If you’re looking to buy a car from—or sell your car to— a trusted brand name, CarMax is certainly worth being one of the first options you try. The company’s first location opened in 1993 as an experiment suggested by executives at the Circuit City electronics corporation. The project, nicknamed “Honest Rick’s Used Cars”, was meant to expand Circuit City’s enterprise into other arenas. What became known as CarMax fulfilled that goal, growing rapidly across the United States through various acquisitions of car manufacturing real estate.
Currently headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, the company currently operates 195 used car stores in 94 markets. CarMax.com strives to offer superior quality used and certified pre-owned vehicles, as well as friendly service to its customers. The CarMax company has consistently been named as one of FORTUNE® 500’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 10 straight years. It has been serving customers for over 59 years, holding themselves to a high standard of integrity with their services and products.
Read on for CarMax pros and cons, plus CarMax reviews from users.
CarMax is the largest used car retailer on and off the internet, allowing customers to shop for vehicles the same way they shop for products at what they call "big-box" retailers—sort of like a Costco or Sam's Club for the car shopping and buying experience. This refers to promising car shoppers an affordable purchase price with a no-haggle price model, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, and superior customer service.
CarMax's car buying process is based on the results of a notable consumer survey the company conducted back in 1991. The survey asked everyday consumers about their preferences when it comes to the process of buying a car. The answers below are what define today's CarMax's shopping experience. What this means for you the customer:
CarMax has a sizeable listing of used cars (new cars as well) that support its promise to offer security to customers. Each used vehicle has to be CarMax Quality Certified, meaning every used car must pass a Certified Quality Inspection.
Each used car sold also comes with a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee, as well as a 30-Day Limited Warranty (and a 60-Day Warranty in Connecticut, Minnesota and Rhode Island and 90 Days in Massachusetts and New York).
Additionally, each used car buyer has the option of purchasing a MaxCare Extended Service plan covering the following:
CarMax can transfer any used car you are considering to one of its local dealerships nearest you, so you can test drive it at your convenience. Transfer fees may be applicable, but oftentimes this service is free.
Consumers are encouraged to ask a CarMax sales representative about this nationwide transfer service and any possible fees ahead of time.
There is no obligation to buy the car once it is transferred.
There are plenty of resources at CarMax.com to help you find a vehicle. Read thousands of research articles, ratings, and reviews on the website.
For used car shoppers, this car retailer has a nice array of tools like a payment calculator to calculate and compare monthly payments and overall affordability.
What's unique, however, is their Tax, Title, Tags, and Fees Calculator and their MPG Savings Calculator. The Tax, Title, Tags, and Fees Calculator helps you figure out what sales tax, title, and tags fees you will need to pay, according to what state you reside in. All you have to do is select your state and vehicle price range and hit the Calculate button. If you're unsure about what fee rules and regulations apply to your next auto purchase, this is a perfect car shopper’s tool.
The MPG (Miles Per Gallon) Savings calculator allows you to see how a vehicle's fuel economy will affect your bottom line. It actually allows you to compare two cars at once to see how they stack up against each other. This is a great tool to determine long-term maintenance costs for car ownership. To find out how much you'll save (or lose), locate the desired car's gas mileage on the vehicle profiles you selected, then fill in the average MPG of two cars you'd like to compare and hit "Calculate Savings."
CarMax.com will also buy or trade-in your current vehicle no matter what condition it is in. An owner can get a free written offer that is good for 7 days at any CarMax dealership location. If you choose to sell your car to CarMax, you will receive a bank draft on the spot that may be deposited in your bank right away.
Another unique component for consumers is being able to sell their car to CarMax. Although CarMax is not the only car buying service site doing this, it is the only one that offers a unique appraisal process to see what your car is worth. The appraisal process looks like this:
The appraisal process is Step two in a streamlined, no-hassle, three-step selling process—the result of the code of conduct based on consumer's preferences previously mentioned.
