CarMax in San Diego, CA


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On this page you can find detailed information about the company CarMax in San Diego, CA.

The following is provided current addresses and telephone numbers of all branches car dealer CarMax, and using the card, you can easily locate it visually. Also on the page provides information on dealer CarMax in other cities in the California.

CarMax


Dealer Info:


Phone(s):(858) 712-6486
Address:7766 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA, 92111
  • Monday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sunday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Reviews on CarMax

 
Mrs A. | 2015-04-22

If there was a way to provide negative stars I would.   This place is HIGHLY unprofessional and participates in illegal acts.  I traded in a perfectly operational vehicle and was sold a lemon and they are refusing to take ownership if their wrong doings.  The vehicle had cracked gaskets,  busted radiator and rusted engine blocks.   They refused to fix it and stated they will buy it back as if they were dOing me a favor.  Despite the red flags,  I attempted to have a vehicle swap.  They were not willing to write a letter that my finance company requested stating that the vehicle sold was a lemon and being swapped out for something else. They are not understanding of the military community and their practices are all or nothing.   They only option provided was for me to finance through them and refinance through my lender.  No matter how desperate you are, PLEASE save your money and time and seek a vehicle elsewhere.   You will regret it if you don't.

 
Allan G. | 2015-04-19

I have bought two cars from Carmax.  Both times, Roxy was the salesperson.  First purchase was in 2008 ('05 Ford Focus) and the other one was in 2009 ('05 Ford Mustang GT).  She made the process super easy and did not try to sell me something that I didn't want.  The Focus was shipped from Carmax in Duarte and the Mustang was shipped from Carmax in Las Vegas and each time, she called to let me know that the car arrived and to come in when I was free (thanks for the follow up!).  When it came time to buy the Mustang, Carmax gave me almost exactly what I paid for the Focus which made me very happy.

Thanks Carmax for your "no haggle" pricing and for making the car buying process so easy!  I will be back.

 
Andy A. | 2015-04-17

Bought my fourth car here from CarmAx from Rene G. he is a good guy. Daniel is a funny guy who keeps you laughing the whole time see either one of these two for a vehicle. the manager Nico DeLeon, needs to be sent back to managers school; he gave me the Worst customer service and he was very confrontational.

Would I buy my fifth car or continue referring customers like I do?!? Hmmm I'm not sure anymore but I do know Rene G and Daniel are your Carmax people if you decide to.
Nico D please go back for e refresher course in people skills. You need it.

 
Amy B. | 2015-04-16

I sold my Acura MDX a couple of weeks ago.
An agent named Clare was very unprofessional and rude taking forever to end the whole process.
I was very disappointed with their service and won't recommend this place to anyone
who consider selling or buying his/her car.

 
Brian C. | 2015-04-07

Disappointing experience.

Brought my vehicle here for an appraisal at the suggestion of the dealership where I'm buying a car as they wanted to help me get top dollar for my trade and my particular trade wouldn't sell well on their lot so they wouldn't be able to offer as much as a national dealer like Carmax might.

Showed up on a Monday afternoon, hoping the appraisal would only take the 30-40 minutes as described on their website. Spent time talking to their salesperson, gave him my info, he put me in the appraisal queue, then found out the wait was over an hour. I had other time commitments so I scheduled an appointment for the next day.

Apparently "appointment" doesn't mean anything other than "come back another time to wait just as long". Showed up at my appointment time and had to wait 90 minutes before my appraisal was completed, at which point I learned they offered less for my trade in than the dealership that referred me to them. Similar cars on their lot with fewer features are listed for $8k+ more than I was offered in trade and my vehicle requires little to no reconditioning for them to sell it.  

Quite happy to take my business elsewhere, just wish I didn't lose 2+ hours in the process.

 
Bisharet Q. | 2015-04-06

I bought my Acura MDX here and wasn't pleased with the color so i was able to return it on the 4th day after buying it without any issues what so ever. This is balboa address is my local store but the MDX that I wanted was in Oxnard, CA. So i drove up there the same day and bought the black one I wanted for the same price.

