Vroom Review: How It Works, Pros and Cons, Vroom vs. Carvana

By Zina Kumok
Updated on: Mar 26, 2020

No one loves the car dealership experience. It’s tedious, stressful and leaves you feeling taken advantage of. When you really think about it, why should anyone have to haggle with a stranger just to buy a vehicle?

Like many online retailers looking to simplify traditionally complicated buying experiences, Vroom offers an alternative. You can search, inspect and buy a car in the comfort of your own home.

Instead of negotiating for the best deal and feeling pressured to make a decision on the spot, you can compare their fixed prices at your own leisure.

But is Vroom truly a step forward in the evolution of car buying, or a gimmicky way to avoid the transparency that comes with seeing a car in person? What do Vroom customers have to say about the experience?

How Vroom Works

Vroom is an online car-buying site where you can buy used and like-new cars. Instead of visiting a dealership, talking to a pushy salesman and haggling over cost and features, you can handle the transaction almost entirely online.

The process is simple. You visit the Vroom website, choose a car, pay a $500 deposit and then pay in full or wait for financing. After everything is completed, the car will be delivered to you. Sometimes you can arrange to pick it up yourself if you live nearby. There’s a $599 delivery fee that’s non-refundable.

While you won’t have to visit a dealership, there may be some phone calls required. You also may have to sign and mail documents to the company.

Vroom’s online reviews leave something to be desired. They have a 2.1-star rating here on HighYa, based on 200 reviews. The Better Business Bureau gave them an A+ rating, but the average customer review is also two stars with 63 reviews.

Warranty

Each car comes with a seven-day return policy, up to 250 miles. If you don’t like the car, you can return it during that time. You’ll owe a $599 restocking fee unless you can prove the car didn’t match the description or had some serious problems.

Some Vroom cars have a free 90-day, 6,000-mile limited warranty. If your car needs a repair within that time, you can take it to a dealership or ASE certified mechanic. The 90-day warranty has a $50 deductible per instance.

Every vehicle comes with one year of free roadside assistance if you get a flat tire, the battery dies or you lock yourself out of the vehicle. The Vroom website says they may offer other extended warranty packages and gap insurance, depending on the car

Selling Your Car

Vroom accepts trade-ins and can add the value of your current car to your new purchase. You can also sell a car to Vroom even if you’re not buying a vehicle from them.

You’ll go to the Vroom website and type in the car’s information, like its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and mileage. You will then receive an offer within 30 minutes if done during Vroom’s business hours.

The offer is valid for 10 business days, up to 250 miles. If you agree to the price, the car will be picked by Vroom at a mutually-agreed-upon time. Payment is issued at pickup via cashier’s check.

If you buy a car from Vroom, trade-in your own and then return the new car, you can’t get your original car back. But you’ll still be paid for the value of your trade-in.

Car Selection

Vroom’s selection includes a variety of cars including gas-powered, hybrid and luxury vehicles. You can buy a Maserati or a standard Ford F-150 truck. All the cars have low miles, with the upper limit around 50,000 miles.

The selection isn’t as robust as Carvana’s, a similar online car-buying service. In a search for Toyota Camry models, Vroom had 42 options available while Carvana had 387. Vroom had 12 Teslas while Carvana had 79.

Carvana also tends to offer cars with higher mileage counts, capping at around 100,000, meaning they also offer lower price points.

Financing

Like Carvana and most car dealerships, you can finance a purchase through Vroom or use your own lender. Vroom works with major banks like Chase, Ally, and Capital One.

To see possible rates, you have to select a particular car and scroll down to the payment calculator. Type in the trade-in amount, down payment, estimated credit score and term length. Vroom will then estimate your payment and APR.

It’s still better to get pre-approved through a third-party lender – that way you can see what rates they offer before applying with Vroom.

Vroom vs. Dealership

If you’re buying a car and need to finance it, going to a dealership used to be your only option. Now sites like Vroom make it possible to buy a car without leaving your house.

The Vroom process claims to take around 11–15 days, which will vary if any issues arise with financing. One anonymous reviewer said his car was delivered a day earlier than promised.

One of the downsides to online car-buying services like Vroom and Carvana is that you can’t test drive the vehicle before you buy it. You’re also not able to have it inspected by an objective third-party mechanic.

