If you’ve purchased a car recently—especially a used one—you know the current system is undeniably broken. On one hand, you can go to a dealer, where you’ll probably be met with high pressure selling tactics along with inflated prices. Sure, you can avoid this by going through a private seller, although this can bring about issues surrounding quality and condition.
To address this, several companies have recently come online, one of which is Vroom. Founded in 2014, Vroom helps customers buy quality pre-owned vehicles over the internet, with transparent pricing, no salespeople, and a 7-day in-home test drive. Vroom customers can also obtain a competitive cash offer in minutes for their existing vehicles.
Taken together, Vroom claims to be “changing vehicle ownership forever.” But, whether you’re looking to buy or sell a car, does this necessarily mean they’re the right option for you? Are there other considerations you should keep in mind before using Vroom.com? Let’s help you find some answers, starting with how the Vroom website works.
How to Use the Vroom Website
Buying a Car on Vroom.com
To find a vehicle on Vroom, you’ll need to start by entering a keyword, or by searching for a specific make and model, body type, price, year, and/or mileage. Then, you’ll be able to see a picture of any matching vehicles, along with the year, make, model, trim level, mileage, and price.
Clicking on this image will take you to the vehicle’s home page. There, you’ll be able to view additional pictures, features and options, specifications, and fees. You’ll also be able to estimate your monthly payment.
If you’re ready to proceed, you can click the Get Started button, which will begin the purchasing process (we’ll talk more about financing options below). Then, according to Vroom, they’ll be able to “verify your identity, confirm details, and provide you with paperwork” in a matter of minutes. Or, you can place a 24-hour hold on the vehicle.
After purchasing, Vroom will deliver the vehicle directly to your door and will handle several important details, including filing title transfer paperwork with your local DMV.
Selling Your Car to Vroom
On the other hand, if you’re looking to sell your car to Vroom, you can begin the process by uploading pictures of your car, along with the VIN, mileage, and aftermarket additions. Within minutes, you’ll receive a guaranteed cash offer through your inbox, which will be valid for seven days.
If you accept the offer, Vroom will deposit the cash directly into your bank account within three business days, while handling details “like titles and any government red tape.” You can arrange for one of Vroom’s drivers to pick up your vehicle at the location and time of your choosing, or you can receive a check on the spot by delivering your vehicle to their store outside Dallas, TX.
Another interesting option that’s not offered by other similar services (more about this soon) is that Vroom allows you to take their voucher to your local car dealership. If they accept, Vroom will then purchase the vehicle directly through them, possibly giving you even more of a tax benefit.
Now, what kinds of vehicles will you find through Vroom? What are their stipulations? If you’re looking to sell, will your car pass muster?
What Are Vroom’s Vehicle Requirements?
Although Vroom claims to subject all new vehicles to a “stringent selection process,” other than that they can’t show any accidents through AutoCheck (a service similar to Carfax that’s operated by Experian), we’re not told exactly what their guidelines are.
After Vroom purchases a vehicle, it goes through a 126-point inspection process, which ensures you’re purchasing a vehicle as close to new as possible. This means no dents, the engine purrs smoothly, alignment is perfect, fluids are topped off, etc.—something Vroom calls a Supremely Certified car.
How does this differ from other similar services?
How Does Vroom Stack Up Against the Competition?
Remember how we talked about the increasing popularity of websites like Vroom above? If you’re looking for a new way to buy, you’ve got more options than ever, including Carvana and Beepi. Sure, each of these companies market themselves differently, but are there any real-world differences between them?
Vroom vs. Beepi
If you’re looking to sell your car, Beepi seems to have a more involved process than Vroom. How? Because, before giving you an offer, Beepi sends one of their inspectors to your home, so they can personally certify that it meets their guidelines. Since Vroom doesn’t do this, we might imagine instances where things don’t go as planned (e.g. the car is in worse shape than expected, or otherwise doesn’t meet their guidelines), but only after most of the process is complete.
On the other hand, Beepi also charges a 3-9% fee for selling vehicles, while Vroom appears to be free. Beepi doesn’t appear to charge for deliveries, and you’ll receive a 10-day trial period with all newly purchased vehicles.
Finally, Beepi is only available in CA and NV, while Vroom appears to service customers nationwide.
Vroom vs. Carvana
Carvana also submits each of their vehicles to a detailed inspection process (150 points, to be exact), and pulls an AutoCheck report to check for previous accidents.
After purchasing a vehicle through Carvana, they’ll ship your vehicle for free if you live within 100 miles of their Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, Charlotte, NC, Birmingham, AL, and Dallas, TX hubs, although it’ll cost you $199 if you live between 100 and 250 miles of these hubs. If you’re outside this radius, then you’ll have to choose a third-party delivery method.
