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Your questions, answered.

Buying and Selling a Car During COVID-19 | CarMax

While the coronavirus pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, we are committed to meeting the needs of our communities. If you need to buy or sell a car during this time, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the key answers to questions you might have about the car-shopping and buying process at CarMax.

  1. Am I allowed to shop for a car during a shelter-in-place order?
  2. How much of the car-buying process can I do at home?
  3. Can I still take a test drive?
  4. Can I still sell my car?
  5. What is CarMax doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
  6. What are some affordable options if I need to buy a car right now?

1. Am I allowed to shop for a car during a shelter-in-place order?

“Shelter-in-place” and “stay-at-home” orders vary by locality, and the rules are evolving. Check your local and state regulations for more information. Our stores are open to support your needs to buy a vehicle, get repairs, or sell us your car. Contact your local store before you proceed as some stores are open by appointment only (with no walk-ins allowed). You can find out the status of your nearest CarMax store here.

2. How much of the car-buying process can I do at home?

If you are looking to buy a car during this pandemic, you should do as much research as possible online to limit the time you spend outside your home. If you want to narrow down your search before you go to your local store, you can begin searching online at CarMax. The online search allows you to filter your options to fit your budget and the needs of you and your family.

Once you find the right car, you can make an appointment on carmax.com or contact the store in your area to make an appointment. Depending on where you live, you may have the option to handle much of the buying process—including financing and getting a trade-in offer—from home, with help from a CarMax associate, reducing the amount of time you have to spend in the store.

3. Can I still take a test drive?

To adhere to social distancing guidelines, where legally permitted, test drives at all locations are now solo, meaning they take place without a CarMax associate present in the vehicle. As an extra precaution, 15+ high-touch areas of each CarMax car are disinfected before and after every test drive. You may contact your local store for more information on how to test drive a specific vehicle.

4. Can I still sell my car?

Yes. We have adjusted our appraisals process and eliminated any interactions with your car's most frequently-used areas. You will be asked to observe how we interact with your car—maintaining a distance of at least six feet from your appraiser—and to assist with turning your car on or off, and opening or closing doors, windows, and trunk spaces. Offers may be contingent on verifying a car’s mechanical condition with a test drive and/or a review of the cosmetic condition of your vehicle. The test drive and verification will only occur if you choose to sell your vehicle to us.

As always, you don’t need to buy a car from CarMax to sell your car to us. Click here to learn more about selling your car and the steps we’ve taken to follow social distancing guidelines during that process.

If you’re looking for more information on how the pandemic might affect the value of a car you’re selling, you can learn more in this helpful article.

5. What is CarMax doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

The health and safety of our associates, customers, and communities is very important to us. We’ve put significant measures in place to reduce the risk of exposure and further spread of COVID-19 in our communities. These efforts include:

  • Daily cleaning of all stores based on CDC guidelines.
  • Asking associates to wear masks when interacting with others.
  • Implementing the use of a powerful sanitizer to disinfect high-touch areas including tabletops, waiting areas, door handles, restrooms, and other high- traffic areas.
  • Educating associates on necessary steps to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including frequent handwashing.
  • Disinfecting high-touch areas of each car prior to and after each test drive. These areas include: outside and inside door handles, all buttons on the driver's side door, steering wheel, gear shift, hood latch inside, trunk latch outside, seatbelt fastener, keys/fobs, instrument panel, center console, gas cap latch, seats, driver's floor mats, and all other interior buttons.
  • Modifying procedures and operations (such as not sharing pens) and maintaining six feet of distance between customer and associate interactions.

We’re currently a “handshake-free zone” with customers, visitors, and each other.

CarMax Curbside

Based on customer feedback, we’re now offering CarMax Curbside at most locations to help reduce personal contact by spending less time at the CarMax store. You handle most of the buying process at home, such as applying for financing and getting a trade-in offer. When you arrive at CarMax, just call from the designated parking area. An associate will come to you and maintain proper social distance. You can take a solo test drive, and if you decide to buy, you can complete your purchase from inside your car. You will have support from a CarMax associate while shopping remotely every step of the way.

6. What are some affordable options if I need to buy a car right now?

  1. Nissan Sentra
  2. Hyundai Elantra
  3. Toyota Corolla
  4. Hyundai Sonata
  5. Ford Focus
  1. Nissan Rogue
  2. Chevrolet Equinox
  3. Ford Escape
  4. Dodge Journey
  5. Honda CR-V
  1. Nissan Altima
  2. Nissan Sentra
  3. Honda Civic
  4. Hyundai Elantra
  5. Toyota Camry

Our stores are open to support your vehicle needs. This article is a great place to start to learn more about the car shopping and buying process during this challenging time.

Looking to learn more? Visit https://www.carmax.com/covid-19-response.

1Based on prices on carmax.com from March 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2Based on CarMax average prices between June 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees
3Based on average prices on carmax.com from January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.