Since its launch in 2012, Carvana has disrupted the process of buying and selling used vehicles in ways most people did not expect. Taking notes from their biggest competitor, CarMax, Carvana offers their customers a no-haggle and no-pressure way to sell and buy vehicles.

The best part about Carvana? You can pretty much complete the entire process from the comfort of your couch.

If you have heard about Carvana, or maybe you saw their giant tower of vehicles, and you want to learn more about them, you're going to want to continue reading below. In this brief guide, we will talk about Carvana in its entirety so you can decide if you would like to buy a vehicle from them!

What Is Carvana?

Carvana is an online-only used car dealership that connects potential buyers to thousands of preowned cars in their area. Carvana also offers options for financing, and they accept trade-ins as well if you have one. Once you are on their website, you can look for a specific vehicle or vehicle type and filter out the features you want your car to have.

If you find the car you want, you can create an account and then go through a series of different screens to complete your purchase. The screens you click through detail trade-in information (if applicable), delivery details, payment information, and other personal information.

Once you complete that portion, a Carvana representative will reach out to schedule the delivery of your selected vehicle, and they will also go over any other purchase information.

When you receive your vehicle, you have seven days to return the car if you change your mind. There is no test drive option available when you have the car delivered to your home.

Pros and Cons of Carvana

Now that you are more familiar with the overview of how Carvana works, it's time to get into the pros and cons of using them. Carvana does have a massive selection of vehicles to choose from. Each of the cars listed comes with a history report from Carfax so you can see if there were any previous accidents, owners, or significant repairs.

The entire car buying process is done online, so there is no need for you to go back and forth between a car dealership to complete the deal. Carvana also does not charge you any dealer fees, unlike other dealerships.

As mentioned above, you have seven days to return the vehicle, which is another pro. There are no questions asked when you return the car, and Carvana can start the return process.

Cons of Carvana

For every positive about a company, there is always an inevitable negative. Although they have a large selection of vehicles, the prices of these vehicles are on the higher side when comparing the costs to a different used car dealer.

The online car buying process may seem convenient, but you can only see the car from photos. There may be hidden damages or features that you could not see when looking at the pictures.

Can I Finance My New Car?

When you purchase a vehicle through Carvana, you have the option to either pay cash for the car, or you can finance your vehicle through Carvana. When you first apply to purchase a car, Carvana will tell you about your loan options and how much you will need to put down if you decide to finance the vehicle.

Of course, the initial information you see on the screen is based on a soft pull of your credit. When you agree to the purchase, they will need to conduct a hard pull and check your entire credit profile. At that point, you will see your finance options, how much you need to put down, and your interest rate.

Carvana Nightmare

When you go onto Carvana's website, it is easy to spot the good Carvana reviews applauding their vast vehicle selection and the ease of the entire process. There are a few other stories that aren't as happy or positive.

For example, if you go onto the Better Business Bureau's website for Carvana, you will find reviews about horrible experiences. Some customers claim that they did not receive their vehicle for months.

Others argue that the vehicle came to their house with extreme damage that Carvana did not do anything about. Although Carvana states there is a 150 point inspection, some clients have expressed that mechanical errors and other hidden issues required significant repairs.

How to Protect Yourself

If you decide to purchase a vehicle from Carvana, you will need to be extra cautious. Ensure to look through the photos listed thoroughly.

Of course, you may not be able to see all the damages through those pictures, so it may be in your best interest to reach out to your mechanic when you receive the vehicle. Having a trusted mechanic inspect the car during the first week of owning the vehicle can help mitigate any damages that exceed the seven-day return period.

If you find any issues, make sure you let Carvana know as soon as possible. If they delay a response or cannot do anything about it, return the vehicle within those seven days to mitigate your loss.

Selling a Car to Carvana

If you want to sell your vehicle to Carvana, you can also do that on their website. They typically pay well for their used car inventory because they are a publicly-traded company that strives to grow constantly.

Carvana usually buys their vehicles from auto auctions, but these auto auctions come with associated fees such as buyers' fees and more. So instead, Carvana does prefer to buy their vehicles from clients. Keep in mind that your car must be in working condition to sell to Carvana.

