About Carvana

Founded in January 2013 by Ernie Garcia, Carvana can help you locate, finance, and purchase a high quality, late model car or truck, without the negotiation or high-pressure sales tactics found at dealerships. On top of this, Carvana claims to help their customers save an average of $1,681 when compared to Kelley Blue Book prices.

Carvana claims to never sell vehicles that have been in an accident (more about this in a moment), while offering delivery to your door or the location of your choice. And once you’ve received your car, you’ll have 7 days to drive it and figure out if it’s the right vehicle for you.

Overall, Carvana claims to out the consumer back in control of the buying process, without any smoke and mirrors.

But is this really what Carvana offers? If so, are they the right car buying option for you? Before we get to that, let’s learn how to browse the Carvana website for your next vehicle.

Searching for a Vehicle On Carvana

After clicking on the Find My Car button, the Carvana website will automatically detect your zip code, which will be displayed at the top of the page. There, you’ll also see the number of cars found, which can be sorted by most popular, newest inventory, highest or lowest price, and more.

Finally, you’ll be able to narrow the results by make (up to 5), year, price, mileage, payment, and more.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, each listing will display an image of the car, the year, make and model, its price, the Kelley Blue Book value, and your overall savings. If you click on one of these options, you’ll be taken to the vehicle’s home page, where you’ll find a 360 degree tour, interior and exterior pictures, and Edmund’s consumer ratings.

Finally, you’ll be able to estimate your monthly payment, including down payment and trade in credits. And if you want to return to your choice later, you can create a Carvana account and save the vehicle in your “garage.”

Has Your Carvana Vehicle Ever Been in an Accident?

Based on what we found on the Carvana website, there wasn’t much detail provided about how they determine whether or not a vehicle has been in an accident, so we contacted customer service to learn more.

After waiting on hold only seconds, a very friendly service rep answered our call, who let us know that Carvana sticks to a 3-part process when verifying a vehicle’s accident status:

  1. First, the person who’s selling their vehicle to Carvana will be asked to disclose whether or not it’s been in an accident.
  2. Then, Carvana will pull an Experian auto check report (as well as a Carfax report, if requested).
  3. Finally, each vehicle goes through a 150-point inspection that “includes everything from tread depth of tires to thickness of brake pads to exterior paint quality to Bluetooth compatibility.”

Clearly, anyone can tell a fib during the first part, so you might reasonably believe that their lie will be uncovered at some point during parts 2 and 3. Is this the reality, though?

Are Vehicle Accident Reports Accurate?

Every time I’ve purchased a new car and the dealer waived the Carfax report in front of me, I’ve always wondered, “How accurate are these?” As it turns out, they can be hit or miss.

Consumer Reports put this to the test back in 2012, when they ran vehicle VINs (each of which was known to have been damaged) through 5 different services, including Carfax, AutoCheck, VINCheck, and “two services providing information from the federal government's National Motor Vehicle Title Information Systems database (www.nmvtis.gov).”

While most of the vehicles with minor damage were reported correctly, Consumer Reports ultimately found “that the reports were most likely to be incorrect for vehicles that had serious damage but for various reasons were not declared a total loss.”

But even if the vehicle pulls a clean accident report, any attempt to fix damage will be caught in the third step, right?

Carvana’s Accident Threshold

Here’s where a bit of a gray area enters the picture.

During our conversation with the Carvana rep, we asked: “If vehicles show any signs of aftermarket paint, or bolts or screws showing signs of removal, does this automatically disqualify the vehicle?” According to the rep, it depends.

If either of these signals are present, the company will attempt to re-verify, usually by reaching out to the owner, if it’s been in an accident (or at least why the vehicle was repainted or otherwise worked on). If the owner insists that it wasn’t in an accident, the company will then attempt to discern whether or not the work was completed as the result of a collision, or something else altogether.

Finally, if it’s decided that the work wasn’t the result of a collision, and that the vehicle works perfectly, it will go on sale on the Carvana website.

Now that we’ve covered this, let’s cover what Carvana’s customers are saying.

What Are Customers Saying about Carvana?

On Carvana’s website, customers have given the company an average rating of 4.9 stars. In fact, Carvana prominently displays a link for their worst customer reviews, which we found unusual but refreshing. And when they failed, Carvana seemed to be fully upfront about their shortcomings, and tried to make things right.

Outside of this, despite the fact that the company had been in business almost 2 years, there weren’t many Carvana reviews elsewhere online.

