Vroom Review – Vroom Used Car Buying Service Review

This is a review of Vroom, which is a user car buying and selling marketplace. It was founded in 2013 and is very well funded and growing rapidly, with $1 Billion in car sales in 2017

Hopefully we can answer all your Vroom questions and help you decide whether or not Vroom is the right choice for you to buy or sell your used car. This Vroom Review is broken into the following sections. You can scroll down to the ones of interest to you

  1. Vroom Introduction
  2. Vroom Financial Stability
  3. Vroom Company Quality + Customer Service
  4. Vroom Website Quality and Usability
  5. Vroom Product Quality (How good their used cars are)
  6. Vroom Pricing and Value for Money
  7. Vroom Pros and Strengths
  8. Vroom Cons and Mitigations
  9. Vroom Review – Additional Aspects
  10. Vroom History
  11. Vroom Company Details
  12. Vroom Online Reviews
  13. Vroom Overall Review Rating and Conclusion

You can scroll down to a particular section if you’re in a rush. We do recommend reading the Pros and Cons section

Vroom Introduction – What is Vroom? How Does it Work?

Vroom.com is an online Used Car Direct Retailer and an online Used Car Marketplace

  1. Vroom buys cars, from everyday customers and from other sources
  2. It focuses on low mileage cars in good condition and with no accident history
  3. It re-conditions the cars
  4. Vroom then offers these re-conditioned cars to customers for purchase at reasonable prices (compared to what you might get if you go to a dealership and don’t negotiate very well)
  5. Vroom also offers car financing
  6. You can reach Vroom at 855-524-1300 or via email at hello@vroom.com. The website is vroom.com
  7. Vroom was founded in August 2013 and is now in its 5th year of doing business

Basically, Vroom is like a Craigslist of Cars or an eBay of Cars. Except that Vroom buys the cars from users, then reconditions them and ensures quality, and the top 40% of cars it offers for sales to end customers (remaining 60% are sold to dealerships and at auctions). This step of buying the car and reconditioning it adds a level of quality

There are a few advantages that will jump out at you straightaway

  1. Vroom owns all the cars and reconditions them at its Reconditioning Center. This ensures a basic level of quality which you cannot get if buying via a marketplace direct from a normal car owner
  2. Vroom gives you 7 days (or 250 miles) to take a test drive of your purchase. If you don’t like the car, you get a full refund and they pick up the car
  3. Vroom Cars are sometimes still covered under the original manufacturer’s warranty. Vroom also adds a 3 Month/6,000 Mile Limited Warrantey and one year of 24 hour roadside assistance
  4. Vroom offers ‘Vroom Care’ packages

There are also a few disadvantages that are apparent

  1. You are buying A CAR on the Internet, without ever seeing it in person, and without a test drive. It’s a really big purchase
  2. While there are 3,380 models available, you are limited to the cars that Vroom can buy and recondition. Keep in mind that Vroom only sells 40% of the cars it buys to end customers. The remaining 60% (presumably that don’t meet their quality bar) are sold at auctions and to dealers. So there are limits on the types of trims and colors you can get
  3. It is a USED CAR. The adage about losing 40% of the value of a car when you drive it off the lot applies. However, a new car is a new car. When buying a Used Car from Vroom, even after all the reconditioning and quality checks, you are buying a used car
  4. Vroom, while very well funded and growing fast, is a relatively young company, founded in 2013. It’s only been in business 4 or 5 years

There are others pros and cons that we will discuss later in the Pros and Cons sections

Vroom Financial Stability + Revenues + Funding

As Vroom is a 4 year old company (founded August 2013) it’s really important to confirm its financials and revenue. A competitor, Beepi, closed down recently (in 2016/2017) and some other competitors have been acquired. So let’s make sure the company you buy your car from, has a good chance of being around for the duration of you owning and driving your new car

