This post was sponsored by Carvana. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s been a long time since we bought a car and a lot has changed in the last few years. Everything is getting pushed online, including car buying.
I really don’t enjoy the normal car buying process. Every time I walk into a dealership, no matter how nice people are, you can see them sizing you up and trying to make a sale. Even the questions they ask, “What car are you driving? How old is it?” would be rude in any other setting.
It’s so expected that when it doesn’t happen, it’s almost more unsettling. It’s easier if they’re a jerk, because then I have less of an issue being completely direct with them.
Prepping my numbers, playing the games, being a bit mean – it’s a necessary part of the process if you want to get a fair deal. There are very few other things in life that require the same intense buying process, and it’s something I can do – I just really don’t enjoy it.
I’d rather buy it like I do most other things in life. Check it out online, find which one I like, search around to find the best price, and get it delivered to my house. That’s what drew me to Carvana.
I’ve driven by their car vending machine multiple times in Austin, and we even sold our last car to them. They gave us the best price of the few dealers I checked out, and the entire process took under 30 minutes. I had such a good experience selling, I figured they were worth checking out for the buying side too.
It all starts with their website or app. It has a really clean layout and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. When we started car shopping we didn’t really know what we wanted, so this was an easy way to check out a bunch of cars from DIFFERENT brands. Once we narrowed our search down to SUV’s it made the process a lot easier, because we were able to look at and compare ones from Ford, Lincoln, Infiniti, Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, etc.
I haven’t used a dating app before, but I got the feeling that this is what it would be like.
Wrong color, swipe.
Don’t like the wheels, swipe.
Ugly interior, swipe.
I actually enjoyed the process. It became my wife’s and my late night obsession.
You can see the entire interior and exterior of the car in 360, so you can move around to see what each specific car really looks like, check to see how long is left on the warranty, check the number of previous owners, see if there were any crashes, check out the features. etc.
Once we narrowed it down further we stopped by the dealerships of those we liked the best.
I wanted to get a feel for how the car felt in person, and because we have kids, I wanted to ensure their car seats would fit with room to spare. You can fit a car seat it almost anything, but we’ve got some BIG, cushy car seats. These are probably twice as big as they need to be, but hey, what are you going to do.
Even at the dealerships we never took a test drive. With Carvana you get 7 days and 400 miles to test the car out, and if you don’t like it, you give it back. Simple as that.
We were looking at higher end SUVs so I knew that they were all going to drive pretty well, and if not, we could trade it in to try another.
We ended up buying a 2018 BMW X6 with the M package and the bigger 4.4L Twin Turbo V8. As much as I wasn’t looking for something with that much power, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to drive it.
I used to care A LOT about how fast the car I drove was. I grew up in a smaller town with small winding empty roads. The types of roads people make a special trip just to drive on. Now that I live in Austin, most of my drives are down a highway, around the downtown area, or sitting in traffic. Comfort is now a much bigger factor. Give me the cooled seats, big fat screen that shows me what music is playing, and a 360 cam to make it easier to park. I’ll save the fast cars for track.
Buying the car
The actual buying process is really simply with Carvana too. When you’re looking at cars you can get prequalified using your income to see what rate and downpayment and monthly payment will be for each car. They don’t run your credit, so it’s safe to do even if you’re just browsing.
When it comes time to actually buy the car, everything can be handled online, so you can just show up, get the keys and drive off. You can even get it delivered to your door if you like, but we opted to stop by the car vending machine, because we wanted to check it out.
When it came time to actually pick it up, they give you a coin to put in the machine to start the whole process. Drop it in, and you’re car comes down the vending machine and into one of the bays in the front. There you can check it out, take it for a quick spin to make sure you like it, or like us, just head out.
With the 7 day return policy, I figured I’d find anything I didn’t like with plenty of time to spare.
The whole process was super smooth.
During our 7 day trial, I found a fairly deep scratch on the paint inside the passenger door frame, so I took a picture of it and sent it to Carvana. They apologized and told me to take it over to my local BMW dealer to have it fixed at that cost. Again, it was awesome customer service with no back and forth.
That is the only issue I could see arising when buying a car online like this. The photos show a lot of detail, but they’re never going to be high resolution enough to show up close of every square inch, which is another reason I love the 7 day policy. It’s hard to scour every inch of the car even over an hour. The 7 days let me really get a feel for the car, open everything up, learn to use it, and see if I really want to keep it.
Other than that small hiccup, everything’s been super easy, and they even handled that really well. If anyone else is about to go through the same process, I’d definitely recommend them. Carvana’s service has been amazing. If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment below or email me HERE, and don’t forget to check out our YouTube video about the whole process below!