Last week, e-commerce-based vehicle seller Carvana announced the opening of its second car vending machine in Pennsylvania. The new structure, located at 1300 Brockwell St. in Bridgeville, stands eight stories tall against the Pittsburgh skyline and holds 27 vehicles. The addition brings the number of Carvana vending machines in the U.S. to 16. The other structures are located in cities across Texas, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Arizona, Ohio and Indiana. The company first launched its online used vehicle sales platform in Indianapolis six years ago.
“We first brought Pittsburgh the new way to buy a car in 2016, when we launched as-soon-as-next-day vehicle delivery in the area,” said Ernie Garcia, founder and CEO of Carvana, in a statement. “We’re rapidly increasing our presence in Pennsylvania, and as we launch in Reading and Erie today, while also debuting our Pittsburgh Car Vending Machine, we’re appreciative of our customers and how Pennsylvania has welcomed our easy, transparent online car buying experience.”
Across the U.S., Carvana has approximately 15,000 vehicles for sale via its web site, Carvana.com. Buyers use the site to finance, purchase, trade-in, and schedule next-day delivery to their homes or car vending machine pickup of that vehicle, which the company says takes only minutes. Here’s how it works: the buyer completes their transaction on the Web site, then meets a Carvana employee, who hands them an over-sized novelty coin to place into a slot. The vending machine then retrieves the car from the tower and places it on a track, which then moves the car through the machine until it reaches and enters the designated delivery bay. The bay then opens and the customer is invited in, to take possession of their new vehicle.
Each vehicle is subjected to an inspection before it’s sold, and the company touts a seven-day money-back return guarantee. On consumer review web sites, Carvana has a mixed bag of reviews. While it’s certainly not the only company selling used vehicles online, the use of the very visible vending machines sets it apart from others such as Autotrader.com, Carsdirect.com and eBay Motors.