Now here comes the 5 star part. Before we left the lot in Oxnard the sales guy point out a discrepancy in the paint and body; it was nothing major but noticeable when looked at. They put in a request to have it fixed. I was supposed to call them and set up a local appt since we bought it in Oxnard and lived in San Diego. So about 3 months later i finally had time to pursue getting the issue fixed. To my surprise my local CARMAX had no problem fixing the issue even though the vehicle was bought else where and the time limit on the request was overdue.

There was less than a week turn around and my family of twins and a dog had loaner mini van with ease. Candace at the Service Dept. was phenomenal in keeping me posted and more than confident in the work they were doing. My car looks fantastic and they even took care of some extra stuff no charge. I am most definitely always will recommend Carmax to any one anywhere.

Thanks to Candace and the Carmax team!

 
Jp Z. | 2015-04-06

I went to get my 14 Forester Xt appraised today by Reema Poles. I have to say I had a wonderful experience. Even though I didn't get was I was hoping to get, I still had a wonderful experience, she's really attentive and had excellent customer service skills. I will definitely buy my car from her in the future. Keep up the good work Reema and your co worker as well can't remember his name. Thanks!

 
Jealiza R. | 2015-04-03

BIG FAT ZERO

This place will sell you a car easily with no hassle no problems.  The process is fast and yes it seems easy but don't be a fool for this. My family purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima just last month and One month later Dylan one of the "managers" calls us saying that the finance company won't accept the proof of income we provided. If you work for a private office and receive written checks with car max no finance company will accept it  (even if you have provided bank statements and pictures of all the issued checks, w2 with your social clearly stating how much you make, phone calls to your employer,  a written letter,  and receipts of all your checks cashed.) So Dylan came up with the idea of using my boyfriends income since he was the co signer and works for a big company where can print out all his past stubs. What do you know we're approved and he reassured us that the deal was set and everything was fine. We go home thinking no more problems (at this point though we've already invested in the vehicle by placing tints, headlights,  and dipping the rims black.) One week later which was yesterday Dylan contacted us saying he thought it was okay but they need all the proof of income AGAIN. We go to car max and Dylan was nowhere to be found (they said he was out to lunch). Instead he had Nikko clean up his mess because we were there for a good 2 1/2 hours going on 3 and still no Dylan. The customer service that was given to us was BS. Nikko basically said if the finance company does not accept this then we have to return the car immediately.  Of course they don't accept it and we explained how that was our only car how we have the car seat, stroller with us and all our belonging in the vehicle (keep in mind that we are Filipino with a baby and he was also Filipino so you would think that there would be some kind of fucking remorse or sympathy but no) he said " well Is there any other arrangements?  Because this has to happen. YOU HAVE to return the car" I had to call my boyfriend out of work to pick us up and transfer everything we had in the vehicle to his car. We made it clear that we wouldn't sign papers unless we were going to receive our refund back that same day. He made that happen but they were not willing to reimburse anything that we've done to the vehicle which is fucking ridiculous because now they can raise up the price of the vehicle and profit from that. They're so called mechanics don't even look like they know what the hell they're doing to any of the cars they work on! I think they hired them all off of Craigslist in my opinion. Such a horrible experience that I would never go back to car max nor refer anyone to them. Their 120 inspection is a joke within itself! The people who work there will tell you themselves that you don't need any knowledge on cars you just have to know how to talk to people. Well folks there you have it! 80% of the people that work there don't have an Idea of wtf they're doing they just seal the deal because for each vehicle you sell you receive $300. Don't get me wrong there are some sales representatives that actually are nice and want to help you out but they don't see the bigger picture of what kind of facility they are working for. Car max is the middle man since they don't have no in house financing you can never really put the blame on them it's like a free pass each time a deal fucks up they know how to sweet talk you Into thinking they are really helping you out but at the end their like we'll it's not our fault so return the car now no matter what the circumstances are. Fucking assholes. Never again.

 
ColorMeCurvy .. | 2015-04-03

I called to get information on vehicles. Kathy Nevans did a great job helping us out. She was off the night we went to look at vehicles but she set us up with Adrian who did a thorough job of showing us all sorts of vehicles within our price range. He was very relaxed, definitely a no pressure environment. Both Kathy and Adrian were great to work with and help us tremendously in our journey to our car. Kathy hooked us up with Percy at the Escondido center and we test drove a model and purchased it. A great deal for a great car! Carmax has made auto purchases a joy. Easy breezy.