11 customers provided their feedback on Cars.com, where Carvana had an average rating of 3.5 stars. There, common compliments centered around ease of use, helpful customer service, and their 7-day return policy. On the other hand, some of the most common complaints referenced delivery delays and problems with vehicles.

On Yelp, Carvana had a 4.5-star average rating, with many of the same compliments noted above. In fact, the only negative review was from an individual who experienced repeated delays receiving registration paperwork, and who posted the same information on Cars.com.

From a company perspective, Carvana landed a spot on the Forbes 2015 list of America’s Most Promising Companies. They also had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with no closed complaints (as of 7/29/15).

Carvana Pricing & Refund Policy

While the price of their vehicles ranges greatly, until you actually purchase a car, the Carvana website is completely free to use.

To receive your vehicle, you have several options, depending on your location:

  • You can visit Carvana’s “car vending machine” for free, although this only applies to Atlanta-area residents.
  • If you’re within 100 miles of Carvana’s Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, Charlotte, NC, Birmingham, AL, and Dallas, TX hubs, delivery to your home is free.
  • If you’re between 100 and 250 miles from these locations, delivery is priced at $199.
  • Outside of this, third-party delivery is an option, the price for which will be displayed during the purchase process.

After your car’s been delivered, it will come with a 7-day “test own.” During this time, if you don’t like it for any reason, Carvana offers a no questions asked return policy, where you can swap it for another vehicle or get your cash back.

If you have questions or concerns at any point during the process, a Carvana Customer Advocate can be reached at (800) 333-4554.

Will Carvana Earn Your Business?

If you can get around the fact that you won’t be able to see your new vehicle (or test drive it) until the day it’s delivered, it seems like Carvana offers a simpler, less stressful, and less expensive way of purchasing a vehicle, compared to visiting a dealership. On top of this, they appear to have fantastic customer support who will happily answer any questions you might have.

And ultimately, if you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can always take advantage of Carvana’s 7-day return policy, which they appear to stand behind based on customer feedback.

However, it seems the way we buy cars is beginning to change, with similar companies entering the market, such as Beepi. As such, be sure to explore all your options and read as many reviews as you can (HighYa is a great place to start!) before making your decision.

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198 Consumer Reviews for Carvana

Average Consumer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 55 4 star: 7 3 star: 15 2 star: 25 1 star:  96
Bottom Line: 36% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 198
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Worst place to buy a car

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do not buy from them. Until you buy, they talk nicely. You want your car value to just fell down to $2K in a days then you can buy from them.

    From: PS

    Date: Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    Subject: Re: Carvana - Purchase Update

    To: Carvana Customer Advocate

    I think Carvana is fraudulent from the day one I purchased my car and everytime a new reason is given.

    I purchased the car for $11.8K value without other fees and while trading in less than 3 months, the value is down to $8K. The reason given is system error on your side with incorrect VIN number, two cars with same dodge dart. blah blah...

    I will check to find a legal way to scrap this out. In the meantime, you guys can take my car back, or I am not gonna pay my EMI's until I have a correct trade in value as last week.

    Why the heck your trade team did verify my License, Bank account etc., without checking the VIN number or other information...You have your own system errors and keep creating the worst experience in buying from Carvana.

    I will post the same in social media as well and other places too.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us regarding your experience. We would like to apologize that the trade in the process did not go smoothly for you. The trade-in process with Carvana is evaluated based off of the additional miles driven, how many owners, the vehicle type, market value etc. You would be considered an additional owner of that vehicle since you purchased it with us almost three months ago and put additional miles on it since.

      In addition to the previous examples, we also noticed that the incorrect VIN was entered and marked with the incorrect mileage and engine type. This is the reasoning behind the difference in offers you’ve received. Once we noticed the discrepancy, we re-entered the correct VIN and vehicle information, thus leading to the correct trade offer. If you would like to continue with this offer, please give us a call at 1-800-333-4554 and keep in mind that trade offers a good for one week after entry!

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Worst experience

    • Maryville, TN,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don’t do it! Go to a regular dealership, worst experience ever!

    I bought a van who’s battery died both with only 16,000 miles on them and of course, it was the 8 days, so the 7-day return didn’t apply. Then they just disclosed after the dealership brought up that the van door was a different color and had been replaced. They had done work to it that wasn’t up to par and now my van has been stuck in a body shop that they said they would pay for, and trying to get them to actually pay for it is a nightmare. Do not buy a car from this company! I mean, I have cried so much, I am a mom to three boys and this is so unacceptable.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us regarding your experience. We would like to apologize that the trade-in process did not go smoothly for you. The trade-in process with Carvana is evaluated based off of the additional miles driven, how many owners, the vehicle type, market value etc. You would be considered an additional owner of that vehicle since you purchased it with us almost three months ago and put additional miles on it since.

