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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107 Consumer Reviews for Carvana

Average Consumer Rating: 2.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 33 4 star: 4 3 star: 8 2 star: 14 1 star:  48
Bottom Line: 40% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 107
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  • Great purchase

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Feb 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Let me first start out by saying I am a certified ASE mechanic, so I am VERY picky about the condition of my cars. I purchased a one-owner 2014 BMW 335I with 20K miles. After a full inspection, the car was extremely clean, zero issues with no accidents or paint work.

    A few items to note; the oil was close to its service interval (about a 1,000 Miles left), and wiper blades were shot. Both of which would have been addressed at a local dealership before delivery. The price was about $500 more than local dealerships, but this one had lower miles, more options and the right color (Estoril Blue). Overall I felt I received a very clean car at market value.

    Side note, I traded in my previous car and did not have to use financing so I cannot review their financing dept.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    The ONLY way to buy a car! Best experience EVER!

    My old Hyundai Genesis had reached the end of its life. It was time to buy a new car. Ugh! There's nothing I hate more than heading down to the car lot and negotiating for days on end. I can't handle all the games and tactics the salesmen play at the dealer.

    Still, I needed a new car, so I headed down to the lot and drove a very nice Silverado 1500 LTZ. I loved the truck. I hated the price.

    And that's when I found Carvana. They sold me the same exact truck for $10K LESS than the dealer! Seriously! But it didn't end there. The buying experience was so fast and so easy! I completed my order on a Thursday, and they had the car ready for me on Saturday. They delivered it right to my door and took my old Genesis away as a trade-in. The whole thing took like 30 minutes. So easy. So pleasant. Such a great deal!

    I have an AMAZING truck that is far below what I imagined I was going to pay. I will tell everyone about Carvana from here on out, and I will never buy a car any other way. This was truly the best car buying experience EVER!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Sold my car through Carvana

    It was the easiest process ever to sell my car; I entered my info, then took pictures of my documents and uploaded to their site, and three days later I had someone come check out my car and gave me a check for what I was told it was worth, even with a few big cosmetic defects. They were polite and very professional. I even left my garage door opener in the car, and they said they would FedEx it to me.

    I highly recommend them and will definitely use them in the future. I can’t believe how easy it was. I had tried the Kelley Blue Book site, which linked me with a local dealer who wasted my time and totally tried to swindle me on my car. I laughed and said no thanks. I have a better offer through Carvana, see ya! So yes, Carvana was a great experience for me.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Quick and easy

    I just got my car today, and all I can say is from start to finish it was easy and quick! Nice people to work with, and the car is in prestige shape. I got a better financing rate than a dealership, I liked the fact they had multiple car options, and since I meet them within the 50-mile radius, it was free shipping.

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

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  • 3 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Horrible company

    The worst car buying experience in my life.

    First off, their financing is outrageous; their rates are too high, and so are the down payments. I was using my own lender, they did a conference call with them, TWICE, they sent proof of the approval letter, AND they sent a copy of the check made out to Carvana's Financial Operations because they said the purchase was finalized!

    After they already issued a check and verify all the requested information, they say "Due to discrepancies on your account, we were unable to move forward with the purchase of the vehicle." They have done this exact thing to my friends and family member. I honestly believe they are a fake company, EVERYBODY I know has been unable to get a car from this company! DO NOT bother.

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

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    • Feb 10, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      We want to thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience with Carvana, as we take feedback from our customers very seriously. Our Underwriting Department does have specific requirements that need to be met for the security of our customers. Upon analysis of your account, it was reviewed in full compliance with our underwriting policies and procedures. We apologize that you were unable to move forward with purchasing a vehicle from Carvana. We wish you the best in purchasing a vehicle. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at 800-333-4554.

    • Feb 16, 2018

      Bill

      Sadly, half the reviews on here are fake. You can't trust the internet, ever!

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Buying a Car is finally an enjoyable experience!

    • Ann Arbor, MI,
    • Feb 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The entire purchase went wonderfully! I found the car I wanted, submitted the documents, and before I knew it I had my new car delivered to my doorstep. I had no problems trading my old car in. I highly recommend this company. Buying a used car used to be the absolute worst experience and now I can't wait to use them again!

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

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  • 2 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your time

    My husband and I both set up our own Carvana accounts. We were both approved. My husband went first, and he is a disabled veteran. The process was not perfect, but it was manageable.

    Fast forward two months later, we decided to move forward with my process. I followed all the prompts, etc. First red flag, when my husband reserved his car, uploaded all the documents and scheduled the delivery. There is a funds verification process, that was not processed until one day before the day of delivery.

    However, when it came to my process, I scheduled the delivery two weeks, as is customary. The representative told me a bold face lie! She lied and said, regardless of the day of delivery, the fund's verification process must take place within 24 hours. When I called her on her BS, told her how we just completed the process, and that is not what happened!

    She put me on hold, came back and said the process has changed. Please believe, car dealerships are a dime a dozen!

    I will NOT recommend Carvana to anyone, EVER! No one in my family will EVER purchase a vehicle from Carvana!

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

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    • Feb 9, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your experience with our purchase process. We are glad to hear that your husband purchased a vehicle from us seamlessly but regret that you did not have the same experience. Please keep in mind when applying for an auto loan our underwriting department does have specific requirements for the security of our customers.

