I purchased two cars at roughly the same time, and tried using the car buying service "discount". The dealers did not know what the USAA program was and refused to honor any discount. After speaking on the phone to the car buying service folks who honestly tried to help, the recommended I speak to the manager. I did, but was told "We can sell this car at full price to anybody who walks in. Why would we offer a discount?" In fact, neither dealer honored the USAA program. It sounded like a nice program, but indeed was a disappointment.
Thank you for sharing your expereince with the car buying service. I have passed your feedback up the chain, but would like to get additional details about your situation. If you wouldn't mind, could you please fill out this form (please include which dealership you worked with)? We want to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
It is a great idea, I don't have time to sit at a dealership all day haggling over price and financing. It sounds very appealing to just select the car knowing what the price is. The benifit of walking in and completing the purchase within an hour is a fantastic concept.
Unfortunately, of the multiple dealerships I went to, none were actually upfront with the USAA financing. I was repeatedly told they could get better rates. When the reality set in that they could not, the pricing was adjusted up to compensate. In fact one dealer told me there would be a $1000 increase in price if I used USAA for the financing of a new vehicle vs their own financing option.
Needless to say I have not purchased a car yet. I am totaly disgusted by the car dealerships and the dishonest way they deal with preapproved customers. It seems when you mention USAA as your auto loan supplier the practice of price gouging becomes the norm.
At least the loan portion of the process seems to be quick and efficient.
Be glad you didn't use the USAA Car Buying Service. We located a truck using the service, took off work from both our jobs, drove 9 hours out of state, and have regretted it ever since...after only 12 days, the truck broke down on the interstate and again 9 days later. It's still at our local Ford Dealership. If we had bought locally, they wouldn't be treating us so badly. AND, USAA has told us there is really nothing they can do to help. BUY LOCAL and be glad!
Over the last 4 years I've used the car buying service twice... to extremely good effect each time... multiple thousands of dollars below the average cost. Most recently a 2014 Honda Odyssey in May. That said.. the car dealers are car dealers... and well, they try to get you to do what will get them the most money... I stuck to my guns though and made it clear they were not going to get a sale from me unless it A. went through USAA and B. honored the certificate I had for their dealership. I made it plain in this day and age you don't want honest people to find that you are dishonest... it is too easy to hop on the internet and give them a bad name. I also made it clear I would not under any circumstances sign anything to allow them to run a credit check on me to get another offer from their financing department. You have all the power when you go into these places... they can either make money now or not... its up to how they play the game.