 
ScottRyan R. | 2015-04-02

This place will sell you a car easily but screw you over a MONTH later. My girlfriends mom was buying a car with me as the co signer. They get approved for a 2013 Nissan Altima but when they checked from proof of income they said her pay stub is fraud cause it's printed on a blank paper (she works at a small private office and gets paid straight from her doctor).. But the salesman explained to his manager and he said yeah that's fine it will be approved so we leave that night with the car with no problem. 1 MONTH later yes 1 whole month and a few days later some "manager" from CarMax calls my girlfriends mom and says to return the car cause the pay stub she provided is considered fraud.. Are you serious? You guys even approved it and that's how her pay stubs are! Not only that! She was recovering from surgery and they kept bugging her and calling her to return it! So a week later we go there to handle it and Dylan a "manager" had a bright idea saying to jus use my pay stub since its more "believable" and it will go thru.. We re do the transaction and boom approved he tells us that is all they need to do and we won't have any problems anymore cause we fixed it. But nope 1 week later Mr. Dylan calls my girlfriends mom saying he guesses they can't accept that too. My girlfriends mom goes there to figure everything out again and Dylan is no where to be found they said he was on lunch. Must of been a 2 hour lunch cause no where to be found so he had his butt buddy handle his f up for him. I also had to leave work to sign papers and pick them up since CarMax wanted the car back. We've wasted so much time on going back cause they have no clue what they are doing. One guy even said more than half the people who work there have no knowledge on cars, they jus need to be nice and sell. Managers also aren't the brightest. Worst place ever. Staff is a straight joke!

 
Chris H. | 2015-03-27

Well, folks- We're at a big fat zero with these customer service bumblers again. Although the sales staff were outstanding in their abilities to get a car transferred, the management was shockingly unresponsive and very unfriendly in their response to a worse-case scenario service situation. I bought a 2008 BMW 335i, and a couple of days had to take it to their service department due to oil leaking on my garage floor. After a couple of hours, the service manager called me back and told me that they didn't want to fix my car- It was simply too expensive and they would much rather buy the car back from me. Without much thought on my part, and a whole lot of arm-twisting on theirs (as well as a PROMISE from the SM that they'd get me another car equal or greater in value), they bought the two-day old purchase back, causing me a total mess with my bank on the unwind. THEN... They then tried to sell me a one-year older 335i with less options, for MORE MONEY. AND a bump in interest rate at my bank (2008 gets a lot better rate than 2007)!  The attitude of CarMax management? Stuff happens. Sorry. It's your responsibility to buy a car now. So basically, they bamboozled me out of a car I paid them in full for, so they wouldn't have to fix it. I should have forced them to fix it under the law, but they smooth-talked me into it, with me not realizing what a critical cost bump it was going to cost me, on top of having to qualify for TWO loans in two days (not good on the old credit score...). I called corporate, who were quite sympathetic, telling me that I was wronged in the process. They said they'd be in touch with me- they have not contacted me. You see how they got rid of me by buying the car back? All ties cut, and no obligation to me left on their part. When you combine this level of service with their iffy trade valuation for many folks, I would have to say "Not recommended"- Sorry. Stuff happens. Be very wary about this chains so-called "120 Point Inspection"- Do some research- It's a scam. Dirty air filters, no services performed- The list goes on and on.

 
Bill B. | 2015-03-26

Don't sign up for the service/oil change package unless it's very convenient for you.

Bought two cars here, that experience was great. Took one in for an oil change and now now there's a noise behind the glove box and the tire pressure indicator light is on.

They said it can be brought in again, which is great, except that my schedule doesn't really allow taking a day off work or even part of a weekend to go in there. Would be nice if the came and got it.

Carmax Concierge?

--------
Review from two years ago:
Bought and sold a car here.

Both times the deals were pretty good. When it came to buying, probably excellent because I used the car finder service to find the car I wanted, with the right mileage after striking out at dealerships and elsewhere. Selling, it was hassle free.

Could I have gotten a better deal elsewhere? Maybe, but with much more legwork on both sides. Ever try to sell a car? It's not fun.

Worth a look for sure!

