Does the five-year-old in you wish there was a vending machine for cars, where you’ll be able to watch a machine bring down your vehicle of choice, just like soda or snacks? Well, US online used car retailer Carvana, which lets users browse and purchase cars completely on the Internet, has unveiled just such a thing – an enormous used car vending machine in Nashville, Tennessee.

The five-storey steel-and-glass silo, which holds around 20 cars at one time, is reminiscent of the Volkswagen new car delivery centre at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg – the key difference being that, just like the machines behind your school canteen, this one’s coin-operated. Well, a ceremonial one, at least.

The process is as such: you select your car essentially unseen (albeit with a detailed 360-degree view of the vehicle inside and out) and do all of the necessary processing online – including securing financing and trade-in, as well as signing the contract – then choose to pick up the vehicle at a specified time (it’s open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm) at the facility in Nashville.

Vending Machine Tower Wide

Once there, you’ll be given the customised oversized coin which you insert into a slot, triggering a robot that will reach up to your car and bring it to you. After that, you’ll be given a walk around the vehicle, and be even be able to test drive the vehicle before putting the money down and driving off. A seven-day “no-questions-asked” money-back guarantee is included in every purchase.

Tech site The Verge reports that the large upfront investment in the vending machine is said to be worth it, as the reduced staff, rented space and inventory is expected to lower costs in the long run – something which also enables Carvana to sell cars as much as US$2,000 (RM6,600) cheaper than going market rates.

View up Vending Machine Tower

Customers can still choose to have their cars delivered to their doorstep, but the company is offering to reimburse out-of-towners up to US$200 (RM880) in airfare to come to Nashville and watch the vending machine in action. It is said that more of these facilities will be opened in other locations in the US in the coming years.

“I think it’s going to be an incredible customer experience,” Garcia said. “And I think if we’ve got the car that they’re looking for, and we’re selling it for US$1,500 to US$2,000 less, and we offer a purchase process that takes 20 minutes, and then you get to go to a vending machine and watch your car moonwalk to you? I think people are going to respond to that.”