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Sunday, June 26th
Vroom is one of several used car buying services that let you do it all from home. You can find a car, trade yours in, and take delivery of your pre-owned vehicle without ever having to make a trip to a car dealership.
Need to know what you have in mind
Vroom isn't going to be your ideal way to research the used car you want. When using the site, you're expected to have an idea of what you're looking for, shopping by truck/SUV/sedan or by entering a make/model/body type in the search box. Next, use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down the results by year, price, miles, fuel/efficiency, engine/drivetrain and popular features. Your list of matches can be organized by newest-to-oldest, price (high-low or low-high), and lowest miles.
Non-refundable deposit to place a hold
If you choose to place a hold on a Vroom used car, you'll have to pay a deposit. Bad news - your deposit is non-refundable. They say this is "to cover the costs associated with putting a vehicle on hold" . You can click on the letter "i" in the circle by the price to get a better idea of your anticipated fees. As an example, on a 2014 Toyota Highlander with 110,000+ miles, the car was priced at $22,499 with an estimated delivery price of $699, a $249 deposit, and documentary fees that varied by state ($300.50 in FL/NJ/NY, $350 in AZ, $150 in all others).
Delivery fees are also non-refundable
All Vroom vehicles come with a 7-day/250-mile return period. However, your delivery fees are non-refundable (and that's important to note, given that those fees can be as much as $1,399, depending on the delivery distance). Beyond that, you'll also have a 90-day/6,000-mile limited warranty; unfortunately, Vroom doesn't go into much detail about what's covered and what's not.
How long can you wait?
This is not the service you want to use if you need a car right away. Vroom vehicles are usually delivered within 14 days of when the purchase is completed. We also found more than a few customers who said that their delivery date kept getting pushed further and further out. You might like Vroom if you're buying a hard-to-find make/model and you've got plenty of time and patience, though.
Poor BBB rating
Vroom has the rock-bottom worst reputation of any service we've found for buying used cars. Not only does the Better Business Bureau give them an "F" rating, but the BBB has also gone the extra length to write up a lengthy alert on Vroom's listing. There were nearly 3,000 complaints filed in the year prior to this evaluation alone.
Horrible track record
Many customers report a wonderful sales process that went south as soon as they put down a deposit or finalized their purchase. However, complaints included no ability to get support, registration paperwork never completed (thus rendering the vehicles unable to be driven legally), and so much more. Beyond that, both the BBB alert and shopper comments indicate that Vroom may be selling cars with accidents in their history and falsifying documents to hide that fact. It's ironic, because at the bottom of their site it recommends that customers verify vehicle information before purchasing. How, exactly?
Avoid buying a used car here
There are plenty of reliable ways to get a good-quality used car out there. Vroom is not one of them. We can't recommend strongly enough that you avoid this platform when searching for your next pre-owned vehicle.
No matter what, your first step should always be research. You should determine exactly what's going to fit your needs (or your wants!). Do you have a particular make and model in mind, or are features going to be king regardless of manufacturer? Whether you're all about safety or you feel the need for speed, it's well worth your time to dig into the details of price, reliability and availability, especially when used car inventory is at an all-time low nationwide.
Fortunately, there are many websites that help you do just that - and then make it possible for you to find your perfect new-to-you ride. Some of these platforms even let you buy your car online and have it delivered right to your house. Before you start worrying about the safety of such vehicles, rest assured that most companies selling used cars will include a detailed, independently-verified history report right in the car's listing.
You can see how many owners it's had, any accidents reported, and sometimes the service history detailing oil changes and other routine maintenance. Buying used cars online is a huge time-saver too: you don't have to make a long drive to a dealership hoping they'll have something on the lot that you'll like, and you can avoid a lot of the "pushy salesperson" experience.
Most sites that sell pre-owned vehicles also have tools for determining how much you can afford and prequalifying for financing - which is one less thing you'll have to do in person (assuming you don't take the 100% online route from the get-go).
Which site should you use for buying used cars? There are a lot of similarities among them, and among the highest-rated services you can choose fairly freely without worrying about missing out. But, here are some things to consider about any used car website you're looking at:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best online services for buying used cars. We're confident that this information will help you get your next pre-owned set of wheels at a price you'll love!
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