 
Yunlu H. | 2015-03-21

My apology
This was a misunderstanding and Carmax did what they should do. I'm sorry that I posted this wrong information.

----------------------------------
Old review:
wrote a long review and then deleted it, thought that one is too personal :(

I wish i can give a zero.

this carmax performed some behaviour that i personally consider as fraud. The salesman told me that my car is salvage titled. I checked the title again after going back to home, asked other dealers to check for me online, I paid to check online by myself again. The title is clean.
Just take caution when selling cars to this carmax.
--------------------------------

 
Amanda R. | 2015-03-20

Love this place! 9 months ago my 11 year old car started to go so we stopped in to try to find a new one. Having no idea what I could really afford and really needed, I had no problems at all! We me Rick Ramsey right inside the door and had a blast from there! Rick helped me find a car and figured out my budget. He stayed 2 hours past the time he needed to leave just to help us! That night I left with a VW Jetta.

I found that I didn't love the Jetta and missed my old SUV. Already heading to Carmax after work that night I remembered that I had Rick's number from our last visit so I sent him a text. He called me immediately setting up and appointment after I got done work (again he should have been out of there at that same time and stayed for us!)

We set up time to get my car and my girlfriends car appraised and check out a new car for me. I went in knowing the exact car I wanted this time only to find that I made a mistake and was looking at a vehicle at a different Carmax. Rick suggested a few other SUVs for me to check out and test drive.

First times a charm! I loved it and had to have! Got my new Nissan Rogue that night!

Then we text Rick Saturday to make sure he would be there Sunday cause we were coming back for another car for my girlfriend!

Carmax offered us an awesome price for both of our old cars and the new cars were the best price! The financial side... whole nother review for a different day! Not very happy with them doubling my APR from one car to the other! Refinanced that loan in a heartbeat!

Sunday, we ran with open arms to meet our new bff Rick! Took about 1 1/2 hour and we drove off with a cute little smart car!!

We can't thank you enough Rick! You have been ever so helpful and we are so happy! We have already spread his name to many people and will continue to do so!

 
Nick N. | 2015-03-16

Purchase a vehicle, get the warm and fuzzy that the car is sound, promised that the maintenance has been done to include the air filter and cabin filter, only to find out you've been lied to.  They offer horrible rates through the banks they work with, rush the finance process, respond horribly to phone calls for questions and to schedule service, and they place blame on someone or something else when confronted.  Within a short amount of time, with all local driving, a Subaru dealer serviced our Impreza and showed us the cabin air filter and engine air filter.  They were completely filthy, and the car had not had the 30,000 mile maintenance.  Subaru vouched for that.  Leaves, dirt, bugs, and sticks were in both filters.  Carmax will do what it takes to sell you a car, it's obvious from all their reviews.  Take your business elsewhere, and steer clear of a salesman named "Ryan."

 
Barney C. | 2015-03-12

Recently sold my Evoque here and it was a pretty good experience throughout the entire process. I came in without an appointment and was quickly assigned a rep. My car appraisal was pretty quick. Maybe 20 minutes or so. During that down time my rep and I took a leisurely test drive in an awesome Audi S5. No pressure to buy any car at all, even though he pretty much I was an easy sell on the S5. CarMax gave me more than I owed on my Evoque. I shopped around a bit since I had 7 days to decide. Ultimately, they had the best offer and I sold it on the 7th day. They made selling your leased vehicle super easy by doing all the leg work and contacting your finance company. I'd definitely recommend CarMax for selling your current car and also buying your next one.

 
Angel A. | 2015-03-09

I bought my first car from Carmax back in 2011 and since the whole process was so easy and they had such a large selection, I went there again this year to get another car from them.  

I walked into Carmax not knowing exactly what I wanted, so Shad and Lowell helped me in my selection process.  They took great care of me and were informative, honest, objective/non-biased, and no pressure at all to buy.  Fantastic service.  

I got my car appraised and I sold my Carmax car back to them for a great price (much higher than two dealerships that I went to).  

I wanted peace of mind that I'm buying a legitimate car, efficiency, great customer service and that's why I go here.  I would rather pay a little extra for the car for all of this peace of mind, customer service, etc., because in the end it's worth it!

