How we determine your offer.

Getting your car appraised at CarMax is quick and easy. You’ll get a written offer that’s good for seven days at any CarMax location. We’ll buy your car even if you don’t buy ours!®

Current market conditions

National sales trends and auction data give us a starting point to consider. It's also an extra assurance that we're providing a fair offer on your vehicle.

Our inspection

We'll examine your car's condition both inside and out. Minor imperfections usually don't impact our offers, but major defects like frame or flood damage can.

The test drive

Obviously, we'll need to see if the brakes and turn signals are working (among other things) before making an offer. If repairs are needed, we may adjust our offer accordingly.

Your vehicle's history report

The history report is a snapshot of your car’s past, and an important part of determining your offer.

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Getting an appraisal at CarMax is quick and easy. You’ll get a real, written offer for your car, not just an estimate. These helpful videos explain our appraisal process and how we determine the offer for your car.

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The Appraisal Process

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Determining Your Offer

Q&A

Q: What do I need to sell my car?

A:

Requirements for selling your car can vary from state to state, but there are a few items you’ll need no matter where you are:

- Your car's title or payoff information. All titleholders should be present.

- Valid and current registration

- Valid state-issued photo ID for all title holders

- All keys and remotes


Q: How does CarMax determine my offer at the store?

A:

We review current market conditions as well as your car’s specific year, make, model, mileage, and vehicle history report. We examine your car’s condition inside and out for major defects like frame or flood damage. We also test drive your car and check to see if the brakes and turn signals are working (among other things). If repairs are needed, we may adjust our offer accordingly.


Q: How does CarMax determine an online appraisal offer on my car?

A:

We use the answers you provide about your car’s condition and the photos you send of your car’s interior and exterior to determine our offer. We also review current market conditions as well as your car’s specific year, make, model, mileage, and vehicle history report.


Q: IS YOUR OFFER NEGOTIABLE?

A:

No. We make a written, no-haggle offer on every appraised car.

Q: Will modifications to my car affect the offer?

A:

They could. Supply and demand ultimately determines the desirability of any car or added feature.


Q: Does trading in my car affect my offer?

A: No, we’ll make the same offer whether you buy a car from us or not. We’ll buy your car even if you don’t buy ours!®

Q: Will the cleanliness of my car affect the offer?

A:

The long-term maintenance and care of your car is what’s most important in determining our appraisal offer.


Q: Why does it matter that my offer is good for 7 days?

A:

We want to make sure you are confident about selling your car. There’s no pressure to accept our offer and zero hassles as you think about your decision.


Q: DO I HAVE TO SELL MY CAR AT THE SAME LOCATION THAT IT WAS APPRAISED?

A:

You may sell your car at any CarMax location - with the same written offer for seven days. If your appraisal was completed more than seven days ago, we'll re-appraise your car.



Q: WHAT IF I OWE MORE ON MY CAR THAN THE AMOUNT OF YOUR APPRAISAL OFFER?

A:

If your pay-off amount is more than the 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 CarMax car. If not, we'll calculate the difference between your pay-off and our offer to you and you can pay CarMax directly. CarMax Car Buying Centers can accept cashier's or certified checks and certified funds. 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.

Q: Do you buy leased cars?

A:

Yes! In most cases, you can sell your leased car in almost the same way as any other financed car. We'll appraise the car then contact the leasing company for a payoff quote and process any equity you might have. Please note that some leasing companies will not allow you to sell the car prior to the expiration of the lease. Also, be aware that your leased car might not be eligible for trade-in tax savings. Check with your leasing company for complete details.


Q: I have questions. Can I talk to someone?

A:

Yes! We’re ready to answer your questions. Call your local CarMax to connect with an associate.


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