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The age of the car vending machine has arrived

By Kellie Buckley, 05 Mar 2017 Car News

car vending machine showroom

US-based car vending machines take online shopping to the next level.

A US company is swapping traditional dealerships for a complete online experience – and even giving customers the option to pick a new car up at one of its four coin-operated vending machines.

Other than the missing bricks and mortar, Carvana claims the process is much the same as at a traditional dealership. Starting with an online search, the would-be owner takes a virtual wander around the car using the site’s 360-degree images before it is delivered to their door for a test drive. However the test-drive period or, what the company describes as a ‘test-live period’, can be up to seven days.

car vending machine buildingIf the customer wants to go through with the sale, he or she can continue the unconventional experience by opting to collect the car at one of Carvana’s four vending machines located at Atlanta, Nashville, Houston or Austin. Five stories high and made of glass, the new owner inserts a novelty-size coin (of course) into a retro-styled slot. After entering a confirmation code into a keypad, the mechanical and automated building will locate and vend your car – much like a can of Coca-Cola.

“Wow, thank you,” wrote a so-called happy customer on the site’s review section. “This process was amazing — simple and helpful. I love the idea that I have not had to deal with the pressure and haggling of a dealership.”

The online dealer is open 24 hours, accepts trade-ins, offers finance, and all the paperwork is completed online. According to Carvana, the current record for the quickest purchase – from ordering to delivery – is 11 minutes.

There’s a 100-day, 6700km warranty period, and customers are given a no-questions-asked, seven-day return policy if they think they made a bad late-night online shopping decision. Let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of it.