  1.  Vroom has raised $329,250,000 ($329 Million) in 7 Funding Rounds. Crunchbase has details at the Vroom Page at Crunchbase and also has details on the Individual Funding Rounds
  2.  Vroom’s investors include T. Rowe Price, L Catterton, General Catalyst, John Elway (yes, that John Elway, who is now a Car Dealer), PICO Partners, Allen and Company, Steve Berrard ($12 Million in Series B, Steve Berrard is former CEO of AutoNation and Blockbuster), Jeffrey Boyd (chairman of The Priceline Group), Robert Mylod (former CFO of The Priceline Group), October Capital, Alpha Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Foxhaven, Altimeter Capital,
  3.  The lead investors have re-invested, which is usually a good sign that the company is doing well. In particular, General Catalyst, T. Rowe Price, and L Catterton, have invested in Series C, D, E, and F. That’s a very strong sign
  4. Vroom.com had $900 million revenue in 2015. This is combined across Vroom.com and its subsidiary Texas Direct Auto (owned by Vroom and run as a separate brand)
  5. Vroom’s CEO is Paul Hennessy, who was previously the CEO of Priceline.com. This is another good sign, as someone with such strong experience would be unlikely to join Vroom unless he saw a bright future
  6. Vroom’s Chief Conversion Officer is John Caine. He was previously the Chief Product Officer at Priceline.com
  7. Vroom’s Founders are Allon Bloch and Elie Wurtman. Allon Bloch was a Board Member and co-CEO at Wix.com and a Board Member at Flok

Vroom has a strong management Team (scroll down to the bottom of their About Page – https://www.vroom.com/about). It has got good funding and very good growth. It also seems to have a model that is working as they are experiencing good growth

So, there’s a very high chance it’ll be around for quite a while

Vroom Company Quality + Customer Service

Vroom has their own Review page with mostly great reviews – https://www.vroom.com/reviews. Quite frankly I would not put 100% stock on reviews on the company website itself. It’s a great touch that you can see reviews from real Vroom customers on the website itself. However, we don’t know if there is any moderation/censoring and to what extent reviews are censored/withheld

The BBB has an A+ rating for Vroom. 87% of the Reviews are positive. That’s a very good sign. Unhappy customers usually flock to the Better Business Bureau so an A+ rating there is a strong sign

DealerRater.com has a low rating of 2.8 stars out of 5 for Vroom and quite a few disgruntled customers. The main issue seems to be communication. In particular, Vroom seems to take quite a bit of time for some customers between payment being made and car being received. Additionally, some of those customers complained about not receiving their registration/title for weeks after car is received

SiteJabber also brings up similar issues – Vroom.com Reviews at SiteJabber

Vroom Employee Reviews at GlassDoor and  Vroom Employee Reviews at Indeed suggest that there might be some growing pains as Vroom has grown very quickly from a small startup to a 600 people company. Employees suggest there is too much focus on big picture goals without attention to detail on day to day smooth functioning. There is also a mention that office politics and nepotism and not adequately competent middle management is preventing smooth functioning

Interestingly, this ties in with the biggest customer feedback – lack of proper communication and follow up. It seems that the Executive Team is very focused on growth and big challenges and has not conveyed to the every day company employees the importance of focusing on excellent after sales follow up and customer service

That gives us a drawback for Vroom and a big opportunity for them – by improving customer communication, creating a follow-up team that ensures customers have a good after-sales and after-delivery experience, they can ensure that 99% of customers have a great experience

Another big opportunity for them seems to be to improve middle management and hire smarter and promote smarter. This would avoid office politics and nepotism and would also (most probably) eliminate the communication issues some customers are facing

It’s a very mixed bag. BBB gives Vroom.com an A+ rating and they have thousands of reviews from Vroom customers on their website with mostly great reviews. At the same time we have some negative reviews from some customers at DealerRater.com and also a few negative reviews from employees at GlassDoor. Interestingly both sets of people seem to suggest there is an opportunity for Vroom to fix their communication process and their day to day functioning via improving processes and middle management quality

Vroom Website Review – Website Quality and Ease of Use

The Vroom website is delightfully simple to use. Perhaps a bit bland, which is fine as the cars are supposed to take centerstage

