Carvana is an online-only used car retailer that performs almost all the functions a physical dealership would offer: buying and selling cars, accepting trade-ins, and financing purchases. Of course, the company’s website contains a complete FAQ page, but here’s an overview of how it works.

How to find and buy a car?

It’s as easy as going to the Carvana home page and clicking on “Search for cars”. Vehicles costing between $ 7,000 and $ 100,000 come from auctions and partner dealers, trade-ins, and cars that Carvana buys from private sellers.

By clicking on a car, the vehicle detail page is displayed. If someone else has just started the purchase process, a pop-up will show the vehicle’s shelf life for the other customer. Photos with the “Purchase Pending” graphic have been purchased and will no longer be available unless returned. You can sign up to receive email alerts for vehicles that return to the available pool. It is also possible to save searches if the desired car is not in inventory, and you can save cars to “Favorites” to view them later.

Each detail page loads a 360-degree vehicle tour, photo gallery, and free CarFax report. Carvana says every vehicle is Carvana certified, which means it has passed a 150-point inspection, has a title clean, no accidents reported, and no fire, frame or flood damage.

By clicking on “Delivery and pick-up options”, you indicate how quickly you can have a car delivered to the nearest Carvana market.

Clicking on “Start” starts the purchasing process, which begins with the creation of an account. Prices are not negotiable, but the price shown is the outside price before adding registration fees and optional extras. Buyers can request financing through Carvana’s internal Bridgecrest acceptance, use third-party financing, or pay in cash. They can also request an exchange, buy GAP coverage, and add an extended warranty.

To fund through Carvana, the company requires that you are at least 18 years old, make at least $ 10,000 per year, and not have active bankruptcy. Carvana does not accept co-signers for funding. Pending verification of the applicant, the proposed financing conditions are valid for 45 days.

How to take delivery?

Whether you live in a local or non-local market can make a noticeable difference in your Carvana experience. At the time of writing, Carvana has 261 local markets in 31 states plus Washington, DC. If you live in one of these locations, Carvana delivers your car to one of its trucks on a set day and time, usually free of charge. Some vehicles incur shipping costs even in local markets if there is a “long haul distance to your location.” The site offers the possibility to search for the same brand and the same model without shipping costs. If a buyer pays for shipping to a local market, the shipping costs are refunded if the buyer returns the vehicle before the end of the seven-day trial period.

If you don’t live in a local market, you have two choices. You may pay a non-refundable shipping charge to have your car delivered to your door by a third-party company within a “few days” delivery time. Shipping costs can be added to the financing. If you return the car, you will get back the amount you paid less the shipping costs.

Or you can go to a local market to collect your car, with Carvana reimbursing you up to $ 200 for a plane ticket as long as you choose to keep the car. A Carvana representative will pick you up from the local market and escort you to your car or to a vending machine if you are in one of the 25 markets that have one. At the machine you will be given a token to power the giant toy box in order to get your car. If the car gets stuck between the dispenser and the glass, the Carvana representative will kick or tilt the dispenser to take the car off the ground. (We may have made up that last part.)

Once you’ve encountered the vehicle, a driver’s license and proof of insurance entitle you to a test drive lasting up to 20 minutes. If you don’t like the car, you can send it back there. If you love the car, you fill out the final forms and registration documents, and it’s your turn to drive home.

How to trade in or sell a car in Carvana?

As part of the buying process, Carvana requests details about an exchange. If you are planning to trade in a vehicle, you will be asked to provide standard information such as mileage, features, condition, and accident history. Based on your answers, Carvana will make an offer valid for seven days.

The company only accepts trade in local markets, and the same goes for selling a car to Carvana. If you’ve factored in trade-in funds for your purchase and are outside of a local market, you need to bring the car to a local market.

When it’s time to hand in the trade-in or for sale, a Carvana representative will inspect the vehicles to ensure they agree with the answers provided during the purchase process.

If you have traded in a car, Carvana will keep the trade-in until the end of your seven-day trial period. If you return the vehicle you purchased, Carvana will return your trade-in vehicle with your refund.

How does the trial period work?

Carvana’s seven-day money-back guarantee begins the moment you take delivery. You are entitled to 400 free trial miles, each mile beyond costs $ 1. Assuming no damage or modification occurs during that week, you can return the car for any reason before the end of the week. In a local market, the return is free and the full purchase price is refunded. Outside of a local market, reimbursement will be for the purchase price less the cost of delivering the vehicle. There is no additional shipping charge for returning the vehicle.

How to register the car?

Since cars can be sourced from anywhere, they will come with temporary tags that could be sourced from out of state. The Carvana FAQ states, “For the majority of our customers, we are able to complete the registration process for you,” but restrictions in some states may not make this possible.

Vehicles will be registered at the home address provided during the purchase process and Carvana sends the number plates and number plates. Cash buyers are expected to receive their titles in six to eight weeks.

Is there a guarantee ? Can I buy an extended warranty?

Each car comes with Carvana’s 100-day, 4,189-mile limited warranty provided by Carvana’s in-house company, SilverRock. According to Carvana’s FAQ, it covers basic systems such as air conditioning, audio equipment, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components as well as the powertrain (engine, transmission and transmission). It also offers roadside assistance. Warranty claims are accompanied by a quota.

This limited warranty begins on the date of receipt of the vehicle. For warranty repairs, there is no co-payment if the vehicle is taken to a SilverRock preferred location. For stores outside of the SilverRock network, there is a co-payment of $ 50.

Carvana offers an extended warranty called Carvana Care on many vehicles. The vehicle detail page provides information on availability and cost, if applicable. When offered, you can purchase Carvana Care until the moment your car is delivered, and that starts from the date of delivery. It also provides roadside assistance and requires a $ 50 copay.

What can go wrong?

According to Carvana forum posts on Reddit and reviews left on sites such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs, Carvana’s weaknesses fall into a few general areas. People have reported issues with delivery, timing and location. There have been registration delays. And while Carvana promises a 150-point inspection, things can still be missed. This can be easily managed by having the vehicle inspected by your own mechanic during the seven day trial period and then deciding to keep the car.

As always, when buying a used car from someone or a business, do your homework. And remember that finding the best place to buy a used car starts with determine what type of customer you are.

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