CarMax was founded in 1993 and has grown to be one of the largest used car dealerships in the United States. The company offers a warranty plan which is underwritten by The Warranty Group, the largest underwriter for car warranties in the United States. Details about the cost, the term of the warranty, and corrosion coverage are all undisclosed to the general public but are provided to buyers at the time of purchase.

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The Good

Basic Warranty Features

CarMax MaxCare covers the vehicle’s cooling, electronics and electrical systems, front suspension, steering, front and rear wheel drive, air conditioning system, assemblies and controls and the interior of the vehicle. Excluded are aftermarket accessories (entertainment consoles, GPS, radar detectors, sattellite radio, CB radios) which were installed by the owner after purchase as well as oil change, tune ups, and other maintenance visits. Tires, headlights, interior bulbs, and brakes are not included in the MaxCare warranty.

Powertrain Warranty

MaxCare covers both the car’s engine and transmission against defects. There is a deductible for each repair, usually between $50 and $100. Some cars which have been purchased as used vehicles from CarMax may still have their initial manufacturer’s powertrain warranty, depending on the age of the vehicle and its milage. MaxCare coverage is supplemental to this warranty and may cover repairs which are not included in the original warranty.

Other Features

MaxCare includes several additional benefits which are designed to decrease the inconvenience when one’s car needs repairs. All MaxCare Service Plans include national coverage, so vehicles are covered in all 50 states, no matter where the car was originally purchased.

Should one experience a breakdown and need to be towed, up to $100 of towing expenses is eligible for reimbursement to get the vehicle to an approved service center. Additionally, MaxCare includes car rental reimbursement for up to seven days at $40 per day for repairs which require the vehicle to be in the service center overnight. Courtesy same-day transportation or loaner vehicles are not available.

All used vehicles purchased from CarMax are eligible for coverage. Some vehicles which are purchased from CarMax are covered the original manufacturer’s warranty. MaxCare enhances the coverage, rather than replacing it. If accessories or upgrades are purchased with the vehicle from CarMax, these are included in the MaxCare Service Plan.

Should buyers change their mind about MaxCare coverage, they can cancel their coverage and receive a prorated refund for the remainder of their service contract. The company charges a $30 administration fee for all cancellations.

Time in Business

CarMax was originally founded in 1993. While CarMax does not have as many years in business as many car companies, it has grown at an incredible rate and is one of the largest used car sales chains in the United States.

The Bad

Warranty Costs

The cost for MaxCare is not disclosed by CarMax until after the buyer has expressed interest in a vehicle and been a serious potential buyer. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the average price of the coverage is between $2,000 and $3,000. The service contract can be purchased upfront with a full payment or financed into the loan and paid with monthly installments.

Those buying a MaxCare service contract select the cost of their deductible, which, according to anecdotal evidence, varies between $50 and $100. All deductibles are paid per repair, not per visit. Should additional visits to an authorized service center be necessary for the same issue, the deductible is only paid once.

Basic Warranty Length

CarMax does not disclose the lengths of service contracts which are available for MaxCare online. Attempts to receive this information result in company representatives stating that they are not able to give information on the specifics without first completing a sales document. The absence of this information is significant, as it places the buyer in the position of not being able to compare without investing significant time into the car-buying process, and potentially arriving at the last steps of the purchase process before being given this information. Some anecdotal evidence online suggests that the length of the warranty is variable and can be designed according to the customer’s wishes, but there is no verifiable information about the term of the warranty from MaxCare.

What Customers Are Saying

There are several customer complaints which have been collected by reputable sources which allege that the underwriter, The Warranty Group, does not cover all repairs which are listed to be covered. Allegations of the underwriter include stating that the repair is not covered because the vehicle had not been properly maintained or that the repair is not in the covered scope of the service plan. While these complaints are generally unverifiable, the frequency that the issues are mentioned is significant.

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The Bottom Line

Many people prefer the peace of mind which comes with an automobile warranty when buying a used vehicle. There are several exclusions to MaxCare’s covered repairs, many of which are basic maintenance visits. The lack of transparency is a concern as well; however, for those wanting to purchase a warranty for their CarMax vehicle, MaxCare may be a good option. recommends that users read the contract and understand their coverage thoroughly before purchasing any warranty, from CarMax or any other company.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the warranty include towing? What are the limitations on towing expenses?

Towing reimbursement by CarMax MaxCare is available if towing is needed for the vehicle to get to an authorized service center for a covered repair. MaxCare will reimburse towing costs up to $100.

Can a warranty be transferred if the car is sold?

If the vehicle is sold and the MaxCare term has not expired, coverage is transferable. There are some restrictions to the transfer, which are in the service contract and are otherwise undisclosed by the company.

Are there any fees involved in the transfer of the warranty to a new owner?

Any fees for transfer of MaxCare to a new owner are undisclosed.

Where can the repairs be done under warranty?

All covered repairs must be performed at an authorized service center. Information about the number of authorized service centers in the United States is undisclosed by MaxCare. When a covered repair is made, MaxCare sends payment to the center directly.

What hours/days can a repair be reported?

To report a claim, owners are given a toll-free phone number with their warranty plan paperwork. This number and the days/hours of availability are undisclosed to the general public.

Does the warranty cover a car rental while the repair is being made?

MaxCare covers a car rental when a vehicle is unsafe to drive and is kept at the authorized service center overnight for covered repairs.

How many days/hours does car rental cover?

MaxCare’s car rental reimbursement covers up to $40 per day for up to seven days if the above qualifications are met.

How long does it typically take to file and process a claim?

The average time needed to file and process a claim are not disclosed by the company.

Does the warranty cover defects which are discovered or which occur in a different state than the state of purchase?

MaxCare coverage is available nationwide.

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