      In addition to the previous examples, we also noticed that the incorrect VIN was entered and marked with the incorrect mileage and engine type. This is the reasoning behind the difference in offers you’ve received. Once we noticed the discrepancy, we re-entered the correct VIN and vehicle information, thus leading to the correct trade offer. If you would like to continue with this offer, please give us a call at 1-800-333-4554 and keep in mind that trade offers a good for one week after entry!

    • Sep 20, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      We want to thank you for sharing your feedback with us so we can continue to improve our process for our customers. We understand that needing to take your vehicle to a shop is frustrating, and we are so sorry that this has caused you any additional stress. After reviewing the situation, we are happy to see that you are being taken care of by our complimentary 100-day and/or 4,189-mile warranty and that we have discussed options along the way to ensure that you are not alone throughout this process. We understand that your experience is not over once you leave the 7-day money back guarantee period and want you to know that you have a support system with us. Our post operations team specifically is skilled to help you navigate the repair process. Please give us a call with outstanding questions on how to get your vehicle taken care of in a timely manner 844-507-3599. We look forward to hearing from you!

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  • Bought a Mustang GT Premium

    • Mississippi,
    • Sep 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I originally bought a 2016 GT, already paid my $15000 deposit. They called me before shipping and informed me that there was an issue with the car using oil and they would have to take it to the dealer for warranty. I could still purchase the car if I wanted but it may be a while before it is available. I declined due to not trusting anyone, of my own record. They were very nice and said the money would be back in my account within three days, due to the process, which I am familiar with. As disappointed as I was, I went back on the site and found another GT, within minutes, called them back and they reworked all the paperwork and had the new car ready in two days. They were there on time, and the car was as clean as it could be. No hassle, no BS, it has been a pleasure dealing with Carvana and its team.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Best experience ever!

    • Mississippi,
    • Sep 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am completely amazed by this company. My car was delivered almost a week ago, and I’m just as happy today as the day of delivery.

    The entire process, from deciding on which vehicle to the delivery was exceptional. I was notified every step of the way. Customer service is outstanding! There is no question too small. They definitely go above and beyond.

    The phone charger and gift card was a very pleasant surprise!

    I have told several friends about Carvana. After seeing how happy I was, my boyfriend decided to check them out. He is now anxiously awaiting his vehicle! We both work for major car dealerships. This was by far so much easier!

    Just try it for yourself...you’ll definitely be amazed!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Carvana could not provide title

    • Newberg, OR,
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Nightmare is a gentle term to use for our experience with Carvana, which still continues! When the car was received, the dashboard VIN had been removed. An oil receipt was in the car, and just out of curiosity, we called that dealer. The mileage was about 100,000 miles more than what the odometer read! It appears Carvana turned it back. There are numerous other problems, however, the ongoing one is that after four months, they will not provide the title and registration. I have exhausted my allowable temporary trip permits and can no longer drive "my" car because I can't get plates. Now my livelihood is affected, and I am unable to provide an income.

    There seems to be no end to the go around. Why should they care? They have my money!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 17, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      Karen, we appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback on your Carvana purchase. We want to apologize for any issues you ran into, as this is not the experience that any of our customers should encounter. Although we have run into a few bumps in the road, we truly want to turn your experience around. We are having difficulty locating your account in order to look into your concerns further. If you could please reach out to us at 800-333-4554, we can take a deeper look to ensure we do our due diligence to find a swift resolve. Karen, thank you again for reaching out to us and we look forward to hearing from you.

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Carvana was a pleasure to deal with. Great experience!

    • Tennessee,
    • Sep 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I sold my mint condition 2017 Chevy Camaro SS to Carvana, and it was a great experience! They gave me an instant offer on the car that was $4K more than what CarMax offered me for it, and from beginning to end, the process was great. They showed up on time, with check in hand, test drove the car, and we spent a few minutes at my house doing paperwork, and that was it! I have bought and sold a bunch of cars over the years, and next time I do either, I will definitely try Carvana first.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Awful experience. Stay clear.

