Drop a coin, pick up a used car


Nashville-area car buyers will soon be able to get their used sedan or crossover in much the same way as they buy a bag of chips: by dropping a coin into a vending machine.

Online used-car retailer Carvana will open a five-story, glass-structured, coin-operated vending machine in Nashville by year end.

Here’s how it will work: After purchasing a vehicle on the Carvana.com website, customers select a time and date to pick up the vehicle. When the time comes, they stop by the vending machine’s welcome center to receive a customized coin that they enter into the machine. The car is placed onto a track that carries the vehicle down to a delivery bay, where the customer can inspect the car and take it for a test drive before taking it home.

“It gives customers a unique experience,” Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia said.

Phoenix-based Carvana, which operates a similar used-vehicle vending machine in Atlanta but without the five-story display tower, is known for its car-delivery service. Garcia said the new vending machines give car buyers another option beyond working with a used-car dealer.

After driving off in the new vehicle, customers are given a seven-day money-back guarantee that allows them to return their vehicle if they decide it’s not the best choice for them, Garcia said.

The tower can accommodate up to 18 cars at a time and fit the vast majority of vehicle types, Garcia said.

Carvana worked with German company Nussbaum Technologies to manufacture the vending machine tower, the first to be built in the U.S., according to Carvana.

Carvana operates in sixMARKETS, including Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Houston, according to its website. The company sells used cars that are no more than 5 years old and have not been in an accident.