 
Amy C. | 2015-03-09

Do not go here without an appointment and do not get an appointment with anyone else but CHARAE PIMENTEL.  Charae was thoughtful and patient, yet, honest and straight forward.  She really just wants you to find the right fit.  No pressure.  In fact, I didn't even buy my car here.  I visited several dealerships, but I am only writing this one review....

 
Lucy H. | 2015-03-02

Didn't buy a car, but stopped in for a test drive and to see what they would offer on a trade.  Was impressed with Patrick who helped us; impressed with the offer on the trade; and test driving a lightly used Cayenne diesel (impressive car!) couldn't have been easier.  As you can gather, definitely impressed and plan to come back when it gets closer to potential upgrade time!

 
Britt B. | 2015-02-25

I recently went to CarMax looking for a small SUV. I was really excited to because I've heard such good things about it.
I admit they have pretty good cars and prices but the customer service was horrible. I made an appointment with a guy named Brian for 6:45, after waiting around for 15/20 pass my appointment time they told me he was off and the person who was suppose to help me is busy, so they stuck me with a girl named Nikki who was on her phone the WHOLE time, rom consultation, test driving the car, etc. She also didn't know much about the cars I was interested in buying. I couldn't wait for me to be done with test driving so I could leave. I probably wont ever go back and I wont recommend this place to anyone who believes in good customer service.

 
Francis D. | 2015-02-23

If you want to be judged and have the worst car buying experience come here and look for BRYON STEWART!! My family and I came here on valentine's day evening after seeing the Porche Cayenne on their website. We looked around the parking structure and needless  to say we didn't find a single sales person. Walked in the show room and found countless salesman standing around. We were looking around the Porsche which was located in the show room. BRYON walked up and greeted us as did we told him we were interested in the Porsche. BRYON response "yeah me too". Fast forward to the table asbdndnd he and he asked why we were interested in the Porsche and proceeded  to tell us how there are cars better priced. He offered us a VW toureg and tells us most people who have the money wouldnt spend that kind of money on a car. We hasn't let us test drive the vehicle  at this point. He asked if we had a garage to park this in bec we shouldn't park it outside, my wife told him we own a house with a 2 car garage. Asked to see my wife driver license to enter in the computer and asked if the address and info was correct. My wife replied yes. As he was entering information on the computer he proceeded to ask for an apartment #.  He wanted to run credit check before we test drive  asked we told him NO we aren't doing such a thing specially since we haven't even test drove the car. We asked to have a vehicle transfered and he proceeded to tell his manager a lie and told her we were paying cash. Finally we had it. My wife told the manager working what the experience has been that evening and needless to say she wasn't very apologetic. We have never felt more judge and insulted in our entire life!!!  

BTW Thank you BMW of El Cajon for our brand new 2015 5 series and showing us what great cx service experience feels like!!!

 
Sarah P. | 2015-02-20

If you want to be helped by someone who listens to what you want, who is extremely respectful and patient then Toriana Ohara is your girl!

We went to Carmax looking for a specific car and Tori helped us get into that car with no problems. We had to get in transferred which didn't take long at all.

We had to take our 2 year old son with us because we don't have a babysitter and Tori had no problem with it! She was extremely patient with my husband and I catering to our son's needs, especially since it was way past his nap time and was extremely grumpy. Tori had no problem waiting for us to grab things from the car or walking around with him to calm him down.

Tori broke everything down for us in an extremely easy to understand way which made the process a lot faster than it usually does at a regular dealership. We were in and out of there with our new car in less than half the time it would have at a dealership.

We traded our fairly new BMW for our car we purchased at Carmax, and the appraisal was A LOT faster than the dealerships was. We went to a dealership the day before going to Carmax and we waited more than an hour for our appraisal! No one else was at that dealership, and they didn't even drive our car, just looked at it!

Hands down, Carmax is the place to go for better appraisals and better customer service. They don't treat you as a number like regular dealerships. And the best part is they don't force cars on you. They let the car sell itself.