  1.  The Buy Page/Catalog Page (https://www.vroom.com/catalog) has a simple, minimal layout. The right column takes up most of the page and shows cars in rows. The left column has Filters to filter by – Car Make and Model, Body Type, Year, Price, and Sales
  2.  The Catalog Page is very well done and it’s quite easy to navigate through vehicles and see the ones you’re interested in. Speed of the pages is a bit slow. An analysis at GTmetrix.com shows that the page is not optimized much at all (2.27 MB in size, with 109 requests) and loads a lot of things that aren’t really needed on that page
  3. The About Us and Vroom Coverage and Vroom Quality pages are well done. It’s a nice touch to have good details about the Management on the About Us page. All three pages could do with some more detail. Examples of what would be nice include – an actual video showing what a quality inspection looks like, a list of what is checked/reconditioned when a vehicle is reconditioned, list of selection criteria when Vroom is deciding whether or not to buy a car, a few interviews with the mechanics who do the inspections and reconditioning
  4. The Reviews Page is interesting as it shares actual user reviews. The reviews are rather short and seem rather carefully pruned, which is a bit unfortunate as you like to hear the pros and cons. Many reviews are just one line or one phrase
  5. There’s Live Chat on every page which is a great feature. You can also reach Vroom via phone (855-524-1300) and email (hello@vroom.com). There is also a Contact Us page. Support Hours are 9 am to 10 pm EST. There is also a HelpDesk listed on the Contact Us Page
  6. The Sell page explains how to sell your car to Vroom
  7. The How It Works Page is very well done. However, there should have been more details on how the process works. Right now it’s more of a Step by Step Guide to Use Vroom (without much detail) and not really a ‘How it Works’ page
  8. Clicking on an Individual Car in the Search Page/Catalog Page leads to the individual car page. This page is interesting and takes the simple and functional and dull aesthetic to an extreme. You get a lot of photos of the car posed in a shapeless, colorless background. You also get a list of the Basics of the Car, the VIN, price, and estimated payment. You can place a hold or you can start a purchase. You can also start a live chat to discuss the car. There is talk of a VR feature to see each of the 15 makes available at Vroom in 3D. However, I couldn’t find any such feature. The Features that would really help are the ability to see yourself in the car and/or see the car against a variety of backgrounds. One very nice feature is that you get an AutoCheck Vehicle history for every car. You can also use the VIN (shared on the car page) to check yourself at a VIN history website
  9. The Individual Car page is remarkable for how barebones it is. Certainly a focus on functionality/function over beauty

Overall the website is very smartly designed – it’s minimalist in design, very well laid out, well structured, and simple to use. The only opportunities would be to add some personalization touches for the car pages and to make the Catalog Page (car list page) faster

Vroom Product Quality – How good are the Used Cars

Vroom does the following things to ensure quality

  1.  Vroom has expert car buyers that buy the best used cars they can find
  2.  [Unconfirmed] Only 40% of cars are sold to end customers (you and I) with the remaining 60% deemed not high enough quality and sold at auctions and to dealerships as wholesale
  3.  Every car bought by Vroom receives multiple inspections for safety, mechanical, and cosmetic issues
  4.  Every car gets reconditioning work from experienced mechanics
  5. No cars with accidents. AutoCheck is used to verify the VIN of the car has never been reported in an accident

Vroom does the following things to ensure car quality after car delivery

  1. 7 Day, 250 miles test drive after your car arrives. Basically, if you don’t like the car you can return it
  2. Some cars are still covered by the original manufacturer warranty
  3. Vroom’s 3 Month/6,000 Mile Limited Warranty. Please Note: Please see the Vroom Coverage page to see exclusions
  4. 1 hour of 24 hour roadside assistance
  5. Option to buy Vroom Coverage which includes nationwide service (at an authorized repair facility), towing reimbursement, rental car reimbursement, etc. It can be transferred for a small fee to the person you sell it to, provided it’s a private party Please Note: Vroom Coverage might not cover your car’s drivetrain – please check that to confirm.

