I Bought a Car While Sitting on My Sofa in Pajamas & It Was AWESOME

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kia sorento with a big blue bow on top

Do you ever wish you could skip the used car lots and buy a car without all of the added hassles? 🙋🏻‍♀️

Well, today’s your lucky day. Thanks to Carvana I just bought a used car in my pajamas (no, seriously), and I’m here to share my honest Carvana review so you can try it, too. Better yet, you may even live in one of the markets with the famous Carvana vending machine!

But first, a little background.

carvana car parked on street

I had been driving my beloved 2008 Honda Element for many years (she’s got around 180,000+ miles and is still going strong). My son started college, so I needed a used car for him to drive back and forth. I don’t really know a lot about cars, so I was worried about buying a lemon and risking his life.

A friend talked me into giving my Element to my son and buying something newer for myself. I’m never one to buy a brand new car – the frugal side of me just can’t stomach the depreciation factor the minute you drive it off the lot – so I always opt for used (aka ‘new to me’ cars).

That said, I also dreaded the back and forth haggle at a used car dealership because they always try and upsell (famous clear coat, anyone?) with dollar signs in their eyes. 🤑 Ugh, no thanks!

Then, a few friends mentioned they had an amazing experience with Carvana (think Amazon but for used cars), so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m seriously so glad I did!

Buying a car on Carvana.com is easy peasy!

carvana website

Once I got prequalified on their website, I was able to see what my interest rate would be, how much money I’d need to put down to buy the car, and what my monthly payment would be if I financed. (The nice thing is that it’s a soft pull on my credit report, so my credit score didn’t get dinged.)

How I shopped for my used car on Carvana.

carvana kia sorento 360

Carvana let me take a 360 tour of THE actual car I was considering (a Kia Sorento, currently ranked as one of the most reliable cars on the market). I could zoom in and see the noted imperfections, check out the interior, and take a look at the original window sticker from the dealership to see all of the options. How cool is that?

I also narrowed down my search to model year, price, color, and features.

Once I found the car I wanted, I checked out. I had the option to either bring my own financing or use Carvana to finance the car. I was approved for a pretty sweet rate with $0 down, so I went with Carvana and then switched the loan to my credit union for a lower interest rate a few months later.

Good to know: Carvana has a very extensive 150-point inspection prior to delivering cars, so I felt confident it’s in tip-top shape. They don’t sell cars that have been in accidents or have had any flood damage.

The Carvana checkout experience 

carvana vending machine building

Once I checked out, I was asked to upload a photo of my driver’s license (you may also be asked to submit bank or income verification). The contracts take maybe a minute (tops) to sign digitally online. At that point, I could choose to have my car delivered – or, if I was lucky enough to be in one of the markets with the famous Carvana vending machine, I could schedule a time to pick it up.

I chose to have mine delivered as there was no additional fee since I live in Atlanta (one of Carvana’s hubs).

My Carvana delivery experience

carvana car on flatbed truck

On the morning of my delivery, the driver called to let me know he was on his way. I was able to track my car on the Carvana app just like it was a pizza being delivered to my door. When he pulled up to my home, there was a big bow on my car which was seriously the coolest thing ever! 😍

woman and man standing in front of a car at carvana dealership

Since everything has been handled online in advance, I only had to sign a couple of additional papers to show that I received the delivery. Then I provided proof of insurance for the new car. There were even a couple of fun surprise gifts in the car from Carvana, thanking me for my purchase.

*Please note that I purchased my car prior to COVID-19, which is why we are not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. 

Keeping customers safe is their priority!

woman buying carvana car

Carvana takes extra COVID-19 precautions when your car is picked up or delivered…

  • When your car arrives, they will ask you to send a selfie with your driver’s license for verification.
  • Carvana will then unload your vehicle and use sanitizing wipes on the keys, shifter, and steering wheel. They will leave the paperwork with a pen and keys inside the car.
  • Once your car is ready at the vending machine or when delivered, they will get back into the hauler truck and will give you a call to let you know that you can take a look at the car.
  • After you’re finished with your test drive, they’ll call to walk you through signing your registration documents.
  • Once your paperwork is signed, they’ll ask you to place the registration envelope, along with any titles or checks, if applicable, in a secure spot for them to collect.
  • Carvana will review the paperwork from the delivery truck (or office) and will complete the purchase in their system.
  • If your city has the vending machine option, you will need to schedule an appointment. Carvana is currently only booking one appointment per 45 minutes so there is no overlap in customers so they can fully sanitize the lobby, door handles, tables, chairs, and Carvana coins in between appointments. Carvana employees will remain a minimum of six feet away from customers at all times. Only two household members are allowed per pickup.

