I bought a car from Carvana.com and it was the easiest, most pain-free experience I’ve ever had. Now understand, I’ve only bought two cars in my life from a dealer. This purchase makes three times but it was totally different from what I experienced and even what my daughter recently experienced a few months ago when she bought a car.
The car-buying experience is notoriously long and according to an Autotrader survey, only 1% of consumers enjoy their experience. The average person spends three hours in the dealership to buy a car with a 56% satisfaction rate. You could do so much in that space of time. Might as well bring a book or get some work done.
I had been thinking about buying a car because my 13-year old car, a 2004 Honda CRV named Taffy, is hanging on by a thread. Well not really. It’s in good running shape though it needs a tune up and new tires. It was hit in an accident a year ago and technically totaled because the value of the car is less than the cost to repair. It is still damaged in the back and there is likely some structural damage but it keeps going. It is time to retire her. It’s the kindest thing to do for her after her faithfulness all these years.
The Search for a Car Begins
I work in the auto industry so I have access to deep discounts for a new car. I can lease for next to nothing but I couldn’t help but think about how reliable my old Honda has been for the last 13 years. I just can’t imagine another car doing that well. I hesitated to buy a car outside the Honda or Toyota family (my daughter has a Toyota) so I waited and prayed about it a bit more. I waited for the right timing, a hunch, a still small voice to tell me to go ahead and go to a dealership. I never got the feeling to go so I waited a bit longer. I got the control number to buy a car below invoice and I’ve had co-workers tell me they would let me use their family and friends discount. I thanked them and I waited.
Checking Out Carvana.com to Buy a Car
One day at my desk Carvana.com flashed through my mind. I went to the website and signed up for an account. They did a soft credit report pull and I could see the available cars, how much the monthly payment would be, and the down payment. There were quite a few $0 down payment cars on the site which was shocking to me. These were quality cars with great ratings. I could see how much I’d have to pay monthly.
I went home and called the Carvana to ask questions. I wanted to be sure there would be no bait and switch tactics if I decided to pursue purchasing a car. The representative said the financing was 90% or better accurate. There would be no drastic difference. I asked a few more questions about how long it would take for the financing to be completed. It would usually be within 24 hours. I asked one or two other questions and then I ended the call. They assured me they would answer any other questions I had.
Taking the Plunge
The next day I chatted with a co-worker during lunch. I mentioned that I was still using Lyft to get around and that I planned to buy a car in a couple of weeks. We talked about the kind of cars that were available through the company and even looked a few in the parking lot that other employees owned. I went back to my desk and felt the nudge to go back to the Carvana site. I logged in and looked around. I asked God which car should I choose. I kept looking and then I saw a Honda CR-V EX-L. It was a 2014 model with one scratch on the hood but it was otherwise perfect.
The website is designed to give you a 360-degree view around and inside the car as well as under the hood. This car had great features including seat warmers, satellite radio ready, USB and Bluetooth connections. The engine was a nice size and it had a sunroof and leather seats. The color is also nice too. The price was within my budget range and it was $0 down payment. Perfect! I added to my saved vehicles then added a second CR-V along with a Buick that I had my eye on. The Buick was only 2WD but the Honda was 4WD so that bumped out the Buick.
I kept searching but came back to the EX-L model. A voice said to buy it so I clicked the Get Started button. From there it was smooth sailing.
The Easiest Car-buying Experience Ever!
It took less than 30 minutes to do everything from start to finish. I went through the steps and then uploaded my proof of income. The next page asked me when I wanted to pick up the car. Wow! This was too easy!
There was an address for me to pick up the car but I clicked the delivery button instead. I could choose a date within two days and a time. I had two time slots to choose from so I chose the 6-7pm time slot. The next screen asked me to review and sign the contract or download to review. I waited until I got home to review and sign. I couldn’t believe how easy it all was going.
About 15-30 minutes later I got an email requesting proof of residence which I sent then shortly after that I go another email saying my delivery was confirmed. What!?!?!?!
The next step was to get insurance on the car so I would have proof when the car was delivered. I planned to get insurance the next day but Providence had other plans. My insurance company called me 5-10 minutes later about my current car and setting up the safe drive feature. I said I would do it that weekend and then I told her I would need to put another car on my policy. A few minutes later I had insurance on the new car. It was all so easy.
I am over the top excited about the new car and still in disbelief about how easy the process was from start to finish. There was no haggling, waiting, worrying, or anything that looked stressful. I would absolutely, positively recommend that all my friends buy a car this way. Carvana made the car buying process stress-free and amazingly fantastic! I know I’m using a lot of adjectives but it was freaking awesome! Ok, so back to the story…
Car Delivery Day
My car was delivered two days later on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The poor lady (Jamaica) who delivered the car got all wet but she was a trooper and had a great attitude. My car was gently rolled off the hydraulic lift and driven up my driveway. I had to sign the paperwork to get my tag and title mailed to me. This is one of my favorite parts; not having to go to the DMV to register my car. Yes!!!!
Jamaica gave me a goodie bag and the keys to my car. She was there less than 15 minutes and I had my new car to drive around for seven days to be sure I liked it. On day five Jamaica from Cavana called me and asked if everything was still going well. I absolutely loved driving my car around and enjoying the new car smell.
Since I didn’t request a return or exchange the car is mine. My first payment was in one month and I can pay it online. There is no pre-payment penalty if I want to pay it off. I just call to add extra payments to the principal so I get the credit. This is a great way to pay down a mortgage payment too.
Buying a car with Carvana was the best buying experience I’ve ever had. I know I said this already but it truly was. My daughter bought a car a few months before I did and it was a 4-hour process!! Ugh!!! She was blessed beyond belief but the time spent in the dealership was soooo loonnnggg!!! For her next car, we will definitely buy online.
How to Get over the Intimidation of Buying a Car Online
I realize some people may be a little intimidated with buying a car unseen. You don’t get to test drive it or spend hours waiting for a finance manager to call up 10,000 finance companies (just kidding) to accept your application. You may or may not get a friendly, helpful, and genuinely interested person on your side.
The things that made my car buying experience amazing are:
– I had an idea of what I wanted in terms of specific type of car and amenities
– I had been monitoring my credit over the previous months so I knew what the possibilities were for financing monitoring my credit over the previous months so I knew what the possibilities were for financing
– I am comfortable buying things online
– The return policy was acceptable to me
– I trusted God through the process to lead me to the right car
– I know the value of buying a gently used car over a brand new one
– I am good at making a choice once I have all the answers I need to make an intelligent decision
So, if you are comfortable with doing the things I did you can buy a car online too. If you have a problem with unknowns, then this might not be for you. If you are scared to do anything outside your comfort zone this might not be for you. If you are suspicious about every doggone thing, this is definitely not for you.
If you have a million and one hang-ups about life in general, this is not for you. You will make yourself miserable and worry yourself sick throughout the process. I’d recommend you get some serious help and call on Jesus for that… Seriously you are making your life a living hell with that kind of drama. Buying a car or buying a trip, home, or anything that is going to change and/or enhance your life should not cause you pain.
If you have questions about my Carvana car buying experience shot me a message or leave a comment below. If you are in the market to buy a car then head over to Carvana.com and see what the possibilities are.