In Jacksonville, Florida, a giant eight-storey vending machine has just opened – dispensing cars.
Like seven similar machines in US states of Tennessee, Texas and North Carolina, it’s the final link in a concept which gives consumers an end-to-end alternative to walking car yards and dodging pushy salespeople.
Customers of NYSE-listed Carvana, an e-commerce platform for buying used cars, 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.
The Jacksonville building (pictured above) is fully automated 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.
Ernie Garcia, founder and CEO of Carvana says he wants to “bring some fun back into the car buying process”.
“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.”
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.