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Carvana Chronicles: “Dealership websites don’t disclose what Carvana discloses”

There’s no question that a catchy turn of phrase or some snazzy graphic designing can do wonders when it comes to grabbing someone’s attention, but without substance and tangible testimony, creative copy and fancy photos can fall short of telling a story about a product that actually makes a difference. Carvana Chronicles is our way of telling our story through the lens of those we proudly serve by taking a deeper dive into Carvana reviews from real-life customers. Today, we spotlight the experience of Amanda, 26, from Atlanta, who purchased her 2012 Honda Accord [1] from Carvana in 2014.

How did you discover Carvana?

I found out about Carvana through a friend. She knew I was looking for a car because I had pretty much run my first car into the ground that I got when I was 16. Before that, my mom owned it and we’d had it since 1998. When my friend told me about Carvana, I was like, “Okay, there’s no way in the world that’s actually legit.” It really just sounded like it was too good to be true honestly, especially being able to test drive it for the first seven days after purchasing.

Prior to buying with Carvana, how have you or people you know purchased vehicles in the past?

We had owned two Lexuses before and my family had gone through dealerships. My first car was a Lexus and I got it handed down from my mom. My family had gone through dealerships and had the car delivered to us, but you have to order and you wait weeks for it to come in and the paperwork takes forever. My mom has a Toyota Highlander [2], and I went with her to sign her paperwork for that and it took an ungodly amount of time. I think we were there two and half, three hours just to go pick up the car that she was already buying. It was just ridiculous. There’s no reason it should take that long…especially in 2015, 2016. It should take 10 minutes.

Did you have any apprehensions about purchasing a car online?

I started looking around and I was seeing more cars on the road with the Carvana license plate, so I was like, “Okay, other people are doing this.” For me, my fears went away when I saw the transparency of the website. When you look at Carvana’s website, you start to feel way more comfortable with everything. It’s very transparent with flaws, it’s very transparent with pricing and the history of the vehicle. There just wasn’t a stone left unturned. They were so secretive about things like pricing and haggling and all this craziness at dealerships, but Carvana was like, “Here’s what we’ve got, here’s the history, what do you think?” It was such a more honest experience, in my opinion.

Was there one moment in particular that stood out and convinced you that Carvana was a better way to buy car?

Yeah, it was when I decided I was going to buy this car and I finished the process around midnight. I was just like, “Okay, tomorrow I’m going to be wrapped up on phone calls and paperwork all day,” and then I get the call from the Customer Advocate and it was done in about 20 minutes. I was like, “Wow! Why would you do this any other way?” You can waste days in a dealership in person, but in shopping with Carvana, you have these wonderful people on the phone who are nice. You actually get to talk to a human being and you’re done in 20 minutes. It doesn’t take up your whole day, you feel very comfortable with the process…I was expecting to be so much more stressed out, but instead I was just excited.

Did you ever encounter any issues during the purchase process, including pick-up of your vehicle at the Atlanta Vending Machine?

I didn’t really have any issues. The only thing I needed to do was book an Uber to go pick-up my car, which was a cinch – I have no problem using Uber. Carvana offered me several different time slots that they could deliver my car, but I just wanted to get the car faster, so they told me they could have it waiting for me at the vending machine. I just went there and picked it up and I was on the road within 20-ish minutes…and that included my test drive.

For you personally, what’s the biggest difference between shopping with Carvana opposed to visiting your standard dealership?

It’s just night and day different honestly. It felt very grimy going to the dealership lot. They’re just trying to sell you at a higher price, they quote you all these different numbers or they won’t tell you the actual price, they’re bargaining with you on all these things…purchasing isn’t like that on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t feel good for anyone to have to haggle and know that someone else is getting thousands of dollars less or more on a car than you are. It just doesn’t make much sense. I just like that Carvana is very transparent with their pricing and how it compares to others in the area and how it compares to Kelley Blue Book [3].

After going through the purchase process with Carvana, have your opinions changed on the traditional car buying process?

Oh god, yes! I won’t be buying a car the “normal” way anymore. I feel like website purchases should be the normal way to buy a car. You look at people who work all day, they don’t have the time to spend a bunch of time browsing through a car lot. Why do it when you can get on Carvana and you can look at the inside of the car? You get a better look at the car on the website than you do at the dealership. You can’t open every single door on the cars out there or anything like that. Dealership websites don’t disclose what Carvana discloses. Just the fact you can get online and look at the car top to bottom, you know exactly what you’re getting. I’ll never buy another car if it’s not through something like Carvana.