Denver's Best Bargains

How to ditch your cable bill, buy name-brand clothes on the cheap, snag low-cost tickets for a game—and 83 other tips on living well for less.

February 2010

Hot Wheels

How your Costco card can score you a deal— on your next car.

I needed a new car, big time. My 11-year-old SUV had rust creeping along the running boards, an always-glowing check-engine light, and a faux-leather console in serious need of duct tape. But let's face it: Haggling with Bob the Sales Manager rarely tops anyone's fun list. So I hung onto my beat-up wheels until a friend informed me that the Costco card in my wallet could minimize the expense—and hassle—of car shopping.

The process begins with a visit to Costcoauto.com, which allows you to select the vehicle you want, find a local participating dealership, and contact the authorized dealership rep. I arrived at Lakewood Fordland at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday and left two hours later with a new 2010 Ford Escape Limited. MSRP: $31,915. What I paid (the invoice price minus $250 and some dealer rebates): $29,608. What I saved with my membership: $2,307. Thank you, Costco.

Of course, you might be able to negotiate a better price on your own, but discount clubs like Costco aren't just about the sticker number. They also eliminate the quibbling and wrangling. And if your dealer doesn't treat you quite right, Costco wants to hear about it. Call 1-800-556-4730 to speak with a member advocacy representative. —Lindsey B. Koehler