Now You Can Buy Your Car From a Vending Machine. No, Really!

If you’re looking for a trendy way to buy your next car Auto Trader offers up a car vending machine. That’s right! Even better, if you have a Smartphone you can pay for your new car right at the vending machine and drive it home.

Many Questions

For us, it raises more questions than it answers. First, if you’re walking around town car-less but you have enough cha-cha in the bank to pay with your Apple Pay why would you be without a car in the first place? And, if you’re looking to purchase a car would you wander around town looking for a car vending machine or just go to a dealer? Is the dealer experience getting so bad that this is a viable alternative? Apparently Auto Trade thinks so.

We’ve got more questions, but we’ll stop with them for now and get to the vending machine info which might answer some of these questions.

Auto Trader has launched their first vending machine in London, England. Sorry, Seattle. All you need is your phone. No salesman, no hassle, but what about financing and insurance? Again with the questions–we can’t help it. Auto Trader has not revealed this part of the vendo-car purchase.

No Car Over $25,400

Auto Trader says that cars sold this way won’t be more than $25,400. Do you have 25-grand just sitting around in your bank account? If you do have that much money not making any money in an account you might be in the market for something a little more expensive, like a Panamera, or a Bentley, right? Oh, sorry, more questions. 

The vending machine cars actually do come from dealers. Auto Trader pre negotiates the price before inserting one into their vending machine. Auto Trader uses prices from their own site as a gauge for negotiating with said dealer. The subtle hint here is that you can do the same while looking for a car.

Once you’re ready for the deal details a unique sale system walks you through the purchase of your vendo-car. Then, when everything is in order a mechanical door opens up and you get to touch and smell your car for the first time. That’s another problem with this gig is that you don’t get to sit in your car and road test it until you’ve already popped for it. Isn’t that too late? Man, another question!

For Tech-Savvy Car Buyers?

We applaud Auto Trader for their stretch at appealing to tech-savvy car buyers, but we wonder if the enthusiasm for the idea of buying a car like a stale sandwich at a train station clouded all rational thought? But wasn’t it Mae West that said, “I don’t care what they’re writing about me as long as they’re writing about me.” 

So in reality this may be a terrific marketing idea that transcends rational thought. After all, we’re writing about it, which might prove that what was true in Mae West’s day is still true in the 21st century. 

If any of you London readers happen to purchase a car this way we’d love to hear from you to get a first-hand window into this unique, crazy experience.