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Coin-Operated Car Vending Machine Planned For Tempe

(Screen capture from Carvana project narrative)
Carvana's car vending machine is operated by special coins customers get in the mail.

Online used-car dealer Carvana company continues to expand and wants to bring a vending machine to Tempe.

First the obvious, what is a car vending machine?

Essentially, it’s a 84 foot-tall glass and metal tower with cars stacked inside like Pringles.

Through Carvana’s website customers can browse vehicles, inspect 360-degree photos and make a purchase.

There’s several options to round up your new ride including picking up the car from a vending machine (if one’s nearby) and delivery.

To use the vending machine, customers insert a custom coin and their car appears.

Arizona-based Carvana was founded in 2012 and became a publicly traded company last month. Company shares lost value in the first days of trading.

If the Tempe vending machine location is approved by the City Council, it will be the company’s sixth in the country.

Tempe spokeswoman Kris Baxter-Ging says council will review a proposed use permit for the proposed Carvana site near Scottsdale Road and Loop 202 on Thursday.

“After that if they are approved, they will need to get a building permit within a year,” she said.

Carvana invited neighbors to public meetings in January in February and submitted feedback to the city.  Most comments were supportive of the project.

“Seems like an excellent use of the property, well planned,” wrote Kim Gaffney-Liza.

Carvana declined to comment for this story. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify how costumers can take delivery of a Carvana vehicle.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.