Concerns with Quality

  1. While most of the negative reviews online are about communication issues, there are a few that specify small quality issues and a couple with large quality issues. Given that Vroom sold $900 million of cars in 2016 (average order is $30,000, so perhaps around 30,000 cars) that is a very small figure. However, it is worth keeping in mind that a few customers had quality issues with their Vroom car purchase
  2. There are no details listed anywhere of exactly what the inspection consists of, or what the reconditioning consists of. It would be nice to have a very specific detailed list of what is checked and what is reconditioned

Our overall assessment after extensive research of all the information available is that quality is good to very good, with a small minority of Vroom customers running into quality issues with their cars. There seems to be a very real communication and follow on after sales issue that affects a small percentage of Vroom customers. We don’t consider it a product quality issue, just a communication issue. So the chances of you running into a quality issue with your Vroom purchase seem, based on all our research, remote

Vroom Pricing and Value for Money

Vroom’s big value proposition is

  1. You can find a car you like from Vroom’s catalog of available cars
  2. You can be assured that is it checked for quality and also reconditioned
  3. You can get a haggle free price, which is cheaper than what you’d pay at a dealership
  4. You get it delivered to you for free
  5. You get Vroom coverage for 90 days/6,000 miles

The pricing is very good. You would find it hard to get a comparable price at a dealership, unless you have amazing negotiation skills. You might be able to get a cheaper price at eBay or Craigslist, with the caveat that you have to inspect the car yourself and there is no 7 day test drive option, and no 90 days/6,000 miles Vroom coverage

That makes Vroom very good value for money and potentially a real disruptor in the User Car Sales market. In the coming sections we’ll look at some Pros and Cons and things that could derail Vroom’s journey to becoming the User Car Marketplace for all of America’s Used Car Sales

Vroom Review – Additional Aspects

These are just some aspects to consider

  1. Vroom has been growing very quickly and raising a lot of money. Those are both indicators of the business doing well
  2. There are a small fraction of Vroom customers that have experienced real communication and after sales support issues. That is something to definitely take into consideration
  3. You would be buying a car without ever looking at it in person. That’s a pretty big deal. The mitigation for that is you get a 7 day test drive. However, it’s only a partial mitigation
  4. If you are very good at negotiations you can get a car quicker and perhaps nearly for the same price from a dealership
  5. If you are not good at negotiations and/or wary of getting blown away by a pushy sales person and talked into buying something you aren’t 100% sure of, or costs more than you can afford, then an online car buying service like Vroom is a great choice
  6. Vroom is basically Vroom and Texas Direct Autos (company it acquired) – two separate brands and there’s also mention of an AutosAmerica brand. So there are potentially 3 separate brands and quality/service etc. might be different across the three brands
  7. If you have a Dealer you trust you would be better off going in and seeing the car in person and getting it immediately. Vroom will take 1 week (in some cases longer) and we cannot understate the importance of seeing the car in person and driving it in person before purchasing

Choosing to buy a car online is a big decision and it’s well worth considering the pros and cons

Vroom Company Details

We’ve already discussed the company details extensively in other sections. Suffice to say it’s a fast growing, well funded company and has a very high chance of staying around for a long time. So when buying a car you don’t have to worry about it disappearing in the next few years

Vroom Online Reviews

We discussed this earlier in the Quality Section. Here is the list again –

  1. Vroom has their own Review page with mostly great reviews – https://www.vroom.com/reviews
  2. The BBB has an A+ rating for Vroom. 87% of the Reviews are positive
  3. DealerRater.com has a low rating of 2.8 stars out of 5 for Vroom and quite a few disgruntled customers. The main issue seems to be poor communication and a lack of after sales follow up
  4. SiteJabber also brings up similar issues – Vroom.com Reviews at SiteJabber
  5. Vroom Employee Reviews at GlassDoor and  Vroom Employee Reviews at Indeed