 
Matthew K. | 2015-02-19

We bought a subaru outback from Carmax a few months ago that ended up having some emissions control problems that were caused by additions put on the car by a prior owner. Carmax management admitted that they should have recognized the problem and never sold the car to us. They decided to buy our car back from us for full price. It was great not having to get stuck with a broken car with 6k plus in repairs, and allowing us the opportunity to buy a higher quality car. Because they were so willing and easy to work with us on our broken vehicle, we bought another car from them and will be happy to continue buying vehicles from them in the future as long as their service remains this high. I highly recommend this dealership and their service department. They were very honest with us and willing to make us happy. Definitely consider buying a used vehicle here if you're looking.

 
Cari P. | 2015-02-17

We went in to have my vehicle appraised while we were car shopping around.

We were offered a fairly decent trade-in but didn't have anything in mind we liked to purchase at the time.

Fast forward 3 weeks. We found a great vehicle and came back to sell our vehicle to CarMax and apparently a lot can happen within 3 weeks.

A different person appraised our perfectly running vehicle and came back saying there was a "slight noise that means a transmission problem" and they offered next to nothing for the vehicle.

After we left we listened and listened for a noise and nothing! I took the vehicle to an actual mechanic and they said there was absolutely nothing wrong with the transmission.

We ended up trading the vehicle at a dealership for a much better deal.

I thought Carmax would be the best place to deal with selling your car but I guess not. The attitude of the individual that appraised our vehicle acted like he knew everything about all cars and he knew no wrong. See ya!

 
LA C. | 2015-02-15

I can only review my first 15 minutes of trying to have my car appraised because I left soon after it started. The guy sales rep was great over email and phone, but when I came in for the appraisal, the woman that was supposed to lead the appraisal was atrocious. As I'm looking to sell a very new car, I'm used to people being nosy or condescending, but this was just THE WORST. She was pushy, wouldn't respond directly when I asked what the heck the process was, and then tried to bully me into not asking questions. NO WAY. I cannot remember being treated so poorly as I just was in that cattle call.

If any CarMax employees check Yelp - please re-train your appraisers to be calm and give information instead of being absolutely rude and unprofessional. I will never be returning to CarMax for selling or purchasing after that experience.

 
Sam R. | 2015-02-15

My husband and I went to carmax to get an appraisal on my car and look at everything they had. We were helped right away by JOHN and he was very nice AT FIRST. I told him what kind of cars I was THINKING about trading mine in for and he brought us to the exact spot I needed to look and nicely gave us our space and his phone number to call him if we needed anything. I was very surprised with how nice he was and wasn't pushy. So we looked in the lot for about an hour and I saw some cars I liked, but not loved. John found us towards the end of our search and brought us back in to look at my appraisal. This is when I realized that John has two personalities. After seeing my appraisal which wasn't that bad John brought three cars of the model I liked up on the carmax website and immediately clicked on the most expensive one. My husband nicely asked him to look at one that was about 6,000 dollars cheaper than the first and JOHN started arguing with my husband and belittling both of us saying "why would you want that car it is exactly like the one you have now" His tone changed completely and he turned into a complete jerk once he knew we weren't falling for his "upgrade spiel." He then abruptly got up and ran off to get my key when he returned he wouldn't look either of us in the eye and rudely said have a nice day and walked away. I was so shocked at how fast this guy turned into a complete douchebag it ruined my experience and we were previous customers who will NOT be returning to this place again.

 
Norma V. | 2015-02-12

Their service department is horrible!  I purchased my vehicle in Colorado in August. Several small items needed to be addressed when I returned to CA. Not only did they have my vehicle for close to 8 weeks (sporadically ) bit several of the items in need of repair were never fixed.  They scratched the exterior of my perfect paint job in 5 different areas, denied it but ultimately repainted it which did not match my paint.  I also had bright yellow paint (taxi cab yellow) on my interior black leather, carpeting and under the wheel wells. I observed another customer with paint damage. The manager was telling her if didn't Halen there.  I went over and told her I had the same problem.  BEWARE if you leave your vehicle. ..it won't come out the same!

Horrible costumer service.  No return phone calls.  They tell you they'll have your car for 2 days and it turns out to be 2 weeks! If I could have given them 0 stars I would have.  Avoid this place like the plague!

 
Marc M. | 2015-02-11

Great service department.  Candice was awesome. Friendly helpful.  I am totally pleased with car buying and car maintenance there.

