Carvana.com is the online home of Carvana, a new website that says their goal is to help people in the southeastern United States with a convenient way to find and purchase a high quality used car.
How Does It Work?
According to their website, the goal of Carvana is to help people find high quality used cars at lower prices because this company eliminates all unnecessary spending, choosing to operate their used car business entirely online.
Customers can use this website like any other online used car finder website, searching by Make, Model, Year, Mileage, and other features of their desired car, with one important difference: on Carvana, when you find the right car for your needs you can buy it directly from their website, with no need to ever visit the dealership.
All cars for sale on Carvana have been evaluated by their inspection team and are only sold through their website if the car is accident free and can pass a 150 point certification process.
Currently this service is only available for customers living within a 100 mile radius of Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Birmingham, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Richmond, and Washington D.C. Customers living outside of these areas are welcome to use their service, but they will be required to fly in to pick up their car themselves or they will be required to pay a substantial delivery fee.
Using this website is completely free of charge, and it is up to each individual buyer to determine whether they would like to pay for their car with cash, credit, or any kind of available financing options that they either arrange for themselves or that they can request be arranged by Carvana’s financial partners. Customers should keep in mind that all rates, down payments, and other associated fees are based on your credit history and other factors.
After you pick up your car or have it delivered to you, you immediately begin the Carvana 7 Day Test-Own period, where customers are able to drive their car and even take it to a mechanic for an inspection if they choose. Customers who determine during this time period that they are unhappy with what they have received can contact and arrange a date and time for their company to retrieve the car from you and to refund your payment in full.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who are interested in contacting Customer Service with questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by phone at 800-333-4554, by email at [email protected], or by submitting them directly to their website through their Contact Us link.
Carvana actually does seem as though they have upset some customers in the past as it is fairly easy to find reviews from people who were really unhappy with their experiences. The most significant complaints had to do with the trustworthiness of this website and their employees when it came to providing customers with a fair and accurate understanding of both the car they were purchasing and the financial terms of their purchase.
Customers complained that when they picked up the car they purchased they found damage that wasn’t disclosed on the website, and other customers said that the price they were initially promised on the car was changed before the sale was finalized. Both of these types of complaints are very concerning for prospective customers. Those who may still want to use this company to purchase a car should make sure to take advantage of the time period in which they have to try the cars for themselves and return it if they are unhappy with what they find.
Competitors and Alternatives?
This concept of purchasing used cars online is actually growing in popularity and is becoming available through a few different retailers at this time, including Vroom.com and Beepi, for example, so buyers and sellers will have multiple options if it turns out that this company doesn’t have what they need for any reason.
If you have experience with this company or their products, please leave your Carvana reviews below.
2 ‘Carvana’ Reviews
I’m giving Carvana only two stars so far as I am still in the order process and have to say, the customer service so far with the order process has been 5 star but there are two important questions that have not been able to be clarified by multiple customer service reps so until they are and the overall experience is complete I have to hold at two stars.
The application process took about two hours between phone and computer. Pretty painless compared to going to multiple dealerships. Underwriting asked for my bank PIN number during the fund verification process which has never been asked of me of anyone so I immediately changed after our conversation. That seemed odd.
After reading multiple reviews noting issues with timely delivery, cars not being delivered as portrayed online, etc.. I am a bit shaky but I’m hopeful the process goes smooth and will update all review sites with stellar reviews if that is the case, which I am hopeful will be.
The 7 day trial period is a definite appreciated perk with Carvana. Since it appears many of their cars are bought at auction it is important to have a full inspection done by a trusted mechanic during that window for your and your passengers safety and your financial well being to know what you are getting into. Another important consideration is while they do refund your deposit if you return the car during that window (minus the delivery fee - mine is $250) it could take a few weeks to get that deposit back. I need that deposit to buy a car as my credit is not the best after suffering crippling health issues that thankfully are in the past but tanked my credit while going through. If you need the deposit to buy and the car is not as anticipated you may be without a car for at least a few weeks waiting for either the return of the deposit or another car from Carvana. I’m throwing that one up to faith and praying this car is as expected. I will update this review upon delivery, which is scheduled for this Friday. The delivery date itself also seems a bit of a wildcard based on reviews but I’m going to hang in there with faith for Carvana. A relative bought a car with them without issue in either regard - timely delivery and she loves her car - which is helping me hold on to faith this will be seamless.
