Alternative Car Buyers: Who Else Buys Cars Besides Carvana?

Hello there! Are you in the market for a new car but would prefer to skip the traditional car dealership experience? You’re not alone! Luckily, in this day and age, there are many alternative options for purchasing a car besides the typical car dealer.

One of the most popular of these alternative options is Carvana, a company that allows you to purchase a car entirely online and have it delivered straight to your door. While Carvana has gained popularity in recent years, they are certainly not the only company providing alternative car buying options. In this article, we’ll highlight some other options for those looking to bypass the traditional car dealership experience and explore what makes each of them unique.

Who Else Buys Cars Besides Carvana?

Traditional Dealerships

When it comes to buying a car, traditional dealerships are still the most popular option. They offer a wide variety of vehicles, from brand new models to used ones, and provide financing options to buyers. With showrooms that allow customers to see and touch a vehicle before making a purchase, dealerships offer a personalized buying experience that some people find appealing.

Furthermore, when you buy from a dealership, you can be confident in the car’s quality and after-sale support. They usually offer warranty, maintenance, and repair services for the cars they sell. Although some people might view this convenience as an added cost, others think that it’s a worthwhile investment, especially for those who don’t have mechanical knowledge and skills.

However, buying a car from a dealership also means that you have to deal with salespeople, who may try to sell additional features or packages that you don’t need. This can make the buying process somewhat stressful for some people. Additionally, the price of a car in a dealership might be higher than what you could find in other places, such as private sellers or car auctions.

Private Sellers

Another option for buying a car is to deal with private sellers. In this case, the car is sold by an individual rather than a professional dealer. Buying from private sellers can offer lower prices, and it may provide more unique options that are not available in dealerships.

However, purchasing from private sellers involves more research and risk than buying from a dealership. Since there’s no formal inspection process or warranty coverage, you need to know what you’re looking for in a car. There’s a possibility that private sellers may not disclose any problems, defects, or issues with the car.

Moreover, unlike dealerships, private sellers don’t provide after-sale support. Once you purchase the car, everything else is up to you. While this may not be an issue for car enthusiasts or DIY mechanics, it could be problematic for those who are not familiar with car maintenance or repairs. Therefore, it’s essential to be diligent and careful when dealing with private sellers, and ensure that you are getting a good deal.


Car auctions can be a great way to find deals on used cars, especially if you’re looking for a specific model or make. Unlike dealerships, car auctions offer a wide range of vehicles from different manufacturers, and they are often sold at relatively lower prices.

However, to participate in an auction, you need to understand the buying process, including the bidding system, fees, and terms of sale. If you’re new to auctions, it might be a good idea to attend some without intending to buy to understand how they work. The competition in auctions can be fierce, and it’s easy to be carried away by the excitement of the bidding process. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a budget in mind before attending an auction and sticking to it.

Lastly, car auctions don’t always provide detailed information about a car’s history or condition. You may need to do your research or consult with a mechanic to ensure that you’re not bidding on a lemon. Also, since most auctions require payment on the same day as the sale, it’s important that you have the finances available to pay for your new car.

In conclusion, besides Carvana, traditional dealerships, private sellers, and car auctions are all viable options for buying a car. Knowing the pros and cons of each option can help you make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.

Online Marketplaces

When it comes to buying cars online, there are several other options besides Carvana. While Carvana has become a household name, there are plenty of other online marketplaces that offer a variety of vehicles for sale. Here are three other popular online marketplaces:


Craigslist is a widely-known online marketplace that has been around since 1995. The site has more than 60 million users in the United States alone, making it a great place to buy and sell cars. One of the advantages of using Craigslist is that it’s completely free to list and sell cars on the platform, making it a popular option for dealerships and private sellers alike. However, Craigslist has a reputation for being risky since users have to deal with strangers, which can sometimes lead to scams. Buyers and sellers alike should be cautious when using the platform and take precautions to ensure their safety.

