From the moment it appeared off Shady Grove Road in Gaithersburg, the eight-story clear-glass tower provoked curiosity. Was it a new kind of office high-rise or a high-tech medical building? Turns out it was something much less pedestrian: a vertical used-car lot that works like a giant vending machine. Choose from thousands of used vehicles on the Carvana website, pay the tab, then either opt for delivery or head to Carvana, where they’ll hand you an oversize coin to drop into an oversize slot. Out comes a new-to-you ride accompanied by a seven-day return policy. Whether it’s the novelty of the approach or the ability to buy a used car without actually dealing with a used-car salesman, the model seems to be catching on: Carvana, which is headquartered in Arizona, was projecting triple-digit revenue growth for 2018.
15710 Shady Grove Road, Gaithersburg; 800-333-4554; carvana.com