CarMax has a lot to offer used car buyers and sellers with only a few inconveniences. For example, the MPG Savings calculator is a great tool—it would be even greater if you could just find out the miles per gallon savings on one car instead of having to compare two. When searching the site, if you're only interested in one vehicle, you can't use the tool.
Another inconvenience is that if you are not living near one of CarMax's locations, taking advantage of ‘sell to CarMax’ or trade-in process may not be viable. As store locations are so spread out and possibly in a state other than your own, you may need to make travel arrangements or you may be unable to afford the trip either time-wise or money-wise. (This is where the Tax, title, tags, and fees calculator comes in handy).
I used Carmax to buy my Jeep. They had a large selection to choose from and they didn’t make it a hassle to look around.
We got our car appraised from carmax and we were very disappointed with the offer.
I used carmax to get the carfax for a car I was purchasing and it helped show a clean history
Kun Hong Bae
Very good experience. Good selection, ease of trade in, and good customer service from start to finish.
I have sold 3 cars for last 15 years and purchased 1 car at the Carmax. It’s very fast and easy process.
CarMax is a good dealership. I like their no hassle pricing. We have traded a bunch of cars in there and seem to always get more than other dealerships.
Not as much selection as autotrader. Their website was easy to find and use though.
We used CarMax to buy my granddaughter her first car, it was used so we got the warranty with it. Over the years there hasn’t been many problems with the car but when there has been we’ve always been able to take the car in to CarMax and they fix it with no problems!
I have bought 3 vehicles from Carmax and have not been disappointed yet. The cars you have to select from are quality vehicles. Their warrenty's are worth paying for. I know when I buy a used vehicle from Carmax in getting a good vehicle.
My parents bought a Toyota Tundra from CarMax for an excellent price. Very friendly and knowledgeable employees.
Great choice when buying a preowned car. No haggle pricing eliminates stress of getting a fair price. Friendly customer services.
So many to choose from! I love all the options they have no matter what make or model, they have it all!
Kevin Sidney Whitfield
Its almost like they don't want too sell a customer a vehicle. They say I need proof of residency. I have E statements with address, Pay-stubs with address, and my drivers license with The Matching address, and it's not accepted as proof of residency. So continuing else were.
Very helpful in finding cars they give great information on buying cars and great prices
Superb experience with CarMax. I found a luxury car at commuter car prices. The inventory of cars was immense. The quality of cars was awesome. Very cleaned up, beyond what I had expected. And the staff was on the ball. They made the entire car buying experience easy. This is not what used car buying used to be. CarMax has changed the approach and it has made all the difference for the positive and the exceptional.
By far one of the best car finders. They have so many options to choose from and is so helpful.
CarMax is a good company to use when looking into buying a car. Their website is easy to navigate and look at cars based on the filters you previously placed.
A carmax dealer recently moved into the area. I am able to browse available vehicles on the lot before going to the lot. Vehicles are as listed on website.
We bought a used car for CarMax. They were easy to work with. I have also interacted With them quite a bit on getting service set up and they have been great.
We purchased a car from Carmax. It was very seamless to do and we didn’t feel overly pressured which sometimes can be a problem at car places. I would definitely buy another car from them.
CARMAX is a big buy here pay here store. If you are considering buying a car from CARMAX beware....get every detail in writing they have memory loss issues. Read all the reviews on Yelp and Consumer Affairs. If I had read them before I would have bought elsewhere. I will never buy another car from CARMAX Clearwater or any other on the planet. Not Trustworthy in my opinion.
