“…lower prices, premium cars, a better experience, and no hidden fees.” – Carvana.com
Time is of the essence, so read this quickly. We mustn’t waste any time with a lot of wordy explanations of how tedious, exhausting and extremely time consuming the “art” of buying a car can be. Just when we think we’ve mastered the negotiating process, and built the courage to let someone talk at you about why you need to buy the car from them, it seems like it’s time to go through the process all over again.
After spending over 4 hours in a dealership when buying my first car (new 2002 Hyundai Elantra), I refused to go through it again. My next car (used 2001 Chyrsler Sebring) I bought from CarMax. Picking the car part was easy. Waiting on decisions from financing and signing all of the confusing, yet necessary paperwork was pure chaos. Did I mention I had 2 kids at the time. And while I appreciate the kids section in CarMax, it was hard to concentrate on what the finance man was explaining and keep an eye out on my kids. For the next car (new 2005 Chrysler Pacifica, new 2008 Dodge Journey), I decided that I’d had enough of dealing with sales people. My boyfriend at the time was a salesman at the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealership and I told him what I wanted and to NOT call me until it was time to simply sign on the dotted line. He made sure any unnecessary dealership fees and up-charges were removed from the contract. It was great. But then he left and it was time for a new car. This time, I decided to trade in my Journey for a used 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, from CarMax. This time I was by myself with the kids again. I loved the car, but it had a lot of engine issues. And the process of getting the car was just as annoying as the first experience at CarMax. I had to get the Traverse off my hands. This meant going to yet another dealership. This time I leased a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder with all the bells and whistles. I managed the process myself making sure I wasn’t paying too much while doing almost anything to get out of my Traverse. It took 3 days to work the deal! 3 DAYS! When it was time to turn in my lease, I worked with my husbands close friend to get my current used 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel. Finding the car I wanted was a chore. I’d see one and just as quick it would be gone or unavailable. I’d have to wait days for the car to be delivered to the dealership, so I could look at it. It was a process. But the financing went by quickly.
See, I told you we didn’t have time to go through a wordy….oh wait….sorry about that.
I’m about 1.5 years shy of owning my Durango. I’m in love with it. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’d like a sedan to ride around in as well. And with more options on how to locate a car and finance it, I think I can make it a bit simpler. I now have 4 kids, my time is non existent. I literally want to buy my next car from my phone. I’m excited to say that is absolutely a possibility. While it’s a little more complicated than ordering a pizza by sending a pizza emoji to Domino’s, the premise is almost as simple.
You may have seen the tall vending machine looking towers in major cities near you. They are owned by Carvana. They house cars that individuals have purchased online and have yet to come pick up.
Carvana sells cars to consumers online. There’s not sales person to haggle with. Oh yeah, there prices are firm. No negotiating allowed. You pick a car online from over the 10,000 they have in their inventory, apply for financing (through them or bring your own) and pick up your gently used vehicle the next day. Or they can deliver it to you. Their goal is to meet the customer where they are, which is online. At least it is for a lot of folks.
And knowing that a car purchase is a huge commitment, they offer a 7 day return policy (up to 400 miles) for all of the used cars that they sell. They get it.
While they are located in 82 markets nationwide, they may not be accessible if you have to get to them from pretty far…especially if you don’t have a car! So they offer customers $200 in airline credit so you can get to the nearest vending tower to pick up your new ride. Then have a great road trip back home in your newly purchased ride. I have to say, my jaw dropped when I heard of this perk. They literally thought of everything.
Keep in mind that every vehicle they sell is previously owned. Carvana understands that many customers need peace of mind, via warranties. And while a lot of the vehicles still maintain their original manufacturers warranty, Carvana offers an extended warranty as well.
My mom has purchased 3 cars based on my referral to particular dealership/dealer. My friends have too. So I was interested in seeing if I could talk anyone into Carvana. My mom thought the concept was “interesting” and one of my daughters said “it was perfect!”. My daughter went on to tell me that she was “sad” that robots would be replacing people, she was relieved that she could just get her car online and pick it up. This was all without prompting, folks.
Carvana is definitely going in the right direction. Another automotive writer (Carsfera) asked about future collaborations, like with Amazon. Carvana said that wasn’t in the future, but how cool would it be to say, “Alexa, buy my a car.”
Visit www.carvana.com for more information or to get your next car.