When it comes to selling used cars, CarMax is the go-to company for many. CarMax is the largest used car retailer, and it boasts all sorts of benefits when using its services. On its website, they claim to buy “all kinds of used cars,” regardless of make or condition. (In fact, CarMax will even purchase cars that no longer run — though the payout may be significantly smaller.)
And the payout is often the big question mark for those considering selling their car through CarMax. After all, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth when selling your vehicle.
Unfortunately, since CarMax doesn’t use Kelley Blue Book or NADA guides values when determining its payout for used cars, it can be difficult to predict their offer.
Estimating the price of a used vehicle is never an exact science. Understanding CarMax’s appraisal process, however, does help.
It’s impossible to pinpoint an exact price when considering what CarMax offers because the number differs from car to car. So, the first thing you need to know is how CarMax decides your car’s value. An appraiser from the company will first confirm the car’s year, make, and model.
After collecting the basic information, the appraiser will look at the car’s history report and its current condition. This includes a test drive, which will determine how signals, brakes, and other important functions are running. The vehicle’s inner and outer appearance will also be evaluated.
If the car is in need of repairs or has external damage, this will lower CarMax’s offer. Having more mileage on the car could also drive the price down, particularly if the mileage is more than 130,000 miles. CarMax doesn’t resell cars at that point, meaning the retailer won’t make much money off of the deal. The less they make from your car, the less they’ll be willing to offer.
Because there are so many factors to account for when taking your used car to CarMax, it’s important to shop around. Although CarMax has its own process for evaluating used cars, getting estimates from other retailers can’t hurt. In fact, it will help sellers go into the transaction more prepared.
Websites like KBB and NADA guides may not be 100-percent accurate to CarMax’s price. They will, however, give you an idea of what your car is worth.
There are also numerous other companies willing to purchase used cars. (Junk That Car is one of them!) Although it may be a waste of your time to consult too many of these companies, getting a second or third opinion can’t hurt if you’re hoping to get the most out of your used car.
Unfortunately, CarMax doesn’t publicize average estimates of what it’s willing to pay for certain cars. Sellers have to go through the appraisal process to get an idea of how much theirs is worth. Still, those willing to do their research may be able to find customer reviews to get an idea of what CarMax typically offers.
Reviews tend to cite CarMax offering anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 for used cars, with $4,000 on the higher end. Of course, there are a few that recall offers lower than $1,000. In the end, it really does come down to the condition of your car.
Another upside of reading through reviews is that sellers will gain a better idea of the process. Those who have been through it before have tips to offer and alternative suggestions if CarMax didn’t work for them. The more you know, the better.
CarMax has a “No Haggle” system when buying cars. This means sellers won’t be able to negotiate once the company determines a price.
The inability to negotiate is one-way CarMax differs from selling to dealerships or private buyers. It’s part of their no-stress selling model, but it emphasizes how important it is to do research beforehand. This way, you’ll at least know if what they’re offering is in the ballpark of what your car is worth.
When selling a used car to CarMax, it’s also important to take any fees you’ll be paying into account. CarMax may offer $900 for your car, but that number shrinks when you account for hidden fees. For example, CarMax has a processing fee that covers the paperwork necessary for your transaction. That fee could shave a couple hundred off of your payment, making the car worth less than you originally thought.
Ask the company about any fees beforehand so you can be prepared when you receive the final number. As an alternative, competitors like Junk That Car don’t have any hidden fees and might be worth looking into.
CarMax has its pros and cons, but it may not be the best option for every person selling a car. Luckily, there are alternatives out there. Much like CarMax, Junk That Car will purchase used cars of any make, model, and condition. The difference is, Junk That Car will give you a quote right after receiving all the basic details.
On top of that, Junk That Car strives to be as transparent as possible about its buying process. We don’t do hidden fees and fine print. Our services are available nationwide, and sellers can enter into negotiations with Junk That Car knowing they’ll receive a good price. We offer free junk car removal too.
One thing Junk That Car does have in common with competitors like CarMax is our goal to make the process hassle-free for sellers. Just give us a call or submit a form on our website to begin the process. From there, we’ll handle all the stressful aspects of the sale, saving you time and energy better spent elsewhere.
Not only does Junk That Car handle the paperwork, but we pay in cash. Junk That Car also arranges to have cars picked up at your convenience, and can schedule a free tow if necessary. If you’re looking for a simple, stress-free alternative to CarMax, reach out to our experts today.
Fill out the form below and we will give you a fast offer for your vehicle. We buy cars in any condition, running or not. The quote is INSTANT and we operate 7 days a week.