    • Melbourne, FL,
    • Sep 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I agreed to sell my vehicle to Carvana. I had difficulty starting my vehicle, it had sat for a couple of weeks. Once the vehicle started, the tech drove the vehicle and we completed the deal. All the paperwork was completed, the tech handed me a check, and the deal was complete. Unfortunately, the vehicle did not start again so the tech told me the deal was canceled, even though we already completed the deal. After several minutes of discussion, he tore up my paperwork and demanded the check be returned. At this point, I just wanted the tech to leave. What I did not realize was the tech tore up my original TITLE!

    Carvana did not care, wanted to leave. Awful customer service. Nobody has reached out to me or apologized for the mishap. Definitely, lost a customer.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 13, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      Whether you are purchasing a Carvana vehicle or selling your personal vehicle to us, your experience is our top priority. We take great pride in the convenience of our selling process and it is evident that you did not experience this ease. We understand your frustration in not being able to complete your sale due to the vehicle not running, and ultimately having your title ripped.

      Upon review, we see that one of our executive resolution members has reached out regarding your experience to provide a solution moving forward. With additional concerns or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, as we always hope to turn your experience around. The time you took to leave a review for us is very appreciated as it highlights where our process can be improved. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and giving us the opportunity to improve our processes for customers in the future.

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Can’t believe it was this easy

    • Chester, VA,
    • Sep 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I cannot believe how incredible this experience was. I was scrolling through cars on Wednesday, and it was delivered to my house on Friday!

    From the financing to the processing to delivery, it was just incredible.

    The delivery driver was so nice and friendly and everything happened exactly as they said it would. I love the keychain, the two very very nice cups, the nice little touch of mints, and I found sunglasses over the sunglass holder but can’t leave out the sun shield.

    I will never visit a dealership again! Thank you, Carvana, for making my first experience incredible.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Terrible experience

    • Sep 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    As a previous customer with an exceptional experience, I decided to return for purchase this past Spring. It had been terrible. I have been approved and close to closing the deal and then later told "Due to discrepancies, we cannot complete your purchase." I’m not too sure what’s being insinuated with that, however, as a person who's experienced identity theft, I chose to be careful with the interest rates and go through Carvana again. I was even considerate enough to wait for a response letter to my appeal. I never received one, I received an email that stated only "After reviewing your letter, we decided not to continue the sale." My account was blocked, giving me no access to anything. Now I come to create a new account and purchase a vehicle for the last time, in hopes that I’m not cheated again.

    I would have to say 2018 Carvana is a lot worsened than when I initially made my first purchase with them. Be careful. I hope the staff has been trained properly to help the customer and not run them away.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 7, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      Martee, thank you for reaching out to Carvana with your concerns. We appreciate the time taken to do so. After reviewing your account, we can see that all underwriting policies and procedures were followed correctly. The underwriting decision is final as due to discrepancies in the information provided, we are unable to move forward with the sale of a vehicle.

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Advertised a feature that the car didn't have, wouldn't reduce price, hard sell tactics

    • Houston, TX,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I started a purchase of a minivan that Carvana stated had a power liftgate - a critical minivan feature that is either part of an expensive options package, or it's only available on an upgraded trim that costs thousands more than the base trim. But after I looked more closely at information from Carfax, it appeared to me that the minivan actually did not have a power liftgate. So I asked Carvana about this, and after a couple of hours their "markup" team confirmed via email that contrary to the Carvana description on the website, there was actually no power liftgate on the car.

    So I asked for a price adjustment via email; no response to my email. Then I phoned customer service. The agent said she would "ask" someone else (who? I don't know) and put me on hold for 7-8 minutes. When she got back on the line she said there would be no price adjustment. So I said, "then please cancel the sale." She replied, "Wait a minute, I'm getting a signal to try a couple of things that might help you, let me put you back on hold." So I was put on hold a second time for 7-8 minutes. When she got back, she said, "There will be no price adjustment." So I canceled the sale.

    So, what was the point of putting me on hold the second time? Was this agent actually talking to a higher authority when I was on hold, or was she just "icing the customer," a tried-and-true hard sell tactic?

    And do you think that it was a mistake that Carvana advertised the non-existent power liftgate? Well, when I canceled the order I told the agent that Carvana must change the car description before offering the car for sale again, to avoid deceiving customers, and the agent promised she would do that. But guess what? When the minivan was listed back on Carvana's website it still showed that it had a power liftgate.