      Based on the information provided, your account was reviewed in full compliance with our underwriting policies and procedures. We believe in transparency and we sincerely apologize that there was confusion and miscommunication regarding this. If you are still in the market for a vehicle, we would be happy to assist you on your car buying journey! Please contact us at 800-333-4554 if you have any additional concerns or questions.

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  • 8 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Not same car as shown

    • St Augustine, FL,
    • Jan 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The car I had viewed online for a month was not the same car they delivered. I rejected the car the second they delivered it. The pictures on their website showed the car picture perfect. When I finally got to see it in person the door had dents in it and the frame underneath was so rusted that the frame was about to break. It was filthy under the tire wells, and in the picture, the doors had chrome but not the car they delivered.

    In the process of trying to buy what they showed as picture perfect but wasn't, was a hassle. Don't judge a book by its cover folks.

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

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    • Feb 1, 2018

      Shakiyah Johnson

      Did they take the car back? How long did it take for them to refund your money? I'm thinking of buying one of their cars in the next week, or so.

    • Feb 1, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      We sincerely apologize that your vehicle was delivered in this condition, as this is not the experience that we want for our customers. All of our vehicles go through a 150-point inspection where we check to make sure there is no embedded rust. Vehicles that are located where there is moderate-heavy snowfall can have surface rust but this does not affect the integrity of the vehicle.

      Regardless, we apologize for the state of the vehicle when it was delivered. We are glad you were able to reject the vehicle at the time of delivery as it was not that perfect vehicle for you. We are glad to report that you have spoken with one of our senior customer advocates to express your concerns and resolve this issue.

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us and the information provided will be passed along to the appropriate departments to improve our process. If you are still in the market for a vehicle, please contact us at 800-333-4554 and our customer advocates would be happy to assist you!

    • Feb 7, 2018

      Gerard coop

      Bad, after ordering my car, they scheduled it to come on a Saturday, but then they emailed me that my glove compartments were not in the car, so that delayed the process. I told them that I will fix it myself, so they decided to ship it out Wednesday. It’s been seven days already, they called me every day (with good customer service) but then on the day that they emailed me, they were saying something has been detected. I come to find out that the rear view mirror was broken. They told me it’s going to take 3 to 5 days for delivery. After that point, I just voided my contract with them. They lie about everything, they don’t know what will be wrong with these cars. The pictures are fake, they just speculate it’s good but they have no idea. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone from my experience.

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Best investment ever

    I purchased my car over one year ago, and so far it's been the best investment I have done.

    Actually, I didn't want to deal with a dealership because I have not idea how to. Besides, I required several months to search and compare all the possibilities around. Carvana was the one for these reasons:

    1. Exactly the car I chose was delivered to my door.

    2. I settled up the delivery time.

    3. I called and got a $1000 discount due to Black Friday.

    4. The gas tank was full.

    5. They gave me a surprise $25.00 gift gas card.

    6. Seven days return policy, no questions asked.

    My car is a Kia Soul 2013 in pristine conditions. People would ask me if it was the current year car. I have had several offers from others dealers to buy my car, but I want to keep it a little longer.

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

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Awesome experience!

    I was very nervous not seeing what I was buying, but the car exceeds my expectations, and that never happens anymore! I couldn't even see any of the scratches they pointed out when looking online, my new 2-year-old car looks brand new. I saved a good deal of money; my dealership offered me $8,000 for my trade in, and Carvana gave me $11,000. The same car I bought, when looking, at our local dealership a year older and with more miles was $4,000 more, plus there is no dealer $1500 fee. They were super nice and helpful.

    The paperwork was very tedious they give you 24 hours to get something back to them or threaten to release your car, but hey, I was half a day in the dealership last time I bought, but when my car came on the Carvana truck, I just signed the papers and off I went.

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

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  • 4 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Go elsewhere

    I picked up my 2016 Honda Civic on Saturday. I was super excited and I loved the car, but then it goes downhill from there.

    One of the main reasons why I purchased the vehicle was because of the remote engine start because I work so early in the morning and would like to warm my vehicle up before going downstairs. Well, the key I received was the secondary key to the car, not the main key. Well, I call Carvana to see about a key since the secondary key does not have the feature I need to start the car with the remote. Well, from there the advocate proceeds to tell me my car does not come with that feature. I called a few Honda dealerships, and I was told yes it does. I also have the original manufacture window sticker that lists all the features as well, and it is clear as day. Well, he says they would look into it.

    Well, I called the next day, and the next advocate said he believed that it does have the remote start but that remotes are expensive, like $300. Are you freaking kidding me? I paid $19,500 and you tell me $300 for the right remote is expensive. The car is a little overpriced as well.

    They do not care about their customers. Do yourself a favor and buy a car from a dealership so you know what you're getting. If I can’t get the issue resolved, I will be returning within my seven days.

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

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    • Jan 25, 2018

      Teresa Aragon, Director of Customer Advocates

      Thank you for providing feedback regarding your Carvana purchase experience. Here at Carvana, we do take customer reviews very seriously, as customer satisfaction is our top priority. We understand your frustration regarding key functionality and apologize for any miscommunication regarding your vehicle features. The vehicle was annotated on the website with keyless entry and keyless start but not remote start. As a result, we priced the vehicle accordingly based on vehicle information provided by the seller and vehicle VIN decoder. We do apologize again for the confusion, as the key we provided for you did not have the remote start feature, due to the aforementioned reasons. Please reach out to us at 800.333.4554 with any further questions, comments or concerns, and our advocate team will be happy to assist further!

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