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 Tony from Atlanta, who purchased a 2013 Nissan LEAF in February of 2017.
How did you first discover Carvana?
I can recall a couple years ago when I read about Carvana, it might have been in Wired or Fast Company or something like that. It seemed like the concept made sense, but I remember checking out your website and there wasn’t a whole lot of inventory available at the time – this was a few years ago. I thought it was a good idea though, but hadn’t reached a tipping point yet. But for the last year and half I’d see your Carvana trucks out delivering a vehicle and it kind of turned out to be serendipity that my wife and I happened to be coming off the lease of a car. We’re sort of the typical family in that we’ve got two working parents, three kids, and no time, so the model that Carvana presents was definitely one that was compelling to us. The concept of making a fairly substantial investment in buying a vehicle online, whereas a few years ago may have been a bridge too far, now seemed like more of an opportunity opposed to a challenge.
Prior to purchasing a vehicle with Carvana, how have you or people you know purchased vehicles in the past?
I don’t know any other way other than walking into a dealership and wasting a day’s worth of time. That, for me, was probably the key driver [in purchasing with Carvana]…Carvana makes it easy enough, particularly for a used vehicle purchase, I never have to go to a dealership again. I negotiate things for a living, so part of me enjoys the spirited exchange and interaction of ideas that comes with speaking with people at car dealerships, but the practical reality of it is I don’t have what amounts to a full day of my life to waste at a car dealership.
Did you have any apprehensions about buying a car online?
I think if you’re seriously going to jump into the pool, you kind of already have to be there philosophically. I think there are some people who are more old school than I am that would say, “I would never do that! I need to kick the tires, I need to sit in the seat”…but when I first started checking out cars on Carvana, I had already come to the conclusion that if I found what I wanted and the timing worked, that I was going to pull the trigger.
Was there one moment in particular that stood out and convinced you that Carvana was a better way to buy a car?
I think it was just kind of the ease of process. The [online] interface is really good, and I think honestly what sealed the deal, was being able to arrange for financing directly through Carvana. That just takes another pain point out of the process. I like to think I’m an informed consumer, so I shop the rates around a little bit, and the financing you could get with Carvana was as good as I could get somewhere else.
For you personally, what’s the biggest difference between shopping with Carvana opposed to visiting your standard dealership?
It’s just ease of use. I mean, once I figured out what I wanted, from the time I started the purchase transaction until I close it was probably an hour – then the car shows up at your front door. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I had some peace of mind too in that Carvana is an actual car dealership. It took a lot of the fear and unknown and fudge factor out of buying a car through Craigslist, or some of the other online third party transaction sites. A lot of the companies that you see online will hold themselves out as car dealers, but they’re actually just facilitating a transaction. I had a lot more confidence in buying with Carvana and that if something went wrong with the transaction, I’d actually have a real company to go back to to help me make it right.
After going through the purchase process with Carvana, do you still see yourself buying from dealerships moving forward?
I know that if I’m in the market for a used vehicle, Carvana would definitely be my first go-to…Based on my experience my first go-around with Carvana, it would definitely be my first stop. Interestingly, I posted on Facebook the day the car showed up, and I was surprised at how many people in my universe of friends that responded saying, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about taking the leap. You’re the first one I’ve known who’s done it, how was your experience?” I have a friend that owns a Mercedes dealership here in Atlanta, and she wants to know how my experience went. You can tell Carvana seems to be at a tipping point with sort of the general population.