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:
  • 276 Customer Reviews
  • 29% Recommend This Service
2.2 out of 5
5 star: 20% 4 star: 5% 3 star: 5% 2 star: 11% 1 star: 57%

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  • First was happy, now it went downhill, and I'm frustrated

    • By Chris M.,
    • Peoria, IL,
    • Jul 31, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Overall the purchase, to the paperwork and signing, was great! I even got my car earlier than expected, but once car arrived, it was dirty, it had no fuel, it had only one KEY, no owner manual, my car I purchased is a 2019.

    The car has a crease in the passenger door that wasn't in the listing, and the tires on the rear of the car are down to wear marks! The front tires are of a different brand as well. So my car has 3 different tire brands and the rear tires are worn. And the door is damaged and non of this I was aware of!

    And now that Vroom is aware of this and I have a ticket number with customer support, I cannot get a call back and it's been almost 4 weeks! I'm beyond irritated and wouldn't recommend them to a friend or enemy. If my car would have arrived with good tires and without damage to the door, it would have been a perfect buying experience! Or if they would fix what they need to and make what is only fair right! Because they falsely advertised my car and the dealership won't even rotate the tires on the back of my car to the front.

    And the estimate for the door is $1,238.22 to fix.

    One lady I spoke with at Vroom told me and said "do you realize you bought a used vehicle?"

    I expected a vehicle to have wear and tear but not damages on a car that's only a year old.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Salesman - Henry
    • Hold time, no call back
    • Not reaching anyone, promise calls back
    • Car damaged upon delivery, tires worn

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


  • Vroom - NOT so vroom vroom

    • By Marlo S.,
    • Birmingham, AL,
    • Jul 30, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    They’ll call you real fast when you click that you are interested! But forget any sense of urgency once you get into their "paperwork" phase. They have departments that apparently do not talk to each other. One didn’t know what the other was doing. I got emails telling me thank you for purchasing the wrong car and one for purchasing the right car but had the mileage wrong by 30,000 miles! I got emails saying our paperwork was done and then the next day I’d get another email saying congratulations for starting the paperwork process. The timeline they quote from beginning to end was a complete farce. Took about a month! Quoted 10-14 days. No one would call you back. I asked to be escalated for a supervisor to call me. Never happened. Asked for an email address to get ahold of someone in management and they gave me a fake email address. After paperwork was signed - they said we may owe more money - after we had a signed completed contract! Told us it may take 6 weeks to get the car. Literally maybe the worst customer service experience ever!

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • No leadership/no escalation process
    • No follow up/different information given by each person
    • The countless hours of my life I’ll never get back while I was on hold to terrible on-hold music

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


  • Piss poor communication and long lead time

    • By Thomas S.,
    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Jul 30, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I was in a rental car for 50 days. There is nothing quick about this product. If you have any ounce of people skills go to a dealer and save yourself the headache. My experience was slow with broken communication and questions not answered. Power of attorney issues. Poor experience and direction from the representative to clearly guide me through this process.

    Pros and Cons:

    • I could do it for my phone
    • Relatively comparable prices
    • Very poor communication throughout the entire process
    • Extremely long lead times

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


  • Disappointed at delivery

    • By Kristal G.,
    • Tacoma, WA,
    • Jul 29, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Working with Vroom was quick and easy and great customer service, up until the car was delivered. The car we purchased was misleading and falsely advertised and not what I had ordered. I thought I was buying a 15-passenger van, the selling point in the car. To my complete and utter disappointment, the van was only a 12-passenger. There were several 12-passenger vans very similar to the one I received with fewer miles and a lower cost. The only reason I bought this van is because it was a 15-passenger van. I immediately emailed Vroom to let them know the mix-up. I let customer service know the very next day of my dissatisfaction and they said they would have a supervisor call me the next day. Three days later, I sent another email. It has been two weeks and I have heard NOTHING from Vroom. There has been no communication at all.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Large inventory to choose from
    • Generally lower prices
    • Not being to actually see the car before it was mine
    • If you don't like the car, you are out $600 no matter what
    • No customer service once the car has been paid for and delivered

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


  • Disappointing customer service

    • By Staci S.,
    • Baker City, OR,
    • Jul 27, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I sent 3 emails and called 2 times and left voicemails within the 7 days to report an issue with my car. No one ever got back to me. Very disappointed, they were helpful and attentive until the car arrived, then basically disappeared and were unavailable via all provided communication avenues. I will be filing the appropriate complaints.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Delivery
    • Customer Service
    • 7-day window
    • Non-responsive

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


  • Worst car buying and selling experience ever

    • By Lydia B.,
    • Mississippi,
    • Jul 26, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I began the process of purchasing a vehicle on 6/13 when I saw a very low mile MDX for sale for a really good price. I also decided to sell them the HRV that I was replacing at the same time. I received a great offer and the equity was applied as a down payment on the new MDX. So far, the experience was amazing. It all went downhill very quickly. The lack of CLEAR and consistent communication from Vroom has made this whole thing drag out UNTIL TODAY 7/23 and I STILL have not received payment for the car I sold...BUT IT IS ALREADY FOR SALE ON THEIR WEBSITE.