Pros of using Carvana to buy a used car

carvana car

  • No pushy sales tactics. You can order a car from your sofa in your pajamas.
  • No crazy phone calls. In the past, I’ve gone on auto dealer websites (and they call a lot afterward). Carvana only called to confirm my purchase, to notify me of delivery, and then to follow up after to make sure everything was OK. That’s it!
  • You can save $500 off if you have a referral code from a friend or you pass along their name, their phone number, and what type of vehicle they ordered. You’ll save the $500, and your friend will be rewarded with a cool $100 bonus check.
  • Return your car within 7 days if you don’t love it. If for any reason you decide you don’t like your car, you can return it within 7 days and cancel the transaction or switch it for another car. This is pretty cool since you don’t get to test drive the car in advance, so if there’s something you don’t like, you’re not stuck with it.

Cons of using Carvana to buy a used car

carvana vending machine

  • You don’t get to experience the car in person. On a car lot, you can kick the tires, or test drive it, but honestly, since they have the 7-day, no questions asked return window, this didn’t seem to be a negative to me.
  • Trust the original window sticker over the website for car details. When you’re looking for certain features, go by what the original window sticker has listed for the car. My car was listed as having a tan interior, and the photos clearly showed black (the window sticker said black). ALWAYS trust the sticker!

Would I use Carvana again?

carvana key chain

You guys, this was seriously THE best car buying experience EVER!

I will never buy a car any other way. By the way, Carvana is absolutely NOT paying me for this post, nor is this sponsored. I just wanted to share my experience with you and to give you a heads up about this amazing way to buy a car. (However, Carvana, if you wanna send gifts and things my way, I certainly wouldn’t object! 😂)

Check out more honest product reviews over here!

About the writer:

Angela graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and has 25+ years of experience as a writer and photographer with her work being featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and more.

Join The Discussion

Comments 153

  1. Jenn

    Due to the current high value of used cars, Carvana (and competitor Auto Lenders Go) is also currently a nice option if you are looking to sell your car. We were one year into our 2019 Nissan SUV lease, however we ended up needing a truck to tow a new camper. Carvana offered us the same amount as the buyout on our lease online, however when we spoke with them to start the process, they let us know that they don’t buy out Nissan leases. Auto Lenders Go does buy out Nissan leases and they offered a similar buyout as Carvana, so we were able to get out of the lease at no additional cost! We hadn’t put anything down on the lease.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for letting us know, Jenn! We recently had a great experience selling our car on Carvana! We got more than we would trying to do a private sale and it was SO easy!

  2. Kyle

    Let me first say that I love Hip2Save and have been following you since before your Today Show days. This post is a big RED FLAG for me though. I’m glad your purchase worked out well, my experience was HORRIBLE. We purchased a car through Carvana and found out afterward that Carvana purchased the vehicle through an online auction site that specializes in selling damaged vehicles that have been in accidents that are not reported to insurance. Carvana could not figure out how their 150 point inspection could have missed such a heavily damaged vehicle. Fortunately, I did not agree to their Arbitration agreement when I signed the contract. I highly recommend checking into that if you are going to purchase through them.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for telling us about your experience and being a loyal follower, Kyle! We think it’s really important for readers to hear about others. I’m sorry this happened to you. I had a great experience with Carvana so I’m hoping yours isn’t the norm. I sure hope you were able to resolve this.

      • Feg

        My husband had to provide the title and they were able to do a search to determine that the car has never been damaged. This doesn’t sound like the Carvana we dealt with.

        • Dani

          As the poster said, they’re selling “damaged vehicles that have been in accidents that are not reported to insurance.” For you, the title showed no damages. If the OTHER owner was silent and never reported the issue to the DMV or insurance, THEIR title would seem just as clean as yours, too.

