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With Carvana, a car buyer shops from home, get their car delivered to their home and avoid the dealer. (Courtesy photo)
Thursday, August 15, 2019

By Chris Frost


Oxnard—Buying a car in Ventura County just got a whole lot easier, as internet car dealer Carvana has expanded into Oxnard, its 14thCalifornia market.


The days of car shopping are over as the retailer offers a vast selection of autos for sale.  Best of all, you can complete your purchase without going to a dealer and dealing with waiting, haggling over your trade-in, and selecting from the limited choices available on the lot.


Carvana began in 2012 as a division of DriveTime and was founded by Ernie Garcia, Ryan Keeton, and Ben Huston. In 2014, the company was doing so well that it spun off into its own company.


Carvana Associate Director of Communications Amy O'Hara said it is a new way to buy a car.


"You can go onto carvana.com, shop more than 15,000 vehicles, finance, purchase, and select delivery as soon as the next day all from the comfort of home or on your mobile device," she said. 


Expanding into Oxnard is a win-win for the car buyer, she said, and your new car will now be ready quicker.


Financing has never been more accessible.  When you start, Carvana will do a "soft pull" on your credit and tell you what you can buy.


"You can play with the dials on each vehicle's description page and see how much your monthly payment is if you put more money down," O'Hara said. "You have a transparent way to see what kind of car you can afford."


People with credit challenges will be surprised at all the options at their disposal.


"Terms will differ based on your credit score and background," she said. "The minimum requirement is you have to be at least 18 and have at least $10,000 of annual income."


One thing you need to remember is that someone you speak with at Carvana is not a salesman, but a customer advocate.


"They're on the phone, emailing, doing online chat with you, whatever mode you prefer," she said. "Their job is in their title; they are there to advocate for you, help you understand the process, answer questions, and make you feel comfortable. No one gets a commission, and no one gets credit for any sales."


If someone feels better with enhanced protection, it's a simple point and click during the sales process.


"If a customer wants added protection, we want to make sure they have that peace of mind if they want to purchase it," she said. "It's easy for the customer to add that on, and it becomes part of your monthly payment."


Have a trade; most people don't know that it's just as easy to sell a car to Carvana as it is to buy a car.


"It's similar to the way we want the customer to be in control of the process when they buy a car from us," O'Hara said. "The same goes when we purchase a car from you. You decide when it is convenient for us to come out and get the vehicle. You enter your VIN or plate number on our website, answer a few questions, and you'll know what we'll offer you for your vehicle."


If you need a closer look, she said every vehicle is photographed in 360-degree high definition. You get an astonishingly accurate view before it arrives in the buyer's driveway.


"We don't have any stock photos," she said. "Every vehicle we sell goes through our rigorous 150-point inspection to make sure it's Carvana Certified. All of our vehicles come with a seven-day return policy. After you receive it, you can take it for a spin if you like and that's when the seven-day return policy begins. See if it fits your life, and if you don't like it, you can return it."


In the last six years, Carvana has gone from one location to 138 locations.


"People are embracing the new way to buy a car, along with the ease and transparency that comes with it," O'Hara said. 


O'Hara loves the sense of camaraderie and collaboration associated with working at Carvana.


"We're always trying new things," she said. "I don't think our company would have started if our founder hadn't said, let's try something new. That spirit continues throughout the company. We are always encouraged to try something different."


The entire Carvana model is built on exceptional customer experience.


"If you give a customer a great experience, they will not only enjoy the transaction and the excitement of buying a great car, they will tell their friends and family about the great experience," O'Hara said. "Every decision we make is with the customer in mind."


Visit carvana.com to view cars and shop.  

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