Cynthia S Toledo
I truly hate having to give a negative review on any one Company but this one Company ( Carmax ) really seriously deserves it. To begin my journey at Carmax on the first day ever when I first walked in, I test drove 5 cars I was interested in. Out of the 5 cars I drove that day, 4 cars were in need of desperate repair, ( what are the chances of this possibility, 4 out of 5 cars being bad, WOW ). One car would not start even when jumped by the salesman. This car was a 2018 Lincoln Navigator priced at $34,500 and would not even make a sound when being jumped. The second car that I test drove was a 2018 GORGEOUS! Honda accord. The car truly was stunning but the WORST was just about to let itself be known! The Automatic transmission was not engaging in third gear and we had to pull over and turn around and drive 10 miles per hour to get back to Carmax. Well, to make a long story short. I did purchase a 2017 Limited Kia Sorento at $27,300 only because my Wife begged me to,,,,,,,she said their Customer service was excellent ( she was correct about that ) but the cars they were selling were poorly sellected by their buyers. The Kia Sorento has had more service than all of my cars put together in the past 28 years. Their SLOGAN in the commercials says " We buy cars,,,WE BUY ALL THE CARS " and they truly are not exaggerating,,,they buy ANY and ALL THE CARS, weather good or ABSOLUTELY going bad!! If your thinking about Carmax as a possible choice, please look elsewhere or at least pay a license mechanic to inspect the car or truck your interested in from Carmax. Shop around and you'll notice that they are the HIGHEST priced dealership anywhere. To make matters worse, the HIGHEST priced and with the absolute worst mechanically conditioned automobiles around. Save yourself the HUGE expense and time of visiting repair garages time and time again to keep your Carmax purchase running!
Vandy or Daniel Stillion
My husband and I bought a MITS Outlander 8-7-2019. We were told since it came from out of state they needed to complete a 30 step checking on the car. When we picked it up Steve the Service Manager told us if we had a problem with the Battery just bring it in and they would change it out. On 12-26 we took it in for a oil change and find out 1) battery is at 50% 2) oil was low 3) transmission fluid was low 4)Brake fluid was low 5)Cabin air filter was dirty (husband saw the filter) 6)Engine air filter was dirty 7) Radiator cap wasnt holding pressure. Was none of this caught when they did there 30 step checking? When I spoke to Steve he said we should have changed out the battery in the first 90 days. Plus we would need to pay $59 to have these items checked out. We have since found out from a ex employee THEY NEVER CHECK OUT USED CARS. SHAME ON CARMAX!! MY HUSBAND IS ON SS AND I AM ON DISABILITY. To fix these things we have been quoted over $400.00 And what about the brakes, do we now need to worry about our brakes?? CarMax I hope everytime you do wrong by a customer, that customer will report it..
Prices jacked up for their certification but they shove the warantee down your throat and those prices. you can go new cheaper if you're flexible on features. I worked with them on a couple possibilities and walked away.
Satisfactory overall, only researched online. Once we find a car we can have a more detailed experience.
I purchased 2 cars through CarMax. They found the exact car I was looking for and had me in the driver's seat within a few days for the first car and a few weeks for the second because it was delivered from out of state. Great customer service. I will use them again.
CarMax is very easily the highest priced car finding site. While they advertise some desirable cars, their prices are completely ludicrous!
I have tried to reserve cars on CarMax's website, sharing my phone number and e-mail when I do so. CarMax has never once contacted me about the car I wanted to buy. I won't be trying again.
They are great professionals. Every step of the way. It starts at the front door. There were no salesmen outside that rush up to us. No fighting to help us. They asked how they could help. They took time to explain Two hours later we drove away in our new to us used car. Wonderful.
They were very helpful without being pushy. I was able to take my time and look at the lot after researching on line.
As I strolled thru all the reviews and was shocked to read that there were bad reviews. I bought a 2016 Mercedes E350 last spring I saw it on line and quickly went down to see if it was avail and it was my husband was coming in to town 2 days later and they were happy to put the car on hold (there were 2 other customers looking at the car as well). I always do my due diligence and look at cost comparisons of the same car and the Mercedes dealership in Peoria was selling the same car for $10,000 more. Two days later I went and purchased the car and by far it was the easiest transaction I have ever been thru I was there less than an hour even with financing. Fast forward 2 1/2 months down the road my break censor went off and I was out of state. I made an appointment with the Mercedes dealership then realized they gave me 90 days for a Carmax warranty so I took it to the nearest Carmax dealership they found the back breaks needed to be replaced as they said when I purchased the car the break pads were on the "line". Needless to say they fixed the breaks no charge and the service department was top notch and very professional as was the dealership that I bought it from in Arizona Tolleson dealership. I will never go to anywhere else to purchase a car CarMax as a life customer!!
