Driveway Car Sales Review: Buying and Selling (2024 Guide) – MarketWatch

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Driveway Overview

Driveway is an online car buying and selling platform created by Lithia Motors, Inc. Driveway utilizes Lithia’s network of over 200 automotive retail locations to help customers buy and sell vehicles from anywhere in the U.S. The company sells used and new vehicles and will make offers to buy vehicles in a wide range of conditions, including junk or inoperable vehicles.


Driveway Review and Ratings

We looked at Driveway’s car buying and selling opportunities and evaluated the company’s industry ratings, prices, platforms and other services. 

Our Driveway Car Selling Rating: 8.5 out of 10

We like Driveway because it buys cars directly from owners, eliminating extra fees or the need to contact third-party dealerships. The company also provides instant guaranteed offers on select vehicles that are valid for seven days.

See how Driveway scored in all of our car selling categories below:

Rating Category Driveway Score
Overall 8.5
Industry standing 8
Platform 9
Cost 8
Support 8.9
Customer experience 8.5

Our Driveway Car Buying Rating: 8.8 out of 10

When it comes to car buying services, Driveway’s direct sales, competitive pricing and financing options earned it high scores in our platform and pricing categories.

Compare all of Driveway’s rankings from our team below:

Rating Category Driveway Score
Overall 8.8
Industry standing 7.5
Platform 9.3
Pricing and financing 9
Support 8.9
Customer experience 8.8
Customers can buy, sell or trade vehicles online through Driveway’s website
Customers can buy, sell or trade vehicles online through Driveway’s website.
Photo: JoeZ – shutterstock.com

Is Driveway Legit?

Driveway is a legitimate car buying and selling company that was founded in 2020. While the company is relatively new and doesn’t have an established BBB profile yet, its parent company Lithia is one of the largest automotive retailers in the country, with over 75 years of experience according to Driveway’s site. Driveway customers can have access to many options when car shopping from one of the largest vehicle inventories in the country.

Driveway Pros and Cons

Pros


Utilizes a nationwide network of over 30,000 vehicles

Offers personalized vehicle pickup and delivery service

Has in-house financing options for qualifying customers

Cons


Has low overall customer ratings

Only offers a 60-day limited warranty on select used vehicles it sells

Prices for vehicles sold may be above fair market value


How Does Driveway Work?

Driveway connects customers to the company’s nationwide network of automotive retailers. Using the company’s website, you can:

  • Browse new and used vehicles by your preferred make, model, features and price
  • Trade in your vehicle for cash or for credit towards the next car you’ll buy
  • Get a guaranteed offer or estimate on your used vehicle
  • Sign up for maintenance service packages
  • Prequalify for financing options
  • Research the car buying and selling process
  • Have the vehicle you’re selling picked up
  • Have the vehicle you’re buying delivered to your door

See how the company’s key services work below.

Selling a Car to Driveway

Driveway buys cars from customers anywhere in the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. If you’re interested in selling or trading in your used vehicle, follow the steps below:

1. Request an Instant Guaranteed Quote or Estimate

To get an instant guaranteed quote from Driveway, you’ll need to enter either your license plate or vehicle identification number (VIN). Guaranteed offers from Driveway are valid for up to seven days. These offers are non-negotiable, and Driveway will not match prices if you receive a higher offer from another company.

If you’d rather not disclose that information during this stage, you can get a free pricing estimate by entering your vehicle’s make, model, year and other information. While you should expect your final offer from Driveway to fall within this price range, the amount could be lower or higher depending on the actual condition of your vehicle.

You may be asked to use Driveway’s virtual inspection app to take photographs and document the condition of your vehicle. This step helps Driveway evaluate your vehicle more accurately and provide a firm purchase offer.

2. Review Your Offer

Driveway works with the following partners to provide accurate, fair offers for used vehicles:

  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB)
  • Carfax
  • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
  • AutoCheck
  • Black Book

Still, before you commit, take some time to consider your offer and compare offers from other car selling services. Our team recommends comparing offers from three to four other providers as well as prices for similar vehicles on private marketplaces.

3. Choose How You Want To Be Paid

Driveway offers payment in the form of bank transfer, check or trade-in. Customers can choose paper checks, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers or real-time bank transfers. ACH transfers can take one to three business days, while real-time payments typically happen within the same business day. If you opt for payment by paper check, processing times vary by bank and could take seven to 10 business days.

