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Curious about how to sell a used car? We can help.

How to Sell Your Car | CarMax

If you’re looking to sell your car, you’ve got options beyond trading in or selling your car privately.

Getting your car appraised at CarMax is quick and easy! Last year, we bought more than 650,000 cars, trucks, and SUVs.

We’ve heard from customers that private car sales can take longer than selling a car to CarMax. There are price negotiations when selling through websites. Some prospective buyers want owners to bring a car to their own mechanic for inspection. All told, it can take a lot of time — sometimes weeks or even months — to sell a car on your own.

And, if you’re still making payments on your vehicle while you’re trying to sell it, you could pay a lot while you’re finding the right buyer.

Here’s a quick resource guide for how to sell your car.

Why sell your car to CarMax?

  1. You’ll get a written offer that’s good for seven days
  2. You can leave CarMax with payment in hand
  3. We’ll buy your car even if you don’t buy one from us

Free car and truck appraisals at CarMax can take the hassle out of selling your vehicle!

How can I find out CarMax’s offer for my car?

How to Sell Your Car: Car Value | CarMax

Some websites only give you an estimate or a range of your car’s value. CarMax gives you a real offer, in writing.

We’ll conduct a fast, free, no-obligation appraisal while you’re at our store. Our team will go over your vehicle and extend an offer that’s valid for one week, so you have time to think it over.

Can I get my car appraised online at CarMax?

How to Sell Your Car: Online Appraisals | CarMax

For a fast, convenient offer on your car, online appraisal is currently an option for owners in the Charlotte, NC and Chicago metropolitan areas.

To learn some ways how to maximize how much you can get for your car, see our 6 Top Customer Appraisal Questions article.

What paperwork do I need to have ready?

How to Sell Your Car: What to Bring | CarMax

Bring along the title or payoff information for your vehicle, plus your valid, current registration. Don’t forget that all titleholders need to bring their valid, state-issued photo IDs (plus all of your car’s keys, key fobs, and remote entry fobs). Here’s a full list of what you need to bring if you’re planning to sell your car.

How important is it to have a clean or detailed car before I bring it to CarMax?

There’s no need to spend a lot of money on professional detailing before you visit us. We’re not as concerned about minor imperfections as we are about how your car has been cared for over time. Learn how CarMax determines your offer.

What’s the difference between trading in a car, a private sale, and selling to CarMax?

When you trade in your vehicle at other dealerships, you can’t be sure the dealer isn’t boosting your trade-in value in order to charge you more for a new car. At CarMax, we issue one no-hassle appraisal offer for your vehicle. If you’re ready to sell, you can leave with payment in hand.

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind posting and responding to ads until your car sells, or if you’re willing to negotiate a sales price as a private seller, go for it! Maybe you’ll have luck and sell your car quickly, and you might get more money through a private sale.

Be aware, though, that selling privately comes with uncertainties that include:

  • How much money you’ll get for your car
  • How effective your ‘for sale’ ad will be
  • Whether you’ll need to drive your car to a buyer’s mechanic for inspection
  • How to transfer title paperwork in the state where you live

But if you’re ready to move on to your next vehicle, we can take the extra time and hassle out of selling your old one.

What if I still owe money on my car?

If you have a lien on your car or truck, we’ll contact your lien holder to facilitate a payoff. In order to pay off your lien, we’ll need the following:

  • Your lien holder’s name and contact information
  • Your lien account number and lien holder(s)’s Social Security Number

If a previously paid-off lien is listed on your car’s title, you'll need both the title and the lien release from the lien holder before we can purchase your vehicle.

If your pay-off amount is more than our offer for your car, the difference is called “negative equity.” In some cases, the negative equity can be included in your financing when you buy a car from CarMax. If not, we’ll calculate the difference between your pay-off and our offer to you and you can pay CarMax directly.

CarMax Buying Centers (located in a few states) accept cashier’s or certified checks and certified funds only. CarMax stores also accept cash and debit cards. If the amount you owe is less than $250, we will accept a personal check. Our written offers are good for seven days, giving you time to get any necessary funds to settle your transaction.

What needs to happen for the sale to be final?

Once we’ve made an offer on your vehicle and you’ve accepted it (and you’ve brought your paperwork, IDs, keys, and remote fobs with you), we can issue you a bank draft on the spot.

If you’re interested in selling your car to CarMax, click here.

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