SAN DIEGO — As microchip shortages have impacted new vehicle supply, Costco Wholesale Corp.'s Costco Auto Program has seen a surge in demand for member discounts on vehicle parts and services.
Costco members can receive a 15% discount coupon for most vehicle parts and services at participating car dealerships and independent repair shops. There are about 50 million Costco members in the U.S.
Costco said it recently has increased its marketing efforts to build awareness for the member benefit and that effort, as well as the new vehicle inventory shortage, has boosted coupon requests by 45% for the first eight months of the year, compared with the 2020 period.
Members are faced with deciding whether to replace their vehicles or continue to repair their older vehicles in the face of new-vehicle shortages, according to Jay Maxwell, general manager of strategic partnerships for the Costco Auto Program.
The coupon "is a great avenue for them, if they choose to repair the vehicles, to get a savings on repairs to keep their vehicle roadworthy."
The Costco Auto Program was created in 1989 to offer referrals and discounts on new vehicle purchases for members at participating car dealerships.
The program began offering the 15% coupon for parts and service in 2011. About five years ago, the program expanded the referral network to include independent auto repair shops.
Members visit the program's website or call to request a coupon each time they need a part or service. The coupon cannot be used at Costco Tire Centers and it cannot be used toward the purchase of tires, air bags, oil changes or state-mandated vehicle inspections. The coupon also cannot be combined with other promotions or incentives at the dealership. The maximum savings per coupon is $500.