    Finally, don't believe the responses by the Carvana rep on this website that they will work with customers when they make a mistake. They have done nothing for me. I endured a credit pull for no reason, so my FICO will fall. I gave them a copy of my license and trade-in title for no reason. And they are not decent enough to even send an apology email. Don't be deceived; there is no "Carvana Family;" it's a marketing ploy.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 7, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      We appreciate that you have taken the time to reach out to us regarding your experience. It sounds like there has been a lot of miscommunication and confusion on our part and that brings us disappointment upon hearing this. Looking at CarFax can be confusing at times because much like Wikipedia, the information can be updated from outside sources like DMV’s and Mechanics. We truly feel awful that you called in and didn’t receive any answers to your questions. Additionally, it’s even worse that you were placed on hold only to get the same answer again.

      One of our executive resolution specialists has taken the liberty to look into your account and reach out directly to our annotators as well as web developers. She was able to confirm that the vehicle you were interested in was annotated correctly while CarFax was actually lacking the information. The vehicle is priced correctly and we have the vehicle sticker as well as pictures that tell us it does in fact come with Power Liftgate. Our executive resolution specialists have reached out to you personally with some solutions as well as to personally apologize for all of the confusion. Please give us a call if you have not received this information or if you have any additional feedback! Thank you so much for your patience.

    • Sep 11, 2018

      Michael W.

      Teresa, you and your executive resolution specialist (Rachel) have everything wrong about my case, including the car I was buying, a 2017 Kia Sedona. (I signed 33 pages of paperwork and was approved for a $272/month load by Carvana for this Kia Sedona.) You seem to think I was buying a Dodge Grand Caravan. How can you make such a mistake? The Sedona was to be delivered to me on Saturday, September 1st. Do you not keep accurate records? I have never instituted a purchase for a Grand Caravan.

      1. Carfax was not confusing to me but apparently it is confusing to you and Rachel. The original window sticker of the car I was buying (the 2017 Kia Sedona) was available through Carfax. That sticker did not indicate that the Sedona had a power rear liftgate. For that reason, during a phone conversation with Carvana on August 29th, I asked to verify that the Sedona had a power liftgate. Around an hour later, I got an email response from Carvana (the company that you represent). Here is a portion of the email verbatim:

      "Our annotations team has just responded regarding the Power Rear Lift Gate and stated that this vehicle does NOT have this feature; fortunately though, the Edmunds shows the power liftgate is a standard feature on the EX trim, which is the next trim up from the LX, which is this vehicle.

      - The best way to confirm that a vehicle has the Power Rear Lift Gate would be to do "open doors tour" and look for the button on the inside lip of the tailgate, like this one (please see attachment)

      - If you would like us to assist in searching for an EX trim level on our website, please feel free to give us a call; we would love to help!"

      Did you not read this email? Why do you contradict this email now? And by the way, Rachel, your executive resolution specialist, has not actually spoken to me at all, or I would have cleared up these obvious errors that you are making. She left me a 3-minute voicemail. You all at Carvana need some more training.

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Steer clear

    • Florida,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I found the exact car I wanted at a great deal (yes!).

    I started the purchase process (let the excitement begin!). I received a call a few short hours later and was told "we’re going to have to put you in another car because the one you tried to buy never should have been listed." (Wait, what?)

    After an excuse filled with mystery acronyms and seemingly deliberately vague sales terminology, the guy presents me with another car - older model, plus bigger engine, plus much higher price. I mention that's not really what I wanted, so he says he'll explore the other available options and load them into my favorites on my profile. (Ok, sure, I guess...but I was really looking to getting the one I tried to, you know, purchase?)

    A couple hours later, I go into my profile and notice three cars have been added - the first is the older, bigger-engined one I already mentioned I didn’t want, the second was a more expensive convertible version, and the third was much more expensive ($20k!) with way more miles on it. (Um...bait and switch much?)

    Throughout the phone call, all I could think was "if this is how they plan on doing business, they won’t be in business much longer." I'm in branding and marketing. I know a great deal about creating and maintaining your brand. This example is one super-quick way to demolish your brand.

    As of this very moment, I would find it very difficult to recommend Carvana to anyone.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 7, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      Gordon, thank you for sharing feedback from your experience working with Carvana. We are so sorry and beyond disappointed that this vehicle was put onto the website when it was not available. This was an honest mistake and the vehicle has since been removed, but we know that this has caused you a great deal of frustration. We want to also apologize that at this moment we do not have a vehicle that is similar to the vehicle you were originally interested in purchasing. Our customer advocate selected vehicles that were as close to what you were looking for as possible in order to see if any of the vehicles would work for you. Again Gordon, Carvana apologizes for this oversight and truly hope that we can mend your experience to begin to build trust in us again.

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