I've used car max before but did not have much luck finding the car I was looking for. Maybe i was too specific in my search..
Over the years I had heard that Carmax was a trusted company that I could depend on, so when it came time to buy a car I went to them first. I was not ready to purchase a new vehicle and I was aware that they inspected their cars before offering them for sale. I went in and was shown several options and ended up setting on a Toyota Matrix. I had owned Toyotas and they were always dependable. At signing I was notified that I would want to take care of the airbag recall after purchase, which I have done. within a week of driving off the lot I notice the car had began to shake when braking. I scheduled an appointment with their service department and they examined the brake and told me nothing was wrong. I left for work unsatisfied and continued to drive the car and the shaking got so bad that it literally rattled my teeth. I went back in and had the same results. Nothing is wrong. They acted like I insane. I wrote to corporate and never received a response. The 30 days lapsed and I was no longer covered by their warranty. I went to an independent garage and was told that all four drums were shot and that the front brakes needed replacing. I had this done, obviously for safety, and sent corporate another letter through their portal. Again nothing. I have sent a total of three letters to them informing them of my experience and if their lack of response is any indication, I can only assume that they do not care. I would strongly urge anyone considering doing business with this company to reconsider. In my experience there is little to no difference between them and most other used car dealers out there. I am sure that most of the cars they sell are OK, but if you are one of the unlucky ones to get a car in the condition that I did, do not expect them to do the right thing.
Although some CarMax cars are overpriced, they have great customer service and can really help you find a nice car. Not for a first car for your 16-year-old kid, but for nicer cars they have great deals.
I like their system as i really don't like normal car salesman. I can just dig through a bunch of car for any that I really like. And their online search and transfer makes it easy to find the right one.
Every now and then I've used CarMax to search for cars and also to get a vehicle appraisal. My car appraised for $300, but the service was great and comfortable.
Nadir was FABULOUS! He was patient and kind and knowledgeable. I trusted him right away. The car I thought I wanted wasn't a good fit for me and helped put me in the right one. He deserves a raise.
CarMax made the car-buying experience anything but boring. Great customer service and they are very cooperative with credit scores. The used cars they keep on their lots are always superb as well. The customer service is terrific and we had a salesman that was highly patient with us while we looked around and took our time filling out the forms.
It's really invaluable to have a history of the car before you buy it. Purchased a salvaged title vehicle and haven't regretted it, knowing the history of the car provided by CarMax.
We took time to visit the dealership and the staff was friendly and kind even though we did not end up purchasing anything through them.
Very helpful in finding my Honda CRV. We were in a bind and needed a car and they were able to help us find a car and buy it quick.
We used this site to look for a car for our daughter who was leaving to go away to college. It was super easy to use and brought up a bunch of cars in our price range and qualification. It really helped us narrow it down to what we wanted!
Absolutely terrible experience with Carmax and their home delivery method. Took over two weeks to complete a transaction, that took only 4 days with Carvana. Asked upfront to have the vehicle inspected and make sure there were no issues or smells from smokers. After have 3 different people asking for different items and some of the same items, it finally was set up for delivery. Was buying the car for my daughter. She was really excited! It shows up and car looked great, BUT as soon as she opened the door, she gasped back and was shocked at the smell. I went to see if it was something fixable, an NO, there was no fixing the unbelievable smell that came from this car. After waisting my time working thru their inconsistent and awkward process for 2 weeks, setting up a loan and getting a certified check and insurance policy in place, we have noting to show for it or the disappointment in my daughter face. Absolutely a terrible experience and Carmax should be ashamed they even showed up to my house with a car that stunk so bad of smoke. Will never do business with them and will refer everyone to Carvana.