Vroom Pros and Strengths

Here are the biggest Vroom Pros and Strengths

  1. Vroom looks for the best used cars. It picks the best and then keeps only the top 40% of those for every day buyers (like You and I)
  2. Vroom does inspections and reconditioning and thus ensures you are getting a car in good condition
  3. Vroom offers a 90 day/6,000 mile warranty. Some cars still have their original manufacturer warranty
  4. Vrooms offers a 7 day testdrive. While a testdrive after you buy a car is no substitute for a testdrive before you actually buy the car, it is still a useful thing to have
  5. Vroom seems financially very strong. Lots of funding and the biggest investors investing in it repeatedly suggests good financial health
  6. Vroom is growing very fast and that usually indicates a winning product and/or a winning value proposition. Please do note that this rapid growth also means you might run into communication issues and poor after sales support
  7. From our extensive research, Vroom is one of the best options for buying a car online. We’d certainly recommend it over a marketplace like Craiglist or eBay where there is no quality verification
  8. Vroom’s website is simple and easy to use
  9. Vroom has a good range of cars with roughly 33,000 user cars available for sale at any given time

Vroom Cons and Mitigations

Here are the biggest Vroom Weaknesses and Cons. Where there are mitigations or partial mitigations we’ve listed those

  1. Vroom is an online cay buying site where you buy a car you have not seen in person and have not driven. Partial Mitigation: 7 Day Test Drive feature where you can return the car within 7 days (or 250 miles). Not really a mitigation but helpful
  2.  A small number of customers are facing communication issues where the car is taking more than the specified week to arrive and it’s hard to get hold of anyone at Vroom. No Mitigation
  3.  A few customers are facing quality issues where car was not properly reconditioned and/or was dirty or had small issues. No Mitigation
  4. A few customers are facing delays in getting their car registration/title. They also mention that communication is poor. No mitigation
  5. Range of cars while good (30,000+ vehicles) does not compare to many dealerships which can offer lots of colors, trims, models and other options
  6. It takes 1 week or more for your car to arrive. No mitigation. If you can get a comparable price at a dealer then gettting a car same day is a much better option. No mitigation
  7. Many dealerships and most automobile companies have been around for decades. Vroom is just 4 years old (founded Aug 2013). Partial Mitigation: Vroom has a lot of funding ($329 million) and a lot of revenue ($900 million in 2016) and should be able to weather any small financial storms, as well as market ups and downs

Vroom is doing a lot of things right. However, there are some very real issues around buying a car online and you should make sure you are OK with these (not seeing the car in person, 1 week or more wait before getting the car) before you buy a car online. Vroom has also created a few issues (communication etc) which it really can and should fix ASAP

Disclosure – Vroom Affiliate Relationship

We have an affiliate relationship with Vroom. If you click through to a Vroom Page like the Car Catalog page and then purchase a car from them, we will make a small affiliate commission (a finders fee, of sorts)

Disclosure: All/Nearly All Companies we review, and/or share deals from, are our Affiliate Partners. We make a small sales commission/finders fee if there are sales referred from our website. Please also read our Disclosure Page

Vroom Overall Review Rating and Conclusions and Summary

Our Overall Review Rating and Conclusions are

  1. If you’ve already decided to buy a car online, then Vroom gets a solid 8 stars out of 10 and is a very good option. It’s definitely a Top 5 option and you can go ahead and purchase a car from them. Most of the time everything will be fine. Please do see the Cons section for the small chance you run into issues
  2. If you are undecided between buying a car online and buying a car from a dealership, and have a dealer you trust and/or are good at negotiating, then going with a dealer is faster and if it’s a good dealership they will be able to help you both with the purchase and with service issues much faster. In that case, we’d recommend going with a dealer
  3. If you are undecided between buying a car online and buying a car from a dealership, and don’t have a dealer you trust and aren’t good at negotiating – Then you have to weight the benefit of Vroom’s no haggle price against the immediacy of going into a dealership, test driving a car and driving away with it the same day (or within a few days)

Vroom and other car buying services have made a lot of strides. However, they need to maintain a razor sharp focus on delivering quality, delivering after sales support, and speeding up the various parts of the process (especially the shipping times). If they can’t do this, then they have little chance of unseating dealers

Overall, we rate Vroom a very solid 8 out of 10. Both as a company and as an option for buying a used car. We researched Vroom extensively and it’s a legitimate company with very good funding, good revenue growth and is delivering a good value proposition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *