A Complete Carvana Review

Last Updated: July 31, 2023 |
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There are an estimated 41 million used automobiles available for sale in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic created a buying boom in the used car market, increasing sellers such as Carvana. Buyer demand is why Carvana stocks have seen an increase in price from $30 to over $200 during this surge.

So how does Carvana work? How do you sell a car with Carvana? What is the process for making a purchase?

We will answer these questions and more in this Carvana Review, so keep reading.

What Is Carvana?

If you have ever been lucky enough to see a Carvana vending machine, you won’t forget it. The vending machine brings to mind the Hot Wheels parking garages for children, but this adult version has more eye appeal and grown-up features.

The Carvana website offers more than 25,000 vehicles, financing options, accepts trade-ins. You then have the option of picking up your vehicle using this fully automated garage system. Shopping is easy on the Carvana website.

Enter your search preferences and receive a page of results for vehicles in your area. Filters allow you to choose your criteria in any combination, including price, vehicle make, body type, and model.  If you want to be ultra-selective, you can include color, type of transmission, fuel economy, and more.

While online, you will be able to obtain a Kelly Blue Book valuation and receive Carfax information about the car you are considering. This includes information from the in-house 150-point inspection every vehicle undergoes before being shown for sale.

Once you complete the purchase, Carvana delivers your vehicle to your home or office. If you prefer, the company houses the vehicles in vending machines where you have the option of picking up your purchase. 

Once your newly purchased vehicle is in your hands, Carvana service doesn’t stop there. Your automobile comes with a 7-day/400 mile “love it or return it” warranty. If you return your car within seven days of purchase, you will receive a full refund.

Keep the car, and you get a 4,189 mile/100-day limited warranty. When purchasing a used vehicle, a warranty is always a good thing to have if you encounter a roadside emergency

Buying a Car on Carvana

When you go to the Carvana website, click on “search all vehicles.” This will take you to a page where you can specify search details for the vehicle you’re looking for. If the only thing you are interested in is small SUVs or compact sports cars, you can narrow the category to just those types of vehicles.

Filters allow you to be very specific about what you want on the car, including the color. Once you choose a vehicle, you will be taken to its profile page.

The profile page contains a 360-degree interactive view of the vehicle. This allows you to highlight areas that may be imperfections or dings in the exterior. You will also see several pictures of the vehicle’s interior.

The key to a safe road trip is knowing your car’s history. Click on “vehicle details” to see the VIN and look up information about any accidents, floods, etc.; the vehicle may have been in. If, after reviewing everything, you want to purchase the vehicle, click on “get started.”

You will now create an account, providing your name, zip code, phone number, and email address. Note whether you are trading in a vehicle, paying cash, or financing the car. Click to indicate if you will have Carvana deliver the vehicle to you or if you are selecting a vending machine for pickup.

Using Carvana to Finance Your Purchase

When you are considering a vehicle purchase through Carvana, you can apply for a pre-qualified auto loan. This quick application process takes only a few minutes and provides you with an immediate answer on a loan. You will see how much you can borrow, what terms you qualify for, the length of the loan, the amount of down payment necessary, and your monthly payments.

Carvana car loans are easy to obtain, with almost anyone over the age of 18 making $4,000 or more a year able to qualify, regardless of their credit score. If you prefer using alternate financing, Carvana works with many banks in the U.S. and accepts direct cash payments.

Carvana Quality

Carvana believes in only selling vehicles that meet the highest standards. That is why every vehicle they sell goes through a 150-point inspection. This includes checking everything, including the depth of tire tread, brake pad thickness, Bluetooth compatibility, and exterior paint quality.

Carvana will not sell an automobile that has been in an accident, nor any with structural damage or frame damage. The vehicle you receive will have undergone a complete cleaning, buffing, polish, wax, and seal, so it looks great when you sit in it for the first time.

Selling a Car on Carvana

With Carvana, you will be able to learn the amount of credit or trade-in value you will receive for your existing vehicle. To obtain an estimate on the trade-in value of your car, search for the car using its VIN or license plate number. After you enter that information, you will need to provide details regarding the vehicle, including:

You will also need to advise if there are any outstanding loans on the vehicle. The offer you receive will be good for seven days. If you agree to the Carvana offer, they will schedule an appointment to inspect the car and pick it up.

Once the vehicle passes its inspection, they will issue you a check on the spot.

Delivery of Your Vehicle

When you purchase from Carvana, you have two delivery options to select from. With direct delivery, Carvana will schedule a touchless delivery. This involves their driver bringing your vehicle, keys, and all paperwork to your home.

Carvana car pickup is a bit different. Suppose you prefer to drive and enjoy the roadside attractions you can pick up your vehicle. The process is entirely no-contact using one of their 24 vehicle vending machines. When you select a vending machine delivery, you receive a special token that you place into a slot on the machine to receive your car.

After you insert the token, the vending machine automatically retrieves the automobile you purchased. The machine automatically delivers it to a garage-style loading bay. You then receive access to get into the car and drive it away.

Bonus: you get to keep your token as a souvenir! You are making history by purchasing in this new and innovative way. That token may someday prove to be a valuable piece of historical memorabilia.

Pros and Cons of Using Carvana

As with any process, there are always a few pros and cons.

The pros for Carvana include the ability to complete all purchase steps online and receive a touchless delivery. The website provides you with a 360-degree view of the vehicle. You also view additional photos and car descriptions and receive a CarFax report to know what you are buying.

You can obtain financing on their website. Carvana conducts a 150-point inspection and cleans every vehicle before selling it. You receive an online appraisal for your trade-in vehicle.

After completing your purchase, you receive a 7-day test period and may return the car within those seven days for a full refund. Every vehicle comes with a 100-day, 4,189-mile limited warranty. You may also purchase an extended warranty.

The cons when shopping with Carvana are few. Complaints involve very few electric vehicles being available for purchase. Some people experience difficulties with vending machine pickups, including missing keys or other delays.

There is no opportunity to test drive the vehicle you are purchasing. The 7-day test period appears to be a strong safety net, but complaints about problems when trying to handle repairs.

They analyze data available on the current market, and all offers and pricing use that criteria. There are no negotiations on purchase or trade-in prices. The only way to ensure you are getting an excellent deal is to search for similar vehicles at other dealerships.

Consumers also complain that there is poor post-purchase customer support. If you need a repair, you must contact the warranty provider, SilverRock. That company receives complaints on forums.

Use This Carvana Review

If you stopped to read this Carvana review, chances are you are in the market for a used vehicle. Now that you have the lowdown on shopping, trading, financing, and taking delivery on your Carvana purchase, it is time to use this review to get shopping. It is time to step into the 21st century with online vehicle shopping.

The used car market is a great option for anyone trying to keep their insurance rates down due to a poor driving record.  Another way to reduce your car insurance is to take a defensive driving course through DefensiveDriving.org. Save money and drive safe—check us out today!