Carvana Surrenders Michigan Dealers License, but Can Still Deliver Cars in the State - With a Catch

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

If you’d been hiding under a rock and just started reading the news in the last couple of months, it’d be easy to wonder how Carvana is a thing at all. The company’s troubles seem to grow by the day, though a recent story out of Michigan shows a few bright spots for the online auto retailer.

Michigan suspended Carvana’s dealer license late last year because of issues with vehicle paperwork and odometer problems. Rather than deal with further fines and legal action from the state, Carvana agreed to surrender its license, but that doesn’t mean Michiganders can’t buy cars from the company.

The Novi, MI, location won’t be able to sell cars, but customers can order online and pick them up at the site. The only problem is that the vehicles come titled in a different state and must be re-titled in Michigan. Customers can also ask questions about the company’s sales process but can’t do any paperwork for their vehicles at the location.

The agreement forbids Carvana from applying for a dealer’s license over the next three years and requires the company to pay a $10,000 fine to pay for the investigation costs. Carvana got into this mess last year when the state alleged it failed to apply for the title and registration on vehicles it sold within the required 15-day window. The state said Carvana also failed to maintain proper odometer records and improperly issued temporary registrations.

[Image: Jonathon Weiss via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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7 of 11 comments
  • Syke Syke on Jan 12, 2023

    A pity. If you were looking for something not usual to the area you live in, it was a nice possibility. Given all the news they've been making, I wouldn't be willing to take the chance, now.

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jan 12, 2023

      I’ve been seeing some adverts about a “Vroom” company with a similar business model. I wonder if they’ll be able to play in this space?

  • Mike1041 Mike1041 on Jan 12, 2023

    It’s too bad they screwed up by playing with odometers and messing up paperwork. The dealer method of acquiring a car is just a pain. Caravana eliminated a lot of the hassle and pressure. All they had to do is come up with clean used autos and I for one would leave the antiquated horse bartering system in a flash. Cars should be as easy as buying any other appliance.

  • Buickman Buickman on Jan 12, 2023

    the market unveiled their slice of aberration, left them holding overpriced inventory with sloppy processes. put a fork in 'em.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 13, 2023

    When I purchase my Carvana Car Vending Machine, I plan to modify it so that it ejects vehicles from the top, like a PEZ dispenser.