Online Car Vending Is a Towering Concept

by RaeAnne Marsh

Carvana’s mission is to change the way people buy cars. By removing the traditional dealership infrastructure and replacing it with technology and exceptional customer service, we offer consumers an intuitive and convenient online automotive retail platform. Whether your car is delivered to your driveway or picked up at one of our Car Vending Machines, we want to ensure that customers know what they’re buying, have fun while doing it, and save valuable time and money throughout the entire process,” says Ryan Keeton, Carvana co-founder and chief brand officer. 

Making the old advice to “kick the tires” obsolete, every Carvana vehicle comes with a seven-day return policy. “An upgrade from the traditional four right-hand turns, 15-minute test-drive around the dealership’s block, this really gives customers the time, convenience and peace of mind to ensure their vehicle fits their life,” Keeton says. 

But the biggest kick is Carvana’s proprietary automated car vending machines — the largest one to date opened just a few weeks ago in the company’s hometown of Tempe. Nine stories high, the all-glass tower hold up to 34 cars. Upon arriving at the car vending machine, customers receive a commemorative, oversized Carvana coin to activate the vending process and transport the car into the delivery bay. The pick-up process typically takes only minutes, compared to hours haggling at the dealership.

Customers who visit Carvana.com from home or on the go via their mobile device can shop more than 10,000 vehicles, and finance, purchase and schedule as-soon-as-next-day delivery or car vending machine pickup in as little as 10 minutes. Carvana’s inventory is held at one of the company’s four inspection and perfection centers, from which, once it is sold, it is transported to the customer’s local market — similar to an Amazon distribution/fulfillment center — where Carvana team members prepare it for delivery or load it into one of the car vending machines, depending on which the customer has selected. For customers who live outside of a city with one of the car vending machines but would still like to pick up their car from one, Carvana will subsidize $200 in airfare and arrange transportation from the closest airport.

“We want to make car buying fun, so when we thought through what would make for a unique experience, the idea of a vending machine came up. We ran with that idea and today we have 12 car vending machines across the country,” Keeton shares, adding, “The car vending machines are great marketing, showcasing our vehicles, but they also cost a lot less than a traditional dealership and take up less real estate.” 

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