Carvana Complaints & Scams
I am a serial entrepreneur and a consumer advocate. When I’m not helping car buyers, I love working on ventures that have a positive impact.
Founded in 2012, Carvana is an online used car dealership. Consumers can purchase a used car as well as trade or sell an old car without stepping inside a physical dealership. The entire process is done online.
This article gathers and addresses common problems reported by Carvana customers on third-party review sites. You can use this unbiased information to make an informed decision about whether or not to use the company.
For a comprehensive review of the company, check out our post here.
Table of Contents
- Carvana BBB Accreditation
- Carvana Lawsuits
- Common Complaints When Buying a Car on Carvana
- Common Complaints When Selling a Car on Carvana
- Are There Carvana Scams?
- What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed on Carvana?
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Carvana BBB Accreditation
Carvana is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business. As of this writing, the company has no rating because its file information is being reviewed.
As of 2022, Carvana has two class-action lawsuits brought against them, citing its failure to deliver permanent vehicle registrations to its customers. The lawsuits mention the issue has caused customers to be “questioned and sometimes arrested by law enforcement." The lawsuit also claims Carvana failed to register some cars for over two years. The state of Florida has filed two administrative complaints for the same reasons. This comes after Florida levied a $6,000 fine against the company for similar issues.
Previously, Carvana was sued by four California counties for selling and transporting vehicles without the proper licenses. The lawsuit was settled. Carvana paid $850,000.
Common Complaints When Buying a Car on Carvana
Carvana allows its customers to review its service on its website. Going through the reviews reveals common complaints about buying and selling vehicles through the company.
Poor Vehicle Condition
One Carvana customer stated that they received a car that had more scratches than what was advertised. The driver’s seat was torn. The battery was corroded. When the customer drove the vehicle, it broke down on the highway. This is one of many similar complaints.
One unhappy customer wrote a Google review to express their displeasure. “When the car arrived,” they claim, “we noticed damage that was not disclosed (clearly had been in an accident and was repaired but not reported, whole front end was redone). We rejected the vehicle on the spot. Then I found out the next day that Carvana took my down payment out of my account. I called and was given the runaround and placed on hold for an hour and a half before the call timed out. They even said they couldn’t see any vehicle on my account that I had tried to purchase. Very interesting how bad customer service got after we decided not to purchase a vehicle. Now I’m short my down payment and cannot buy a vehicle right now that we desperately need.”
Deliveries are frequently late, sometimes for no reason. One customer stated their vehicle was shipped three times later than when it was promised. They also said that the title and registration were sent late. Another delivery was four days late. In this instance, Carvana customer service was reported as being slow to respond to inquiries.
A Google reviewer claimed their vehicle’s delivery date was pushed back almost one month.
Customers complained about vehicles arriving without what was promised. One vehicle was missing a key and all the floor mats. Another customer was to receive two key fobs but only received one.
Poor (or No) Repair Support
Customers have noted that it can be difficult to contact customer service representatives, especially when requesting repairs. Carvana’s warranty provider, SilverRock, also elicits criticism regarding what they cover.
Common complaints concern the honesty of Carvana’s website and its employees. Many customers noted the details about the vehicles they were purchasing, and the financial terms were ambiguous.
Carvana’s 7-day return policy is frequently called into question. One customer stated that they only had a three to four-day window. They also said their car arrived with more damage than what was advertised.
Common Complaints When Selling a Car on Carvana
It seems that selling a car to Carvana is less stressful than buying one. There are not many complaints from sellers, but the ones they had can deter future users.
Many sellers report offer estimates are low and must be accepted within seven days. Sometimes values change after estimates are accepted but the offers remain.
If a vehicle for sale is not located within 100 miles of any Carvana hub, then sellers must pay to transport it to the closest hub. Carvana, however, will pick up the vehicle.
Poor Customer Support
Car sellers commonly complain about Carvana’s subpar customer support. One Yelp reviewer said that three business days after uploading all the required documentation and pictures of the car’s interior and exterior, they haven't heard from the company.
“I have tried multiple times to call them,” they claim. “Different times of the day. I just called this morning right at 9 am when they opened. I waited till now 1:11 pm NO ONE picked up my call! I kept hearing over an hour wait time.” The customer even used Carvana’s live chat and didn’t receive a reply.
Are There Carvana Scams?
It’s important to remember that when you’re buying and selling with Carvana, you’re dealing with the company, not private sellers. You’re buying from their inventory. Sellers add their vehicles to Carvana’s inventory. As such, many customers report receiving cars that are more damaged than advertised.
Plus, there is a recent issue regarding late or missing titles and registrations. Whether or not you consider these instances scams is your prerogative. No officially reported scams exist, but many customers complain of improper business practices.
If you're still unsure of Carvana, be sure to check out our list of the top Carvana alternatives.
What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed on Carvana?
If you believe you've been victimized by Carvana, then you can report the incident to:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to buy a car from Carvana?
Carvana is a legitimate company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Companies that want to keep their reputations (and profits) high should provide the best and most honest products and services. That said, there are risks with doing business with any company just like there are risks with working with private individuals.
Is it safe to sell a car on Carvana?
Since there are fewer complaints about selling a car on Carvana than there are about purchasing, it may be safe to sell a car on Carvana. Still, you should always read through all fine print and make sure you know your rights when selling.
Where can I file a complaint with Carvana?
You can file complaints with the state attorney general’s office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission. You can also write reviews on Carvana’s website, Google, Reddit, and other third-party review sites. Increasing public awareness of your issue can result in a swift resolution.
Can I trust Carvana with recent lawsuits?
Carvana’s recent lawsuits are a concern that you must factor in when deciding whether or not to work with them. It’s always best to weigh your options and go with what you trust most.