Easiest most enjoyable car buying experience, hands down! They made it so easy!
I would like to inform you all of the horrible customer service I received from the business manager at the Tallahassee location. I spoke with the office there to cancel my warranty. He was ok, but seemed unsure of the knowledge he was giving me, as if he were very new to the job. I then asked to speak to his manager so that I can just be sure that the information was indeed correct. The manager then get on the phone and immediately was irritated as if i interrupted his day. I asked him to verify the information that i had been given from the previous person and he gave me some very different info. He was very passive aggressive, condescending, rude and abrasive. He informed me that I will need to drive down to the office (after I told him several times that I live in GA not FL and it's a 4hr drive) and fill out the paperwork. I said thats was not be possible for me to do and he then said "well that's the only way we do it and there nothing I can do for you, soooo." I insisted that there must be a way around that since I live in another state. He Then became even more obnoxiously rude while stating "well that is the only way, we cant help" (several times, each time more rude than the last). I then simply asked him for his name, he said "Cliff". I asked for his last name, he said "I dont have to give you my last name" (with a nasty tone to say the very least). The I said well, ok, may I have you last initial, he said "no, I dont have to give you anything". Then I said well with you being the business office manager you should be able to provide me with your office contact number. At that point he said "LOOK, Im not giving you any of my information, thats too personal, you no getting anything outta me!". I was beyond hurt and horribly offended by this. I felt he was the most unprofessional person I had encounter in my life and I have not even met him in person. I simply informed him that he would hear about this later and he hung up on me. He even then sent an e-mail to me with a picture of a written note (so that I could not get his information in the signature of the email) I will attach a picture of that in this email or a separate one. This was a very petty and childish move on his part and he is failing this team and Carmax as a whole with his actions. There in no telling the numbers of people he treats so poorly. I truly feel sorry for any one who has to work with this person and a customer, employee or co-worker. There needs to be corrective action immediately. I had such a great experience with Carmax until this very moment. I have friends and family in the Tallahassee area who are looking to purchase and I definitely would not recommend them or even a stranger too that place. I will also be leaving a complaint on the BBB, Google and everywhere else I can to warn people about that "Cliff" person and to be ware of dealing with him. I am so sad to even have to take time out of my work day and type this long e-mail. But this is how upset I cam and I will go out of my way to make sure this does not happen to any other customer.
I have used CarMax for 4 cars to date and counting. I don't have to worry about a used car breaking down with CarMax and their no haggle way of doing things is refreshing. Love their selections of vehicles and they have a wide variety for everyone. The people are great to work with and I like their shop as well if I need a fix up and their warranties are the best.
Bad service. Couple carmax representative still can not explain to me how to get title for my car.
I have used CarMax for about 7 cars. I have grown to love their service, their no haggle salesman are the best. They are more interested in making me happy and finding what works for me than making the sale. I also like their extended warranties, their great quality and inspected cars and their ability to be able to match you up with a loan that is best for you.
2016 Chevy traverse Lt I purchased the vehicle January 16 2019 .after 1 week driving the vehicle the A/C unit went out , I made appointment with carmax, they said the easiest appointment they have is in March for the repair. So the repair was made, now in August my check engine light is on again ( P0496 code) emissions problem now with sign on the dash low tire pressure have a hole on the side wall of the tire. So now I scheduled appointment again. The service rep said the easiest available appointment they have is 3weeks out again. Of course I said I will take it 9/3/2019 . At that time the service rep said, it's now out of warranty, and they can't help me with anything. With only 5000 miles my wife but on the vehicle sense we bought it from Carmax. With a bad experience with service center please read this before you buy a vehicle from carmax. I think wrong vehicle from the wrong place. NO HELP FROM CARMAX MURRIETA. MY LOSS THERE GAIN!
I do like Carmax, I think it really helps you find the cheapest options but I think that anyone can post on it and I'm not sure I trust everyone who posts.