Carvana earned the “Most Convenient” award in our 2023 study.
The company gives some of the best offers to customers trying to sell used vehicles.
Whether you have good or bad credit, Carvana offers financing options.
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Founded in 2012 and based in Tempe, Arizona, Carvana is one of the largest online used car retailers in the U.S. In addition to its pickup and delivery model, the company is known for its car vending machines that allow people to complete the car-buying process in person.
Our research team took a look at how selling a car on Carvana works and compared its monthly payments, experience, and customer support to other options. We’ll explain why we named Carvana as the most convenient option for motorists hoping to sell their car online.
Carvana received 9.0 out of 10.0 stars in our study of the top online car dealerships. The car buyer offers extensive support for transactions and provides an easy, frictionless process of selling from start to finish.
Carvana Pros and Cons
No private sale option
Excellent customer support
Lower offers than some competitors
Seamless car-selling experience
Our team looks at cost, platform, transaction support, customer experience, and industry reputation when setting a company’s overall rating. Below is how Carvana performed in each of these categories:
Carvana Sell My Car Rating
Is Carvana Good?
Overall, we found that Carvana is a legitimate company with a solid industry reputation. Its online platform allows sellers to easily input information about their vehicle and get a quote for its value. In addition, sellers are paid almost immediately when they sell a vehicle.
Carvana holds a stellar reputation and high customer satisfaction scores. On Trustpilot, the company has a 4.3-star rating out of 5.0 from over 9,000 reviews. Of those 9,000 reviewers, 62% gave the company a 5.0-star rating. However, the company currently lacks a rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Should I Buy a Car From Carvana?
The needs and preferences that are most important to you will determine whether or not you should purchase from Carvana. The company consistently receives some of the strongest customer review scores in the industry. It also allows drivers to research and buy cars from their computers, tablets, or smartphones. Still, you can head to one of the 39 Carvana vending machines nationwide if you want a more personalized experience.
Before you go through with your purchase, checking competitor prices is essential since Carvana won’t always give you the best deal. Overall, our research team believes that Carvana offers customers a great car-buying experience, and you should feel confident and comfortable using the car-selling company to buy your next vehicle.
Where Carvana Falls Short With Buying a Car
In our research, we found that Carvana may inflate its prices for buyers. Those who are purchasing a vehicle from the company receive no-hassle, non-negotiable prices. However, they pay a higher premium for it and are basically charged an unofficial convenience fee.
Should I Sell My Car to Carvana?
If convenience is important to you, Carvana is a great option for selling a car. Carvana is one of our top three choices for the best car-selling experience, and the company has an excellent online platform. After entering details about your vehicle, the platform allows you to get an offer quickly.
Carvana will usually give you a higher offer than many of its competitors, but you should check other offers, especially when you’re selling a junk car.
Where Carvana Falls Short With Car Selling
When it comes to selling a car to Carvana, the only place where it falls short is with value. Sellers with newer vehicles and less mileage tend to get higher offers for their vehicles. However, if your car is older and has problems, you can expect to sell it for far less.
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Purchasing a vehicle from Carvana is a very simple process. Download the Carvana mobile app or visit its website to start browsing vehicles that you’re interested in. Carvana has over 25,000 cars, so your best option is to use the filter and narrow your search by make, model, and price.
Select a vehicle and Carvana will give you details about your choice and provide photos from every angle. The company also does a 150-point inspection to provide you with peace of mind that the vehicle you’re purchasing remains in good condition.
After picking a vehicle, schedule a dropoff time with the Carvana team or head to a Carvana vending machine to pick up your vehicle. Carvana allows you to keep the car for seven days; if you’re not satisfied, you can return it.
Carvana Buying Process
Carvana has over 25,000 vehicles in its inventory, and you can view them all using its online platform. With Carvana’s advanced search filter, you can narrow your search by make, model, mileage, and more.
After finding the right vehicle, you can use either a Carvana vending machine or the Carvana car delivery service to receive it. You’ll need an active driver’s license to purchase a vehicle from Carvana. Note that there may be a delivery fee for those who want the new car driven to their house.
Carvana Car Vending Machine
If you decide against getting your Carvana vehicle delivered, head to one of the company’s car vending machines. Carvana customers enjoy using the vending machine and often say it’s the most enjoyable part of the car-buying process.
A Carvana representative will give you a coin to insert into the vending machine, and your new vehicle will come out. After receiving the car you bought, a representative will walk you through the rest of the purchasing process. You’ll also have the chance to buy an extended warranty from SilverRock if that’s of interest to you.
Carvana Vending Machine Locations
The U.S. has 39 different Carvana vending machine locations. If you’re trying to find out if you live near one of them, check out the Carvana vending machine locator on its website.
Financing With Carvana
You can get an auto loan from Carvana with either good or bad credit, though that doesn’t guarantee a low interest rate. After giving basic information, the Carvana team will provide you with an offer in minutes, lasting up to 30 days. Financing through Carvana could be great for you, though the company won’t always offer the industry’s lowest auto loan rates or down payments.
If you want a trade-in instead of outright selling your vehicle, you can do that with Carvana. All you need is to select your future vehicle from the Carvana inventory and take off your current vehicle’s value. When Carvana comes to pick up your car, it’ll bring your new vehicle as well. While the Carvana representative inspects your old car, you can take the new one for a test drive.
Carvana Return Policy
For vehicle purchases, Carvana offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. You must return the vehicle no more than seven days after when it was purchased, and notify a Carvana representative by 8 p.m. Eastern time on the last day. If you get into an accident or alter the car’s condition, you won’t be eligible for Carvana’s return policy.
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Selling To Carvana
Most people think of Carvana as a place to buy a car, but you can also sell a vehicle to Carvana. The company offers the option to trade in your car for one of its own, or the company will buy your car to get it off your hands. Selling a car to Carvana is an easy process, and you can find information on pricing and requirements below.
How Much Does Carvana Pay for Cars?
Carvana typically pays more than other companies for used cars. For a 2014 Subaru Forester, Carvana offered $1,397 more than CarGurus and $232 more than Vroom. Below, you’ll find information on Carvana compared to other companies that purchase vehicles.
2014 Subaru Forester
2014 Subaru Forester
2014 Subaru Forester
These prices won’t be the case for every vehicle on the market, but Carvana is a great place to get an offer on your car. How much you can get during the Carvana sell my car process depends on six key factors: condition, trim and options, mileage, method of sale, accident history, and location.
Can You Negotiate With Carvana?
In short, you can’t negotiate with Carvana because the company claims its vehicles are priced as competitively as possible. The pricing may change depending on multiple factors, but you cannot negotiate with any salesperson.
Carvana has very few requirements regarding which cars it’ll purchase.You can likely sell or trade in your old car to Carvana if it meets or exceeds the following requirements:
Has a working odometer
Can be safely test driven
Is not a wrecked or salvaged title
Is a model year newer than 1992
Car owners who live in California also need to have an up-to-date registration for their vehicle, though this is optional elsewhere.
Meeting the requirements above doesn’t guarantee that Carvana will buy your car, but few people have issues getting the company to purchase qualifying vehicles. Unless, for example, your used BMW or Toyota is from before 1992 or qualifies as a junk car, it’ll likely be accepted.
Carvana Lease Buyout
In many cases you can sell a leased car to Carvana and the company will work with the leaseholder to pay it off. This depends on the policies of whichever leasing company technically owns the vehicle, however. Some companies don’t want leased vehicles to be bought out during the leasing period.
Selling a Car to Carvana vs. Dealership
Physical car dealerships are still a popular option for people looking to sell their used cars. While Carvana serves the same market and purpose as physical car dealers, the company’s online shopping model gives it a few distinct advantages over the traditional model.
Selling a car online or shopping for one from home is far more convenient and efficient than taking trips to the dealership. With online dealerships like Carvana and Vroom, sellers can get offers on their vehicles in minutes, while buyers can easily sort through and compare potential options.
Easy Access to Information
Carvana also uses its website, Carvana.com, to offer information that helps buyers and sellers make informed decisions. For example, visitors to the site can access CARFAX reports about individual vehicles to learn their complete accident and repair histories.
National Vehicle Stock
Since Carvana isn’t tied to a particular location, it draws its stock of used vehicles from across the U.S. For sellers, this means that you could be able to get similar pricing whether you’re hoping to sell your car in Denver or in Miami, for example. For car buyers, it means that there’s a much wider selection of vehicles to compare and pick from.
Absence of Salespeople
Traditional dealerships have sales representatives who often strive to get as much money out of each transaction as possible. This can be frustrating for customers, who rarely appreciate the haggling and high-pressure sales tactics.
Since it’s an online dealership, selling your car to Carvana doesn’t involve a salesperson. The company makes a firm offer on your vehicle and you have seven days to decide whether or not to accept it. While you may be offered additional products along the way, you won’t need to haggle or worry about in-person pressure.
Carvana vs. Local Online Marketplaces
Another popular option for buying or selling used cars is the use of localized sites such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. These sites function as online classifieds, allowing owners to list their vehicles for sale.
The biggest upside to using these marketplaces is that you could potentially get a larger payment for your vehicle. Selling to a private party can also move you closer to the listed Kelley Blue Book (KBB) value for your car. However, that potential for extra cash comes with some significant downsides compared to the typical Carvana sell my car procedures.
While getting an offer from Carvana only requires putting information into an online portal, there’s more involved with local marketplaces. You’ll have to create a listing yourself – which usually requires taking some photos – and communicate with potential buyers.
When you sell your car to Carvana, you’ll be paid as soon as the company picks the car up. That’s usually within a few days of accepting the provider’s offer.
Those who list a car on a local marketplace have no guarantee of if or when someone will buy the car. Even after you agree to a sale, dealing with banks and other financial institutions at an individual level can take extra time.
Lots of Paperwork
Selling a car involves dealing with car titles and registration, so you’ll likely have to head to your local department of motor vehicles (DMV). If you have a loan on your car, you also must work with the lender (either a bank or a credit union) to sort out a payoff and title collection. You may need to cancel or transfer your extended car warranty if you currently have one, too.
Carvana handles most of this paperwork for the majority of car sellers. If you sell your vehicle to a private party, on the other hand, that responsibility falls on you and the potential buyer. This can be time-consuming and frustrating for everyone involved.
Potential for Scams
Local online marketplaces come with some risk of scams. People may provide false information about their identity, for example. Another common scam is when a supposed buyer provides false documentation of a wire transfer, tricking a seller into handing over their keys and documents without actually paying them.
Selling your car through a verified company like Carvana eliminates the risk of these scams. The company pays sellers for their vehicles with certified checks that can be deposited or cashed immediately.
Dealing With People
When you sell a car through a local marketplace, you’ll have to deal with potential buyers. Some people are easy to deal with, but others can be seriously difficult. You may find people who want to haggle endlessly about the price, and others won’t have documents and funding ready when they’re needed.
If nothing else, you’ll have to coordinate your busy schedules on multiple occasions. The buyer may want to test drive the car, take it to a mechanic, or do both before making a decision. You’ll also have to complete the actual transaction in person.
With its online model, the Carvana sell my car process has removed most of the hassle of dealing with people. As a result, the entire process is significantly faster and easier.
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Carvana Customer Satisfaction
Based on customer reviews from around the web, Carvana is one of the industry’s best and most trustworthy companies. Carvana’s reputation can make you confident in using its services and trusting that it’s a good company.
Carvana BBB Reviews
Carvana is not currently accredited by the BBB. The company has over 2,800 reviews on its website and has a rating of 1.8 out of 5.0 stars. Here are some thoughts from BBB users:
“Carvana was excellent. I was originally going to use CarMax, but they lowered my offer by $1,500. Glad they did because Carvana ended up offering $3,000 more.”
– Ken Riegel
“Overall, the car-selling experience is revolutionary and I would never sell a car any other way than through Carvana. If things go wrong in uploading documents, then solving the problem is easily resolved by communicating with a live person.”
Even with an excellent customer service team, there will still be complaints from customers. However, under most of the one-star reviews on Trustpilot, there is a Carvana customer service representative who is apologetic and offers to help in any way possible.
Below are some examples of customers who were unhappy with their Carvana experience:
“We paid cash for a car and never received the title. I called six times and kept getting different answers as to why we did not receive the title. Please save yourself a nightmare and do not buy from them.”
– Jay P.
How To Sell a Car to Carvana
The Carvana car-selling process is swift and straightforward, making the company stand out to our review team. Carvana has designed an easy, intuitive platform that walks first-time sellers through the whole process and generates real offers in minutes. Here’s how it works:
1. Enter details about your vehicle
Enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number. This brings up your car’s basic make and model information and takes you to the next step.
2. Answer specific questions about your car
You’ll be asked for more detailed information about your vehicle. This includes mileage on the odometer, your car’s options, and whether aftermarket equipment has been installed.
3. Decide between a cash offer or trade-in
Once you’ve answered all the questions, Carvana will ask whether you want to get cash for your vehicle or receive trade-in value toward a new car.
4. Consider your offer
Carvana gives sellers seven days to consider between cash and trade-in offers. The offer will remain the same throughout this period as long as the original information is accurate.
5. Sell your car to Carvana
If you accept Carvana’s offer, the rest of the process can be completed from home. The company will send a representative to you for an in-person inspection to collect keys and pay you on the spot. Carvana will take care of the title, registration, and loan payoff process if there’s still debt on the vehicle.
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Our research team gave Carvana 9.0 out of 10.0 stars and named it as one of the best places to sell your car. The company handles almost every aspect of the transaction, leaving drivers with a fast and hassle-free process that can be performed entirely from home.
While you may not get the absolute best price for your vehicle compared to a private sale, most Carvana offers are fair. When you consider how much work Carvana takes care of, the slightly lower price may be worth it in the end.
Sites Like Carvana
Though Carvana earned a high score in our recent study, it’s always smart to get offers from multiple sources before making a decision. Cars.com and CarMax are two other online dealers that performed well in our study and are worth looking into.
Cars.com: Best Options
Cars.com is one of the pioneers of selling and buying cars online, having offered a classified listings page since the 1990s. In recent years, Cars.com has added instant offers and an online dealership to its portfolio. The result is a website that offers both instant sale and private party listing options for people who want to fully explore the market.
CarMax: Top Value
CarMax is the largest used car dealership in the country and now has a portal to sell your car online. The company usually offered the highest prices for used cars in our study, making CarMax a good option for people looking to get the highest value for their vehicle. While selling a car to CarMax does require visiting a dealership, the presence of hundreds of locations around the U.S. means that most people aren’t too far from one.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Carvana sell my car process:
Can I sell my leased car to Carvana?
Yes, Carvana does sometimes buy leased cars. The company works to pay off leases whenever possible, though not all leaseholders actually allow car buyouts. In such cases, Carvana will likely be unable to purchase your leased vehicle.
Can I sell my car to Carvana without the title?
Carvana requires a valid title to purchase a vehicle. If you own the car outright, you must provide a certified copy of the title to complete the sale. If you currently have a car loan, Carvana will obtain the title from the lienholder when it’s paid off.
Does Carvana give you money on the spot?
Carvana pays sellers money on the spot if they choose to accept a cash offer rather than to trade in for a new vehicle. As soon as you hand over your keys and complete the necessary paperwork, a representative will hand you a certified check for the purchase price, minus any outstanding loan balance.
Is it hard to sell a car to Carvana?
No, it’s not hard to sell a car to Carvana. If you have all the needed information, expect to get an actual offer on your vehicle in a few minutes. Once you accept an offer, the company can pick up your car and pay you within the next day or two in most cases. Carvana also has very few restrictions on which vehicles it will agree to buy.
Is Carvana better than CarMax to sell your car?
Carvana could be a better option for many people to sell their car than CarMax. While CarMax tends to pay slightly more on average for used cars, it also requires at least one in-person visit to complete a transaction. Selling a car to Carvana tends to be simpler and can be done without leaving your home.
Does Carvana pay more for cars than CarMax?
Carvana pays slightly less for most cars than CarMax, based on our research. CarMax typically pays the most for used vehicles out of all online dealerships, while Carvana tends to offer average prices.
In order to help people make informed decisions about where and how to sell their cars, our expert review team is committed to providing precise, accurate, and objective information. For our research, we evaluated each company on the same criteria across the following categories:
Cost: Our team conducted a secret shopper study to assess the offering prices of each provider. We also considered any fees or additional costs charged by companies during transactions.
Platform: We evaluated each provider’s online platform, rating them based on ease of use, speed, and available options.
Transaction support: Because there are many other steps involved in selling a car online beyond simply listing it and accepting an offer, our team evaluated companies based on their support for transactions, such as whether they require a seller to travel for an in-person evaluation, if they manage loan payoffs, and more.
Customer experience: We scoured online reviews on websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot in order to gauge the opinions and experiences of real customers. Our team used proprietary metrics to normalize ratings across the industry in order to assess customer sentiment in context.
Industry reputation: To assess their standing within the auto sales industry, we considered each company’s rating with the BBB along with its years of service. We evaluated these factors using proprietary metrics to get a more accurate representation of specific company reputations compared to industry norms.