Documentation needed:

  • Front and back picture of your vehicle title
  • Lien release document (if applicable)
  • 10-day pay-off letter if you have a lienholder on the vehicle

When you are on their website, you will need to input your vehicle's VIN or license plate number to get your offer. Carvana will also need other information about your car, such as the color and the current mileage.

Other details needed about your vehicle:

  • Accident history
  • Exterior damages
  • Mechanical issues
  • Zipcode
  • The general condition of the vehicle

After you input all the information, Carvana will generate an offer for your vehicle. If you decide to go through with the offer, you will need to make an appointment for Carvana to come to inspect the vehicle.

Carvana Inspection

When your appointment date comes up, a representative from Carvana will come to take a look at your vehicle. Many customers who previously sold their vehicle to Carvana have mentioned that the representative didn't do too much of an inspection.

Instead, the rep from Carvana only walked around and took photos of the inside and outside of the vehicle. They also just made sure that the vehicle was in running condition without any worn tires. Overall, there is no real in-depth inspection. Carvana will issue the check to you if the examination goes well.

My Car Has Negative Equity

When you owe more on your car loan than the car is worth, then you have negative equity. If you sell your car to Carvana and there is negative equity on your vehicle, they will ask you for a bank check. You will need to put the amount you owe to your lender before Carvana takes the vehicle on that check.

If your car has negative equity, but you are trading it in for a Carvana car, they may help you up to $2,500 what you owe to your previous lender. What Carvana helps you pay off will add to your new loan.

Anything over $2,500, you will have to pay as a down payment for your new car. For example, if you owe $3,500 to your existing lender, Carvana will cover $2,500, and you will have to pay the remaining $1,000 as a down payment for your new vehicle.

Should I Sell My Car to Carvana?

If you are looking for a simple and easy way to sell your vehicle, Carvana is an excellent place to start. There are reviews from other customers who liked the simplicity of selling their cars to Carvana, while others have had not so great experiences. Of course, the only way to know if selling to Carvana is right for you is to try the process yourself.

Although Carvana may have better perks than Vroom or CarMax, it doesn't hurt to compare your offers. If you would like, you can reach out to each company you wish to sell your vehicle to so they can provide you with an offer for your car.

At this point, you can read over the terms and conditions for each offer to determine which is best for you. Looking over the reviews for each company can also help you gauge their processes and other customer experiences.

How Good Is My Offer For?

When you receive your offer from Carvana, you have seven days and one thousand miles. Carvana will not change or alter your offer unless your car does not match the parameters you put when you initially requested a quote.

Once you receive your offer, you will be in contact with a representative about the entire buying process. This offer timeline is much longer than other companies such as Vroom and CarMax. Vroom offers are only valid for two days, 250 miles, whereas CarMax is for seven days, 500 miles.

How Long Does It Take To Sell to Carvana?

Selling to Carvana can take less than an hour once you accept your offer. After you accept your offer, you will schedule for someone to look at your vehicle.

As mentioned earlier, if the inspection goes well, they will cut you the check and take away your car. If you have to drop your vehicle off at a Carvana location and need a ride back home, they will pay for your Uber or Lyft.

Should I Buy From Carvana?

If you want to skip any vehicle inspections, test drives, price negotiation, or waiting at the dealership, buying a vehicle through Carvana may be a good option. Carvana offers a quick and convenient way to shop for a car. You can buy a vehicle almost as easily as you would buy a cool new gadget from Amazon.

If you are sure about a vehicle type, color, make, and year and you've done your research, Carvana may also be a good option for you. If Carvana offers you a better deal for the vehicle than any other dealership would then go for it. As mentioned earlier, make sure that you get the car inspected within your seven-day window to ensure no hidden issues or damages you did not see.

You Shouldn’t Buy From Carvana If

If you are not 100% certain about the type of vehicle you want, then you should not buy a car from Carvana. It is best for you to do your research on the vehicle you want and test drive them at other dealerships to see which you would like best.

Also, if you are someone who is not too keen on the idea of buying a significant investment, such as a car, online without seeing it or driving it, Carvana is definitely not for you.

Would You Buy From Carvana?

Buying from Carvana is definitely a new and innovative way to purchase a vehicle when compared to other auto dealers. Many people like the aspect of buying a vehicle online and picking it up or having it dropped off to them.

There are many different reviews that either praise or rebuke Carvana. The only way to determine if this process is right for you is to test it out yourself. Would you buy a car from Carvana?

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