News & Politics

Yes, That’s a Car Vending Machine in Gaithersburg

Buy on Carvana, pick up locally.

If you’ve recently driven on Gaithersburg’s branch of I-270, there’s no way you’ve missed the imposing glass prism located just off the highway. (It’s where the Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse used to be.) The eight-story tower holds 30 vehicles; used-auto dealer Carvana calls the structure its Car Vending Machine.

Users can purchase vehicles on Carvana’s website. Its co-founder Ryan Keeton says that while the company started by delivering purchased vehicles, it wanted to provide a pickup option. “We want it to be pure fulfillment,” he says.

Carvana vending machine

Purchasers can pick up their vehicles as soon as the day after they buy. Show up to the mammoth vending machine, where an on-site staff member finds your auto information in an iPad and hands you a fist-sized silver coin. You then slip it into a machine that resembles a jukebox—as easy as buying a Coke. The company has machines in nine other major cities, including Nashville, Dallas, and Tampa.


Editorial Fellow

McKenzie is a spring 2018 editorial fellow. She graduated in May 2017 from Kent State University with a major in journalism and minor in fashion media. She was most recently a copy editor at the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Georgetown is her favorite place in DC, and she loves food, style, Netflix, and her Kindle.