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Old 02-20-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
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Car Buying Program? Tread Lightly, NFCU, USAA, etc?

I know a lot of people go the Tread Lightly route and I'm interested to see how many went through Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, or some other program, and how they compared in price and in simplicity.

Also - how many negotiated the ol' fashioned way?

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Ive done both USAA and Tread Lightly.

USAA pricing wasnt available on the 2012 jeeps when I got mine. I placed my order in early before pricing was even available, back in July of 2011... So my best option at that time was the Tread Lightly. The process was pretty painless, even though my dealer had never done a TL pricing deal before.. I just explained it to them, and they checked it out and all was pretty good to go.

Had I waited 1 more month to order my jeep, I would have had better pricing with USAA. But I wanted to get at least 1 month of summer driving out of the jeep so I pre-ordered using the TL discount.

The USAA pricing is hard to beat. Ive tried to negotiate a cheaper price in the past, but havnt yet been successful. The going into the dealer with a price in hand makes things easy.. No back and forth between you- the salesman and the sales Mgr.. Ive always been in and out in under 1 hour when I have a pre-determined price in hand.. I never do Trade ins, so Its usually a cash deal so that helps too, as they will try and bend you over on your trade if they are giving you thier best pricing on the new vehicle

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

From what I've seen so far Tread Lighty and USAA are both 1% below invoice, but USAA sometimes offers additional discounts.

I haven't been able to track down what NFCU offers yet and you have to submit your info to get the price report (don't want dealers hounding me just yet).

I can get the affiliate program through work but I think pricing ends up about the same. I've used that before with other purchases and it was pretty seamless.

From what I understand, people have been able to get up to 2% under invoice or more. Was that using these programs and negotiating more or just wheelin' and dealin', or a bit of both?
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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We used USAA and could not be happier with the price we received -- no haggling.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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USAA program was available in our rural area. But we took the price sheet with us anyway, and they gave us that price anyway. Our jku was $38k and we got it for 30k out the door.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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Sorry, was not available in our rural area, woops.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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USAA price here. 3.3% under invoice. No other way to buy.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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Love USAA, great bank, great member service.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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USAA price here. 3.3% under invoice. No other way to buy.
Interesting. Was that with the extra $1000 incentive they were running or was that what was on the price sheet?
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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Costco = 1% below invoice, no questions asked. Got a bit more off through haggling.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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I used edmunds.com. Then searched the Internet of dealers I might buy from. The one closet to or under invoice I called and got the skinny. Found out what their out the door with all costs compared their interest verses cash back plus interest from my bank. A dealer who will show you what you need to bring to buy, line by line is a good salesman. And if they have a different number when you show walk. You never owe money regardless of what they say to ship or obtain a vehicle, except for destination fee, can't get around that one.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:03 AM   #12
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Truecar.com

I went in originally with tread lightly, asking for a 2% on an order.

They came back with a bit about "allocation" and only able to do 1%. I went to truecar.com and had one dealer come back with a quote of $900 under invoice, and out the door price that worked out a bit less than $600 under the 1% tread lightly. I went back to my original tread lightly dealer and asked for and received the 2% under invoice (which is still slightly more than the truecar price, however, the treadlightly dealer is much closer to home, so it was worth the $300 diff to me)

At any rate, I would highly recommend trying the truecar route. Looks like they can often beat affiliate, it's just as simple / haggle free, and it doesn't require getting a membership. However, I don't mind the membership anyway, and I'm probably going to use the 100 GoodYear rebate as well.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:18 AM   #13
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I completely haggled. Talked them down to 24 and slapped a 21K check on the desk. My salesman said they won't budge from 24K... I got up and started to walk out and he said "whoa whoa whoa, hang on... let me get my manager."

So in end... Money talked. Having cash (outside preapproved loan) > trying to be dealer approved.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:51 AM   #14
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I started with the Tread Lightly discount. First quote from a dealer with the TL was $900 ABOVE invoice. I laughed at them. Other dealers would honor it, but would not go below 1% under invoice. So, I checked out truecar.com and also the Bank of America car buying service. Bofa quotes were better in my case. The dealer I chose was about 3.3% below invoice and was willing to honor that price on a special order. I placed the order for my Arctic. I turned out to be a day late for ordering the Arctic so I decided to take the one they had on the lot. In the end, my price was 4% under invoice for that Arctic on the lot.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:05 AM   #15
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I just bought and used USAA at first, but ended up using Tread Lightly because the dealer that had the Jeep we wanted was not participating in the USAA program. (three in the area do participate and three or four don't) Also, the pricing we got with USAA was just 100 less than the Tread Lightly discount.

The USAA program is actually run by Truecar by the way.

It was nice having several options to go to dealers with so most of the negotiating was done via email before we even went in.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #16
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I casually mentioned to the salesman I was a USAA member and got the USAA price without asking.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:43 AM   #17
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Love USAA, great bank, great member service.
Used to have... Greatness has given way to "good". As a 25 year member I have seen a downward shift of service levels. The sad part is that the alternatives are that much worse so it appears the USAA is better.

