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how do car buying services work?

What Are Car Buying Services?

A recent trend in the automotive industry is the rise of online car buying companies and other car buying services. Of course, you might have heard of the services offered by major brands such as Costco and AAA, but today there are many small, independent car buying companies to assist you as well.

Auto buying companies and programs exist to help the consumer through the vehicle purchase process. They can help you buy or even lease a new or used car without having to deal with the hassles and haggling.

With car buying services, a professional representative will typically handle most of the process for you or connect you with the dealership directly to obtain the best deal. Most of the time, using these services gives you access to special pricing that can be even lower than the car’s MSRP by a few thousand dollars.

Of course, each car buying service offers a varying degree of support. Some companies offer a concierge level of service, including doing the legwork to help you find the perfect vehicle and negotiating with the dealership directly. Some services will even ensure that your car is delivered straight to your home and allow you to complete all the paperwork online.

There may be auto buying services included in your existing memberships (such as AAA or ALEC). In contrast, others require additional payment upfront or a commission upon the vehicle sale to access their assistance. Not every car buying service is equal or charges the same rates, so be sure to shop around before deciding which level of service is right for you.

Car Buying Services Considerations

So who should consider using car buying services? If you are too busy to do the research, negotiation, paperwork, and other time-consuming aspects of the car buying process, car buying services are a great way to save you time and money. Below are some pros & cons of using a car buying program.

Pro: Saves You Time

Many people don’t like doing all the work involved with buying a car, and car buying services make the process quick and straightforward. Especially if you choose a service that has a “buy from home” option, you can save yourself from having to make a trip to the dealership at all. In addition, car buying services can save you many hours of hassle and negotiation.

Pro: May Be Included

If you have a membership such as AARP, Costco, or AAA, car buying services might be included for free or at a very low cost. These services will be basic but can still be very beneficial to those who are buying their first car or truly hate the typical dealership process. Many credit unions, including ALEC, also offer auto buying programs to members.

Pro: Better Deals

By using one of these professional services, you are typically guaranteed to receive the best pricing possible and save money on your car purchase and finance. Consumers can potentially save a few thousand dollars off the MSRP of their new car.

Con: Price

While you may get a better deal on the car, concierge car buying services can be expensive and not worth the cost, charging consumers upwards of $1,000 for services that ultimately could be done yourself if you are savvy enough. You will need to evaluate whether the value provided is worth it to you. In addition, some dealerships may also add on hidden fees for those consumers who are using auto buying services.

Con: Limited Experience

If you use a car buying service, you may not get to visit the dealership in person, which can be a drawback to some consumers who want to see their car firsthand. Likewise, test drives are not always possible. In addition, some programs do not work with all dealerships, so you may run into the issue of a limited selection.

Car Buying Services With ALEC

Although the process of buying a car can be stressful, there are ways to make it easier with car-buying services or concierge auto buying programs. ALEC offers convenient auto buying services to help you and your family obtain a loan and buy your next car as quickly and efficiently as possible. Powered through TrueCar®, we can help you get a better price on the car you want.