Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

The Pros and Cons of CarMax

You’ve finally decided that it is time to sell you car and are ready to get the process started. For many car sellers, selling to CarMax is a no-brainer. Well-established across the country, it’s easy to access a CarMax location and get your vehicle appraised on the spot. But, like all deals that seem too easy or too convenient, selling your car to CarMax comes with its own set of drawbacks. Just because CarMax is located practically everywhere doesn’t mean that CarMax is for everybody.

To help you quickly and easily determine whether selling your car to CarMax is the right move for your unique situation, check out our short and sweet pros and cons list.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Car to CarMax

It’s always good to start any discussion on a positive note, so kicking off our list is pro number one: the CarMax on-the-spot offer. Vehicle appraisals at CarMax are completed immediately, in person, at the dealership. Once you’ve been given a figure for your vehicle, you will then have seven days to either accept or decline the CarMax offer. Better yet, should you choose to accept the offer and sell your car to CarMax, you will be under no obligation whatsoever to purchase your next vehicle from CarMax. So, what’s the catch?

Con Number One: In the years since CarMax was established, the competition from other dealerships has ramped up. Now, some of the “other guys” have extended the offer consideration period to ten days, or 1,000 miles, with a promise to beat any CarMax offer by $500, and match the no-obligation to buy principle. However, some sellers have a hard time trusting the new kid on the block; if you’re one of them, you might feel more comfortable working with a name you know.

Moving on to pro number two: the convenience of CarMax. When you’re ready to start the process of selling your car, you can simply hop online and schedule your vehicle’s appraisal at a CarMax location most convenient to you. But that’s the extent of cyber-convenience via CarMax.

Con Number Two: Aside from scheduling your vehicle’s appraisal, you cannot complete any other part of the process online. For example, some sellers, particularly those wary or entirely sure of their vehicle’s value, would like an estimated appraisal before scheduling time away from their busy routines to come by a CarMax dealership. With CarMax, there is no way around this. But, if you approach a CarMax competitor, you’ll find that increasingly, more and more offer the option to start the appraisal process online, through the use of tools like Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer.

Depending on the age and condition of your vehicle, the amount of appraisal research you’ve completed on your own, and how much time you can devote to selling your car, you might find that CarMax suits your needs just fine. However, for those who prefer more time before pulling the trigger on a sale, or need the added convenience of advancing the appraisal process online, prior to physically visiting a CarMax or any other dealership, maybe it’s time to brave a conversation with that new kid.