Jim Collins states in the book Good to Great that good IS the enemy of Great. Think about it
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 AM   #18
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If the service at USAA has gone downhill, thats amazing.. As it is, I almost feel embarrassed at how nice they are every time I call and we just started dealing with them 6 months ago.

Like you said, it may be more of an indictment of everyone else though.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:27 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

I was playing around on NFCUs buying program site and kept hitting script errors so I decided to call. I found out that you can't get the pricing until you provide your information and visit a dealer. Pretty disappointed with that .

After some more research it sounds like their program is through Affinity, which I believe is the same as the Costco program, so I'll assume about 1% below invoice.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #20
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I was going to go with Tread Lightly, even signed up. Then after that I found out about USAA and was able to use them in January when they were still offering 1% + $1000 off. That $1000 is the only reason I bothered to use them since I'd already signed up at TL. Oh well, I know my $60 to TL went to a good cause, and I still potentially have other benefits from it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:51 PM   #21
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Sad to see such conversations take place with all these false figures.. (and by false figures I mean the idea that the manufacturer and/or dealer are the ones who set up these "invoice" prices... Invoice should mean cost. No one should be able to buy a good product (not a left over, etc) for less than cost. When I hear people use terms like "x% under invoice" it makes me a bit sad to think that this game is still played (by both buyer and seller). Where else can you go to buy an expensive product and have the salesman look at you with a straight face and offer a price that is x% below cost?

Sorry for the rant... Back to your regularly scheduled discussion.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:00 PM   #22
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I'm not sure if you are serious or not...

The "invoice" is not the actual amount the dealer paid for the vehicle.

Edit - reread it and I think you are arguing that we shouldn't be negotiating with fake figures... such as cost, invoice, MSRP, etc. I agree... but it's part of the game I suppose.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:07 PM   #23
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i currently bank with USAA even though i have no ties to the military, can i still use USAA's pricing and discount? i plan on using tread lightly as well.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #24
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Sad to see such conversations take place with all these false figures.. (and by false figures I mean the idea that the manufacturer and/or dealer are the ones who set up these "invoice" prices... Invoice should mean cost. No one should be able to buy a good product (not a left over, etc) for less than cost. When I hear people use terms like "x% under invoice" it makes me a bit sad to think that this game is still played (by both buyer and seller). Where else can you go to buy an expensive product and have the salesman look at you with a straight face and offer a price that is x% below cost?

Sorry for the rant... Back to your regularly scheduled discussion.
I usually put "invoice" in quotes just because of what you are saying. Unfortunately, while it is better for the buyer now with forums like this and the other sources of info, it is still a rigged game.

The guy I was dealing with said he still had people walk off the street and pay sticker on Wranglers.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #25
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i currently bank with USAA even though i have no ties to the military, can i still use USAA's pricing and discount? i plan on using tread lightly as well.
If the USAA site will let you in after you log in, I'm guessing yes, but you might have to call to be sure. The only thing is, the USAA $1000 is over as near as I can tell for the Wrangler. Last I looked they were not offering it for anything but the Patriot and Compass right now. Seems like it ended at the end of January.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:48 PM   #26
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If the USAA site will let you in after you log in, I'm guessing yes, but you might have to call to be sure. The only thing is, the USAA $1000 is over as near as I can tell for the Wrangler. Last I looked they were not offering it for anything but the Patriot and Compass right now. Seems like it ended at the end of January.
Having just been down this road, there is definitely not an extra $1000 off via the USAA program right now.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:59 PM   #27
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Yep USAA incentive ended 31 Jan. I got my JK 27 Jan and used it!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:22 PM   #28
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Using the tread lightly. I just bought a 2012 Rubicon Unlimited. $39K. Fully loaded. We haven't completed the transaction yet. I just need to go to the dealership to do that. I may have been able to get it below the 1%, but I didn't try. I've bought quite a few cars from this guy, so I'll see what I can do when i get there.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #29
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I just ordered my JKUR for 3% under "invoice"/FWP at a Dallas-area dealership. No haggling, no need for TL membership, nada. Thanks to "Blazer"s recommendation (he had already pinged all the dealerships in town), the whole experience was quite painless. The sole Costco-affiliated dealer in town only quoted at straight invoice. There's also just one local dealer in the USAA program, and they're way over in Fort Worth; besides, they only offered FFP (1% under FWP) when I first contacted them.

I'm wondering if these "below invoice" prices will disappear once the 2013 JK marketing campaign kicks in, and the masses start flocking the dealerships in search of new JKs?

FWIW,

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:44 PM   #30
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I just ordered my JKUR for 3% under "invoice"/FWP at a Dallas-area dealership. No haggling, no need for TL membership, nada.

LarsA
3% under invoice, no haggling, no nothing. I had one here in California that quit talking to me when I mentioned TL! I guess it all depends where you are, and possibly a bunch of other variables.

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