May 16, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Carvana allowed to sell cars again in Raleigh

4 min read

When Noah Gift bought a BMW electric hatchback from Carvana last year, he really liked the process of buying a car through the online dealer. But the problems came later.

Gift, a 46-year-old software developer in Cary, said he bought his car last summer and still has not gotten a title. The state suspended Carvana’s dealership license last year because it wasn’t delivering titles and was selling cars without inspections.

Carvana, a relatively new player in car dealerships, sells cars online and has attracted a lot of attention with its towering “car vending machines,” including one in Raleigh.  


What You Need To Know

  • The North Carolina DMV last year suspended Carvana from selling cars in Wake County for 180 days. That suspension ends Jan. 29
  • The DMV accused the company of “failing to deliver titles to DMV, selling a motor vehicle without a state inspection, and issuing out-of-state temporary tags/plates”
  • One customer in Cary said he bought a car last summer and still has not received the title, despite repeated phone calls and complaints
  • A Carvana spokesperson said, “We are working closely with the customer to resolve the issue”

The dealership got in trouble with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles last year and the state suspended its license to sell cars in Wake County for 180 days. That suspension is up Jan. 29.

“There’s a lot of innovation they did in the car-buying process,” Gift said. “The part after you get the car is the part I’ve had a problem with.”

Gift is not alone in those problems.

In an administrative hearing last year, the DMV accused the company of “failing to deliver titles to DMV, selling a motor vehicle without a state inspection, and issuing out-of-state temporary tags/plates for a vehicle sold to a person in N.C.,” said Nazneen Ahmed, with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Noah Gift says he bought a 2017 BMW i3 from Carvana last year and still has not gotten the title. (Photo: Charles Duncan)

Carvana had an administrative hearing with the DMV in May and then appealed the ruling to Wake County Superior Court. A judge upheld the 180-day suspension and it began for the dealership’s Raleigh location in August.

“Under the agreement, Carvana can seek a renewal of its previously suspended license on Monday,” said Marty Homan, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Carvana was allowed to continue selling cars at its other North Carolina locations in Greensboro, Charlotte and Concord. The company’s Charlotte location is also under probation over similar issues, according to the North Carolina DOT.

But Gift says he still hasn’t gotten the title for his 2017 BWM i3. A complaint he filed with the Attorney General’s Office shows he paid for the car with a loan from his credit union on July 1.

The complaint said Bridgecrest Acceptance Corp., Carvana’s financing company, would not send the car title to him or his credit union.

“It’s an incredible inconvenience to spend nine months calling, getting on hold with people who ghost you and don’t call you back,” he said.

“It’s really like you’re in the dark,” he said. “Just give the person who bought the car their title so they can get on with their life.”

When asked about Gift’s case, Carvana sent a short statement to Spectrum News 1: “We are working closely with the customer to resolve the issue.”

Gift said the problems with getting titles could cause banks to raise interest rates on car loans, since without the title, it’s essentially an unsecured loan.

The Better Business Bureau gives Carvana a rating of two out of five stars. Consumer complaints on the BBB website list numerous problems customers have had getting paperwork, plates and other important documents from the company.

For Gift’s part, he wants Carvana to build more transparency into the process.

“I’m definitely an advocate of tech startups,” he said.

He’s worked in startups and teaches software development. He said the company could easily build something that lets customers see where the paperwork is for their cars online and track the process.

“I wouldn’t buy again unless I had some kind of transparency,” he said.

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/business/2022/01/27/carvana-allowed-to-sell-cars-again-in-raleigh–but-one-customer-is-still-wary