Ebay Motors

Ebay Motors is an online marketplace that allows users to buy and sell cars, trucks, and other vehicles. The platform has a wide selection of vehicles, ranging from classic cars to brand new cars from dealerships. One of the benefits of using Ebay is that it offers buyer protection, which is not always the case with other online car marketplaces. This means that buyers can shop with confidence knowing that they’re protected if something goes wrong during the buying process. The platform also offers a bidding system that allows buyers to compete with one another to get the best deal on a car.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a relatively new online marketplace that has quickly become a popular place to buy and sell cars. One of the benefits of using Facebook Marketplace is that users can see if they have mutual friends or connections with the seller, which can increase trust in the transaction. The platform also offers a messaging system that allows buyers and sellers to communicate without having to exchange personal information. Another benefit of using Facebook Marketplace is that buyers can filter their search results based on location, price, and other factors, making it easier to find the perfect car.

In conclusion, there are several online marketplaces besides Carvana that users can utilize to buy and sell cars. Craigslist, Ebay Motors, and Facebook Marketplace are all popular options that offer different benefits and drawbacks. Prospective buyers and sellers should research each platform and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and successful transaction.

Dedicated Used Car Dealerships

Car buyers looking for a more traditional approach to car buying may prefer to visit a dedicated used car dealership. These dealerships offer a vast selection of pre-owned vehicles, and they often have financing options available for purchase.


CarMax is a well-known used car dealership that has over 200 locations throughout the United States. One of the unique features of CarMax is its no-haggle pricing model. This means that the price listed on the car is the price you pay, with no additional negotiation required.

CarMax also offers a wide selection of high-quality used cars. Each vehicle goes through a rigorous inspection process, which includes a detailed vehicle history report, a multi-point inspection, and a test drive. The dealership also offers extended warranties and a return policy if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.


Vroom is a fully-online used car dealership that offers a different approach to car buying. You can shop for cars from the comfort of your own home, and the company will deliver your new car straight to your doorstep. Vroom has a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, and you can filter your search based on make, model, year, and more.

One of the unique features of Vroom is its financing options. The company offers traditional financing options, as well as lease options and rent-to-own programs. You can customize your payment plan to fit your budget and lifestyle, making it easier to afford the car you want.


Shift is another online used car dealership that offers a unique approach to car buying. You can schedule a test drive at your convenience, and the company will even deliver the car to you. Shift’s focus is on quality and transparency, so each vehicle comes with a detailed vehicle history report and a 150-point inspection.

One of the unique features of Shift is its concierge service. If you need help finding the right car for your needs, a Shift concierge can answer any questions you have and guide you through the buying process. The company also offers financing options and a return policy if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.

Overall, car buyers have many options available when it comes to purchasing a used car. Dedicated used car dealerships like CarMax, Vroom, and Shift offer unique features and benefits that cater to different preferences and needs. Whether you prefer a traditional approach or an online buying experience, there are options available that can help you find the car of your dreams.

Conclusion: Discovering Alternative Car Buyers

There are many options for buying a car outside of traditional dealerships and Carvana. Whether you choose a private party sale through online marketplaces or visit a local dealership specializing in used cars, these alternatives offer their own unique benefits. It’s important to do your research and shop around to find the best fit for your individual needs. By exploring all the options available, you may just find the perfect car buying experience you’ve been looking for.

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you again soon for more informative articles on all things automotive.


1. Who else besides Carvana buys cars?
A: Private sellers, dealerships, and online car marketplaces are other options.

2. Can I negotiate the price of a car at a dealership?
A: Yes, most dealership prices are negotiable.

3. Are private sales safe?
A: As long as you take necessary safety precautions and do your research, private sales can be a safe option.

4. What are the advantages of buying from a dealership?
A: Dealerships offer warranties, financing options, and the ability to trade in your old car.

5. Are there any advantages to buying from a private seller?
A: Private sales often have lower prices and more room for negotiation.

6. What should I look for when buying a used car?
A: Mileage, maintenance records, and accident history are important factors to consider.

7. Can I buy a car entirely online?
A: Yes, many online car marketplaces allow you to complete the entire process online.

8. Are all online car marketplaces legitimate?
A: No, it’s important to research and read reviews before buying from an online car marketplace.

9. Can I test drive a car before buying it from a private seller?
A: Yes, it’s highly recommended to test drive a car before making a purchase.

10. Should I get a pre-purchase inspection before buying a used car?
A: Yes, a pre-purchase inspection can help identify potential issues with the car before you buy it.

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About the Author: Eibar Schmidt

Eibar is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. Also He is a casual autocrosser and occasional track day participant who believes everybody should drive cars that make them happy.

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