Some customers report problems after buying the car and having a mechanic look at it. These include both minor cosmetic and major mechanical problems.

If you buy a car from a traditional dealership, they’ll usually let you take it to a mechanic for their own inspection. If the mechanic finds something, you can use that information to walk away from the car or negotiate for a better price.

This is where buying a car with Vroom can be difficult. If the car has no issues, you’re golden.

If the car starts having problems shortly after delivery, you have to negotiate with Vroom for a post-purchase discount or reimbursement. Unfortunately, you may have to call several times and provide solid proof for Vroom to refund you any money.

If you chose Vroom because you hate talking on the phone and dealing with salesmen, then initiating a dispute with them over a faulty car will probably be a nightmare.

Pros

Vroom is ideal for someone who wants to buy a car without taking the time to visit a dealership, go for a test drive and haggle with a salesman.

Pricing is fixed with Vroom, so the number you see on the site is the number you’ll pay, excluding taxes and registration fees. However, their website says they sometimes match competing offers, so you may get lucky if you can find the same car for a lower price.

Vroom will deliver your car within 10–14 days after all paperwork has been completed and finalized. This is longer than it would take from a dealership, so buyers should be prepared to wait.

The Vroom free roadside assistance program includes towing, battery service, lock-out assistance, and gas if you run out. This lasts for a year and covers anyone driving the car.

Cons

Some reviewers claim that Vroom delayed sending their car registration information. If you drive a car without proper registration, you risk getting a ticket and late fees. This can be stressful and costly – especially if Vroom declines to cover the late fees.

One Reddit user who bought a 2018 truck through Vroom returned it because of a dent that wasn’t in the description or photos, as well as rust on the bottom of the truck. While many people are happy with their purchase through Vroom, undisclosed cosmetic issues are fairly common.

Even though Vroom offers a seven-day return policy, they can decline to refund the delivery fee. If you can’t prove that the description or photos don’t match the car, you may have to eat that $599 delivery charge.

The Bottom Line

Though Vroom has competitive prices on their vehicles, their poor customer reviews indicate some serious problems.

Unless you don’t have a dealership nearby or you truly hate talking to salespeople, you should consider looking elsewhere for your next car. If buying a car online appeals to you, Carvana has better customer reviews.

If you still want to use Vroom, look at the pictures and description carefully. Vroom offers a free Carfax report which will show if the car has ever been in an accident, used for commercial purposes or on the receiving end of flood damage.

Read through the report carefully for any red flags. A little extra due diligence may prevent some of the major headaches other Vroom customers have reported.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Vroom:
  • 260 Customer Reviews
  • 29% Recommend This Service
2.2 out of 5
5 star: 21% 4 star: 5% 3 star: 5% 2 star: 11% 1 star: 57%

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  • Post sales service is awful

    • By Michael V.,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Jul 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I started the process of ordering a new car about a month ago. Submitted an application and did not get a response at all. I had to set up an appointment with them after getting no response after 24 hours. Once I set up the appointment the sales aspect of the ordering process was great. I was able to get the car I wanted from their site and paperwork done in just a few days. Once the paperwork was signed, everything kind of went sideways. I was told I would get the car in 10-14 days. A little over a week later I start getting the emails that my car would be there on Saturday. It never showed up. At 5:00 I started calling them to find out where it was and was told I would get an answer back. No one could tell me where the car was. I was then told I would get the car on Monday. Same thing. No one could tell me where the car was and it was not delivered on Monday.

    After multiple calls and leaving voicemails with them, we find out from a manager that the truck broke down somewhere. I'm sorry but just be honest with people. If the car is not going to make it or something goes wrong, be honest. Eventually, on the 14th day, the car was delivered. The driver was rushing me through the process of accepting the car. The car was filthy. I found a couple of issues wrong with the car after checking it, like the hood would not open. Post sales service is awful. No one seems to know what is going on nor care what is going on. The whole point of using VROOM was to not have to go into the dealership and deal with the 3-4 hours of sitting there to buy a car. I do not know if I would use them again.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Car selection
    • Customer/post sales service
    • Location of car while in transport
    • Delivery

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


  • Vroom gets away with knowing you can't fight them

    • By Christina C.,
    • St. Louis, MO,
    • Jul 3, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Oh boy. My 2019 Hyundai Elantra arrived:

    1) With a completely dead battery that could not be jumpstarted.