Like Vroom, Carvana also offers a 7-day trial for all new vehicle purchases.
How Much Does Vroom Cost?
Signing up for an account on Vroom.com is completely free; simply enter your information, or sign up using your Facebook or Google credentials.
If you decide to place a 24-hour hold on a Vroom vehicle, you’ll be charged a $500 fee. If you choose not to purchase the vehicle, this money is fully refundable.
When you’re ready to purchase a vehicle through Vroom, you can use your own financing, or you can use one of the company’s 30+ banks (what they call “the largest financing network”) to help you get the best rates. All vehicles come with free nationwide shipping and a 7-day (or 250 mile) test drive. Don’t like your car? Call Vroom and they’ll have someone come pick it up at no charge.
Newly purchased Vroom vehicles come with a 90-day/30,000 mile no-worry warranty and a year of free 24/7 roadside assistance. Most are still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, although additional coverage can be purchased directly through Vroom at the time of sale.
In order to speak with a Vroom representative, their customer service department can be reached at (855) 524-1300.
Are There Any Customer Reviews for Vroom?
Regardless where we looked, Vroom (formerly known as AutoAmerica) seemed to have a mostly positive online customer reputation, including a 4.5-star rating on Cars.com, 4.6 stars on DealerRater.com, and 4.1 stars on Edmunds.com. On Yelp, Vroom had a somewhat lower rating of 3.5 stars, with common complaints referencing poor customer service and lowball offers.
It should be noted that in most of these instances, a representative from Vroom personally responded to complaints.
From a company perspective, Vroom had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research, based on 16 closed complaints. These complaints referenced everything between undisclosed accidents to unresponsive customer service.
Should You Use Vroom to Buy or Sell a Car?
Whenever you’re thinking about using a new product or service, online customer reviews can go a long way toward letting you know what you might reasonably expect (this is why consumer advocacy websites like HighYa exist!). And at least from this aspect, it seems like Vroom has overwhelmingly positive feedback from their customers, who generally claim that the process was super easy and hassle-free.
However, if you’re dead set on buying or selling a car solely online, remember that Vroom isn’t the only game in town, so it’s important to research all your options in advance (you’re already off to a great start!). Comparatively, Vroom certainly seems to have some unique advantages (such as free nationwide shipping, which could save you hundreds compared to other options), but only you can decide whether or not this will translate into a better experience.
Did you use Vroom? Did you buy or selling your car? Whatever happened, tell us all about it by writing a review below!
3 out 4 people found this review helpful
Warning! Shady practices.
I have been watching a specific car on Vroom, the price dropped a few thousand dollars so we decided to purchase it. It was advertised as a 2012 vehicle with under 5000 miles.
Although it seems hard to believe it only had about 5000 miles, I know it's possible that it could be true since they focus on low mile, quality cars per their ads.
We were going through the buying process, put down the deposit and I finally get a call back from somebody to let me know that there was an error and the odometer reading the car actually had almost 50,000 miles
Oops, off by one digit. I told him that we would no longer be interested in the car and told them to cancel the deal.
My husband and I talked and we decided that if they would give us a little bit more off the price now since the car such high miles, we would still go ahead and purchase the car. Or, if they would throw in an extended warranty to cover issues since it did have about 50,000 miles
The sales person argued with me about the fact that it was a human error, and that they did not drop the price on the car originally which they did. I have pictures of it and said that they would not be willing to do any deals.
So as a result of the error on their website, there was nothing they were going to do to accommodate a potential buyer that was still very interested in the car.
I go back in today to look at that same car to see if they put it back in circulation. Lo and behold yes it's back in circulation and the prices jumped back up $2k!
There's been nothing but shady activity going on from my experience with them, so buyer beware.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
1 out 1 people found this review helpful
A great car and GREAT customer service!
We had a great experience buying a van through Vroom. Not only have we loved the van and found it in excellent condition, we've had spectacular customer service.
I misplaced the key documentation in the process of moving, creating an enormous administrative headache. The Vroom staff dutifully and uncomplainingly helped resolve my issue.
They have been Wonderful!
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
7 out 11 people found this review helpful
Vroom actively looks for cars available on the market and lowballs bids on everything. If you have a car up for $10,000, they'll offer $3,000 and see if you bite. They send you text messages forcing you into their system to collect your personal information as if you solicited them for their help, when it's actually the other way around. Don't bother responding to their inquiries if they try and contact you regarding buying a vehicle, unless you just need very quick and low value cash.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend