Carvana Opens Car 'Vending Machine' in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Can buying a car be as easy as buying a can of soda? Carvana thinks it is. 

Laura Buckman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

During the past few years countries like China and Singapore have introduced a new way of purchasing or test-driving a vehicle without visiting an automobile dealership. This new car purchasing method involves an automotive vending machine, where customers can purchase an automobile just as easily as one would purchase a can of soda. In the U.S., Carvana is offering its customers the same option.

For many American automobile consumers, shopping for a new or used vehicle at a dealership can be more stressful than going to a dentist to get a root canal. After spending many hours at a dealership, the customer may eventually find the ideal vehicle they are looking for at the right price with the features they desire. Or, they might walkout feeling frustrated knowing that they may have to waste more hours at another dealership until they find their ideal vehicle. 

However, can the car buying experience be improved if it was to get rid of the sales consultants and the dealerships altogether? 

Used-car dealer, Carvana, is offering this new vehicle purchasing method to customers who are tired of dealing with traditional dealerships and sales consultants. Carvana's car vending machine is an eight-story tower that holds 30 cars at any given time. In an article published by Washingtonian, the company's co-founder Ryan Keeton said that Carvana started by delivering purchased vehicles and it wanted to provide a pickup location for its customers. 

To begin the car purchasing process, the customer needs to create an account and select their desired vehicle from the list of vehicles currently available for sale on the company's website. After purchasing the vehicle on the website, the customer can pick up their vehicle from the vending machine the very next day. 

The vehicle pickup process beings when the customer arrives at the massive vending machine, where an on-site staff member retrieves their vehicle's information on an iPad and hands the customer a fist-sized silver coin, according to the article. To complete the vehicle pickup process, the customer inserts the giant silver coin into a machine that looks like a jukebox and they are done. 

To date, Carvana has its car vending machines in nine major cities including Nashville, Dallas, and Tampa. Its newest location in Gaithersburg, Maryland is located directly off of Interstate 270.