    2) With a deep scratch through the metal of the car that was only visible once it was being towed to a dealership to have said battery replaced.

    3) Covered in a layer of dust.

    4) With the back passenger window slightly ajar.

    5) Spiderwebs in the back seat.

    Nothing about this experience has made me think my car was ever even looked at by Vroom before selling it to me. The battery was replaced by my Hyundai warranty, not Vroom.

    The scratch? Vroom claims it was in the original listing because it is faintly visible in a picture of the side of the car. No close-up. No text disclaiming its existence. Clean Carfax. And assurances on my listing, and every listing, that "Vroom fixes all scratches over 6 inches."

    The only remedy Vroom is willing to extend me at all is to return the car to them, minus the $799 shipping fee. So that I can lose money, on top of everything, and still not have a car.

    Thank you, Vroom, for emailing me your invitations to share my experience on rating websites. I plan to.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Price
    • Stay at home
    • Condition of car
    • Poor customer service
    • Poor return policy (pay back shipping)

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


  • Best auto buying experience EVER!

    • By Tiffany L.,
    • Dyersburg, TN,
    • Jul 3, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Vroom has been awesome! The cars are actually really nice with clean CARFAX reports, plus low mileage. The prices are fabulous as well. No haggling from anyone. I found several vehicles I wanted. You must act fast to get the one you want. Put down that $500 deposit to hold the vehicle you truly want. The vehicles sell very fast! I lost out on my first choice because of uncertainty. I found the next best one, waited until it was available, then put my deposit down. The buying experience has been pleasurable the entire time. The car was delivered to my door on the date promised with 2 month temporary tags on it. The car also came as the pictures depicted. I have already recommended Vroom to everyone who asks about my fabulous new car. Will definitely use Vroom from now on. Love it!

    Pros and Cons:

    • Quality
    • Affordability
    • Convenience
    • Reliability
    • Delivery
    • No “cons” were specified in this review

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


  • Poor transaction

    • By Ann G.,
    • California,
    • Jul 2, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Upset, my tags are now expired, because Vroom failed to let their customers know that we have to smog our own car if we are from California. I’m here waiting for my license plate and nothing. I was never told we have to smog the car ourselves. This inconvenience is poor customer service. There are plenty of other auto dealers who will do this for you. Now I can’t get my registration unless I smog this new car I bought from them.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Got approved
    • Poor registration process
    • Car dirty, had a lot of pet hair, not detailed when arrived
    • Don’t buy if you live in California or you have to smog car yourself

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


  • Easy online buying experience. The delivery part of the whole deal was horrible.

    • By John S.,
    • Fayetteville, NC,
    • Jul 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Cons: Like the title said the car got delivered absolutely filthy. And on top of all that, the windshield had a quarter-sized crack in it on the passenger side. I don't even think the car was detailed when Vroom had it. There were still stickers from the Manheim auction in Orlando inside the car too. Vroom also claims to repair and remedy scratches and dings yet I found several quite deep scratches all over my car. Just a poor experience all around. I finally had to put them on blast to get them to agree to fix my windshield. The sad part is they only offered up to a $75 credit for a detail, anyone in the car detailing business knows a solid paint correction place charges upwards of 3x that.

    Pros: The whole car buying experience online was actually really good. I filled all my info out on a Saturday night and got a call to my surprise on Sunday. Mr. Mitchell Wegela that helped me over the phone described how the whole process worked and he ran my credit through lenders. He was awesome and very informative. I got approved by all the lenders that were open and he gave me options to which one I'd like to go with. The following day (Monday) I received the contract through FedEx and it was super easy to go through and sign everything. They even included an envelope with a shipping label to get it back to them.