    The car became available on 6/16 and I immediately contacted Vroom and put down the $500 fee to hold the vehicle so that financing and paperwork could get done without fear of losing the car. I finalized financing (through a different company) on 6/17 and a cashier's check was sent via UPS overnight to Vroom on 6/18. I sent Vroom a copy of the cashier's check and UPS label for tracking on 6/18. All contractual docs were returned to Vroom the same day they were received on 6/18 via the overnight envelope and letter Vroom provided.

    Delivery of my Purchased Vehicle:

    I received notification on 6/22 that my delivery date would be "on or around 7/4". I received notification on 6/30 that there would be a delay. I called several times and emailed attempting to get an updated delivery date, to no avail. Finally, on 7/3, I was told it'd be Saturday 7/4 which I thought was odd as it is a Holiday. 7/4 comes and I have no car and no contact. I reached out on 7/5 and was told it would be 7/6 and someone would call. The delivery agent called as promised, delivered the car, and was a delightful human to interact with. 10 stars to HIM and literally no one else up to this point. Note: In the middle of all of this, I was promised callbacks and return email responses...NONE of which came.

    Pick-up of Sold Vehicle:

    During all of this delivery nonsense, I was trying to get someone to pick up the HRV I'd sold. Keep in mind I accepted the purchase offer the same day I accepted the sale offer in MID-JUNE.

    On 6/25 I received an email from someone at coxautoinc.com who's signature title had "Verify Logistics Specialist" out of Atlanta. The email had the make, model, and VIN for my vehicle and mentioned the sale to Vroom...seemed legit. I called the number and spoke to someone who told me that I could either have the car picked-up before or after the MDX was delivered. I told her I needed to discuss it with my husband and call back. We decided before was fine and I called back 10 times, left 7 messages, and responded to that email 6 times between 6/26 and 7/10 with absolutely no response whatsoever. I even copied the sales specialists at Vroom hoping they would help. I also called Vroom to tell them about what was happening and that I'd be copying them...NO HELP WHATSOEVER. I got a random call from Carolina Logistics based out of NC saying they needed to schedule a pickup. (Still no response or call back from my calls/emails to this other company.) I asked him to tell him who asked him to call and verify the make, model, and VIN...which he did and then he apologized for all the delays but gave no reason. I scheduled the pick-up for the next day and on 7/22 another DELIGHTFUL human being picked up the HRV.

    I have since called Vroom 7 times leaving messages and speaking with supervisors trying to get my HRV paid off so that I don't have to continue making 3 car payments. The HRV is already listed for sale on Vroom's website but they haven't even paid for it yet! I messaged the CEO on LinkedIn and provided not only the issues, but potential solutions. I'm at my wit's end and I am frustrated.

    I will NEVER recommend this company. The savings from purchasing through zoom for this vehicle was NOT worth all this stress and now erroneous expense. I have spent HOURS trying to get all this done quickly. I do not know what else there is to say.

    TERRIBLE.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Price of the vehicle
    • Lack of communication
    • Lack of process knowledge
    • Lack of empathy from representatives
    • Lack of issue ownership by staff
    • Lack of vendor communication
    • Severe delays

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


  • Lesson learned

    • By Steve S.,
    • Corpus Christi, TX,
    • Jul 21, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Lesson learned, the hard, frustrating, stressful, filled with headache way. Vroom had no communication delay or problems taking money for the vehicle, but if you have concerns...crickets! 4Runner arrived like they literally bought it at an auction or trade-in and sold it 10 minutes later. No detail whatsoever. White paint was strewn inside various areas, black marks on fender, hole in leather passenger seat patched up, stains all over from seat to console area, and that was just a quick inspection. Gas tank almost on empty also.

    Emailed Vroom, I believe 3 times, they offered $300 to get it cleaned. No one obviously reads the emails since no one said anything about the chip on the back area of the car. After another email and phone calls, I was offered paint to cover up the chip. How would you feel? $36,000 and you get this hot mess! Then no explanation on how to receive the $300 credit. Figure it out yourself, fat boy! Some rep named Alisha, I believe, was the one emailing me. I finally called her, must have had a bad day, my luck. Not paying attention to me, screaming kid in the background, could care less attitude, generic response - all we can do is offer $300, that’s it, you can start a return process if you want. I asked her how do I claim the $300 credit, she stated I would have to find somebody and have them email me a receipt. Keep in mind none of the flaws were mentioned on the website at all whatsoever. Also, I work graveyard, which means time is a commodity. I literally get a day and a half off. What that translates into is I do not have time to go hunting and searching for a detail guy that will do a deep clean on the vehicle.

