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The US motor vehicle industry appear to have removed the last piece of personal interaction involved in the process of purchasing a car, with the launch of car vending machines.
Shoppers who prefer to bypass physical dealerships can now order and pay for their car online before popping down to a multi-storey building resembling a vending machine to collect their ride.
NYSE-listed Carvana, a leading eCommerce platform for buying used cars, has launched the latest of its car vending machines in Jacksonville, Florida. The eight storey-high building is fully automated and coin-operated (yes, you did read that correctly) and can house as many as 30 vehicles. Carvana says the buildings “give customers a unique and memorable pickup experience” for cars they buy online. It is the seventh such building Carvana has opened, the others being in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas in Texas, Nashville, Tennessee and Raleigh North Carolina.
Carvana says its system appeals to customers because instead of spending hours walking around dealerships, customers who choose Carvana can search through the company’s national inventory of 7000 vehicles and finance and purchase their car completely online. From start to finish, the entire process takes as little as 10 minutes. All vehicles in Carvana’s inventory have passed a 150-point inspection and have never been in a reported accident or have frame damage. All features, imperfections and updated information about open safety recalls are listed on the car’s vehicle description page.
Once the online purchase is complete, customers can choose to have their car delivered as soon as the next day, or pick it up from one of the car vending machines. Customers who choose the vending machine option will receive a commemorative, oversized Carvana coin on-site to activate the vending process and transport the car into the delivery bay. Customers then have a seven-day, money-back guarantee, giving them the chance to see if the vehicle really fits their life. If they aren’t satisfied, they can return the vehicle for a full refund.
Ernie Garcia, founder and CEO of Carvana says he wants to “bring some fun back into the car buying process”.
Vehicle pickup at any of Carvana’s car vending machines is free for customers. Those who live outside the metropolitan delivery area but would still like to pick up their car at a vending machine, Carvana will subsidise $200 for an airfare and arrange “white glove transportation” from the airport.
Founded in 2012 and based in Phoenix, Arizona, Carvana says its mission is to change the way people buy cars.
“By removing the traditional dealership infrastructure and replacing it with technology and exceptional customer service, Carvana offers consumers an intuitive and convenient online automotive retail platform. A fully transactional website enables consumers to quickly and easily buy a car online, including finding their preferred vehicle, qualifying for financing, completing the purchase and loan with signed contracts, and receiving delivery or pickup of the vehicle,” the company says in a statement.