Friday, September 22, 2023

Where Should You Sell Your Car?

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The content is for informational purposes only. Conduct your own research and seek advice of a licensed financial advisor. Terms.

Which is Better for Selling the Car?

Selling your car to CarMax is the better option due to many reasons. First, the company offers certainty since you can easily check on their website if your vehicle is one of the cars they accept. 

Moreover, the online application shows you quickly how much you can sell your car for and how long the offer is valid. Selling to CarMax also gives you the option to get cash or trade in your car. Finally, CarMax customer service is available in several channels.  

CarMax Summary

  • Instant online offer in under 2 minutes
  • Online offer is valid for up to 7 days
  • 2 options for selling – online or in-store
  • Get paid within 30 minutes on the spot

CarMax vs. Dealer Comparison

CarMax Dealer
Cars accepted Cars in most type conditions, with exceptions Cars in sellable condition
Fees 0 0
Requesting quotes Online application Usually in-store or by phone
Offer validity 7 days Depends on the dealer
Payments offered Cash, Trade-in value Cash
Payout Bank draft Cash or check
Car pick-up Drop off Drop off
Physical locations 235 CarMax stores nationwide Depends on the dealer
Turnaround time Up to 48 hours Up to 48 hours
Customer service Chat, phone, email Phone
Reviews 1.7 N/A

Compare to Other Car Buying Websites


Peddle logo

Get your free offer instantly via online form or call on (855) 925 4302

$0 fees + you don’t have to pay for towing – Peddle will take care of it

Get paid in check during the pick up for any car (damaged, junk, wrecked)


Wheelzy logo

Quick car evaluation without the hassle – sell your car within 30 min

Choose a convenient date and time for free pick-up, as soon as next day

Get cash in hand the same day the Wheelzy agent picks up your car


CarBrain logo

Get an offer within 2 minutes and sell your damaged car within 24 hours

Free vehicle towing and no fees to getting rid of your damaged car

The tow truck driver will arrive with your check (nationwide service)

Cars Accepted

Although CarMax mostly buys cars in different kinds of conditions, the company typically doesn’t buy a vehicle due to the following:

  • Flood damage
  • Salvage history
  • Frame damage

As dealers, you can pretty much assume that these typically buy vehicles in generally good and sellable conditions. You can also visit a dealer near your location to confirm if they can still purchase your vehicle.


Selling vehicles, whether to CarMax or a dealer typically won’t incur any charges. Fees and taxes are usually paid by the buyer. 

Requesting Quotes

You can request a quote from CarMax through an online process. From its website, you’ll need to fill out a form, requiring your car’s VIN or license plate number. Once it identifies your vehicle’s make, model, and year, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Vehicle condition
  • Vehicle history
  • Your contact details

Right on the online application page, CarMax will generate an instant offer for your vehicle. After that, you can visit one of their stores to claim the offer. 

Besides the online application, you can also sell your car by directly setting up an appointment at a CarMax store near you. This process is similar to how it works with most dealers. Dealers will request to check your vehicle first before making an offer.  

Offer Validity

Offers from CarMax are good for 7 days. Meanwhile, dealers’ offers may vary when it comes to validity. In that case, you might want to talk about your dealer and what best fits your current circumstance. 

Payments Offered

CarMax pays cash through bank drafts. Unlike checks that you can cash out, bank drafts only allow you to deposit them into your bank account. Besides cash, you can also use your vehicle’s selling value to purchase your next car at CarMax. 

Dealers, meanwhile, hand out payment through cash or check, whichever is available at the moment.


CarMax hands the payment within the same day you sell your vehicle to them. Most dealers also pay out within the same day, although it may vary across different dealers. Make sure to get your payment before leaving your car with the dealer.  

Car Pick-up

CarMax has more than 230 stores nationwide, thus, doesn’t offer any pick-up service. You’ll need to bring your car to them to finalize the sale. 

Dealers, on the other hand, may offer a pick-up service. Make sure to check with your local dealer if they have this option. 

Physical Locations

With CarMax, you can locate one of their 235 stores and set up an appointment to bring your car there for selling. Similarly, you can locate physical stores of car dealers near you. To do that, just head on to Google and use the keywords “car dealers near me.”

