Buying a car online is one thing. Picking it up at a gigantic vending machine is another.
Carvana, the online shop for used cars, unveiled its newest car vending machine in Tampa, Florida on Thursday. The eight-story structure holds 32 cars for buyers to pick up their online purchases. Its operated using a special oversized coin that you put into the machine, and out comes your car that you picked out and bought online.
For those who can resist a giant vending machine dispensing cars, Carvana can also deliver your online purchase directly to your home. But to experience “buying” your car like a very pricey bag of chips, the company will give you $200 in travel expenses and help arrange transportation from the Tampa International Airport to the vending machine.
This is the seventh vending machine from the 100-percent internet-based car seller. The first one went up in Nashville in 2015 (it was only five-stories high) and others followed in the past three years in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.
Ryan Keeton, Carvana co-founder and chief brand officer, said in a call that Carvana is an alternative to traditional car buying. “If people really look forward to going to a dealership and haggling” then the website, home delivery, and vending machines aren’t for them.
The vending machines are certainly different from any show room experience. As Keeton said usually “buying a car is not a great experience.” And it usually doesn’t involve inserting a coin into a high-rise building filled with cars.
In another move from the dealership to the online space, Volvo’s Care subscription program is now available straight through the iTunes App Store. To lease a Volvo XC40 go on any Apple device and tour the car, pick out the features and options you want, and pay for the subscription — all through the app. Then Volvo helps arrange delivery to a local Volvo retailer. It’s almost as easy as shopping on Amazon.
Ford introduced an online car shopping portal earlier this month.
Buying a car sure isn’t what it used to be.