If you’re looking to sell your car, you have several options. You can, of course, list your vehicle for sale in the local classifieds or an online marketplace like eBay or Craigslist. But if you’re in a hurry, you can take your car to a car dealership near you. One of the most popular dealerships for selling a car is CarMax.
CarMax is known for its quality used cars and no-haggle pricing. They’ll buy your car, even if you don’t buy from them. But will they buy your car for a fair price? Let’s look at how to sell your car to CarMax.
Selling and Trading a Car at CarMax
The process CarMax uses to buy your car is fairly straightforward. You can even begin the sale or trade in process online.
Visit the CarMax website and click the link to “sell or trade” your vehicle. Then, just enter your vehicle’s VIN or your license plate number and state. You’ll be directed to enter information about the condition of your car, and about the title.
In most cases, CarMax will request that you bring your vehicle in for inspection. They’ll check it mechanically as well as aesthetically, and then make you an offer for your car.
It’s true that CarMax will buy your car whether you buy from them or not. Be aware, however, that the price for your car may differ depending on whether you make a car purchase or not.
If you’re interested in selling to CarMax, bring your vehicle title, your state-issued ID or driver license, all keys and fobs, information on liens (if applicable) and any relevant service records. In other words, the more information you have, the easier the transaction will be.
Why Sell a Car to CarMax?
Selling a car to CarMax may not get you as much money for your car than selling privately. We’ll talk about that in a moment. However, the quick, easy, and relatively painless process can save you time and headaches.
Let’s say you post your car to a classifieds site like eBay or Craigslist. Let's assume it’s a high-mileage car that you’ve begun spending money on for repairs more frequently than you like. Maybe your inspection is due and you’re not sure it’ll pass.
Now, let's assume you list your car for sale for $4,000. You’ll likely get quite a few messages and calls, but a majority of the buyers will low-ball you. You shouldn’t expect to get more than half that when you sell, and it will take time.
And that's before you factor the endless scam requests into the equation. Scammers love a good vehicle sale and while it's usually something that you can detect, it still makes the process frustrating and means you have to wade through the endless nonsense requests.
CarMax takes the guesswork out of selling your car, offering way more convenience and an easier process. You won’t be able to negotiate with the dealership, but you’ll be offered a dollar amount that’s “good” for seven days. Decide to sell today, or you can come back in a few days when you’ve slept on it.
Put simply, taking your car to CarMax for an evaluation is no-risk and a good way to get a head start on a down payment. The price offered likely won’t be what you’d list it for, but it’s headache-free experience, there are fewer things to worry about, and it's also instant.
Does CarMax Buy Vehicles at Fair Prices?
Yes and no. The answer to this question isn’t so straightforward and simple. You see, CarMax wants to make a profit as well, and it operates a business model that relies on a high profit margin from used vehicles.
To look more in-depth at whether CarMax will offer a fair price for your car, let’s look at what they’ll do with your car once they’ve acquired it.
In very few cases will CarMax sell your high-mileage vehicle on its own lot, adding it to a vast inventory. If you have a newer car or truck, though, you may very well see it listed on the CarMax website in the near future. Invariably, of course, it will be listed at a much, much higher price than you were paid. That’s just how a free market works!
So, what will become the fate of your car? Auction, probably. CarMax is one of the leading suppliers of cars for auction in the United States. When they pay you, say, $2,000 for your vehicle, you can expect it to sell for much more on the auction block.
To be blunt, CarMax has nothing to lose when it comes to buying your car from you. They have thousands of buyers across the United States who attend their weekly auctions. CarMax is notoriously transparent about the condition of the vehicles it auctions, which is very attractive to dealerships and independent purchasers. This essentially guarantees profit for CarMax.
Should You Sell Your Car to CarMax?
If you’re knowledgeable about cars, you can certainly sell your car independently. Familiarity is essential because you’ll need to be able to out-talk the “tire kickers.” There are clearly a lot of advantages to this process because while you won't always get the best offers selling to a business like this, it is very convenient.
If you’re not familiar with the mechanics of your car, or just need to sell in a hurry, CarMax is a great option. You may not get your ideal asking price, but you’ll get guaranteed money on the spot.