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If you’re looking to buy a used 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 146 used car stores in 72 markets. strives to offer superior quality used vehicles and 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. They have been serving customers for over 59 years, holding themselves to a high standard of integrity with their services and products.


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The Good

  • Transfer used cars
  • Buy or trade-in options
  • Great resources and tools

CarMax can transfer any used car you are considering to one of its locations nearest to where you live 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. will also buy or trade-in your current vehicle no matter what condition it is in. You can get a free written offer that is good for 7 days at any CarMax store 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.

There are plenty resources at to help you find a vehicle. Read thousands of research, ratings and reviews on the website. Get information on obtaining a car loan. Use the free calculators provided by CarMax to calculate monthly payments, MPG savings, and the price range you can afford for a car. Calculate your fees for taxes, title, tags, and other fees. You can also get fuel economy information and car tips and advice on every make and model vehicle.

CarMax is the largest used car retailer on and off the internet, allowing customers to shop for vehicles the same way they shop for items at what they call "big-box" retailers-sort of like a Costco or Sam's Club for used cars. This refers to promising car shoppers low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified vehicles and superior customer service.

Car Buying Process

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 buying a car. The answers below are what define today's CarMax's shopping experience.

What this means for you the customer:

  • Customers said they don't like playing games, so CarMax lets you know the price right away, not after hours of haggling and mind games.
  • Customers said they don't like their time being wasted, so CarMax lets you have one sales person work with you from start to finish who won't make you drive all over town to find the right car.
  • Customers said they want Security, so CarMax inspects and reconditions all cars and backs them with a limited warranty so you don't have to worry what will happen when you drive off the lot.
  • Customers wanted more fun and less pressure from car salespeople, so CarMax employees are trained to offer assistance without being pushy.

For used car shoppers, Carmax has a nice array of payment calculators to calculate and compare monthly car 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 your tax, title, and tags fees 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 car purchase, this is a perfect tool to find out.

The MPG (Miles Per Gallon) Savings calculator allows you to see how a vehicle's MPG 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 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 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).

Another unique component for consumers is being able to sell their car to CarMax. Although CarMax is not the only auto buyer site doing this, it is the only one that offers a unique appraisal process.

The appraisal process looks like this:

  • Fast and free-your appraisal can take as little as 30 minutes and you're welcome to watch while you wait.
  • No obligation-CarMax will buy your car even if you don't buy theirs.
  • No appointment needed-bring your car in for an appraisal any time they're open.
  • CarMax appraisers-specially trained to evaluate the cars they buy.
  • The written offer-it's good for seven days at any CarMax location.
  • Fast payment-upon selling CarMax your car, you'll receive a bank draft on the spot!

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.

Step One is to bring in your car to one of CarMax's locations. Making an appointment is optional, but you'd probably be better off making one-especially if you have a busy schedule. Step Two is to get a written offer. This comes after the appraisal process and is good for seven days.. Step Three is the final step where you have the option to complete the sale, trade it, or think it over. CarMax will buy your car regardless of make, miles, or condition.

The Bad

  • Issues with MPG Savings Calculator
  • Locations are spread out
  • Customer complaints

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 the selling back of your car process may not be viable. Being that the 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).

Many of these complaints seem to be in regards to the condition of the cars sold at CarMax. Complaints included things such as cars breaking down soon after purchase and repairs not covered through CarMax's extended care plan. All issues were resolved successfully and customers reported the customer service representatives at CarMax to be friendly and helpful.

The Bottom Line

What makes CarMax so massive is that, unlike many auto companies online, they are not just an internet business. The company has brick-and-mortar auto centers around the country-although very spread out. Getting to one of their locations may be an issue, but since CarMax will buy your car regardless of make, miles, or condition, if you've got a car you want to sell or are looking to buy one yourself, their website is one worth exploring.

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December 13th, 2017 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS

Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer Service
Company trustworthiness

We had a great experience with CarMax. We test-drove a 2011 Nissan Rogue and enjoyed a pressure-free, friendly experience. We were very thankful. We didn't end up buying because we changed our mind on the model, but we were happy with the experience nonetheless.




December 9th, 2017 American Fork, UT

I used CarMax in looking for our new car, but I was able to find cheaper options online elsewhere. It's still good to compare pricing when searching this website.



Kelly leeman

July 26th, 2017

AVOID CARMAX ON ALPHARETTA HIGHWAY IN ROSWELL GEORGIA AT ALL COSTS!!!!! My Kia Sportage died a few weeks ago which forced us to buy a new and larger family car sooner than anticipated. We immediately jumped to carmax since they could bring a car in out of state for us as well as be rest assured the car was mechanically sound. We purchased outright via check a 2016 Ford Expedition el. Although the purchase process went very smoothly we hit a brick wall upon having the car inspected. We took the car to our local auto shop and had them give us a good once over so we could tell carmax what had to be done (if anything) for no cost via their 30 day auto service policy following a purchase. There was no major work to be done however the tire life was questionably close to the required pierce stage gone requiring carmax to put new tires on the car for no additional cost. My husband made the appointment and dropped the car off. The appointment was at 8am and we were told the car would be done by 1030 or so. Jon called from work, now the car would not be ready until 1230. No problem. He called again, car would not be ready until 230, this continued with no explanation until 430 when Jon called and said he was coming to get the car done or not. Upon arrival no customer service was given. No straight answers as to why a few things (alignment, tire balance, new windshield wiper) took all day long even with repeated calls. To our dismay the tires also measured just over the required sale tire life. Josh, the manager in the service department was called in and told Jon he would give us the tires at their cost price to make amends for being jerked around all day. Jon was to wait for a call the following day (Friday, a week after purchasing the car). Jon waited, no call. He called at 6pm while we were on our way to dinner. He was informed that josh was on his way out the door. Jon told whomeever picked the phone up that he was angry, had been forgotten once again, and if they wanted our continued service josh better pick the phone up and answer his questions. After rudely being put on hold josh answered. Jon reiterated that he had waited for a call all day, and now once again he was forced to chase carmax around for an answer. All we needed to know was the cost of the tires and when to expect them in. Josh told Jon he would leave a message for another manager in the service department who would coordinate with Jon Monday morning. Jon specifically asked if josh could confirm someone would call him given their already horrible reputation for not returning calls. Josh confirmed "not to worry". Monday comes and goes. Jon called once again on Tuesday demanding to know what is going on, demanding to talk to a higher manager. No customer service has been offered to us since leaving their store with the new car. The store manager Kenny G talks to Jon and apoalgizes and tells him that the tires will be taken care of. He will contact him Wednesday. We have had it. Today is Wednesday. Today Kenny G has told us the best he can do is give us a $500 credit toward the tires. At this point we cannot take them at their word for anything! We didn't expect free tires. We were happy to pay their cost as originally agreed to. No one could get us Jose numbers or order the tires. Well now we want free tires and to never work with them again! Even after Jon told Kenny G that we will no longer purchase cars from them ( Jon needs a new car come October and has purchase in full with cash two other cars in the past from the same location). Kenny G is willing to lose a lifetime customer over a few hundred dollars, a horrible customer service. What is he willing to do next? He is a terrible manager and should be removed. After all of this, Kenny G did nothing else but hang up mid sentence on my husband. What kind of store manager does that?! Avoid carmax on Alpharetta highway in Roswell ga at all costs. They only want your money and then drop you at the wayside when it comes to upholding their end of auto service for 30 days free.