By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

May 1, 2023

Are you looking to know how to sell your car to Carvana? Carvana can make a fair offer to your car, truck, crossover or SUVs.

I can share my thoughts on the process of selling your vehicle to Carvana

It's a great way to sell your vehicle without the hassle of shady dealerships or unwarranted test drives by private buyers. 

Here's what you need to know about the process, what to expect, and when you expect to get your money for your vehicle.

Carvana Car Delivery and Pick up

Key Takeaway:

  • Did you know that Carvana provides a super easy and hassle-free process for selling your car? Like other websites, you input your car's details like year, miles, and model, then receive an offer in just under 2 minutes.
  • Carvana's appraisal process is pretty transparent. However, their offer can be lower than expected. While they rely on market data based on the features and mileage of your car. The price might be lower than the true market value.
  • Carvana provides a convenient way to sell your car, but there are some caveats. You cannot negotiate, and your vehicle must have no engine codes. If there are any lights on the dash, they might reject it. 

Introduction to Carvana Selling Process:

I purchased a car from Carvana, and it was a very easy and seamless process. Now, if you were planning to sell your vehicle to Carvana, the process is still simple, but there are a few things that you need to know.

Unlike a dealership or private party, Carvana offers a cut-and-dry process. Their price is not negotiable and may not align with traditional true market value or KBB. Both the buying process and the selling process offer fast transaction payouts. 

In this article, we'll dive into the details of selling your car to Carvana and whether it's a great deal.  

How it Works:

You will visit Carvana's website and enter your information to get started. Don't worry; you are not committing to selling your vehicle to them.

You will input your VIN or your license plate number, and their system will use that information to pull up the latest info on your vehicle. Once you enter your information, click on the Get My Offer button. 

True to their promise, I got an offer on my 2006 Audi A4. Unfortunately, the offer was too low compared to the KKB. Their offer was under $1,000, and the car was definitely worth around $3,000+ in its current condition. 

You have a week to decide to accept the offer from Carvana.

With that being said, if I did decide to move ahead with the offer, I would click on the accept button, and the process of their scheduling to pick up the car would have proceeded. Some paperwork is involved, but it is pretty simple based on my extensive research. 

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In my case, I decided to let the offer lapse. You can decline, but it's not required by you to accept. There is a deadline to accept their offer. Otherwise, it will just expire. 

However, if you decide to move forward, you must complete some paperwork, including providing the vehicle title, loan, registration, and odometer information. 

Upon the scheduled pickup date, Carvana will inspect the vehicle to ensure there are no major issues. Once completed, Carvana will direct deposit to the customer for the agreed-upon amount of the offer.

Why It's a Popular Choice for Car Owners

Just like the buying experience, the selling experience is similar. With everything done online and through the app, it IS EASY. However, you must understand that the buying and selling prices are not negotiable. This might be a deal breaker for some, but it is very convenient. 

Since you are dealing with one company, the process is easy. However, selling your old car is not dependent on you buying from Carvana.

Once your car is picked up, it will also go thru a 150-point inspection process, ensuring that every vehicle purchased meets their high standards. 

Common Questions about Selling on Carvana

1. Do you have to clean the car before pickup?

You are not required to have the car detailed or cleaned. However, a quick car wash, vacuum, and clean can do wonders with any vehicle you plan to sell or get rid of. Carvana reports that you don't have to clean, but a little elbow grease can ensure a smooth process. Plus, it will avoid any potential issues upon pickup. 

2. Can I sell a non-running car to Carvana?

Unfortunately, the car must be running and driving for the Carvana rep to put the vehicle on the trailer. Carvana does not accept cars that are wrecked or do not run.

3. Will Carvana Buy My Vehicle with Check Engine Light On?

As part of the pickup process, a Carvana advocate will review your vehicle to ensure it's as described based on your submission. They will check for damage and take photos as well. 

In addition, they will also connect an OBD scanner to scan the engine for codes. I have read that they can reject your car if you have a dash light on. If that is the case, you will be responsible for having it repaired to have Carvana purchase it. 

So remember, if you have an engine light on, you will want to get that addressed before you arrange to pick it up from the Carvana Advocate. 

The Carvana Advocate will NOT be test-driving your car. It will be a visual inspection and an OBD scan. 

4. What paperwork and documents do you need?

As part of the process of selling your car to Carvana, you will need to provide the following:

  1. Driver's License
  2. Photo of the Title
  3. Photo of the odometer
  4. Copy of Payoff Letter if there is a lien

Once you submit that information, you should have also submitted details about the car's condition since the Carvana Advocate will use that as a checklist upon pickup.

When do you receive the direct deposit when selling to Carvana?

Upon visual inspection, the Carvana advocate will review your vehicle, take photos and upload them to the tablet. There are some documents that you need to sign and submit digitally. 

Once everything is settled, you will receive a notification via email and text that the funds are on the way. This typically happens the same day the Advocate verifies that the condition of your vehicle is accurate.

When does Carvana pick up the vehicle?

Typically, you can schedule a pickup time at your convenience. 

If you are buying a car through Carvana, schedule pick up at least 1 week AFTER you have taken ownership of your new vehicle. This is to avoid a situation where you don't have a car to drive. 

Once your purchase of your new car is ok, then you can sell your vehicle to Carvana. 

You can drop it off, but most sellers opt to have it picked up at their residence for a frictionless process.

What about negative equity? Does Carvana buy a car on a lien?

Yes, Carvana will purchase your vehicle if you have a lien or loan. You will be responsible for the difference between the payoff loan and the car's value. If you owe more money on the vehicle than the offer, you must come up with the amount to release the title to Carvana. The balance of the negative equity will need to be paid to Carvana. 

In fact, Carvana Sell Your Car is a frictionless option that is super easy and efficient and does away with the lengthy buying process. 

Overview of Carvana's Sell My Car

The main benefit of selling your car or vehicle with Carvana is that most actions can be done online. Just like the buying process, you can get an offer in minutes. 

  • The car does NOT have to be detailed or spotless upon pickup.
  • Simple vehicle review process. It consists of a visual inspection, an odometer reading, and an OBD scan of the engine.

Here are the advantages:


  • No high-pressure tactics from Carvana. They offer a straightforward price for your vehicle.
  • Fast and easy process. Everything can be done on your phone or online.
  • Convenient pickup process. The Carvana Advocate handles the processing of your vehicle. 
  • Immediate payment. Direct deposit is processed the same day that Carvara Advocate approves and verifies the condition of your car. 

Here are the disadvantages:

As with Carvana's platform, you are paying for convenience. Your offer is typically $1,000-$2,000 less than a private party, depending on your make, model, and year. 


  • The offer is not negotiable. The amount might be significantly lower compared to private party sales. 
  • Carvana can reject buying your car if an Engine Code is found during your OBD scan.
  • Transportation logistics might delay pickup time by up to a week. However, direct deposit should process as soon as Advocate verifies the vehicle's condition.

One potential downside of using the Carvana Sell My Car option is that the cash offer may not always be the highest possible value for the vehicle.

Also, the offer varies depending on the demand for the specific make and model of the car.

Another factor to consider is that Carvana only accepts vehicles that meet its criteria, which can be a disadvantage if the car fails to meet its standards.


If you're looking to sell your car quickly and easily, Carvana is worth considering. However, it would help if you kept a few things in mind to ensure the process goes smoothly. First, be sure to have all the necessary paperwork before selling your car. This will include things like the title and registration.

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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