Carvana now operates 11 car vending machines across the countries and three in Florida alone, with other locations in Nashville, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Tampa and Charlotte. There’s no sales people, just a small staff to load vehicles, maintain machinery and help customers, per the Orlando Sentinel.
The Phoenix-based company launched several years ago as an online ordering and delivery service, boasting that cutting out the middlemen meant its vehicles were about $1,500 cheaper on average than those at traditional dealerships. Vehicles come with a 100-day warranty and a one-week money-back guarantee. It opened its first vending machine in Nashville in 2015.
Customers order vehicles online and can arrange to have them delivered to their home or one of the vending machines. In the latter case, they receive an oversized coin to drop into a coin slot to activate the automated vending machinery, which retrieves the vehicle from the tower, places it on a track and delivers it to one of the delivery bays. “The bay then opens and the customer is invited in to take possession of their car, where they will have seven days to drive the car around town before ultimately deciding if the vehicle is right for them,” Carvana says in a blog post.
Car vending machines have also been popular in Asian countries, partly as a response to limited space in crowded cities. Ford late last year signed an agreement with Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba that will, among other things, see it sell its vehicles there in giant vending machines made to look like cats. Another vending machine tower in Singapore dispenses luxury vehicles from the likes of Bentley, Ferrari and Lamborghini.