How to Use Vroom to Buy a Car

Over the past few years, the ease of online shopping has made its way into the car buying industry, 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 the many options now available.

Vroom’s goal is to simplify the buying and selling process. This simplicity comes with a longer than usual return period as well as the option of financing, but also means a smaller vehicle selection and limited state availability. If you are considering selling your car or buying your next set of wheels through Vroom, understand the process first so you walk away with the best deal.

Illustration by Bankrate

What to expect when buying a car with Vroom

Similar to its online competitor Carvana, Vroom has an online showroom of thousands of vehicles for purchase. These vehicles have all received a CarFax seal of approval, with additional used vehicles added weekly.

The order-to-delivery process is done entirely online, which means there is no tense negotiation on the dealer’s floor. But the no-haggle experience means fixed prices and no ability to push for a better price.

How to buy a car with Vroom

The process of buying a Vroom car, from browsing to delivery, is completely online and can be completed in a few 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’ll be presented with cars in your area, organized by major categories such as price, body type, year, or features. If you have a specific model in mind, you can simply search for it.

Discover several vehicles

Once you’ve found a few vehicles you’re interested in, you can enjoy both photos and a 360° view of your potential purchase. If there is no test drive option before you sign on the dotted line, pay close attention to available features and vehicle aesthetics during this step.

To proceed to the next steps with a specific car, simply click on the “get started” button and you will be directed to a login page where you will create an account. To create your account, you will only have to enter some personal information.

Apply for car financing

Although 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 cash upfront, you can work directly with an automotive specialist.

Vroom also offers an exchange program. If you need to trade in your current car, simply give your auto specialist some information about it to arrange an appraisal.

Sign the papers

Once you have arranged how you will pay for your vehicle, you now need to take steps to have the vehicle officially yours. You can expect a call from one of Vroom’s automotive specialists who will share a secure link to upload a photo of your driver’s license with proof of insurance.

Then you will post a refundable bond which will hold the vehicle for 72 hours, this amount varies by vehicle but locks the car just like yours. Depending on the specifics of your purchase, Vroom will send you the necessary documents overnight or send them to you by email for electronic signature. It is essential that you sign the documents within 24 hours.

Have the vehicle delivered

Once the documents are signed, you will be contacted by the Vroom delivery support team. They will keep you updated throughout the journey, which usually takes 10-14 days after purchase. Your exact delivery cost will vary depending on the area you live in, but be prepared for some delivery charges. The estimated non-refundable 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, any other costs incurred will not be refunded.

Discount rate advice

Your Vroom vehicle will arrive with temporary tags, so make sure you take the necessary steps after arrival to make sure the car is yours.

What to expect when selling a car with Vroom

Vroom doesn’t just offer used vehicle purchases, they also have a program that allows you to sell your vehicle directly to them – vehicle pickup included. Similar to the process of buying a car, it can be done entirely online.

The main selling point of working with Vroom to sell your vehicle is its convenience. You’re likely to receive a more competitive offer outside of e-commerce, but the contactless pickup facility may be worth a slightly lower selling price.

How to sell a car with Vroom

The process of selling your car to Vroom only takes a few steps that require you to share a little about your vehicle, arrange pickup, and get paid.

Get vehicle price

As with most sales scenarios, you first need to share some basic information about your car. On the main Vroom sales page, you will need to enter your license plate number and state. According to the site, it takes as little as two minutes to get an initial assessment. This number is based on Vroom’s proprietary shopping system built from data from similar transactions.

The price quoted is good for one week or 250 miles.

Check vehicle information

If you accept the offered price and wish to proceed to 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 vehicle pick-up

You will be contacted by the Vroom team to arrange for your car to be picked up directly from your driveway or at a convenient location nearby. After confirmation of pickup, you will receive payment by your choice of direct deposit or check in the mail.

Advantages and disadvantages of Vroom

Buying or selling with Vroom can be great for a driver looking to avoid the dealership, but can offer less competitive pricing on both fronts, so weigh the pros and cons.

Advantages of Vroom

The main advantage of Vroom is its convenience. Buying your next vehicle or selling entirely online with the option of having your new set of wheels arrive at your doorstep is an exciting possibility.

Along with the convenience of buying and selling entirely online, Vroom also offers additional coverage with every purchase. Specifically, Vroom cars come with a 90-day limited warranty that can, according to its site, minimize unforeseen costs associated with mechanical breakdowns, repairs, parts, and labor.

Second, Vroom offers one year of free roadside assistance with vehicle purchase. While many lenders offer similar coverage programs, Vroom’s support is an added bonus.

Disadvantages of Vroom

Although selling your car to Vroom comes with a level of convenience that you can’t get in a private seller situation, you probably won’t make as much money. When you work with a private seller, you are the primary beneficiary of the sale. When working with Vroom – or any other used car sales company – there are also a lot of moving parts to pay for.

Additionally, drivers looking to buy with Vroom will face high fees and less-than-competitive finance rates. Although Vroom partners with a dozen lenders, none cater to those with poor credit. If you choose to buy with Vroom, consider getting 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’re looking for a new car, Vroom isn’t for you.

Vroom Reviews

The majority of reviews of Vroom’s service and overall experience are overwhelmingly negative. Most notably, the company’s Better Business Bureau accreditation was revoked, leaving it with an F rating. The BBB outlined top complaints as consumers receiving vehicles that differed from online photos, delays in delivery and even problems with threatening delivery drivers.

Sadly, the BBB isn’t the only organization warning drivers, Trustpilot rates Vroom as “bad” with 1.2 stars. Reviews as recent as July 2022 complain of similar issues related to shipping delays and unknown mechanical issues.

While it is true that most lending or selling platforms have negative reviews online, these are much more dramatic than usual. Carvana, for example, holds a Trustpilot rating of 3.7 – while not perfect, that average score is far less worrying than what Vroom offers.

How to Make Sure You Get the Best Vehicle With Vroom

To get the most out of what Vroom has to offer, it’s important to research outside of the online showroom with sources like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book for more honest reviews of your potential car. You should also take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic upon delivery.

Also, to get the best finance deal, be sure to shop outside of Vroom for the most competitive rate. And if you’re looking to sell your car to Vroom, it’s wise to first explore selling privately or directly to a dealer, to confirm you’re not losing potential money.

Should I buy my next vehicle from Vroom?

Ultimately, the system Vroom has in place for buying or selling is appealing mainly because of its frictionless delivery and fully online process. But with a revoked BBB accreditation and the majority of negative online reviews, exercise caution if you decide to buy or sell with Vroom.

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