4. Schedule Pickup Time and Location

Driveway purchases cars through a valet system. A trained Driveway valet will meet you at your chosen time and delivery location to finalize your sale and take your vehicle away. During this visit, the Driveway specialist will also inspect your vehicle and take it for a test ride — a quick process that may take about 30 minutes or less. If everything looks good, they’ll walk you through the next steps.

If you’re trading your vehicle in for a newer, better model from Driveway, the company can deliver your new vehicle and pick up your trade-in during the same visit. 

5. Sign Paperwork

Once the Driveway valet finishes the inspection and delivers your new vehicle, if applicable, it’s time to sign the sale paperwork. You’ll want to have your license and your vehicle’s title and registration documents ready for this process.

After everything is signed and finalized, Driveway will tow or drive your vehicle away, and you’ll be paid the same day or within 10 business days, depending on your chosen payment method.

Trading In With Driveway

Driveway offers trade-in credit for accepted used vehicles. You can get a head start on the trade-in process by requesting an instant guaranteed offer before you choose a new vehicle, or you can enter your car’s information during the checkout process.

Driveway utilizes a virtual inspection system for trade-ins that takes specific photographs of your vehicle. With this system, you can get an accurate offer for your trade-in and know exactly what you’ll be paying for your new vehicle during checkout.

If you still owe money on your vehicle or are upside down on your loan, Driveway may be able to include these balances as part of a new financing package. You can discuss these options with a Driveway agent during the trade-in process.

Buying a Car With Driveway

Driveway’s network of dealerships gives buyers access to new and used models from popular automakers, including:

  • Nissan
  • BMW
  • Dodge
  • Jeep
  • Chrysler
  • Honda
  • Toyota
  • Ford

If you’re in the market for a new car and want to buy online, compare Driveway’s selection and process against those of other services and see which dealer measures up. Follow the steps below to get started.

1. Know Your Buying Power

If you’re looking for a new or used vehicle from Driveway, start the buying process armed with knowledge of your potential spending budget. Consider how much car you can afford using tools like car loan calculators or interest estimators and comparing the results with your existing budget.

If you’re interested in trading in your vehicle, we recommend getting an instant guaranteed offer from Driveway before you begin your vehicle search. You can use the company’s form and your VIN or license plate number to get a locked-in offer, or request an estimate of your car’s value. 

2. Research Vehicles

Now that you know how much you can spend, it’s time to look into available vehicles. Narrow your search by price and desired features, then dig into the makes and models that interest you. Driveway provides a good amount of vehicle information, but remember to explore other resources as well.

You can read in-depth vehicle history reports from companies like Carfax or compare vehicle prices and reviews on Edmunds or KBB. Whatever you do, get to know the vehicle you plan to buy before committing. 

3. Compare Prices

Once you’ve narrowed your choices, it’s time to compare prices. Note that Driveway’s prices for new and used vehicles may be higher than some competitors. Driveway’s vehicle prices are no-haggle offers, although rebates and other incentives may become available during checkout. 

Prices listed on Driveway vehicle pages include estimated shipping, but be prepared for additional processing and service fees during checkout. Any remaining loan amounts you finance will also increase your final purchase price. 

Driveway currently accepts the following forms of payment for vehicles:

  • ACH
  • Financing
  • Credit card (up to $2,500)
  • Debit card (up to $2,500)
  • Cashier’s check
  • Money order
  • Certified check

4. Choose a Car and Pay the Deposit

Once you’ve settled on a vehicle, you can begin the purchase by reviewing your estimated price breakdown, selecting options and choosing “get started.” Driveway offers Vehicle Repair Coverage, a Tire & Wheel Repair package and other coverage as optional add-ons during checkout.

Finally, secure your car for purchase by paying Driveway’s non-refundable $500 deposit. You can pay this deposit by credit card, and if you secure $0-down financing, the company will refund the deposit after the vehicle’s return period has expired.

5. Schedule Your Delivery

You choose the time and place for vehicle delivery. Driveway uses its network of dealerships and trained valets to deliver cars directly to customers in all 50 states. Shipping fees are usually estimated up front at the time of purchase, and Alaska and Hawaii shipping fees include an additional surcharge. 

6. Finalize the Sale

Once your car is delivered, all that’s left is to finalize the sale. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly before signing sales paperwork with the Driveway specialist. If you’re trading in an older vehicle, you’ll also handle that paperwork during this time. 