    I also made several phone calls to the phone numbers provided for customer service, and to make a long story short, no one could do anything. I even left a message with managers and received no phone call back. If they would’ve offered me $600 or more I would’ve kept the vehicle and the headaches, but what for? It’s America, three people care - No Bod Ee! I was given a laundry list of things to do to return the vehicle back, thank God for my credit union. All they needed was a back off letter because the money was never sent to this company, meaning no money exchanged hands. That doesn’t mean things are going to go quick either, just to let you know. I was not given 24 hours to pick up the vehicle, I literally received a phone call saying we’re here and picking up the vehicle soon. I was instructed to take multiple pictures of the gas tank mileage outside of the vehicle and a bill of lading to sign to speed up this process to get my refund back. I did all this immediately and instantly emailed back to the company, a week later still no refund. Multiple emails and you guessed it, no response.

    I should’ve read the reviews on this company before my purchase. Please do your due diligence and check them out with the Better Business Bureau and any other review site you can get your eyes on because it’s not good. Good luck to you guys! Almost forgot I have tons of pictures and documentation in case anyone out there needs it.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Online convenience
    • No contact
    • Easy
    • No one cares after sale
    • Poor service
    • No follow through

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


  • Don't use Vroom

    • By John B.,
    • Hillsboro, OR,
    • Jul 20, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    The overall process of using Vroom was really unsatisfactory.

    Purchasing a car is a large commitment, and requires a high level of customer service. When buying online, that customer service is SO much more important because you are really taking a chance when you buy a car without physically seeing it or test driving it. Unfortunately, this is where Vroom really falls flat. The level of communication should have been really high, but it was, and continues to be, really poor. At this point, I still have several emails that were never responded to (and were sent weeks ago).

    Aside from communication, the delivery process was also really poor. The driver missed the delivery window by several hours, he wasn't wearing a mask, he couldn't get the app to work, and the car was dirty. And I'm not talking about the kind of dirt that can accumulate on a car as it makes its way across several states on a car carrier. I'm talking about mud on the tires and in the wheel wells, mud splatter on the sides of the car, carpets not vacuumed, and more.

    Plus, the car arrived with a nearly empty gas tank. I get that it may be a bad idea to haul a trailer full of cars that all have full gas tanks, but the solution to that is to have the car arrive with a complimentary gas card.

    I've bought cars at dealerships before. They put a lot of focus on the little touches (washing the car, making sure the tank is full, they take care of everything so you don't have to go to the DMV to do things like VIN inspections, etc.), that mean a lot. Working with Vroom was the exact opposite and I won't be buying from them again.

    Pros and Cons:

    • It was nice to have a wider selection of cars to choose from
    • Terrible communication
    • They ignore small, but important, details
    • Poor processes

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


  • No better than a dealership

    • By Art A.,
    • California,
    • Jul 13, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    They promise the world and once you buy a car, zero customer service! They advised me that their policy is to respond to vehicle damage requests in 24-48 hours, it's now been a week with no response from Vroom. Getting ready to give up and turn the vehicle back in, but of course, I am responsible for the fees over the 250 miles, even though I have not heard from anyone and this is the only vehicle I have. Do not recommend this supposed better car buying experience.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Ability to shop online
    • Vehicle delivery
    • Damage to vehicle was not noted online
    • Sales person still gives you attitude when you decline their loan and extended warranty options
    • No customer service after vehicle purchase

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


  • Easy car buying in your home

    • By LaShanda L.,
    • Maryland,
    • Jul 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I never heard of Vroom until after I started the online car buying process with another site. I was happy with the easy process of selecting my car and applying for financing. The majority of the process was online. My car arrived within 3 weeks of my initial contact. Very quick. Vroom kept in contact the entire time. My car runs smoothly. Although not detailed to my satisfaction, I was sent a check to pay for detailing in my state. The only thing I have to do is get a safety inspection for my state which is the biggest hiccup for me. I thought Vroom would take care of everything, but not this one thing. Still, I am happy with the process and the accuracy of my car details.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Communication
    • Easy online navigation
    • Great price
    • I have to complete the state inspection

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


  • Good price, poor customer service

    • By Denise C.,
    • New York,
    • Jul 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    Price was good and vehicle was in excellent shape. Buying process was fine, but they don't even begin processing the title transfer until 2 weeks post-delivery. Then, they say that can take up to 8 weeks, which is completely ridiculous. Still waiting for my title. Car did arrive with dealer plates, as promised, and was delivered earlier than promised. However, I never got advance notice of the early delivery, and was just lucky that I was home when the driver called to say he was an hour away. I give Vroom high marks on price, but low marks on customer service. Their claim that they keep you informed every step of the buying process is all hype. Their communication is downright terrible. Next time I'll use Carvana.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Price
    • Vehicle selection
    • Poor communication
    • Unnecessarily long time to receive title

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


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