CarMax (11 Common Questions Answered)

CarMax is an automobile valuation company with centers in 225 cities across the United States that buys and sells new and used cars.

With over a quarter of a century of experience, it has developed a reputation for providing high-quality service at a reasonable price.

This article will cover some common questions that people typically ask.

CarMax (11 Common Questions Answered)

Does CarMax Buy Cars That Are Not Paid Off?

Yes, CarMax will buy cars that are not paid off.

This is called negative equity, and the method by which you can sell your car to CarMax will depend on the amount owed and if you are trading it in for a new car.

For example, in some cases, CarMax will include the negative equity in the financing offered for your new vehicle.

You will have to pay the amount you owe if you do not purchase a new car while selling.

If the amount owed is less than $250, you can pay the remaining amount direct to CarMax, which will accept a personal check along with other payment methods such as cashier’s checks and debit cards.

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Is CarMax Overpriced?

CarMax is overpriced according to both anecdotal and evidential reviews, with the consensus being that they are overpriced compared with other sellers.

Based on a study performed by The Truth About Cars, when compared to eBay, CarMax was consistently more expensive than comparative models.

Furthermore, they set standardized prices across their stores, which means in some cases that the price for an equivalent model might be pricer than a private sale.

Their prices, however, reflect their customer service, the simplicity of buying and selling over a private sale, as well as their own inspections of the cars they sell.

In essence, you are paying a premium for convenience, which is worth the extra cost for some people.

Shift vs CarMax

Shift is a young start-up that rivals CarMax in some areas.

The main similarities include buying and selling used cars.

However, they begin to differ in their product and how they operate.

Shift is an online-only marketplace and specializes in used cars only.

CarMax operates both on and offline and offers new and used vehicles (although they are in the process of phasing out new models).

Shift has a significant advantage over CarMax in that you can receive a quotation for your used car online.

Using this method will save you time as you just need to provide a few details about your vehicle and submit the application.

They offer instant appraisals via email, which makes it easy to decide whether they are worth using, all without having to leave the comfort of your home and deal with salespeople.

CarMax requires you to set up an appointment and visit one of their locations to get a physical appraisal of your vehicle.

The bottom line is if you are buying a car and want to see a physical vehicle, CarMax is the best option.

However, if you don’t have a CarMax dealership nearby, Shift might be a better choice.

While you can get an online appraisal from CarMax, they still require you to visit one of their locations to confirm.

On the other hand, they have so many car lots nationwide that you should be able to find one near your location.

Where Does CarMax Get Their Cars?

CarMax gets its cars from a variety of locations, including trade-ins and auctions.

They receive the vast majority of their vehicles from sellers, and after they meet their 125 point inspection, they are put up for sale.

Trade-ins make up the bulk of their inventory, and they are moving towards a used-only business model.

If a car they have purchased from a customer does not pass their inspections, it is not placed on the lot or sold to a CarMax customer.

Is CarMax A Good Place To Sell My Car?

CarMax can be a good place to sell your car, but it depends on how much you value convenience over price.

While it can be more convenient than a private sale, you will often get a lower price elsewhere.

CarMax is a great place to sell your old car if you don’t want to deal with posting an advertisement, getting your vehicle checked mechanically, cleaning it adequately, then dealing with private buyers.

If you are looking for a higher price, then a private sale is often the way to go. Since you are setting the price, you can negotiate on what you consider your vehicle to be worth.

Furthermore, the lower price CarMax offers includes the cost of inspecting it and making any necessary repairs.

However, seeing as most people do not have experience with selling vehicles, CarMax’s convenience is a compelling enough reason to use their service.

Does CarMax Buy Classic Cars?

Yes, CarMax will buy classic cars. CarMax states that they will buy any car regardless of age and mileage.

Even if your vehicle is damaged and undrivable, they will buy it from you and typically sell it via auction rather than directly to Carmax customers.

However, there is a caveat.

They will not consider the classic nature of the car and will offer you a price based on their criteria rather than the vehicle’s exclusivity.

Consequently, you might get a better price selling your classic car privately via specialist classic car dealers.

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Do I Have To Pay Taxes When Selling A Car To CarMax?

No, you don’t have to pay tax when selling a car to CarMax.

This is due to the fact that taxes are typically paid from profits, you won’t need to pay any tax on your sale since you’ll sell for less than you originally paid for your car.

Nonetheless, if you sold your used car to CarMax for a higher price than you bought it for, you might be required to pay capital gains tax.

However, this is unlikely to happen.

Does CarMax Accept Cars Via Power Of Attorney?

Yes, CarMax will accept cars sold via power of attorney.

As long as you have the correct documentation to prove that you have power of attorney, CarMax will buy your car.

CarMax will provide you with paperwork that the car owner must sign and notarize before considering a transaction.

Do CarMax Prices Include Tax?

Yes, apart from state sales and registration taxes.

This is different in each state, and you, as the buyer, are responsible for paying it.

Furthermore, you will be obliged to pay the registration and title transfer fees if your state requires it.

How Long Do CarMax Transfers Take?

CarMax can take up to 28 days to transfer your car. Evidence from anecdotal sources suggests the wait can be up to 28 days before your chosen car arrives at the CarMax lot of your choice.

Transfer times depend on the distance and how many vehicles they are transporting at a given time.

If your car is located nearby, it will take less time than if they have to haul it across the country.

Why Are Some CarMax Cars Non-transferable?

Some CarMax cars are marked as non-transferable which indicates that CarMax has not received the car’s title yet.

You can still transfer the vehicle within the same state, but it cannot be delivered out of state until CarMax gets the title.

This is not relevant to all states, but some demand the presence of a complete and valid title before shipping can begin, effectively making the vehicle non-transferable until that moment.

Additionally, CarMax does not permit the transfer of new vehicles from the lot where they are located.

You can purchase them, but you must pick them up at the location where they are sold.