Driveway Car Returns

If you try the vehicle out for a few days and want to return it, Driveway has a seven-day, 400-mile money-back return policy. Reach out to the company by no later than 5 p.m. on the seventh calendar day after purchase.

Note that Driveway charges $1 per mile for every mile over 400 miles the car has been driven since purchase. This charge will be deducted from your refund, as will all shipping and handling charges paid during purchase. Driveway will not accept returns for vehicles that have been damaged or altered in any way since delivery.


Does Driveway Provide Good Value for Vehicles?

Compared to other providers on our list, Driveway prices for used and new vehicles are on par with averages. However, the company’s prices are well above KBB market values.

Driveway’s offers for used vehicles also come in below KBB fair market estimates, but not by much. While other providers like Cars.com or Carvana typically make better offers, you shouldn’t rule Driveway out when considering ways to sell your car online.

Driveway Car Buying Prices vs. Market Values

We used Driveway to find pricing on a few different vehicles and compare those costs to KBB fair market value. See how Driveway’s pricing compares below:

Vehicle Driveway Pricing KBB Fair Market Value
2017 Ford F-150 XL $26,749 $18,364
2017 Toyota Camry SE $24,895 $15,529
2020 Honda CR-V EX $22,717 $24,528

Driveway Car Selling Prices vs. Market Values

Of the offers we received from Driveway to sell a used vehicle, some fell below the expected fair market value while another was greater than KBB value. It’s worth getting a quote from the company to see what you may get for your vehicle. 

Vehicle Driveway Offer KBB Fair Market Value
2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab $14,884 $15,120
2015 Toyota Camry $13,267 $11,768
2003 Honda Accord $1,075 $4,565
Customers can buy, sell or trade vehicles online through Driveway’s websiteCustomers can buy, sell or trade vehicles online through Driveway’s website
Customers can choose to finance or lease vehicles during Driveway’s checkout process.
Photo: Vladeep – shutterstock.com

Additional Services From Driveway

As mentioned, in addition to handling trade-ins and car buying and selling, Driveway offers financing options for customers along with different protection plans and maintenance services. The sections below will go more in depth.

Leasing a Vehicle With Driveway

Driveway’s network of dealerships offers leasing options for new vehicles at select locations. Terms and conditions differ by dealership, but you can work with a Driveway sales representative to find the best car loan for your needs.

Financing With Driveway

Driveway works with partner lenders to provide in-house financing for its customers. As a rule, the company doesn’t finance cars older than 12 model years or with more than 150,000 miles.

Use Driveway’s prequalification form to test the waters before filling out a formal application. If your estimated loan terms are acceptable, you can start receiving offers from some of Driveway’s lending partners. Your final offer depends on your credit score, down payment amount and other factors. Choose the financing terms that make the most sense for your needs by comparing Driveway’s offers with those from other lenders.

Driveway’s Warranty Coverage

Many vehicles from Driveway are backed by a limited manufacturer’s warranty. For vehicles that don’t carry manufacturer plans, the company provides a limited extended warranty with exclusionary coverage for up to 60 days/3,000 miles after purchase. This coverage is unavailable for cars with over 80,000 miles or commercial vehicles weighing over one ton.

Customers can also buy Driveway’s Vehicle Repair Coverage for their vehicle at checkout, but this coverage varies by vehicle and in-network dealer. The company notes that limitations and exclusions may apply but doesn’t list them on its website.

Vehicle Loss Protection

Driveway’s Vehicle Loss Protection functions similarly to guaranteed asset protection (GAP). In the event of a total loss or theft of the vehicle, this plan pays any remaining loan balance not covered by your car insurance. You can bundle this and other protection programs into the company’s financing packages. The program has no minimums or caps, though processing times for claims will vary.

Maintenance Service With Driveway

Driveway offers vehicle care services at company dealerships and Driveway Care Center locations. Service may only be available to some customers, but it features round-trip valet service for customers in range. 

Tire and Wheel Repair

For customers purchasing a new or used vehicle, Driveway’s add-on options include a Tire & Wheel Repair program. This coverage package is a one-time charge and consists of up to 84 months of repair and replacement for wheels damaged by potholes and other hazards. Customers also receive 24/7 roadside assistance.