    Summary: All in all, the car buying experience through them was a breeze, much easier than going to a greasy dealership. Not so happy about the delivery condition though.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Super easy buying experience
    • Great customer service
    • You can easily apply for a car loan through Vroom
    • Car got delivered filthy and covered with mud
    • Car was delivered with cracked windshield, not listed on Vroom
    • Delivery of the vehicle was at a weird time of the day

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


  • Terrible experience from the beginning

    • By Roxana S.,
    • Delray Beach, FL,
    • Jul 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have purchased my vehicle and paid the down payment on 6/4. Today is 6/26 but I still have not received the vehicle. I called probably 20 times, keep getting transferred, hung up on several times, only the sales team answers. The delivery team never picks up, nobody knows where the car is but I received a survey and congratulations email. Oh, the 1st bill was sent to but still no car! Exasperated at this point

    If you want a headache and terrible service go ahead and purchase a car.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Customer service
    • Communication
    • Unfair financial practices

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


  • Vroom was a HORRIBLE buying experience

    • Length of Use: 3–6 months
    Overall Experience:

    I have purchased cars on both Carvana and Vroom and there is no comparison between the two. Carvana is easy, user-friendly, efficient, and what you see is what you get. I received my Carvana car delivered to me around two weeks after I made the purchase. It was fully registered with plates ready to drive in the same condition that was disclosed during the purchase. I give them the highest rating possible. After having such a great experience buying a car for my wife on Carvana I figured I would try out their competition "Vroom" for buying my car. What resulted was the worst buying experience I ever had. I can’t see Vroom staying in business when they are so difficult to deal with. On Feb. 18th I made a vehicle purchase on Vroom. After several months, and hundreds of phone calls, I finally received my car without plates, unregistered, and with scratches that were not disclosed during the purchase. I couldn’t even take it for a test drive!

    Let me go through both companies point for point:

    1. Carvana's website is easy to navigate and do "what if" scenarios experimenting with different amounts down and different finance durations (several months to years…just put in the term and the site will calculate it for you...I finally put in for a ten-month term with a specific dollar amount down). Vroom is a minimum of a two-year term with no way to calculate different amounts and terms on their website. So you have to call them and even then they would not allow me to do a ten-month term. That should have been a red flag and I should not have gone further with them...but I did.

    2. Carvana’s site shows any dent or scratch on any car you choose. When I picked a car on Vroom it didn’t show any scratches or problems which I thought was strange so I called them. The Vroom representative told me there were no scratches which I later learned was not true when I finally received the car.

    3. On Carvana’s site once you make your deal along with finance terms it tells you the amount you must have via a certified check to give to the driver when your car is delivered. On Vroom’s site once you make your deal it requires you to send them your certified check amount UPFRONT before they even schedule your car for delivery and if you don’t do it within a few days they void the deal!

    4. Carvana delivered my car in two weeks fully registered with plates ready to immediately drive. Vroom took months and lied to me repeatedly every day when I called to get a status. Plus I couldn’t even cancel the deal because they had my money and they have a clause in their contract to keep a portion of your funds if you cancel! When I finally received my car it was not registered, they didn’t even give me temporary plates (which I got from them a week later) so I couldn’t even legally test drive the car! The car also had several deep scratches that they had not disclosed. Plus I had to pay car insurance (NYS law) as soon as I made the deal so that was several months I was paying hundreds of dollars in insurance for a car I didn’t even have. Not to mention the finance bank wanted my payments immediately even though I didn’t have the vehicle.

    5. The last insult to me was when I took the Vroom car to get inspected it would not pass inspection unless I changed all 4 tires which cost me $1,500.00. Outrageous!

    The constant lies, poor customer service, and lack of respect Vroom has for their customers is a disgrace. I’m not even going to get into the day-to-day nonsense they put me through because I would need hundreds of pages to describe it. Even the final driver for Vroom that delivered my car actually cursed at me when I asked him to wait while I call Vroom to find out why the car didn’t have plates. My advice to car buyers that want to buy a car online, use Carvana. They were courteous and efficient and you don’t need to pay them your certified funds until you actually receive your vehicle. I plan on reporting Vroom to the Better Business Bureau.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • They lie. Caught them in several lies.
    • Took months to get my car and it had undisclosed deep scratches.
    • They want money upfront while their competitor Carvana wants it upon delivery.