  3. Kelly

    I have also been following you since the very beginning and I feel this post is irrelevant to your normal platform. I too would never buy a car this way. I recommend that you find a car online from a reputable dealer and purchase that way. Many dealerships are offering everything over the phone or online and will even deliver your car to you. I recently purchased a new car and had a wonderful experience from my LOCAL ford dealer.

  4. Lisston

    A coworker bought a car through carvana this year, and after seeing how well that went I would definitely give them a chance. Skip dealing with in person car salespeople? YES PLEASE!!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      I love hearing how well it went for her! Thanks, Lisston!

  5. Coach Teia

    I second the Carvana buying experience. It was perfect for me and my sister. We got exactly what we wanted, including price. It’s been over a year for the both of us and we haven’t had any issues at all with our cars. Whenever I’m ready to purchase something for my teen daughter, I’ll definitely go the Carvana way again!

  6. Feg

    My husband just sold his car to Carvana. We didn’t buy a car, but we were able to sell to Carvana He was very pleased with the experience. They offered him more than anyone else in our area. A very professional gentleman came and picked up the car and handed my husband a check. Wonderful company.

  7. Evie

    The most important thing is to make sure you are not getting sucked into a subprime car loan. High interest rates, no early pay off and you are indebted forever!
    Also, some states will not allow you to surrender the car when you cannot afford it due to unemployment or financial situation!
    So many people who have nice cars are in food lines! Not because they can afford the cars, because they are deeply in debt!
    A lot like the subprime crisis in 2007,2008.
    They do not make money unless they force people into debt!
    People keep their cars longer because used is the same price as new was in 2007.

  8. lauranurse

    Just bought a Kia myself and have been VERY impressed with it!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for letting us know, lauranurse!

  9. Shari

    This post is a warning I’m hoping you will post. Their is a company named wish that is not a good company to buy from. I purchased a variety of merchandise. It was delivered 2 items were damaged a necklace chain was broken. The other was a light set small to use in decorationing with vases. That one was defective you could see battery was defective brown in color leaking. One item was never sent. I emailed and have all their responses. Just don’t want someone else being ripped off. I do have photos of merchandise if needed.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you for the warning, Shari!

  10. Carol

    I have purchased five cars from Carvana and have not one complaint. I’ve also had six friends use them and I must say, the $600 earned as a referral was an added bonus.

    One car was too small for us, and we returned it with no issues. In fact, the seven day window occurred while we were on vacation, and they extended it for us. When we decided it wasn’t for us, we called and they came and picked it up. Four of the purchases were delivered and one was at a vending machine in Nashville. I am sure that there are numerous problems with any used car dealer, but we’ve been lucky to really had no issues. A little thing here and there, but nothing nefarious on Carvana’s part.

    I also come from a family heavily involved in a car dealership. Have zero regrets.

  11. Jessica Roman

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences

  12. Amanda

    I bought a car last year from a car lot (for the very first time) and hated every second of it. I felt like the salesman knew it was my first time and took advantage of that. Everytime I pass buy that lot I still get mad about how it went and how I was too naive to stop it from happening. When I needed to buy an SUV this year, I knew I wouldn’t want to go to a lot so I started looking on carvana. I looked for several months, read tons of reviews about different cars and about carvana, and finally took the plunge. It was a thousand times better than the car lot experience, and the next time I buy a vehicle I will absolutely use it again. It was easy, quick, and I love my suv. And it was cheaper than anything I saw at car lots when I was looking online before deciding for sure on carvana. Not to mention the fact that they take care of the registration and taxes… My dad bought a truck from a local lot a month after I bought my suv (only because he couldn’t find a truck on carvana), and he had to make an appointment and go to the DMV to pay, and as an elderly person with health issues it wasn’t pleasant.. meanwhile I sat at home and had my plates delivered by FedEx. I would highly recommend carvana and will be using them again in the future.

    • Angela (Hip Sidekick)

      YES! I loved the process and as a woman it’s so intimidating walking on to a car lot. With this I could do it all from home and was never pressured about anything. I’ve had friends who also purchased their cars from Carvana after I raved about it and they are all happy customers too.

