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:
  • 238 Customer Reviews
  • 28% Recommend This Service
2.2 out of 5
5 star: 21% 4 star: 3% 3 star: 5% 2 star: 10% 1 star: 59%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • Buyer beware!

    Save your time and purchase locally!

    I live in Albuquerque, NM and Vroom advertises in the local Craigslist. I found a car and put a hold on it. The sale was effortless, and delivery was good (a bit late, but not bad). That is where the "good" ended, and the "bad" started.

    Vroom sold me a vehicle that is missing the driver side door VIN sticker. Due to this, I had to get a Level 3 inspection done by the police. After that, I still could not get a VIN inspection done to send to Vroom to complete the inspection. At this point, I have had the vehicle for almost two months and even after three trips to Motor Vehicle Division, I do not have it registered.

    I contacted Vroom via email and phone and received no support. I called multiple times, and each time I get "Oh, so sorry sir, we will assist," and they do nothing.

    It is very apparent that this company is only concerned about the sales and not the customer. I would NEVER do business with this company, I would NEVER recommend them to anyone, and I will post everywhere that I can about just how bad their customer support is.

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


  • They sell unsafe cars

    • By Hutson,
    • Florida,
    • Jun 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I will never buy another vehicle over the internet again, much less from Vroom. I attempted to have a third party perform a pre-purchase inspection and Vroom did not allow it. I should have walked away from the deal at that exact moment.

    I bought a low mileage 2013 vehicle from them, and they failed to disclose that it was in a rear end collision. This car also arrived without brake pads on the rear calipers. A good hard slam on the brakes would have caused the calipers to break which would have caused the brake fluid to leak out. Once that happened, there would be no front brakes either. The car had new tires on it, so someone completely and negligently ignored the missing brake pads.

    My mechanic is storing the car for free while I return it because it is unsafe to drive. I learned this after I had already driven my two-year-old daughter in the vehicle. There was also a hack paint job done to the rear bumper in an attempt to hide the accident. They did such a poor paint job that the spare tire underneath is half painted black.

    I almost forgot to mention that I had to have my clothing dry cleaned and eventually thrown in the trash because the car was delivered with black grease all over the leather seats. The thing that makes me the most upset is that I drove my two-year-old daughter in this vehicle the afternoon I received it. It makes me furious to know they sold me, presumably knowingly, such an unsafe vehicle. This is what you expect from the worst of the worst used car dealers.

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


  • Buyer Beware

    • By Matt P,
    • Boston, MA,
    • Dec 15, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Deliver was a disaster and over five hours late. The truck had over 50 miles on it more than the invoice. Damage to the interior from cigarette smoke and stains. No temp plates and missing an extra key. After three days of ignoring my inquiries, Vroom agreed to pay for a cleaning only. AVOID VROOM and buy from a dealer. At least you know what you're getting.

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


  • Dishonest executives

    • By Oni Sioson,
    • East Haven, CT,
    • Jan 25, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General this November 2016 against Vroom for deceptive business practice involving extended warranty service. (See below).

    You have received this email based on a Complaint submitted to the Office of the Attorney General.

    Please review the attached documents and reference the Complaint Number in any follow-up correspondence you may wish to send.

    Your complaint number is CGS-18705.

    Consumer Protection Division

    Office of the Attorney General

    If a business entity was that unconcerned about committing such an odious practice, logic dictates that you, the consumer, ask yourself the question; is that a place you should trust?

    I thought I could, in fact, I was assured and reassured by the company’s controller after I expressed my dissatisfaction over Vroom's Finance Manager's deceit, that he would correct it.

    As it turned out, it was another lie. He did not.

    The warranty provider Safeguard, to this day, has not provided the copy of my warranty coverage, which I have requested multiple times.

    The car I bought, by the way, is a 2013 BMW 740 Li.

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


  • Stay away, don't even look

    • By Constantine,
    • Newport Beach, CA,
    • Mar 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I put down a "fully refundable" $500 deposit to reserve a car. I wound up not buying it (thank god!) and was told the refund was already being credited back. That never happened. I made numerous calls to them, and each time they told me "it's all done, just wait a few days." I couldn't provide a confirmation number either. So far, it's been two weeks. I finally filed a dispute with my credit card company today.

    Lies or stupidity? I'm not sure, but what I am sure of is that I will NEVER buy a car from them. Even if I was stranded in the desert with Mad Max.

    "Vroom" as fast as you can AWAY from this sorry company and don't look back.

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


  • Worst car buying experience in 40 years

    • By William,
    • Colorado,
    • Jul 4, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The entire process is brutalizing. I had USAA financing in place ready to buy. With any other dealer, the process would be completed the same day I walk into the dealership. Vroom took three weeks to finalize the process. Communication is so hard, and no one returns calls or emails. You have to use their chat system to get any response. So it is three weeks vs. one day at a normal dealer.

    The truck had photographed two key fobs and an owner's manual, but not none of it was included. I contacted my sales person, Amanda Sterns, twice and heard no replies. I had to go to the Ford dealer to get keys made for the truck.

    Cedric Smith is incompetent as a finance manager. USAA makes things easy for vets with everything (funding) ready before you even step foot on a lot. Cedric came up with every excuse for why it took so long. THREE DAYS after funds had been wired and cleared, the Vroom bank account said my purchase was still pending? I called USAA and told them I suspected fraud, and within an hour I got a call from Cedric saying everything was done and my car was shipping out.

    I will not recommend this dealer to anyone ever, and I will actually post reviews on Facebook, Google, Cars.com, everywhere I can to let people know, especially vets using USAA, to stay away from these guys! Go to your local dealer, it is only a headache for the day, whereas Vroom tortures you for weeks.

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


  • Warning! Shady practices.

    • By Traci,
    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Oct 13, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    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


  • Insulting model

    • By Dean,
    • Jul 5, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    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


  • Horrible experience!

    • By Paula Neece,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • May 19, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company must be doing so well that they don't need new customers!

    I was so excited to find my new car. I applied for financing, waited three days, and heard nothing. I called, and a lady apologized and said someone would call. There was no call received. I called two days later, maybe thinking that they were busy working up my super deal. The customer service rep apologized, took down my details and said finance would be calling with the payment and interest rate details. No call was received!

    Finally, I called yesterday afternoon and got hold of the customer service rep, Ladonna I think, and let her know that I was withdrawing my intent to purchase a vehicle. She replied, "Oh, ok..."

    Wow, Vroom, you have a long way to go. I'd rather do battle at a dealership than basically be ignored.

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


  • Double billed for $500 deposit

    • By Stasia Ford,
    • Florida,
    • May 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have had an awful experience with Vroom. I have been charged twice for a $500 deposit. I have contacted them on three different occasions and yet to have this problem resolved. I would not recommend them to anyone.

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


  • Their system is a mess

    • By Leiz,
    • Bellevue, WA,
    • May 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I found a car on their website that I was interested in. I called them and placed a hold. I realized their price differed in different places (web vs. mobile). The rep told me he would be able to honor whatever price I saw. I was under the impression that their price was even negotiable. I soon changed my mind, and I called in again to ask them to cancel my hold. The second rep couldn't find any records about my previous conversation with their reps. And he couldn't refund me. I had to figure out a way to reach the first rep I talked to.

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


Showing 1-11 of 238

Write a Review for Vroom!

Share your experience to help others discover great products!

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