USAA Auto Circle Launched

USAA Auto Circle now available via iPhone app.Note to self: Buy car online.

USAA Auto Circle - launched today - makes it not just possible, but easy to do just that, even on your iPhone.

San Antonio, August 4, 2010 --(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Buying a car? USAA has an app for that.

"You can use Auto Circle on your iPhone to get the USAA price on a new car or compare insurance costs for different makes and models so you can make a fully informed purchasing decision. That's the power of Auto Circle."

Photo courtesy of USAA.

From the industry leader that created Deposit@MobileTM, USAA is making its members’ lives even easier by providing the first comprehensive mobile service that offers the ability to find, finance and insure a new vehicle via an iPhone®.

The program – USAA Auto Circle, launched today – gives members everything they need to purchase a vehicle through one source via their iPhone, as well as online at An app for Droid is also in the works.

USAA is a fully integrated financial services provider that focuses on serving the military and their families. USAA Auto Circle launched today on behalf of its 7.7 million members and more than 60 million consumers eligible for USAA membership.

Given the unique challenges faced by the active military community, such as the potential need to purchase a vehicle while a spouse is deployed and moving more often than the general U.S. population, USAA has created Auto Circle and Home Circle to help members with these major purchases, while making the experiences more convenient and less stressful. [Look for a discussion of Home Circle on the site in the next few days.]

"Auto Circle and Home Circle help us facilitate the financial security of our members by giving them a one-stop resource for their cars and homes, which are two of the largest financial decisions they make," said Wayne Peacock, executive vice president of member experience for USAA. "Since our membership is highly mobile, we made these services mobile too, so members are empowered even while at the dealership or searching for a new place to live."

[Can you imagine how much more pleasant the car-buying experience will be when you don't have to haggle over the price, and then worry that you paid too much?]

What Is Auto Circle?

USAA Auto Circle launched.USAA Auto Circle, launched today, is a program that puts USAA members in the driver’s seat, by making every step of the car purchase process transparent through upfront access to information on vehicle pricing, financing and insurance costs. Members save an average of $4,508 off MSRP** for new cars through its car-buying service, in addition to exclusive USAA member discounts on select GM® and Mercedes-Benz® vehicles.

"Auto Circle gives you the ability to walk into a dealership with confidence, whether you’re there for a test drive or to pick up the keys to your new car," said Stuart Parker, president of the property and casualty group at USAA. "Or, you can use Auto Circle on your iPhone to get the USAA price on a new car or compare insurance costs for different makes and models so you can make a fully informed purchasing decision. That’s the power of Auto Circle."

The Auto Circle Experience:

* Find a new or used vehicle via consolidated research from recognized resources at These include, Kelley Blue Book and, which provides comprehensive pricing reports showing what others are paying in your area and how the USAA no-haggle price compares. New cars also can be found via the iPhone app. At, members also can access social tools that provide member ratings and reviews that allow them to obtain feedback on their planned purchase from friends via Facebook.

* Save with the Lowest Price Guarantee on new vehicles at the more than 3,000 USAA certified dealerships via the iPhone app and Members also have a "Buy with Confidence" guarantee that they will pay below Kelley Blue Book value on eligible used vehicles.

* Finance with USAA Bank auto loans. Members can apply for new car financing and receive the convenience of dealer electronic funds transfer all from their iPhone. Members also can secure a competitive loan for a used car at

* Insure with USAA. Members who switch to USAA save $461 a year on average.*** At launch, existing USAA auto policyholders can obtain auto insurance quotes and update insurance coverage via the iPhone.

In addition, USAA created the patent-pending USAA PreferredTM program, a new vehicle rating system that gives consumers a better way to determine value as they shop for vehicles. USAA designates certain vehicles based on safety, reliability, Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, fuel economy, insurance costs and depreciation to help consumers make informed purchase decisions. On, USAA Preferred vehicles will receive a "seal" to indicate that they have been deemed as a good value by USAA.

USAA recently commissioned a survey to gain more insight into how consumers feel about the car-buying process.

Auto CircleTM Survey Findings:*

* Most consumers find car buying exciting (73%), time consuming (72%) and rewarding (70%), but one-third also find it frustrating (37%), confusing (30%) and intimidating (29%).

* Nearly one-third (29%) of consumers are exhausted after buying a car.

* More than half (52%) of consumers feel they paid too much for a car.

* Most (75%) consumers think negotiating the final price/payment is stressful, and few (3%) enjoy negotiating.

* More than one in 10 (14%) consumers prefer to have someone negotiate for them.

* Two in five (19%) military spouses say the hardest part of buying/leasing a car without a spouse present is negotiating a good price.

