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Carvana expands ‘car vending machine’ format in California

Carvana has opened its 39th "car vending machine"(Photo: Business Wire).

The latest automated auto dispenser from Carvana is its second in a major California city.

The omnichannel platform for buying and selling used cars is opening its 39th car vending machine, which is its fifth in the state of California and second in San Diego. The six-story steel-and glass structure is located in the Mission Valley area and has a 19-vehicle capacity.

When customers opt to pick up an online Carvana vehicle purchase at a car vending machine, they select and purchase a vehicle from and schedule a time for pick up. 

Upon their arrival at the tower, car buyers are greeted by a customer advocate and receive a commemorative, oversized Carvana coin to activate the automated vending process. Customers can watch their newly purchased vehicle descend through the brightly lit, glass vending structure.

All vehicles in Carvana’s national inventory come with a seven-day return policy; as opposed to a traditional test drive. According to Carvana, this ensures customers have the right amount of time to determine if the vehicle fits their needs.

Customers can also sell their current vehicle to Carvana and receive an offer in as little as five minutes, without having to purchase a vehicle. To sell a vehicle, customers enter their vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number on, answer a few questions, and then Carvana can pick up the vehicle and pay them as soon as the next day.

Additional car vending machines are located in states including Utah, Virginia, Nevada, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Georgia. 

"We first brought the Car Vending Machine experience to the San Diego area in 2022 with our Escondido location, and we’ve been looking forward to expanding our local presence ever since," said Mike Fryer, Carvana market operations manager. "This unique site sits right in the heart of Mission Valley and is conveniently accessible to our many local customers while also boasting plenty of space to support our local team and operations. We are proud to join the San Diego skyline and excited to create even more convenient and memorable experiences for our customers in the area."

[Read more: Carvana adds another ‘car vending machine’ in Texas]

Founded in 2012 and based in Phoenix, Carvana provides as-soon-as-next-day delivery to automotive shoppers in over 300 U.S. markets.

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