April 28, 2021

Carvana Review: What You Need to Know Before Buying or Selling

You may have heard of Carvana before—a company that revived the world of buying and selling used cars when it launched in 2012. Following the footsteps of another similar company called CarMax, Carvana provides a no-haggle way for people to buy and sell used cars. These transactions and negotiations are mostly done online, too.

Have you ever considered using Carvana, and how do you know if it’s the right dealer for you? In this Carvana review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to buy and sell cars on this platform, along with the pros and cons. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to whether Carvana is the platform you’re looking for to sell or buy cars.

How Does Carvana Work?

Carvana proudly touts itself to be a company that offers affordable prices on used but well-maintained cars. It does this by removing dealerships from the process of buying vehicles. Because Carvana mostly works online, it doesn’t have the overhead that other dealerships have.

With just a few taps of a finger or clicks of a mouse, Carvana allows you to either buy or sell a secondhand car wherever and whenever. If you’re buying a car, it will be delivered to your home for your convenience. However, Carvana also gives you another option: to pick up the car yourself at any one of the Vehicle Vending Machines peppered across the country.

According to a recent Carvana announcement, the company now has over 20,000 cars for buyers to choose from as of 2021. Of course, all of these vehicles have gone through Carvana’s signature “150-point inspection.” If you’re not satisfied with the car you bought, Carvana also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.

On the other hand, if you want to sell a car to Carvana, the company will provide you with a “firm” offer without any delays. If you accept the offer, one of Carvana’s inspectors will visit you for a thorough examination of the vehicle. If it passes, the inspector will give you a check immediately.

Buying a Car on Carvana

It’s effortless to buy a car on Carvana. All you have to do is head over to the company’s official website, Carvana.com, and click the “Search All Vehicles” button on the homepage. From there, Carvana will display a list of cars, but you can also search for a specific vehicle, including the model, make, or even a keyword.

If you want to be incredibly specific, Carvana’s search function has filters where you can narrow your search even further. These filters are:

  • Payment & Price
  • Make & Model
  • Body Type
  • Year & Mileage
  • Features
  • Fuel
  • MPG
  • Color
  • Cylinders
  • Transmissions
  • Drive Type

Once you find the car you’re looking for, you’ll be redirected to that particular car’s profile page. Carvana will provide you with an interactive 360-degree look at the actual vehicle, where chips and flaws are displayed right away for transparency. There are several photos of the interior as well to give you an idea of what and how it looks like on the inside.

When you scroll down, you’ll come across the “Vehicle Details” section, where you can learn more about your car of choice. If you’re set on buying a car, click on the “Get Started” button on the car’s profile page. From there, you’ll have to register for an account—if you haven’t already—and provide your name, phone number, email address, and ZIP code.

Then, you have to indicate if you want to pay cash for the car, finance it, or trade-in an old car of yours. The rest of the paperwork can be done online, too, including whether you want delivery or pickup.

If you want the car delivered, the vehicle will be on your front porch within a few days. If you prefer to pick it up, though, you’ll have to look for the nearest Vehicle Vending Machine in your area. If it’s quite far from where you live, Carvana also has a “Flye and Drive” option. Carvana will contribute up to $200 for a one-way plane ticket to one of its vending machines. If you choose this option, someone from the company will pick you up at the airport and lead you to the Vending Machine where you’ll find your car. You can then drive home from there.

Selling a Car on Carvana

Selling a car on Carvana is just as easy. Instead of clicking the “Search All Vehicles” button on the homepage, select the “Sell/Trade” tab on the menu. From there, you type in your car’s license plate or VIN and then tap “Get My Offer.”

Carvana will then ask for the following details:

  • Mileage
  • ZIP code
  • Color
  • Premium features
  • Accident history
  • Mechanical issues
  • Exterior damage
  • General condition
  • Loan status

If the company is interested, you’ll be given an immediate cash offer that will only last for seven days. If you accept Carvana’s offer, someone from the company will go to where you are to inspect the vehicle. Depending on the appointment you’ve set up, the on-site inspection could happen the next day. As mentioned, the Carvana inspector will give you a check on the spot if your vehicle passes the test.

What We Like

  • The buying and selling processes are both easy and straightforward
  • There’s a wide selection of cars to choose from
  • The quality of the vehicles seems excellent
  • There’s a 7-day money-back guarantee
  • There’s no overhead like other traditional dealerships
  • Most of the process is online

What We Don’t Like

  • You can’t test-drive the car before buying it
  • Prices may be a bit higher compared to a private sale when buying
  • Free delivery of the vehicle is only limited to within 75 miles of Carvana’s physical location, which is near Atlanta, GA
  • Carvana’s offer to sellers may be less compared to a private sale


If you want a stress-free and haggle-free way to buy or sell cars, you may want to check out Carvana. It may be fairly recent compared to other similar dealerships, but it’s quickly gaining an excellent reputation in this particular industry.

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