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


  • Purchased VAN with severe damage

    • By Chris M.,
    • Vermont,
    • Jun 29, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Purchased a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan with severe undercarriage damage. Vroom had assured me that the vehicle passed 2 inspections before I purchased it and that it was in new condition with less than 3000 miles on it. They even gave me a Carfax report stating there was no damage. When I received the vehicle I noticed the smell of exhaust gas on my first 25+ mile drive in the cabin. I nearly passed out before I was able to pull over. I took the van to my local dodge dealership where they inspected it and showed me where there was such severe damage to the catalytic converter and the torch marks where someone had tried to heat it an bend it back. Vroom was the only dealer to own the vehicle after the rental company sold it to them at auction so they were the responsible party and knew about the damage. They only paid for parts and left me with almost $600 for the balance. That's BS in my book. Lying about the condition of a vehicle is unacceptable, especially if the purchase is online. 7-day return policy is BS as well. They will stall you and never refund the delivery fee. I'm filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and will consult a lawyer about a possible full refund of my purchase price. I could have died while died driving that vehicle and VROOM could care less. VROOM is another heartless dirtbag used car dealership with no morals.

    Ashley was my rep and was no help. She just kept saying that only the parts were approved by some un-named manager. I'm betting she was the manager. It sounds like an unorganized small operation. My friend tried CARVANA with a much better outcome. I'll try them next time.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • You have to believe a salesman
    • Salesmen lie
    • Used car dealers are scum

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


  • Updated review

    UPDATE: Corrected

    • By Richard S.,
    • Timnath, CO,
    • Jun 27, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Vroom corrected the mistake and I received the check for the difference. I received several follow-up calls and emails and appreciated their commitment to ensure I was satisfied. We agreed that communication to me could have been improved and they would research and correct what went wrong in this transaction.

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

    • Previous review
    • Jun 23, 2020

    Big mistake

    I traded a vehicle in for another from Vroom, since the vehicle I traded was worth more than the one I bought, Vroom owed me about $11K. It has been over 3 weeks and no check, just runarounds from their Support process.

    (read moreread less...)

  • Great salesman, horrible customer service

    • By Nathan D.,
    • Stamford, CT,
    • Jun 25, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Outside of the salesman, my experience with Vroom was not a very good one.

    They told me my car would arrive about 2 weeks after the contracts were signed but the car didn't arrive for a little under a month.

    The customer service was subpar, I had to speak with 3 to 4 supervisors/managers in order to get any kind of update on the delivery status. And they were the only ones that seemed to have the order information the regular customer service representatives just told me what I already knew from the confirmation email after I signed the contract.

    Overall a bad experience and I would not recommend using Vroom.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Salesman Chris
    • Customer service
    • Late delivery
    • No status updates

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


  • Avoid at all costs

    • By Mark C.,
    • New York,
    • Jun 24, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I really wanted this to be a good experience, but it was a complete waste of over 3 weeks and I'm out $600. Everyone I spoke to at Vroom was very friendly, so that's one positive. However, sales assured me that the longest it takes for a car to arrive after they receive the down payment and signed contract is two weeks.

    My dad is sick in PA (I'm in NY) and I tired of renting a car to go back and forth, so thought I'd try Vroom given COVID-19. I found a car I liked at a price I was willing to pay. But 3 weeks after I returned the contract and sent the down payment I still had not been contacted about a delivery date. Every time I called they said it was at the local distributor and they'd contact me. My dad took a turn for the worse so I had to go to PA. Knowing I'd be there for several days at least, I had to contact Vroom and tell them to cancel my order. That part was relatively easy, but I was told that they would keep the $600 transport fee.

    If you insist on using this company I would suggest that you demand that they provide a date that you will receive your vehicle by, and if it's not received within a day of such date that the contract can be canceled at your option without loss of any of your funds. I made the mistake of taking them at their word.

    What a waste of time and money. Don't waste your time with this company if you think you're going to see the car you're buying anytime soon. Go with Carvana, who at least tells you up front when the car will arrive. I figured since Vroom can afford national TV commercials and was about to issue their IPO this was an up-and-up company, but they got me...

    Pros and Cons:

    • Sales and customer service people are friendly
    • Contracts are not completed with DocuSign, further adding to delays
    • The car doesn't arrive when they tell you it will
    • Out of money if you cancel contract when car doesn't arrive

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


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Vroom Review: How It Works, Pros and Cons, Vroom vs. Carvana