Online used car dealership Carvana wanted to encourage buyers to come in and pick up their cars instead of having them delivered. So it decided to make the pickup process a bit of an experience by building a five story-high vending machine for cars, complete with big fake coin tokens. And we have to say, it's pretty neat.
Phoenix-based car dealership Carvana has done a pretty impressive job of moving the entire used car buying process online. For any vehicle you're interested in, you can examine a long list of specs, ratings, reviews and details, as well as examining it inside and out with a standardized rotating tour that points out every nick and scratch on the bodywork.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Everything down to trade-in and finance is done online. The car is then delivered to your door, and you've got seven days to "test drive" it, after which you're free to return it if you're not happy. The online model allows Carvana to cut down on staff and overhead, and according to its own estimations, save customers around US$2,000 in the process.
Of course, delivery fees cost money too, and Carvana noticed that a lot of customers were excited enough to come in and pick up their cars straight away. The more people came to pick their cars up, the more Carvana saved. So the company decided to make a bit of an experience out of it.
The end result is a giant, five-story vending machine for used cars, which has just opened outside Nashville, Tennessee. Customers roll up after buying their cars online, they're given an oversized coin token to put in a slot, and they watch their car come down from the carousel. Personally, I'm excited when something I buy comes in a nice box, but this takes things to a whole new level.
Carvana sees the "vending machine" as a way to make the pickup process a bit of an experience for buyers, as well as a way to reduce overheads in terms of real estate, staff and the like. And I can't think of a lot of people who'll mourn the loss of the used car salesman from the process, either.
Check out the automobile vending machine in action in the video below.