Lifetime Oil Changes

Available during checkout for new vehicle purchases, Driveway’s Lifetime Oil Change plan covers two annual synthetic oil and filter changes at any of the company’s service centers. Our team checked into the availability of Driveway and Lithia service centers and found the company has no locations in the following states:

Alabama Kansas Nebraska Oklahoma
Arkansas Louisiana New Hampshire Rhode Island
Connecticut Maine New Jersey South Carolina
Delaware Massachusetts North Carolina South Dakota
Illinois Minnesota North Dakota Utah
Indiana Missouri Ohio Vermont

Other Services

A la carte services from Driveway include:

  • Synthetic oil changes
  • Brake inspections
  • Tire rotations
  • Express auto detailing

Customers can also purchase the Car Care Services package, including all the above services plus front wiper blade replacement. 

Finally, Driveway offers auto diagnostic services that feature a complete tire system diagnostic, identification of warning and check engine light trigger issues and repair estimates. To take advantage of Driveway’s vehicle service options, choose the services you need, schedule your service, and enjoy valet pickup and return. 


Driveway Car Sales Customer Reviews

Our review team took a deeper look at how customers felt about Driveway on Trustpilot. The company earns an average rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars from customers on the platform. Additionally, Driveway shows a strong track record of openly addressing complaints and negative reviews. Learn more about its positive and negative reviews below.

Positive Driveway Customer Reviews

Positive reviews for Driveway on Trustpilot focus on the company’s hassle-free selling process and great prices. Customers also discuss excellent in-person service experiences and a friendly staff. One customer noted that it was their first time purchasing a car, but the process was still smooth and easy for them.

Negative Driveway Customer Reviews

In contrast to the company’s positive feedback, negative reviews from customers focus on poor customer service and issues with purchased vehicles. One customer talked about malfunctioning lights in a Jeep they purchased from Driveway. Some other customers noted a lack of communication and professionalism from Driveway customer service representatives.

Our team reached out to Driveway for a comment on its negative reviews and didn’t receive a response.


Driveway Review: The Bottom Line 

Driveway offers nationwide delivery of used and new vehicles and utilizes the same network to buy used cars in junk to excellent condition. While the company’s services make the buying or selling process convenient, the company’s offers and prices for vehicles may not be on par with fair market prices. 

If you’re considering Driveway, our team recommends comparing quotes and offers from other dealers and sellers to find the best deal. 

Driveway Car Sales Competitors

Our top picks for buying or selling a car online are Edmunds and Cars.com.

Edmunds: Editor’s Choice for Online Car Buying

Edmunds has over 50 years of experience guiding consumers in the automotive marketplace. The company provides online car buying and selling services by connecting customers to a network of partner dealerships. Edmunds also offers in-depth vehicle reviews from experts and a variety of car value and loan calculators to help consumers make informed decisions during their car buying experience. 

Read more: Edmunds review

Cars.com: Editor’s Choice for Online Car Selling

Our team likes Cars.com for the company’s instant vehicle offers, outstanding industry reputation and direct buying services. When you work with Cars.com, you can sell your car to Cars.com directly, sell on its private seller platform or trade the vehicle in for a newer one from one of the company’s nationwide partner dealerships. 
Read more: Cars.com review

Driveway Car Sales: FAQ

Below are the most frequently asked questions about Driveway car sales:


No. Driveway.com is a legitimate online platform for car buying and selling that’s owned and operated by parent company Lithia. Driveway connects customers to Lithia’s nationwide network of over 200 dealerships and car care locations. 


Selling a car to Driveway can be a good idea for some drivers. Driveway offers nationwide pickup services for cars it buys and makes offers on vehicles in junk to excellent condition. However, the company’s offers for many used cars may come below the vehicle’s expected fair market value.


Driveway’s list prices for new and used vehicles tend to be higher than estimated fair market prices. Consider comparing prices on Driveway’s websites with those from other dealers and online auto marketplaces before making a decision.

Our Methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best platforms to sell your car. We collected data on several providers to grade each company in five key areas. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the car selling platforms that scored the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our ratings take into account:

  • Industry Standing: Our research team considers ratings from industry experts and years in business when determining this score.
  • Platform: Platforms that offer a variety of features, including instant offers and multiple sales options, are more likely to meet consumers’ needs.
  • Cost: To compare providers’ average offer prices, our team conducted a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicle types. We also considered the fees companies charge to use their platforms.
  • Support: Car selling companies that offer strong transaction support received the highest scores in this category. This includes offerings like free pickup service as well as how quickly you receive your payment.
  • Customer Experience: This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot as well as our team’s experience reaching out to each platform.

*Data accurate at time of publication.

This post was originally published on this site

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