 
Jessica B. | 2015-02-10

When I walked up to the door me and my significant other were both worried we weren't gonna be able to leave without being sold something. When I walked in they nicely asked what I was looking for.. I told them suvs and priuses they sent me to the lot after nicely adding me to the waitlist to speak with a carmax professional. I was able to get about 10 minutes of looking around in before I got called in. When I walked back in I introduced my self to a lovely lady named Elaine Taillac. I told her I wasn't looking to buy something right away but in the next few months. Most car sales people would have given me little attention after that however Elaine was more then helpful. She showed me what they had that fit my criteria and also showed me how much monthly payments and stuff would be. She has my number and will be in contact with me over the next couple months to help me purchase my first car!!! She wasn't pushy and helped me answer every question I had.  

Highly recommended this place and to speak with ELAINE TAILLAC when going here. She made it worth the trip. Carmax will def. Be getting my business due to her! :)

 
Aaron S. | 2015-02-05

Was a super hassle free painless experience.  Found a car I wanted online, a 2012 Camaro ZL1, it was in Irvine, had it transferred down for no charge.  Once the car came in they held it for two days until I could come and see it.  Came in once at night to look at it, everything looked great, but it was dark and raining.  Came back the next day in the afternoon, no rain, daylight, test drive, sold.  Paperwork took a matter of 30-45 minutes.  Sebastian my salesperson was super nice.  This is my families first time buying from Carmax, but my wife enjoyed the easy experience so much that she said her next vehicle will be purchased from Carmax.

 
Jennifer P. | 2015-02-01

Kori Jones was the most amazingly helpful car salesperson I have ever met. She made buying my new car so simple and enjoyable. She was very honest as well, one car we were going to drive didn't sound just right and we didn't even notice she did and had us turn right around and go back to the dealership and had a new car transferred to us within 2 days!!!

 
Jo P. | 2015-01-30

Shelley was great sales person.  Liked the 2014 Honda CRV but didn't plan on buying this day; just wanted to sit in a few crossovers and see what our 2007 Prius with 39,000 miles was worth to them.  She was so good and we liked the Honda CRV LX so much we ended up buying it.  But after we got home, I thought, we didn't know enough looking and pricing.  So I looked and saw we could get 2015 mid-level model for $3,000 less and it had side-view lane changing camera, better mpg (29 vs 23),.  We didn't need or want leather seats or thet extravagant hard to learn navigation system, so we took it back 2 days later and they refunded our payment though we couldn't cash check until our check cleared.  They have a wonderful 5-day full money-back guarantee.  Couldn't get our Prius back and thought we could have probably gotten more than $8,000 for it, but c'est la vie!  Kaitlin the Finance Rep was awesome and they even told us we could stop payment on our check and they would refund charge for the bank.  Did that and they were quick and efficient in giving us that.  Loved the sales service there; not sure how fast and easy car service is since small, but very good interesting concept at CARMAX.

 
Tim R. | 2015-01-29

If you have a few different cars in mind, and want to compare them all, this is the place. Every model we considered purchasing was on the lot, in a few different colorways and styles. I was really surprised with the quality of inventory.

Chris P. (redheaded guy) is the one who made our experience reach the fifth star. I would buy a second car from him if possible. My wife and I dread going to a dealership because of the pushy creepy old salesman. Chris knew a lot about every car we looked at, and it genuinely felt like we were looking at cars with a friend, and not a salesman. He followed up with an email on my previous car's trade in value, and another time with the two cars we showed interest in. He made visiting CarMax an inviting experience.

CarMax is a great place to trade-in a car and get a newer one, with tons of selections from all different manufacturers. It really is changing the car purchasing environment. At no point did I feel like I had to go into negotiator mode or play some weirdo auto sales mind games. The staff is genuinely friendly, inviting, and helpful.

tl'dr Go here first for a used car. Ask for Chris.

 
Stephanie A. | 2015-01-21

So I had a GREAT experience while purchasing my car from Carmax. They financed me at a decent rate for my credit and with no money down, and I got exactly what I want -- my sales rep made sure of that.

However, everything with their service / repair department has been annoying.

