August / 2020
Teen Money
Online Car Shopping

There are so many different ways to buy a used car today. Of course, you could always go to the local dealership and buy a car there, but there is also a different way. With the internet, many companies and services are now available online. In recent years online used car buying services have now grown in access and popularity. The most popular online used car services, Carvana and Vroom are now selling more and more used cars online, making it possible to skip the face to face and all-day event car buying experience at dealership can be.

The advertising for online car shopping shows how to search for the car you want and look at pictures to see what one you like the best. Then, you are able to click one button and the car comes to your doorstep. As consumers, this looks very appealing. The experience seems great and easy, almost too good to be true. After some research, I can say that for the most part what you see on the commercials is true. Let’s take a look!

First, we have Carvana. I have to say that what we see in advertising is what you get. The site is very easy to navigate, the pictures show the entirety of the car, and they don’t lie about anything about the car. When you look at a car on their site there is a 360-degree picture of the inside of the car and a 360 picture of the outside of the car. Carvana will also show any paint chips or scratches on the car. They do not hide even the smallest of scratches from their potential customers. As far as pricing goes Carvana tries to get the lowest price possible for their clients but they are a “no-haggle” dealership. This might be good for people who don’t like to negotiate prices, but that also means that the price listed online is the price you are going to pay for the car; there is no way to change the price of the car.

Additionally, you can trade-in your old car when buying your new, used car and they will calculate the price of the car to find what you will have to pay to buy the new car. Trade-ins are the only way that you can knock down some money from the price they gave you online. With the purchase of any Carvana car, you also get a warranty. The warranty covers roadside assistance and the basic powertrain parts for 100 days or 4,189 miles. This isn’t the best warranty and you can probably find a better warranty going to a local dealership. I think the reason the warranty isn’t the best is because Carvana centers are not everywhere. There are only a few in every state and their headquarters is in Tempe, Arizona. You would believe it is quite hard to care for all those cars in a large area with only a few places that you could repair them.. Although they don’t have many locations they do have a great delivery policy. With Carvana you have three options: (1) have the car delivered to your house if you live in a local market area, (2) meet for the car halfway, or (3) pick the car up from there famous car vending machines. If you have to fly to pick up your car from a vending machine, Carvana will reimburse up to $200 for gas and a plane ticket. For the most part, Carvana is just as easy as the commercials show you.

Next, we have Vroom. Just like Carvana they have the search, look, and buy way of selling cars. The difference from Carvana is that they aren’t as transparent when it comes to the condition of the car and they don’t have 360 pictures. When buying the car you are not going to know if there are any paint chips or scratches on the hood or sides. What you can (or can’t) see in the pictures is it. Again like Carvana all prices of the cars are fixed prices and you can trade in a car when buying a new car. Vroom cars also come with warranties, but they are just like Carvana’s with a 90 day, 6000-mile warranty that covers roadside assistance and basic parts. The major difference between the two is the delivery fees. Carvana will only deliver if you live in a local market area, or for a fee, it is delivered halfway. Vroom’s average delivery fee is $499 and if you want your car to be delivered in a closed trailer, it will cost an additional $300.

Online car shopping is definitely a good option. Companies in the online used car business are definitely doing all they can to create a great experience and to be fair with their customers. If you don’t like the dealership or hate face to face negotiation, online car shopping might be fun to try.