After 10 months, man still hasn’t received his car’s registration after buying from Carvana

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - “We sell cars, but we’re not a car salesman.” That’s the message proudly displayed atop Carvana’s ‘About Us’ page.

The Arizona-based online used car dealer advertises itself as a better car shopping experience — all from the comfort of your couch. But that convenience came at a cost for some.

The company is supposed to act like any other car dealership when it comes to getting customers their titles and license plates, which in North Carolina must happen within a certain time period.

It’s been a big enough problem that Attorney General Josh Stein’s office reached a settlement agreement with the car company that forbids them from selling any cars in Wake County until next year.

Instead of getting titles and license plates from North Carolina, some car buyers were getting temporary tags from other states, according to the settlement agreement between North Carolina and Carvana.

Andre Dixon bought a car from Carvana back in January of 2021. Ten months later, he says he has still not received a title or license plate from the company.

“I bought a car from Carvana on January 6th. They gave me temporary 30-day plates and said I would receive permanent plates and title in 30 days. They still haven’t sent them,” he said.

But that’s just part of the problem he’s experienced since purchasing the vehicle. According to Dixon, the car company sent him emails each month allowing him to print off temporary plates from Tennessee, despite Dixon living and driving the vehicle in North Carolina.

Dixon says Carvana stopped issuing those temporary, out-of-state tags in July of this year, but now, he’s having issues with Bridgecrest, the finance company he used to purchase the car.

“I called Bridgecrest and they said they had no record of me. I couldn’t make a payment at all. Now Bridgecrest is calling me telling me I’m 60-days late for a car with no title, plates, or registration,” Dixon said.

These alleged actions by Carvana violate state law, prompting the Attorney General’s office, on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, to file a lawsuit in Wake County resulting in a settlement agreement with Carvana earlier this year.

“The department of motor vehicle oversees car sales in North Carolina and my office, the Department of Justice represents the DMV when they take enforcement actions against car dealers. The DMV had heard complaints from Wake County residents that the Carvana Raleigh was selling cars but not delivering title and tags, that’s against the law,” Stein said.

The settlement agreement details several violations committed by Carvana, including failure to deliver titles in a timely manner. The agreement also characterized its practice of issuing out-of-state license plates an “unfair method of competition or unfair deceptive act.”

Despite the settlement only banning Carvana from operating in Raleigh, Stein says that they are still required to follow state laws anywhere they sell a car in North Carolina.

“The suspension applied only to the Carvana Raleigh. The requirement that Carvana comply with state law and actually deliver title when they sell a car does apply to all Carvana operations in North Carolina,” he said.

For Dixon, he just wants to be able to register his car so he can use it as he intended.

“Don’t go Carvana, do not go the Carvana route. It sounds great but once they drop that car off — you never know.”

Stein also said that he hopes anyone who might have a problem with Carvana will file a complaint either with the DMV or his office.

WECT reached out to Carvana for a comment on the situation but at the time of publication, still has not received a response.

You can file a complaint with the DOJ online.

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