Are you in the market for a new car? If so, you’ve probably been going crazy wondering where you’ll find it. Car dealerships are, quite honestly, intimidating. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just go somewhere, trade in your car, buy a new vehicle for the sticker price and be done?
That’s what CarMax reviews claim the service will do. However, the reviews themselves vary. Should you visit the national chain dealership? Or would it be better to start your search elsewhere? Let’s see what CarMax reviews have to say.
The Premise Behind CarMax
When you walk into a car dealership with good credit, everything is easy. You’ll browse the lot to find the car of your dreams. Then you’ll be approached by a salesperson who will take you for a test drive. Once you’re convinced that this is the vehicle you want, you’ll sit down at the sales desk, fill out the paperwork, and before long you’ll have a set of keys.
If you don’t have good credit, the process is a bit more daunting. You’ll use a service like Road Loans, or finance a used vehicle purchase through your bank. If you can’t get financed traditionally, you might have to resort to a “buy here, pay here” dealership. They’re not a scam, but the price of your car will be phenomenally higher than through a dealership.
CarMax is somewhere in between. You’ll drive to the lot, and may choose to have them evaluate your car’s trade-in value. The offer they give you is good for a few weeks, so you’ll have time to choose a car. There’s no haggling on the price. The sticker price is supposedly what you pay and financing is arranged on site.
So, is that the case? What do CarMax reviews have to say about the process – is it really that simple? Here’s what we think, and what other are saying about CarMax.
Is CarMax Legit?
CarMax is a huge company. The biggest used car dealership in the United States, in fact, and a Fortune 500 company. It’s been around for a quarter of a century, and CarMax is certainly legit.
My first car was a five year old 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse. I bought it from CarMax; I won’t tell you how old I was, but let’s just say I hadn’t established credit yet. I was determined to buy a car in my own name and not co-sign with my parents, so I visited the CarMax lot. For me, as a car buyer who had no credit, the experience was quite pleasant. The sales representative was friendly and I never felt as if he was pressuring me to buy any particular car.
It’s for that reason that I became a repeat customer of CarMax. I’ve had a few cars since 1999, and several have been bought through the company. My personal CarMax reviews are nothing short of stellar, and I’d personally recommend the company. As I established credit, I was eventually able to finance my vehicle through the credit union, and CarMax worked with me on that, too.
So what are other CarMax reviews saying? Let’s look at what others have experienced with the dealership, and at CarMax reviews from around the web.
Overall, CarMax seems to deliver on its promise to sell used vehicles to customers at a no-haggle price. The majority of customers who have shopped at the dealership leave largely positive CarMax reviews.
There are some things you may be wary of, however. First of all, there’s no real way to get financed online. Many shoppers with less than perfect credit may prefer to do so to avoid the embarrassment of denial at the dealership. CarMax reviews state that the prequalification tool on the website was useless, that the website simply directed them to speak to a representative at the dealership.
Secondly, be aware of the warranty on your vehicle. CarMax does offer warranties, and you may opt to purchase an extended warranty. However, the company also has what they call ValuMax vehicles. These are “older cars,” meaning that they’re over 6 years old, and may have higher mileage than other vehicles. The warranty is similar, but the vehicles themselves may have dings, scratches or other imperfections. My Eclipse had a ding on the hood, which I proceeded to pop out with a plunger.
Finally, be aware that the trade-in value of your vehicle is notoriously low at CarMax. I can personally agree with these CarMax reviews. In 2009, I went to trade in a 2004 Infiniti G35. The dealership valued my car at $500. In the end, I sold it for around 15 times that. The low trade-in value is pretty standard for used car dealerships, though. Consider selling your old car to a private buyer.
Should You Buy from CarMax?
Unless you want a new car, there’s absolutely no reason why we would suggest that you steer clear of CarMax. The company has a 24 year history of sales, and there are a few perks to using the company as well. For example, if you live in Tucson but want a car that’s located in Raleigh, CarMax will ship it to your local dealership. Depending on the distance, the service may even be free.
First time car buyers may choose a company like CarMax if they have no credit. However, some new car dealerships offer programs for first time buyers. For instance, Ford Motors offers credit to those with no history. If you’re looking for a car fresh off the assembly line, this may be a better option for you.
Overall, the CarMax reviews are good. My personal CarMax experiences have always been good as well. Don’t expect a new car, don’t expect to get what your trade-in is worth, and don’t expect to have a ton of help on the sales floor. But if you’re confident that you can make a purchase without a salesperson fighting you over prices, CarMax reviews are all in agreement. The dealership is a great place to buy a car.