Most auto manufacturers offer discounts to their employees as part of their perks programs and some extend that discount to family and friends. On occasion, 'Friends and Family' programs may even be extended to the general public. So how good are these discounts? Is it worth befriending a random employee from Jeep if you’re looking for a new Wrangler or calling up your 2nd cousin-in-law who works at GM if you’re in the market for a Chevy Silverado? Find out if these automaker discount programs are really as good as they seem.
Automaker Friends and Family Programs
Automaker 'Friends and Family' programs allow employees and those closest to them to purchase a vehicle from a dealership below the factory invoice price. The type of offers and who they extend to will vary based on the automaker group. Some will allow only the employee to purchase vehicles for themselves and immediate family, while others extend the discounts to anyone who can present the employee's ID number. Below are examples from three automaker groups.
GM's is one of the most comprehensive and well-known discount programs out there. It is offered across the GM family of brands including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac. When it comes to eligibility, the expression "everybody and their uncle" comes to mind. It is available to active and retired GM employees, their spouse, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, stepgrandchildren, grandparents, parents, stepparents, siblings, and in-laws. The discounts vary based on the vehicle. For example, buying a 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab AT4 would offer a GM employee about $6,000 off the MSRP.
The Honda Team Purchase Program discount is available to direct, full-time associates of Honda companies along with retirees and their family members. Eligible family members include
FCA's Employee Advantage program which includes brands like Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat and Ram used to be very flexible about eligible members. Unfortunately, it was cut back after some employees were taking a little too much 'advantage' by going as far as selling their ID numbers. Now the program is only open to eligible employees, retirees,
Alternative Ways to Save
Not an employee of an automaker and can't find anyone that you can claim as
Comparison Shop Online
Whether you're shopping for a new or used vehicle, make sure you shop around for the best price and compare quotes from several dealerships. Getting price quotes on the car you're interested in increases your bargaining power when you’re ready to go in and buy.
Know The Best Times to Buy a Car
As with most things in life, timing is vital when car shopping. If you plan your trip to the dealership around their sales quotas, you can walk away with a great price. Try for the end of the month, end of the year, middle of the week and
In-Dealership Negotiating Tips
Car salespeople are negotiators by trade, so you'll need to be prepared before you arrive at the dealership. Show that you've done your homework on the make, model and trim you're interested in. Take it one step at a time and avoid discussing your financing or trade-in before you agree on the price of the car. Finally, don't be afraid to walk away from the dealership if there's a big gap between your ideal price and theirs. You can cross-shop to see if other dealers can come closer to what you're willing to pay. Even without an employee discount, these tips will set you up to get a fair price.