Online car dealer Carvana has launched its newest way for you to pick up a new ride — Carvana Curbside — in two markets. The first iteration of the concept, which is essentially a smaller version of its signature automated, coin-operated Car Vending Machines, was piloted in Atlanta, and then last week officially launched in Birmingham, Alabama.
“We sold our first car in Atlanta, so as we thought through ways to make the customer pickup experience fun, easy and convenient, it made sense to put down roots in Atlanta with our earliest iteration of the Curbside concept,” says Ryan Keeton, Carvana’s co-founder and chief brand officer. Carvana opened for business in Atlanta in 2013.
“Atlanta has a population that’s open to trying new things. It has an educated, early-adopter population that tends to more quickly respond to our offerings,” Carvana co-founder Ernie Garcia told Hype in an interview at Venture Atlanta last year. “We launched in Atlanta, we were accepted by consumers, it gave us our first credibility with investors, so we’re deeply embedded in this market, no doubt.”
Carvana Curbside customers go through the same initial buying process as any Carvana customer, using the online platform to select their vehicle out of 10,000 used car options. Once they buy, they meet up with a Carvana representative, who has a personalized key card matched to their order. The customer swipes the card to open the glass doors of the facility and receive their new wheels.
It’s as simple on the customer side as any other Carvana service — and just as different of an experience from a dealership as any of their other offerings — but requires significantly less real estate and upfront overhead as the multi-story Vending Machine, of which there are now seven nationwide. That may make the Curbside option more scaleable as Carvana continues to enter new markets.
“We’re always taking into consideration ways we can continue to make car buying fun again, while saving our customers valuable time and money,” says Keeton. “The Curbside concept delivers on all of those fronts, with its smaller real estate footprint and lower overhead costs; we can bring a convenient pickup experience to a variety of markets beyond our Car Vending Machine locations.”
Along with the Birmingham Curbside launch last week, Carvana announced free delivery in Huntsville and Montgomery, Alabama, marking the 50th market for the company. Since inception in 2012, Carvana has become one of the country’s largest car retailers. They went public in April of last year with a $240 million stock offering. Prior to that they had raised about $460 million.
Photos provided by Carvana