Two questions remain outstanding to Carvana which multiple customer service reps could not answer and deferred to their legal department who does not keep weekend hours yet I was given a deadline of 11am EST on Monday to sign the contracts they sent by email. Carvana is on the West coast so 11am means 8am their time - I do find it odd they gave a deadline that had no window for clarification on questions as my loan was approved after hours eastern time on Friday. I was also assured any clarity I did gain on the finance question I had in the contract would not be put in writing, which is unsettling. Here’s the question:
They clearly state in the contract “no prepayment penalty”. Awesome considering my interest rate is 19 % and would love to payoff or at least pay down early if possible. Where it gets seemingly sticky, which may not be sticky at all if I just gained the clarity I seek from their legal/finance department, is with “scheduled payments” also clearly noted in the contract. The contract notes under “total payments” header: “The amount you will have paid when you have made all scheduled payments” The amount noted under scheduled payments is $27,713, which includes interest over the full 72 month term. The amount financed is $16 110. This is where it appears to get sticky but may not if I was just provided clarity, but further down in the contract (page 3 of 5) under “Prepayment” the contract notes “You May prepay this Contract in full or in part at any time without penalty. Any partial prepayment will not excuse any later scheduled payments.” This is where the question comes in as to whether do they not charge an additional “prepayment penalty” for early payoff but still expect the full amount of scheduled payments to be made (which include the full term duration of interest) regardless of early payoff .. ? The legalese does not appear clear to me. When I asked multiple customer service reps for that clarity they said they needed to speak with legal and would get back to me. I asked if I could have the response in writing with an example of the payoff amount in one year for complete clarity and they stated their legal/finance would not put anything in writing but would rather relay the answer to them to
provide to me orally. I asked if I could speak
directly with finance/legal. No. We all know what we sign trumps any oral representations. This seems very reasonable clarity to request.
The odometer reading is also 400 miles higher in the contract then reflected in two different pictures of the odometer reading on the website. When I asked for what appears to be a clerical error updated on the contract before I signed I was told the driver coming out would have an “odometer addendum” with him and for me to sign the contract for now as is. I am not comfortable signing a contract that specifically includes an odometer statement that is clearly in error - especially when they have a $1 per mile policy for any miles over 400 if the car is returned within the 7 day test window. I would prefer to think of this as a clerical error but it is suspect that the mileage was adjusted up 400 miles from the odometer photo. Hoping a handwritten change does before I sign does not impact my delivery date.
This unease could swiftly be rectified by Carvana with better clarity on prepayment (section on their site citing an example payoff in a year would be helpful) and a clerical update to mileage.
We will see how this goes. I will update.
We had high hopes for our Carvana purchase. It started well and was not an altogether horrible experience, but, in the end Carvana dropped the ball. Our 2016 Tacoma was delivered yesterday with only one key fob. What? The Carvana web page stated that the truck purchase include a set of keys.
The delivery person helpfully offered to follow-up with his office and request another key fob. The office response was that we had not spent enough money on the car purchase to qualify for two key fobs. Again, what? We have never bought a new or used card from a traditional dealership and not received two keys with fobs as part of the purchase.
Later, a Carvana Customer Advocate, Michael, explained that in Carvana-speak a set of keys means one (1) key and one (1) fob. Voila, a set! We were dumbfounded. So, now we have to buy another key with fob at a Toyota dealership. Hmm. We ought to have started and stayed with a dealership.
So in the end the Carvana experience is deceptive, and will not be repeated by us. Just today someone stopped us in a parking lot and asked about Carvana (the temporary truck plates say Carvana). We warn him about the one key fob policy and advised against trusting vehicle descriptions found on Carvana web pages. The aggravation of having to pass around one key fob between drivers reminds us that Carvana is no different than a regular dealership. Both mislead and exploit the customer; Carvana just does it online vs face-to-face.