What Will CarMax Not Buy? A Guide to Items CarMax Won’t Accept or Buy

Patrick Oziegbe
Published On:

If you’re looking to sell your car, CarMax is a popular option for many people. However, only some cars are eligible for purchase by CarMax.

CarMax will not buy cars over 15 years old, have over 200,000 miles, or have been deemed a salvage vehicle.

Additionally, they will not purchase cars that have been modified or have a branded title. This includes cars that have been in accidents, floods, or fires.

If you’re wondering if CarMax will buy a car that doesn’t run, the answer is yes. However, the car must be able to be driven onto the lot or towed in.

Knowing what CarMax will and will not buy can help you determine if it’s the right option for you when selling your car.

Key Takeaways

  • CarMax will not buy cars over 15 years old, with over 200,000 miles, or deemed salvage vehicles.
  • Modified or branded title vehicles are also ineligible for purchase by CarMax.
  • CarMax will buy cars that don’t run, but they must be able to be driven onto the lot or towed in.

What Will CarMax Not Buy

What CarMax Will Not Buy

As previously revealed above, CarMax has specific standards that they adhere to. While they are willing to buy cars in all types of conditions, there are some things that they will not buy.

Here are some things that CarMax will not buy:

Flood-Damaged Cars

CarMax will not buy cars that floods have damaged. Flood damage can cause severe problems with a car’s electrical and mechanical systems.

If a car has been in a flood, it may look fine on the outside but could have severe problems on the inside that may not show up until later. CarMax wants to avoid these problems, so they will not buy flood-damaged cars.

Cars with Salvage Titles

CarMax will not buy cars that have salvage titles. A salvage title is issued to a car that has been damaged to the point where the cost of repairs exceeds the car’s value.

Cars with salvage titles are often sold at auction, but CarMax will not buy them. This is because salvage cars can be challenging to repair and may have hidden problems that take time to be apparent.

Cars with Body Damage

CarMax will not buy cars that have significant body damage. While minor dents and scratches may be acceptable, cars with significant body damage are not.

This is because repairing body damage can be expensive, and CarMax wants to avoid the potential problems that may arise from repairing a car with significant body damage.

Cars with Safety Recalls

CarMax will not buy cars that have open safety recalls. This is because safety recalls (like the Jeep renegade recalls) can indicate severe problems with a car that need to be addressed before it can be sold.

They want to avoid the potential liability of selling a car with an open safety recall.

Cars That Have Been in an Accident

CarMax will not buy cars that have been in a severe accident. While some minor accidents may be acceptable, cars with serious accidents are not.

Serious accidents can cause significant damage to a car’s mechanical and electrical systems and may result in hidden problems that are not immediately apparent.

Will CarMax Buy Cars That Don’t Run?

The short answer is yes, CarMax will buy cars that don’t run. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, CarMax makes offers on various vehicles, including slightly damaged cars. Typically, CarMax will resell cars it purchases on its lots. So, if you have a non-running car that you’re looking to sell, CarMax might be a good option.

Second, documentation is required before you can sell your car to CarMax. The car title must be present to sell to CarMax. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to go to the DMV to get one.

Third, CarMax will buy almost any vehicle, but they have some rules and formulas for how they work. They will inspect your car in detail and give you an appraisal for it. The appraisal considers the vehicle’s condition, age, mileage, and other factors.

Finally, CarMax might offer you a lower price for your non-running car. You can get a better deal by selling your car to a private buyer or a junkyard.

However, CarMax might be a good option if you want a quick and easy way to sell your car.

The Selling Process at CarMax

Here are the sub-sections that will guide you through the process.

Appraisal Offer

The first step in selling your car to CarMax is getting an appraisal offer. You can get a free appraisal offer by bringing your car to a CarMax location.

During the appraisal process, a CarMax appraiser will inspect your car and make an offer based on factors such as the car’s condition, mileage, and features. The appraisal offer is valid for seven days and is subject to change based on changes in the car’s condition.

Test Drive

After receiving an appraisal offer, you can take your car for a test drive to ensure that it meets your expectations. During the test drive, a CarMax associate will accompany you and answer any questions you may have about the car.

Finalizing the Deal

If you decide to accept the appraisal offer, the next step is to finalize the deal. You must provide CarMax with the necessary paperwork, including the car’s title and registration.

CarMax’s selling process is designed to be simple, with no haggling or negotiation.

Additionally, CarMax provides a free vehicle history report and checks the car’s accident history before making an offer, ensuring you get a fair price.

Documentation Required

This documentation includes the car’s title, registration, and proof of insurance. Additionally, you must provide a state-issued photo ID or photo ID and a second form of identification, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Unless otherwise noted, all documents must be original and dated within 30 days of the purchase.

