Shopping for an auto on Carvana: Does buying a car in 10 minutes sound good to you?


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — You can buy a used car from your living room and have it delivered right to your door.

Or, you can pick it up from one of 31 giant car vending machines in a nearby city (the closest to Staten Island is Philadelphia). And you’ll actually insert a giant coin to do this.

No kidding. That’s the way Carvana works. So, is this new car-shopping method for you?

Well, let’s talk about convenience. That’s what Carvana is all about. It was created for folks who don’t want to haggle with salespeople who work on commission. At Carvana, all employees are salaried.

How do you do it?

You head to carvana.com. There, you can search by make and model, year, price range or features. You can even modify the search by selecting color, the number of cylinders, transmission and drive type you want.

Then, bam. Your choices pop up and you’re on your way. (Carvana boasts more than 20,000 cars in its inventory.)

Click one and you’re greeted by interior and exterior photos, similar to what you’d see if you browsed on a dealership website. There’s also a 360-degree spin option for viewing. But the clock is ticking, and you have a time limit to decide.

carvana

Carvana opened its first car vending machine in Philadelphia on Oct. 11, 2018. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)Julia Hatmaker | [email protected]

I tried it

For me, the 2020 Ford Edge I sought is available, but the price would expire in just over seven hours.

And if I buy it, it’ll arrive in my driveway in eight days. After that, I have seven days to try it or return if for a refund. I checked the Ford website, but couldn’t even find one at any nearby dealer.

I can buy it, take it to my trusted mechanic, drive it on the highway and check to see how my kids fit and how it fits in the driveway.

If it doesn’t work out for me, I can return it for a full refund within seven days. But I won’t get any delivery charges returned. Some Carvana cars don’t have shipping costs, though. But this Ford Edge does: $490.

From here, you can choose to trade in your vehicle and get a price quote. You can also easily apply for credit to finance your purchase. Carvana promises that each experience will take two minutes.

Too good to be true?

In 2020, Carvana sold 244,111 vehicles and posted annual revenue of $5.587 billion, making it the second largest online used-car retailer in the United States, the company announced in its shareholder letter that year.

And as of January 2022, Carvana was the fastest to sell 1 million vehicles online in nine years and the fastest used car retailer ever to organically sell over 400,000 vehicles in one year, according to Fortune magazine.

Carvana has been around since 2012, when it was founded by Ernest Garcia III, Ryan Keeton and Ben Huston. It went public in 2017 and trades on the New York Stock Exchange as CVNA.

Less than 10 minutes

Carvana claims the selection process and purchase can take as little as 10 minutes, so for those of us who hate haggling and car shopping, it definitely has the potential to change the car-buying experience forever.

The company only sells used cars, but they are all less that 10 years old and all go through an inspection process, the company claims. Also, each one comes with a 100-day warranty, and you can buy an extended warranty.



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