Carvana Chronicles is our way of telling our story through the lens of those we proudly serve by taking a deeper dive into the purchase experiences of real-life Carvana customers. Today, we spotlight the experience of Frank from Pembroke Pines, Florida, who purchased a 2013 Smart fortwo and a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder from Carvana in July and December of 2016.
How did you discover Carvana?
I saw your commercials and they really caught my eye. So I did a Google search and Carvana popped up on the first or second tier, and I clicked in it, and I read through the whole thing. That’s how I got into Carvana.
Prior to buying with Carvana, how have you or people you know purchased vehicles in the past?
The local dealers, but nothing online. You can go online to a place like CarMax and you can look at the cars and what they have, and then you have to go there to do the paperwork, or take the car, or whatever you want.
Did you have any apprehension about purchasing a car online?
I’m an IT guy, so I’m always on the internet buying things. You guys put so many specifics and details on the 360-degree photo of the car — where you show the flaws or non-flaws that the car has — that it reduces any apprehension. The dealer is never going to tell you that. They’ll grab a hose and put water on it to help cover up the imperfections…trust me, my daughter’s car was like that. It was a 0-mile car, and when we got home, it has dings and dents everywhere! I think [Carvana] is transparent with the customer. You show the faults on the car, so it appears you guys are trying to be honest about what you’re selling over the web. When you arrived at my home, the whole transaction was very smooth. It took me 15 minutes at 2:00 in the morning to do all the paperwork…there were no issues. When I went to look for the second car, I put 10 cars in my Carvana garage and then went to a local dealership to check out the same 10 cars. Some of them were less expensive than the ones on Carvana, but here’s the catch: I bought an unlimited subscription for a year for Carfax, so I ran the VIN on all the 10 cars that I picked. Eight out of the 10 had been in an accident, and two of the eight were airbag deployment cars. When you look at Carvana’s cars, yeah they may be same price or maybe $1,000 or $1,500 more expensive, but they have no accidents. That’s the difference, among other things, between Carvana and other places.
Was there one moment in particular that stood out and convinced you that Carvana was a better way to buy a car?
It was the moment I hit “buy” and got it approved online. That was the moment I said, “Really? This is happening?” When you’re browsing, it’s a fun thing to do…but when you hit that actual “buy” button, and then you see your financial options, and you go through your financial options and you sign the last paper, that’s when you think, “Holy sh*t, this is for real.” Then the excitement you get when you get it delivered to your house is more spectacular. I was so excited, I had the dog outside…all that stuff. And the people you have delivering the car are great people…they’re very knowledgable. They go through the paperwork with you, they want to make sure you’re satisfied. When you know you’ve signed the last piece of paperwork and you’ve picked a delivery date, that’s when it hits you. And to be honest, I’m buying a third one now. Also, another moment that stood out to was when they delivered my Pathfinder to my house. When they delivered it to my house, Nicole, she showed up with my car and gave me a little bag. In the bag, she had stuff for my dog, Mr. Chubby. The Smart car I bought is for Chubby — that’s his car. No one wants to take him out in their car because he’s got thick hair, so I bought him a car! It’s Chubby’s car, and on the plates it says “Chubby’s Limo.”
Did you ever encounter any issues during the purchase process or delivery of your vehicle?
No. Again, transparency is what makes Carvana great. Even when I bought the Pathfinder — I had originally picked a black Pathfinder and changed it for a light brown one — and I got an email from Carvana that said it had a recall, it was good because they provided good communication. They gave constant status updates of what’s going on with the car, and it gave me peace of mind.
After going through the purchase process with Carvana, do you still see yourself buying from dealerships moving forward?
Oh hell no! No, no, no, I’m not buying any more cars from dealerships. I just go to the dealerships so I can test drive and see how the car feels, and then I go and buy from Carvana. I’m not buying any more cars from dealerships. I’m never going back to buy a car from a dealership. I really don’t mind if a car is a couple more thousand dollars more expensive than the local car dealership, because at least I know I’m getting a car that is certified and that’s been taken care of before you get it to me and that it’s never been in an accident.