How Do Car Vending Machines Work? | American Auto Shipping
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How Do Car Vending Machines Work?

view of a Carvana car vending machine

For years, Carvana’s online shopping platform and car vending machines were seen more as gimmicks than as practical ways to purchase a car. After all, how could you purchase a car without visiting the dealership, doing a test drive, and making in-person negotiations?

Of course, all those concerns went out the window when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. All of a sudden, Carvana’s contactless and simple processes didn’t seem so silly.

In 2018, Carvana built the world’s tallest car vending machine, coming in at ninety feet tall. And the vending machine is fully-automated. You even need a coin to operate it.

So how does a car vending machine actually work? And is it worth using the next time you want to buy a car? Keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything you’ll want to know!

Car Vending Machine Buyers

There are currently 24 car vending machines by Carvana scattered throughout the United States. The company plans to construct many more over the next few years.

The company’s very first car vending machine was constructed and opened in Nashville, Tennessee in 2016. The company’s tallest car vending machine can be found in Tempe, Arizona. It stands at nine stories tall.

In several states, car vending machines have been temporarily closed for appointments in accordance with state laws.

The vending machines can hold up to several dozen cars at a time. And the buildings act just like actual vending machines.

When a person buys a car from Carvana, they can opt to pick up their new car via the car vending machine. Buyers who choose this option will be given a coin the size of a sand dollar to slip into the machine’s coin slot.

They will then hear a rumbling sound that’s reminiscent of a pinball machine. Next, the car-sized lever will retrieve the vehicle from one of the machine’s floors and bring it into the view bay on the ground floor in a matter of few minutes.

And the best part is that the customer will get to watch the whole process happen before their very eyes. It truly is a unique car buying experience that’s like nothing else.

Of course, if buying a car from a vending machine doesn’t appeal to you, Carvana also offers other options to give you your new car. For example, Carvana will also deliver your car to you for free. This is especially useful if you don’t live near one of their vending machines.

However, if you live in a major American city, then you’re probably not that far from one.

Why Make a Car Vending Machine in the First Place?

It seems like a lot of work to build a car vending machine. And many people will likely find it unnecessary. However, that’s not how Carvana sees it.

Carvana wanted to make a better buying experience by utilizing forward-thinking technology and design. The company wanted to fully separate itself from the traditional car dealership model that’s been used for more than a century.

They spent more than one year designing their very first vending machine for vehicles. And throughout the whole process, Carvana has also been able to deliver amazing customer experiences.

And let’s not overlook the fact that when you see a Carvana vending machine from a distance, it definitely gets your attention.  No doubt this entices many car shoppers to explore Carvana.

Can I Purchase a Car I See Inside the Carvana Vending Machine?

Unlike an actual vending machine, the cars that are inside of the car vending machine have likely already been purchased by customers who will be coming to pick up their cars.

Usually, you will go to Carvana’s website and purchase your car that way. Then, after you’ve made the purchase, you’ll make an appointment to go pick up your car at the vending machine.

When you go to their website, you’ll be able to search thousands of used cars all over the United States. The interface will walk you through every part of the transaction, from financing to trading to selling a car that you already own.

The whole buying process can be as short as ten minutes.

Once you buy a vehicle, you have a choice of delivery options, including the vending machine. Each vending machine holds already-claimed cars awaiting pickup by their new owners.

Depending on where in the United States you live, you could end up with your new car by the next day.

You can even put in your current vehicle’s VIN number to find out how much the trade-in will be worth. There’s no haggling and you won’t need to deal with any finance people.

Does It Cost More to See the Car Inside the Car Vending Machine?

It’s totally free to opt to pick up your car from the Carvana vending machine. And it’s also completely free to have the car delivered to your home instead.

What’s the Point of the Coin and the Vending Machine in General?

The vending machine, as well as the coin, are all just for show. Buying a car should be a fun experience, not a painful ordeal. And what could be more fun than selecting your car from a vending machine with a big coin?

The coin that you get when you arrive to pick up your car is a memento. It will serve to commemorate your experience with Carvana and all customers are free to take their coins home with them.  So there is a certain “cool factor” involved.

Can I Test Drive the Car Before I Buy It?

Unfortunately, you can’t test drive your car before you buy it from Carvana. However, the company does offer a seven-day return policy. So if you’re not satisfied with the car, then you can take it back for a full refund.

A Carvana representative will call you on the sixth day to see how it’s going. You can also exchange your car for a different one if you’d prefer to do that.

How Do I know It’s Not a Lemon or in Bad Shape?

All of the vehicles that are offered by Carvana go through a thorough inspection process. They are detailed at the vending machine before you pick yours up or before it’s delivered to you.

Also, all of the cars are used. However, most of them are less than ten years old and have less than 70,000 miles on them.

Each car from Carvana comes with a 100-day warranty. Buyers will also have the chance to purchase an additional warranty. This warranty can be used at most service stations around the country.

If you want to avoid haggling with financing specialists, then you should definitely consider Carvana. The employees at Carvana are purely there for customer service and they don’t receive a commission.

If you’re someone who enjoys haggling, then you’re better off going to a traditional dealership.

How to Find a Reputable Car Shipper

When you buy a used or new car online, you will likely need the car to be shipped to your location. Some companies will handle the delivery completely. However, if you buy from someone like a private dealer, then you might have to arrange the car shipment.

No matter what, it’s important that you deal with a reputable auto transport company.

How do you find a car moving company that’s worth your time and money? You should start by confirming the company you plan to use is licensed and registered.

Auto transport companies need to register with the US Department of Transportation (US DOT). You can ask the company for their US DOT number to confirm they’re registered.

The auto transport company should also be able to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.

You should also check out customer reviews online and go to the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB’s) website to see how the company is rated.

You’ll also want to see how long the shipping timeframe will be and you’ll need to decide if you want to utilize an open transport or an enclosed shipping trailer.

The Importance of Knowing How Car Vending Machines Work

Hopefully, after reading the above, you now have a better understanding of how car vending machines work. As we can see, if you’re not a fan of the traditional way of buying a car, when you have to deal with pushy salespeople and haggling, then you now have an efficient alternative.

Car vending machines are likely not for everyone. But for the adventurous and internet-savvy consumers out there, car vending machines could be an ideal way to purchase a new car.

Are you looking to transport a vehicle with an affordable and reliable auto shipping company? If so, then contact us today and see what we can do for you!

Dave Armstrong
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