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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Vroom vs. Carvana vs. CarMax: Which Online Car-Buying Site Is Right for You?

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

A no-haggle dealer can take the stress out of buying a used car. By removing negotiations from the equation, online car-buying sites such as Vroom, Carvana and CarMax offer a hassle-free experience that lets you purchase a vehicle from the comfort of your home. There are many similarities between these online dealers, but there are some important differences too. In the Vroom versus Carvana matchup, how do you know which is best for you?

Vroom vs. Carvana vs. CarMax
Vroom Carvana CarMax
Best if You have strong credit You have bad credit You want to test-drive multiple vehicles
Financing Does not offer financing directly. Acts as a loan broker, connecting buyers with partner lenders, such as Chase or Ally Bank. APR: Starting at 7.90%
Terms: 36 to 78 months
Amounts: Starting at $1,000
APR: Starting at 4.95%
Terms: 24 to 72 months
Amounts: $500–$100,000
Fees* Delivery fees vary based on the vehicle’s distance from the buyer $0 to $590 shipping cost, depending on distance. $0 to $999 delivery fee (as high as $1,999 on rare occasions)
Test drive? No No 24-hour test drive
Return policy 7 days, 250 miles 7 days, 400 miles 30 days, 1,500 miles
Limited warranty 90 days, 6,000 miles 100 days, 4,189 miles 90 days, 4,000 miles
Accepts trade-ins and buys cars? Yes, and offers pickup service Yes, and offers pickup service Yes, and offers drop-off service at any CarMax location


Vroom vs. Carvana

Shoppers will notice many similarities between Vroom and Carvana. Both online car sellers make it easy to buy a vehicle without leaving your home. Vroom and Carvana can deliver your vehicle to your location, and they each provide a seven-day money back guarantee if the car doesn’t live up to your expectations.

But there are some slight differences between the two dealers. Before selling a vehicle, Vroom ensures that it has a clean title and no reports of accidents or damage. Vroom also conducts extra safety and mechanical checks and offers a free Carfax report. Carvana also ensures that the vehicle has a clean title and no reports of accidents or damage, but this dealer goes even further. With its 150-point inspection protocol, Carvana takes a closer look at the car, from Bluetooth compatibility to paint quality.

Vroom charges a delivery fee for the car based on the distance between your location and the car. Delivery fees are disclosed when you select a vehicle, and they are nonrefundable. Meanwhile, Carvana will deliver the car to your house free of charge if you live within one of its local markets.

Both dealers make it simple to return your car within seven days. With Carvana, you can drive the car up to 400 miles in the guarantee period, whereas Vroom only allows for 250 miles. It’s worth noting that Vroom has a consumer alert and an ‘F’ grade with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has received a high number of customer complaints in recent years.

Selling a car to Vroom vs. Carvana

Vroom and Carvana make selling your car easy. After sharing details about your vehicle, both online car sites send you an offer in about two minutes. The price is good for seven days, and you are under no obligation to sell. Vroom and Carvana offers are nonnegotiable, so if you can get a better price somewhere else, they will not match it.

Vroom and Carvana differ in where they buy cars and how fast sellers get paid. Even if you don’t buy a vehicle through Vroom, it will still buy your car and pick it up anywhere in the continental U.S. at no charge. Once your vehicle is picked up, Vroom will send you a check via overnight mail within two to three business days. With Carvana, on the other hand, you can sell your car if you live in or can get your vehicle to one of its local markets. Sellers are paid immediately. Carvana hands you a physical check when it takes delivery of your car.

CarMax vs. competitors

With more than 220 stores nationwide, CarMax is one of the largest used car retailers in the U.S. CarMax attracts customers who are seeking a hassle-free buying experience, whether online or at the dealership. Even with their generous seven-day return policies, Vroom and Carvana require that you buy the vehicle before you can drive it. Alternatively, CarMax lets you test drive a car for 24 hours before you decide to buy. Even after purchasing a vehicle, CarMax has a 30-day return policy if you change your mind.

Vroom and Carvana offer more delivery and pickup options for buyers than CarMax currently does. CarMax may deliver your vehicle to your location if it is within 60 miles of their store. But delivery services are not offered in every market, so you may have to go to the dealer to pick up your car.

Selling a car to CarMax

CarMax makes it easy to sell your car. Just answer a few questions online and get your offer within minutes. Your offer is good for seven days, and you are under no obligation to sell your car. To redeem an online offer, you’ll need to bring your vehicle to a CarMax store. Once your information has been verified, CarMax will hand you a check. Though Vroom and Carvana typically pick up your vehicle, CarMax does not offer this service. You must go to the dealer when selling your car.

Is online car buying right for you?

For many buyers, the idea of haggling over used car prices is the stuff of nightmares. Shoppers who prefer a less stressful car-buying experience may find online car-buying sites like Vroom, Carvana and CarMax to be a good fit. Haggle-free pricing and a straightforward online experience can even make buying a car fun. Or at least, painless.

This hassle-free experience does have some disadvantages. When you can’t negotiate the price, you could end up paying more for a car than you should. Even if you’ve shopped around and found a lower price elsewhere, online car sites like Vroom, Carvana and CarMax won’t match it. Learning how to negotiate during the car-buying process can give you the confidence you need to buy the right car for the best price.

Although no-haggle dealerships offer an easy car-buying experience, you may be leaving money on the table. In addition to shopping around for the car you want, it’s important to shop for the best financing offer. By filling out a single form at LendingTree, you may receive up to five auto loan offers. Finding the most competitive financing deal is one of the best ways to keep  your monthly payment manageable.

Vroom vs. Carvana vs. CarMax: FAQ

Is Vroom better than Carvana?

Both online car sites are relatively similar. Choosing between Vroom versus Carvana often depends on which site offers the best price for the car you want.

Does Carvana match Vroom?

While Carvana offers competitive prices, its rates are nonnegotiable. If you find a lower price at Vroom or any other dealer, Carvana will not match it.

Is CarMax cheaper than other dealers?

With its haggle-free pricing, CarMax will not negotiate on the sales price of a car. While CarMax prices may be competitive, you may find a lower price with a dealer willing to negotiate the purchase price.

*Excludes tax, title, registration and other possible government fees

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