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Over the past few years, the ease of online shopping has made its way to the business of car buying, and the convenience of buying a car from the comfort of home is hard to beat. Vroom, a platform that sells used vehicles, is one of many options now available.
The goal of Vroom is to make the process of buying and selling simple. This simplicity comes with a longer than usual return period as well as the option to finance but also means a smaller vehicle selection and limited state availability. If you are considering selling your car or purchasing your next set of wheels through Vroom, first understand the process so you walk away with the best deal.
What to expect when buying a car with Vroom
Similar to its online competitor Carvana, Vroom has an online showroom of thousands of vehicles to shop from. These vehicles have all received a CarFax stamp of approval, with additional used vehicles added every week.
The process from order to delivery is done fully online, meaning no tense negotiation on the dealership lot. But the haggle-free experience does mean fixed prices and no ability to push for a better price.
How to buy a car with Vroom
The Vroom car buying process from browsing all the way to delivery is done fully online, and can be completed in a couple of seamless steps.
Shop online for a vehicle
To start the car buying process, simply enter your ZIP code on the main page, here you can browse the thousands of low-mileage cars and trucks available. Next, you will be presented with cars in your area organized by main categories like price, body type, year or features. If you have your sights set on a specific model you can simply search for it.
Explore several vehicles
Once you find a few vehicles you are interested in you can take advantage of both photos and a 360 view of your potential purchase. With no option to test drive until after signing on the dotted line, pay close attention to the available features and vehicle aesthetics during this step.
To take the next steps with a specific car, simply click the “get started” button and you will be directed to a login page where you will make an account. To make your account you will only need to enter some personal information.
Apply for vehicle financing
While Vroom does not offer vehicle financing directly, it works with a dozen banks and lending partners to arrange financing for Vroom drivers. If you choose to finance with your own bank, or even pay upfront with cash, you can work directly with a car specialist.
Vroom also has a trade-in program. If you need to trade in your current car, simply give your car specialist some information on it to arrange for an appraisal.
Sign the paperwork
Once you organize how you are paying for your vehicle you now must take steps to make the vehicle officially yours. You can expect a call from one of Vroom’s car specialists who will share a secure link to upload a photo of your driver’s license along with proof of insurance.
Next, you will place a refundable deposit that will hold the vehicle for 72 hours, this amount varies by vehicle but locks in the car as yours. Depending on the specifics of your purchase, Vroom will either overnight the necessary paperwork or email it to you to e-sign. It is essential that you sign the paperwork within 24 hours.
Get the vehicle delivered
Once the paperwork has been signed you will be contacted by the Vroom delivery support team. They will keep you updated throughout the journey, which tends to take 10 to 14 days following purchase. Your exact cost for delivery will vary depending on the area you live in but prepare for a few fees for delivery. The estimated nonrefundable fee is $2,999.
Your car can be delivered to your home or a convenient location nearby. Once the vehicle arrives you will have a full week or 250 miles to decide if you want to keep it. Keep in mind that although you will be refunded the purchase price, all other costs accrued will not be reimbursed.
What to expect when selling a car with Vroom
Vroom doesn’t just offer used vehicle purchases, it also has a program that enables you to sell your vehicle directly to them — vehicle pickup included. Similar to the car buying process it can be done entirely online.
The main selling point to working with Vroom to sell your vehicle is its convenience. It is likely that you may receive a more competitive deal outside of the online business, but the ease of contactless pickup can be worth a slightly lower sale price.
How to sell a car with Vroom
The process of selling your car to Vroom takes only a few steps that require you to share a bit about your vehicle, arrange for pickup and get paid.
Get vehicle price
As with most selling scenarios, you must first share some basic information on your car. On Vroom’s main selling page you’ll need to enter your license plate number and state. According to the site, it takes as little as two minutes to get an initial appraisal. This number is based on Vroom’s proprietary buying system built off data from similar transactions.
The price given is good for a week or 250 miles.
Verify vehicle information
If you agree to the proposed price and want to take the next steps you must upload information about yourself and your vehicle. These include photos of your photo ID, registration, vehicle title and odometer.
Arrange for vehicle pickup
You will be contacted by the Vroom team to arrange for your car to be picked up right from your driveway or at a convenient location nearby. After confirmation of pickup occurs you will receive payment by your choice of direct deposit or check in the mail.
Pros and cons of Vroom
Buying or selling with Vroom can be great for a driver looking to avoid the dealership but might offer less competitive prices on both fronts, so weigh the benefits and drawbacks.
Benefits of Vroom
The main benefit of Vroom comes down to convenience. Buying your next vehicle or selling completely online with the ability to have your new set of wheels arrive on your doorstep is an attractive possibility.
In addition to the convenience of buying and selling completely online, Vroom also offers additional coverage with each purchase. Specifically, Vroom cars carry a 90-day limited warranty that can, according to its site, minimize unexpected costs associated with mechanical breakdown, repairs, parts and labor.
Secondly, Vroom offers one year of roadside assistance complimentary with vehicle purchase. While many lenders offer similar coverage programs, the assistance from Vroom is an added plus.
Drawbacks of Vroom
While selling your car to Vroom does come with a level of convenience that you cannot receive in a private seller situation, you likely will not make as much money. When working with a private seller you are the main beneficiary of the sale. When working with Vroom — or any other used car sales company — there are many moving parts that need to be paid as well.
Additionally, drivers looking to buy with Vroom will be met with high fees and less-than-competitive financing rates. While Vroom does partner with a dozen lenders, none cater to those with poor credit. If you choose to buy with Vroom consider securing financing elsewhere.
The final negative of Vroom is that they only sell used vehicles. While buying used is a great option for many drivers, if you are looking for a new car then Vroom isn’t right for you.
Reviews of Vroom
The majority of reviews for Vroom’s service and overall experience are overwhelmingly negative. Most notably, the company’s Better Business Bureau accreditation has been revoked, which leaves it with an F rating. The BBB outlined primary complaints as consumers receiving vehicles that differed from online photos, delayed delivery and even issues with threatening delivery drivers.
Unfortunately, the BBB is not the only organization cautioning drivers, Trustpilot scores Vroom as “bad” with 1.2 stars. Reviews as recent as July 2022 complain of similar issues related to delayed delivery and unknown mechanical issues.
While it is true that most lending or selling platforms have negative feedback online, these are much more dramatic than usual. Carvana, for example, holds a 3.7 Trustpilot ranking — while not perfect, this average score is much less worrisome than what Vroom offers.
How to ensure you get the best vehicle with Vroom
To get the most out of what Vroom has to offer it is important to research outside of the online showroom with sources like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to get more honest reviews of your potential car. You should also take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic as soon as it is delivered.
Additionally, to get the best financing deal be sure to shop around outside of Vroom to get the most competitive rate. And if you are looking to sell your car to Vroom it is wise to first explore selling privately or direct to a dealership, to confirm you are not losing out on potential money made.
Should I buy my next vehicle from Vroom?
Ultimately, the system that Vroom has put in place to buy or sell is attractive due primarily to its frictionless delivery and fully online process. But with a revoked BBB accreditation and majority of online feedback negative, err on the side of caution if you decide to buy or sell with Vroom.