  13. Olivinelily

    It’s really hard to trust Hip2save anymore… Their deals aren’t deals, they really push some products, they won’t actually post real deals you share with them. I like knowing something is good… And of course I check reviews… But I hate see them post about something that they are in the Pic of… It’s not honest. It’s hey, if I make this sound good and you buy it I won’t have to really work ever again. Always always always triple check them! And really, how do u save by buying a car online? Anyways, if lena had her own website I wouldn’t be here.

    • Judi

      I love the deals Hip2save posts! My favorite coupon saving website.

    • Angela (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there Oliveinelily! This post is actually not a sponsored post and we make no money on this at all. When I bought my car from Carvana I was sharing with the team how much I loved the process and Collin asked me to write a post about it. We always work hard to find the best deals for our readers and vet all deals submitted to us to make sure you’re paying the lowest price on the highest quality items.

  14. Melissa

    My son wrecked his car in April and we tried Carvana but the interest rate was going to be 8% even putting it in my husbands name, with $12,000 down. So we went to the local Credit Union and got 2.3% interest for my son on the same Car at Carmax. Carmax interest rates were crazy high too. I would just say shop around for interest rates. Just because your pre-approved doesn’t mean it’s the best rate. We were pre-approved through Carvana and Carmax but neither offered a great interest rate.

    • Angela (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there Melissa! Carvana lets you bring your own financing as well!

    • patricialavenz-goff

      Credit Unions are the best. I have never had a bank account so can’t talk about bank rates….

  15. Jill

    My experience with Carvana was the BEST !!! I think we also bought the same car!! 🙂

    • Angela (Hip Sidekick)

      Twinsies! I love mine!

  16. siena95

    No way, you need to “feel “ how a car drives.

  17. Susan

    I bought a SUV from Carvana about 3 weeks ago. We had a good experience! My interest rate through them was pretty low, the car came in perfect condition, price was lower than anything I could find locally and the selection that they have was amazing. It wasn’t a perfect experience as the vehicle was two days late, but they compensated me for that. I would definitely buy from them again… My mechanic looked the vehicle over thoroughly and we’re happy with it

  18. Sandy L.

    Traded in my daughter’s car to Carvana and received almost twice the amount as the quote we got from a local dealer. Because it was during the beginning of Covid (March 2020), Carvana would only take the trade in if you bought a car from them. We found a great deal on a used car with low miles. They delivered the new car to our house, allowed us to test drive it, and took our old car away. Easy Peasy! Would definitely use them again.

  19. Gloria

    I had a great experience with them got my granddaughter a new car for college

  20. lyle

    This is the most dumbest thing you can do is to purchase a car online without ever test driving it. You do t know how it drives, if there are problems, and you won’t get any deals. The best way to buy a car is to pay cash from a private seller and get it checked out buy a mechanic before you buy it. It’s irresponsible to purchase a car online without getting it checked out and not test driving it.

    • Angela (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey there Lyle! You actually have 7 days to change your mind so you can drive it around, even have a mechanic look at it and check it out. If you decide you don’t want it they take it back and refund your money with no questions asked.

  21. Pat

    No new cars for me, I have bought used for the last 20 years and am not sorry at all. No depreciation as I drive it off the lot and saved a ton in taxes and insurance. Now if I could just convince my husband not to buy new trucks every 6 years.

  22. patricialavenz-goff

    I am so glad everything worked out for you. I wouldn’t do it as I only buy used and I pay cash. My brother bought one on Craigslist but was able to get his money back because the police intervened for him as it was illegal for the car dealer to sell a car on craigslist without mentioning it was being sold from a car dealer. Whew. So glad we got out of that one. I am lucky as we have a guy that buys and sells cars and he usually starts looking for one for me when I tell him I need one. He has proven himself honest as one time he got a car (I only want stick shifts not automatics) that had something wrong with the title and he gave me my money back in full. He found me a car a few weeks later. I usually upgrade every 10 years or whenever the air goes out on my car etc. I also take the cars to my mechanic and they give it a once over and my brothers give it a once over before I pay for it too. Works for me. Not to sure I want to buy online. Heard to many horror stories.

  23. Susan

    Anyone have a referal code?

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