Most of these dealers also provide contact details online. With those, you can call them before bringing your vehicle and confirm the information you might need before selling your car.

Turnaround Time

Whether you’re selling your car to CarMax or dealers, you can expect a 48-hour turnaround time. This timeframe assumes that you have all required documents ready when you bring your vehicle to CarMax or to a car dealer. These typically include

  • Title
  • Service records
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty documents

Customer Service

You can reach the CarMax customer service team through the chat icon on their website, typically located in the lower right corner. It also has an online form where you can fill out details of your concern and its customer service team will reply to you via email. 

Finally, you can call their customer service team at 913-384-6697. Besides these options to contact their customer support team, you can contact each CarMax store near you. Searching them on the store locator also shows their email and phone numbers. 

As for dealers, you can find information about their customer service typically when you search for them online. On Google, searching the keywords “car dealers near me” generates results that include the:

  • Name of the dealer
  • Rating 
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Store opening and closing times


CarMax received a 1.7 rating at Trustpilot and a 1.16 rating at BBB or the Better Business Bureau. Customers on these review platforms mentioned having issues with some CarMax stores not paying them for the instant offers they received online. 

CarMax Dealer
Trustpilot 1.7 N/A
BBB 1.14 N/A
Consumer Affairs 3.6 N/A

Also, others felt that instant offers were low for the vehicles they were selling. Despite these complaints, CarMax received some positive reviews from other happy customers. 

For example, many of them liked that they could sell their vehicles fast and with minimum hassle. Some also were happy with the value they received from their cars. 

Considering how the reviews polarized, it’s safe to assume that selling to CarMax may depend on various factors, such as the turnaround time and the instant offer. 

Your experience may also depend on setting expectations, which rely on the information you provide when you apply for the instant offer. 

As for dealers, looking for customer reviews might be challenging, especially as not all of them are listed on trusted review platforms.

CarMax & Dealer Alternatives


Peddle Summary

  • Sell used, damaged or junk car nationwide
  • Get instant quote on (855) 925 4302
  • Free towing within 48 hours after offer
  • Receive payment upon car collection

Similar to CarMax, Peddle is a car-selling company where you can get instant offers through an online application. It also pays the same day you sell your car to them.

But, compared to CarMax and most dealers, Peddle buys vehicles in any condition, even those wrecked and damaged ones. It even buys junk cars thus it only offers pick-up when you sell your car to them. 

Similar to some dealers, Peddle offers payment in checks or cash. Although, getting paid in cash may depend on their partner tow service in charge of picking up your car. 


Wheelzy Summary

  • Wheelzy stores are open 7 days a week
  • Get offer in minutes – (855) 510-1108
  • Free towing of your car from your location
  • Instant payment via cash or check

Wheelzy is one of the alternatives to CarMax and dealers if you’re looking to sell your car. Like those two options, it minimizes the hassle of dealing with multiple offers from private buyers. After all, you’ll only be selling your car to one company.

However, Wheelzy is different from CarMax and dealers since it offers free pick-up. Additionally, you can sell your car to Wheelzy even if it’s not in working condition, as long as it still has the engine and transmission intact. 


CarBrain Summary

  • Get an online offer within 2 minutes
  • Get cash for your car in under 48 hours
  • CarBrain buys cars in over 7 conditions
  • Up to 7 days to accept CarBrain’s offer

If you’re looking for a more convenient way to sell your car than dealerships like CarMax and Dealer offer, you should consider CarBrain. It’s a car-buying company that offers fair instant quotes for any types of cars regardless their condition. Whether your car is like new, is slightly damaged, or is a complete junk, CarBrain is willing to purchase it.

Once you receive an instant quote from CarBrain, you have 7 days to condder the offer. And if you accept the deal, the CarBrain agent will visit your driveway to pick up your car for free. Pick-ups usually get scheduled within 24 to 48 hours after you accept the deal. The agent will double-check your car’s condition and if everything checks with your description, they will hand you a check payment right before leaving your driveway with your car.

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