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Whether you’re buying or selling, car sales have been frustrating ever since the pandemic started. There’s not much to choose from on dealership lots, and what inventory remains is probably overpriced. Trade-in values have increased, but some dealerships will only pay top dollar for the most popular vehicles.

Selling your car to an online vehicle marketplace, such as Vroom, eliminates the most annoying factors associated with in-person dealerships. However, online dealerships have their problems, some of which have landed the companies in considerable legal trouble.

How is Vroom supposed to work?

A line of cars, like you would see for sale on Vroom, lined up in a field.
Vehicles lined up | Getty Images

The buying process on Vroom is pretty straightforward. You can look through thousands of car listings, choose the one you want, and get approved for financing through the website. 

Once your financing is squared away, you can upload all of your required documents and make a deposit. A specialist will plan the delivery for you, and you’ll get your new car within two weeks. Vroom cars can be delivered anywhere in the U.S., except in Hawaii and Alaska.

If you’re selling or trading in your car, make an account and tell Vroom about your vehicle. Most sellers are given an instant price quote suitable for seven days. 

Vroom will verify that all the vehicle’s information is correct before scheduling a pickup if you agree to the quote. Vroom offers free pick up regardless of your location, and payment is processed soon afterward.

A new lawsuit was filed against Vroom

According to Auto News, Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas is suing Vroom for deceptive selling practices. Vroom is charged with concealing information about the past accident history of its vehicles and the financing details required to purchase them. The company also reportedly failed to address its difficulty acquiring vehicle registrations and title transfers.

All of these charges violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit, available on the Texas Attorney General’s website, also cites over 5,000 BBB complaints filed against the Houston-based company. 

Many vehicles were delivered with concealed damage or problems not mentioned in their listings. One driver was quoted for $8,000 worth of repairs upon taking his Vroom purchase to a mechanic for an inspection. Some buyers even experienced spot delivery scams.

Vroom has already accrued thousands of dollars worth of fines from the Texas DMV, with 80 violations. If found guilty of this latest lawsuit, Vroom will pay over $1 million in penalties.

Are there any better alternatives to Vroom?

Like Vroom, Carvana also promises a hassle-free experience for car buyers and sellers. Carvana has the unique gimmick of its larger-than-life car vending machines, provided you live in the proper city. Each vehicle undergoes a thorough inspection before it’s listed for sale, and its pictures are usually highly detailed.

Of course, Carvana has had its problems in recent years. It briefly lost its license to sell vehicles in North Carolina because a car was sold without an up-to-date inspection. There have also been multiple reports of Carvana concealing damages and selling stolen vehicles to customers.

CarMax works similarly to Vroom and has fewer complaints to sour its reputation. However, trade-in values are reportedly lower than average, and you have to pay shipping fees on your purchases.

On the bright side, CarMax also recently started offering a 24-hour test drive to its customers. While Vroom and Carvana offer seven-day return windows, you must buy the car before driving it. CarMax already has a more generous return policy than both rivals, thirty days or 1,500 miles, whichever comes first.

Whether you’re dealing with a brick-and-mortar or online dealership, always do your research before buying or selling a car. If a company has a lot of pending allegations and lawsuits, it’s probably best to do business elsewhere.


Used Car Dealer Vroom Receives an ‘F’ Rating With the Better Business Bureau