Sunday, 12 February 2017

Insert coin, drive home car

Video produced by Nathan Mattise. (video link)

AUSTIN, Texas—"Vending machines" don't usually conjure up excitement. At most, we've all fist-pumped when a second Hershey's bar falls down or perhaps snickered when a dive bar still sells cigarettes next to the Twix. But a new, modernistic addition to I-35 South's Motor Mile looks nothing like the neighboring car-stocked dealerships or various chain restaurants. Apparently, it's a "vending machine"—it just contains cars, not candy.

Used-car startup Carvana invited Ars out to its Austin facility this week to check out the company's recently opened "car vending machine." We profiled Carvana last year when looking at startups hoping to find alternative solutions to car buying. In short, the company sells used cars by purchasing its stock outright and selling directly to customers online. Vehicles go through a thorough 100-point inspection and get photographed before being listed. Customers in 20-plus markets can purchase cars for delivery.

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