If you have lost your car’s title, you must obtain a duplicate title from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). CarMax will not purchase a car without a title.

In some cases, CarMax may require additional documentation, such as a power of attorney or a lien release. If you need clarification on what documentation is required for your specific situation, it is best to contact your local CarMax dealership for guidance.

Payment and Financing Options

Regarding payment and financing options, CarMax offers a variety of finance choices to make your car-buying experience as seamless as possible.

If you choose to finance your vehicle, CarMax works with several industry-leading finance sources, including CarMax Auto Finance, Ally Financial, Capital One Auto Finance, Santander, and more.

You can choose the offer that works best for you, and CarMax will share every offer that you receive.

CarMax accepts those forms of payment if you prefer to pay with a bank draft, cashier’s check, or certified check. Remember that you must provide identification, and the check must be payable to CarMax.

If you are paying with certified funds, CarMax requires that you provide the funds at the time of purchase. And, if you are a credit union member, CarMax can work with your credit union to complete your financing transaction.

Online and In-Store Services

CarMax offers online and in-store services to help you buy or sell your car. You can get an instant online offer for your car, suitable for seven days from when you get it.

If you decide to sell your car to CarMax, you’re not obligated to buy a car in return.

Online to Home

You can also buy a car online at CarMax, deliver it to your home, or pick it up at a store. Once you find a car to buy, you can fill in your details from home and get remote support.

CarMax also offers a Love Your Car Guarantee®, which allows you to take 30 days to love or return your car (up to 1500 miles).

If you prefer to visit a store, you can make an appointment to meet with a sales consultant and test-drive a car. CarMax also offers 24-hour test drives at select stores, which allows you to take a car home overnight and see how it fits into your daily routine.

Trade-Ins and Auctions

CarMax gets the majority of its vehicles from trade-ins and auctions. When you trade in your car to CarMax, they will appraise it and give you an offer.

However, remember that CarMax will not offer you as much money for your car as you could earn on a private sale.

Dealerships acquire cars from various sources, with trade-ins and auctions being the most prominent. It is proven that no dealership will offer you as much money for your car as you could earn on a private sale.

There’s a good reason for this. Dealerships need to make a profit on the cars they sell, so they need to buy them at a price that allows them to do so.

If any car fails to meet the company’s “Clean Title Guarantee,” the car will get sold at an auction instead of to a CarMax Customer. CarMax also has a “125+ point inspection” that cars must pass.

CarMax and the Used Car Market

CarMax operates in the used car market, which can be affected by inflation, high retail prices, and climbing interest rates.

According to Auto News, persisting inflation, high retail prices, and climbing interest rates are prompting consumers to put off buying used cars and trucks.

CarMax and other used car dealerships may be more cautious about acquiring cars and trucks once prices stop declining.

Type of inventory

Regarding the type of inventory CarMax is interested in, they typically buy cars less than 10 years old and fewer than 100,000 miles.

They also prefer cars that are in good condition and have a clean title. However, CarMax will not buy cars that have been in a major accident or have significant damage.

They use Kelley Blue Book to determine a car’s fair price but remember that this is just a starting point.

In summary, CarMax operates in the used car market and has limitations on what they will purchase. They prefer cars that are less than 10 years old, have fewer than 100,000 miles, and are in good condition with a clean title.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors does CarMax consider when deciding not to buy a car?

CarMax considers various factors when deciding not to buy a car. Some of these factors include the car’s condition, history, age, mileage, and demand in the local market. If your car has been in an accident, has a salvage title, or has a flood damage history, CarMax may not buy it.

Are there any types of cars that CarMax will not buy?

CarMax will not buy certain types of cars, including those with branded titles, such as salvage, flood, or rebuilt titles. Additionally, CarMax will not buy cars that have been modified with aftermarket parts or have been used for commercial purposes.

What is the age limit for cars that CarMax will not buy?

CarMax typically does not buy cars over 10 years old or over 120,000 miles on the odometer. However, this may vary depending on the car’s make, model, and condition.

What is the condition requirement for cars that CarMax will not buy?

CarMax may not buy cars in poor condition, including those with significant mechanical or cosmetic issues. This includes cars that have been in accidents or have extensive damage.

Does CarMax offer any alternatives if they don’t buy my car?

Yes, CarMax offers alternatives if they do not buy your car. They may provide a free appraisal and suggest other places to sell your car, such as online marketplaces or local dealerships.

What should I do if CarMax does not want to buy my car?

If CarMax does not want to buy your car, you can try selling it through other channels, such as online marketplaces or local dealerships. You can also consider donating your car to a charity or recycling it.


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