Although few things in life compare to the feeling of driving off a lot in a brand, shiny-new car that's all yours, the process of buying a car—honestly—kind of sucks. You do a ton of research to show up at a lot where the luck of the draw pairs you with a (socially awkward, or intense, or really-in-need-of-a-sale) salesperson with whom you'll spend hours, while they subtly or not-so-subtly try to convince you to buy a make/model/add-on/bell or whistle that you don't want. Then you sit around while the paperwork checks out, drinking stale coffee and watching whatever inane show's on basic cable, all the while reconsidering your huge purchase. (Or is that just us?)
Carvana, a Phoenix-based dealership which launched in Houston last year, is aiming for young online-oriented folks and others who hate the traditional car-buying experience, and throwing in some bells and whistles that don't result in extra zeros added onto your sales price. Namely, after you purchase your car online, you drive to their Katy Freeway lot, stick a giant coin in a slot, and out pops your car. From a vending machine.
Ernie Garcia, Carvana's CEO and founder, says their e-commerce process cuts down on cost by an average of $1,400 compared to the Kelly Blue Book price, and that the vending machine idea is just, well, cool. "It's part of the fun of the experience," he says. And because this is Texas, the state's first coin-operated car vending machine will be three stories and one delivery bay larger than the company's first such machine in Nashville, with the ability to hold as many as 30 cars at a time.
We're not sure what, exactly, the point of this car vending machine is, but it exists now, here in Houston, for you to try. Someone please try it and tell us how it goes.