even though they will try to match whatever you put in to the best of their ability and special ordering a car that's not on the lot takes away the incentives and incurs a 3+mo wait. Sucks when you travel 30-45 min to get there and the model/color/options they don't have is a deal breaker.

Still a great program though and I would highly recommend it.
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
The only downside is that when you go to the dealership, they might not have that vehicle in stock, even though they will try to match whatever you put in to the best of their ability and special ordering a car that's not on the lot takes away the incentives and incurs a 3+mo wait. Sucks when you travel 30-45 min to get there and the model/color/options they don't have is a deal breaker.
The Nissan Dealer here in El Cajon did not have a model in stock w/ the desired engine, color, & equipment I wanted , but they queried the numerous Nissan dealers in SoCal. Found "the car" in LA (120 miles away), had it delivered locally in 2 days, with no loss of USAA discount/incentives.:)
Altima-1.jpg
BzB
 

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
The Nissan Dealer here in El Cajon did not have a model in stock w/ the desired engine, color, & equipment I wanted , but they queried the numerous Nissan dealers in SoCal. Found "the car" in LA (120 miles away), had it delivered locally in 2 days, with no loss of USAA discount/incentives.:)
View attachment 12796
BzB
Yea that's pretty standard. I was talking about when they don't even have that available.
 

xj220

Will fly for food.
pilot
Contributor
The incentives vary by manufacturer, too. You can get all the info on USAA's website by searching their car buying program. I think Mercedes was probably one of the best ones there, oddly enough.
 

webmaster

The Grass is Greener!
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I recently used the USAA car buying service. Had four dealerships angling to sell me the SUV. I quoted them a price lower than the USAA guaranteed price on what I was willing to pay. I found it funny when the Gainesville dealership said hell no but they were they only one that had my model with the color and options I wanted. A Jacksonville dealer accepted my out the door price and got the SUV from the gainesville dealer. I had to wait two days but I made out like a bandit close to $12k in savings. The Gainesville dealer later called me and asked if I was still interested. Was fun to break it to him that I already was driving their vehicle.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

squeeze

Harrier Dude
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
All this is doing is reminding me how much I absolutely loathe new car buying and car salesmen. I really, really want to see Tesla beat the dealership lobbies in a federal court and maybe slowly end all the pointless con-artist middlemen.

A girl can dream, right?
 

xj220

Will fly for food.
pilot
Contributor
I actually like car buying. It's fun test driving all the different toys and I don't mind car salesmen. I know cars so I can see right through their bullshit and it's my money so I don't have to buy anything if I don't want to. I did have some shitty experiences where they lied to me flat out and another where I had money in hand but they were asking way more than the car was worth and wouldn't come to my price. For the most part, they haven't been bad though.
 

Spekkio

He bowls overhand.
The new strategy seems to be that the floor salesman is generally the 'good guy' and then the finance guy comes in trying to upsell you to make the money back.

The frustrating part of it is just playing the game of chicken and it's time consuming. Test driving new toys wears off once you have to spend hours visiting multiple dealerships for the same vehicle to find the salesman who will work with you like in webmaster's case. As long as your asking price is reasonable you'll get it eventually.
 

xj220

Will fly for food.
pilot
Contributor
I just think people make it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. Yes, the dealerships can be a pain but certain brands and dealerships are becoming "no haggle" places where the price you see is the price you pay. Part of me enjoys the back and forth deal making though. You just have to do your research and know what a reasonable price is and stick to it. If they don't come around then they don't come around.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I'm with xj. If you come prepared, and you come in a state where you don't "need" the car, then it's not that big a deal. If you're ready to walk, you don't have to play the waiting game (pre-sale), as they'll get the picture pretty quick. Besides, after SERE, dealing with a salesman is pretty benign (assuming you're prepared).

Using the USAA new price can also be helpful when negotiating the price of a used car, just to show that the dealer's valuation isn't realistic. When I was in Jax, I found a used 4Runner down in Daytona that for some reason was still available after a few days. It was loaded and a 4x4 (hard to come by in FL) with almost no miles on it. I drove down knowing the numbers and made my offer with my trade. They balked and the asst. manager made the mistake of trying to show me what a NEW 4Runner would cost by showing me Edmunds. I was using the NEW USAA price as a bargaining chip when talking about the price for the new one and saying it was the reason I should pay less for the used one. Once he brought Edmunds into the picture, I told him to look up what they were trying to sell me. Bad idea for them, because it was within a ~$100 of what I was offering for the trade and the purchase. They knew I was going to walk if I didn't get the price, so the deal was done. It didn't hurt that it was the end of the month, too.
 

707guy

"You can't make this shit up..."
Hey - I used to be one of those
pointless con-artist middlemen.
!!

I'm going to say straight up that yes there are some folks in the car biz who are low lifes. Just like any other profession there are good guys and bad guys. I can also say that in my years in the biz I was lied to all the time by customers. I'm sure most of that can be attributed to the process and the general angst of car buying. It's a high pressure business that some salespeople handle better than others. There's pressure from management all the time not to mention the fact that you're on commission. I was 100% commission - no salary. If there was light traffic at the store you had a slim chance to make a sale. When you do talk to someone you have to make the most out of it. That being said if I couldn't find a car you liked then I'm not going to waste my time trying to sell something to you. I'll get your name and number and kick ya down the road - that guy that just pulled in behind you might be a buyer... There are a lot of ups and downs as well. I spent a whole Saturday talking to one person after another and sold nothing - the next Saturday I sold three.
 

helolumpy

Apprentice School Principal
pilot
Contributor
...I know cars so I can see right through their bullshit and it's my money so I don't have to buy anything if I don't want to...
Edmunds send a reporter undercover as a car salesman to discover and then report on their tricks. It was pretty informative on how a salesman will attempt to maximize the price without you knowing about it.
I would recommend reading it for anyone who is about to walk onto a car lot (new or used) http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/confessions-of-a-car-salesman.html
 
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