Members can access these services at,, or by downloading the free USAA Mobile App by visiting the Apple® App StoreTM.

About USAA

USAA provides property and casualty insurance, including life, home and auto insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 7.7 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength.

USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their families. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit

*About the Auto Circle Surveys

* The results are based on an online survey that was conducted by eRewards using their online consumer panel. In registering to become a member, members agree to participate in surveys involving eRewards. eRewards identified panel members who were likely to qualify for the survey, resulting in a sample comprised of 433,042 adult consumers living in the U.S. To qualify for the survey, panel members had to own or lease a 2009 or 2010 vehicle, or plan to purchase or lease a new vehicle in the next 12 months. The survey was randomly sent to 7,594 of the 433,042 members of the panel, resulting in 1,257 completed surveys comprised of 680 men and 577 women. Surveys were completed between May 11-13, 2010. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the eRewards online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

* Telephone interviews were conducted by Braun Research, Inc., with 269 residents living in 10 communities adjacent to major military installations, or in a city with a large number of active military personnel. The 10 communities targeted for the study were: Colorado Springs, Colo.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Killeen, Texas; Jacksonville, N.C.; Oceanside, Calif.; San Diego; Tacoma, Wash.; Hinesville, Ga.; Norfolk, Va.; and Hopkinsville, Ky./Clarksville, Tenn. Approximately 25 residents in each of the 10 communities were interviewed. To qualify for the interview, residents had to be married or have a partner in the military, National Guard, or Reserves; currently own or lease a vehicle, or plan on purchasing or leasing a vehicle in the next 12 months; and live in a specific zip code in one of the 10 communities. The telephone interviews were completed between May 10-27, 2010. Because the sample is based on many specific variables, estimates of theoretical sampling error cannot be calculated.

** Savings based on the monthly average of actual new vehicle member prices compared to MSRP for the time period of 12/1/2009 to 5/31/2010. The savings calculation does not include the savings from the USAA exclusive manufacturer incentives.

*** Average annual savings based on countrywide survey of new customers from 10/1/08 to 09/30/09, who reported their prior insurers' premiums when they switched to USAA. Savings do not apply in MA.

Are you a USAA member? If not, join USAA today!

USAA Car Buying Service and Lowest Price Guarantee provided by Inc. To get the Low Price Guarantee, you must choose a dealer with a Low Price Guarantee icon. If you see a lower advertised price up to three days after you buy, you'll be covered. Applies to new vehicles purchased directly from a Low Price Certified Dealer or any USAA Certified Dealer on the USAA Car Buying Service. Visit for complete guarantee terms and conditions. Guarantee is not available in Texas.

GM and Mercedes-Benz offers are limited time purchase price discounts. Offers available from manufacturers through participating dealers. GM discounts not available on Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac, and Saab vehicles, Corvette ZR1, Cadillac CTS-V and medium duty trucks. GM and Mercedes-Benz offer discounts only to persons eligible for membership in USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group. Some restrictions apply.

USAA Preferred vehicles represent vehicles which are determined to be a good financial value using a USAA developed proprietary statistical model. The model relates MSRP to vehicle features (engine type, drive train, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, number of airbags, transmission, body additions, curb weight, horsepower to curb weight, height and vehicle class), fuel economy, insurance cost, additional warranty cost, depreciation, popularity, special USAA member discounts provided by dealers or manufacturers and IIHS top safety pick to determine the value. USAA Preferred vehicles are those vehicles ranked in the top 40 percent for each vehicle class AND obtain "Good/Acceptable" crash test ratings from IIHS. In providing this analysis USAA does not consider factors other than those disclosed in determining USAA Preferred vehicles.

Investments/ Insurance: Not FDIC Insured ∙ Not Bank Issued, Guaranteed or Underwritten ∙ May Lose Value

Auto Circle™ is a program provided by United Services Automobile Association. Participation in the Auto Circle program is free. The products available through the program have associated costs and fees. Availability, eligibility restrictions, and fees may apply to certain banking, insurance or ancillary products. Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, and its affiliate property and casualty insurance companies is available only to persons eligible for P&C [property & casualty] group membership. Loans provided by USAA Federal Savings Bank, Member FDIC. Purchase of a bank product does not establish eligibility for or membership in USAA property and casualty insurance companies. USAA Car Buying Service and Lowest Price Guarantee provided and operated by Inc. on behalf of USAA. USAA does not broker, sell, or lease motor vehicles. Certain products and services are provided by third parties. Each company has sole liability for its own products.

FTC regulations require that we disclose that we were recently guests of USAA for a tour of their headquarters in San Antonio, and a sneak peek at their latest products.

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