I purchased a 2011 Nissan Sentra and before I even purchased the car, noticed the SD Map card was missing. (This is what allows you to use the in-dash navigation system. I told my sales rep who told me CarMax's Repair Center would get that for me, and they would call me the next day.

They did call, and they said the part would come in on Monday (this was on Friday). I was excited and said goodbye.

On Monday I received no call. I called after work only to find out their repair side was already closed and the main desk phone attendant could not help me. She had no idea about my order for the SD Map card and couldn't find it in the system. She said the only thing I could do was call the next day.

I told her my concerns, as at this point I was coming up on the 5 day return policy for my car. I didn't think I wanted to return the car, but I also thought I would be able to make sure EVERYTHING was okay before the 5 days were up. I asked her if they would extend it given the circumstances, she put me on a very long hold, and then said no, since I had the car and had been driving it. Fine.

I called the next day and I was told my SD map card was ordered, but it wasn't coming in for another week! Now, the guy tells me it will arrive the next week on Tuesday and that I would get a call.

Now it's the following week and still NO CALL about this small, chip that I only need to insert into the slot on my dash. I called today and NO ANSWER, left a voicemail that stated I would get a call back in 4 business hours. Still no call. I just bought a car, I should not be going through these kinds of hoops and hurdles for something as small as a SD card!!!!

 
Clint V. | 2015-01-21

AMAZING!!! the commercials don't do the experience justice.  I went in with a 2003 vehicle with 210,000 miles on it.  Kelly Blue Book said it's worth $581. Car Max gave me $1300. I disclosed my credit was trashed.  I got approved! What?  

Easy,  quick,  honest,  fast (compared to a new car dealer). I'm sold.  A car max customer FOR LIFE!

Ask for Elaine T. She has a lot of experience,  so she says,  but boy does it show. She took the time to get to know me and find out what it is I was looking for.  No pressure,  and tons of options.

Thank you Elaine.  You're awesome!

 
Alison A. | 2015-01-16

Other than our great buying experience from here! I will have to say that the service department is just as amazing.
My back passenger door wouldn't open at all. Took it in, and it was supposed it be fixed. Get home and it's not. I call them back, and I brought it in the next day. They found the problem, gave me a refund and got me a rental car. I had the rental maybe 24 hours before they called and said my car was ready! Which was great.
Yes I could have been upset about having to go back but the women who took care of me, her name is Lupe. She made the whole experience very pleasant. If she wasn't as awesome as she was, I don't think I would have been as calm as I was. She did work and got it done. She made sure I was good to go in all aspects and I couldn't have asked for a better representative. Next time I am there, I am going to request only to talk and deal with her. She's that's awesome.

 
Elizabeth W. | 2015-01-15

My husband and I purchased a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado here on December 27th.  While the car buying experience was very easy and smooth, every possible interaction with CarMax since that day has been terrible.

The car locks on the truck would not work, not inside with the button, nor with the alarm remote.  Instead of dealing with the service department we decided to just take it to the local Chevy dealership, Bob Stall, since the truck is still under original warranty.  Their service department by the way, was very good!  We took it in the first appointment they had available on Friday January 9th.  They fixed a problem with the radio, and then diagnosed the lock issue.  Come to find out that the previous owner had an after market alarm installed, and then removed prior to selling.  This made the repair outside of the warranty, so we had to call CarMax for the repair.  I wonder how this passed the "100 point" inspection.  Didn't anyone at CarMax notice that the truck would not lock?

We took the truck in on Saturday January 10th.  Explained to the person taking the truck what the issue was, gave them copies of all the documentation we had from the dealer and said exactly what we wanted done.  We also requested that while they had the truck they assemble the tire jack and secure it in the back, when we bought the truck it was just loose and all over the back under the seat.  

Ok, great we were off, in the loaner truck they gave us.  Which as a side note, had a VERY strong animal urine smell.  Nice, thank you.

We were told we would get a call first thing Monday morning by a technician with a plan.  Monday morning came, no call.  I called at 9:30 and was told they would call back with in the hour, no call.  I called again at 11:30 and was told I would get a call back, no call.  I called again at 12 noon, this time they called my husband 45 minutes later.  But its perfect because its his truck so its best they call him.  This time they said they have a Chevy expert there that will look at the truck and guess what....call us back.  

Finally got a call back on Tuesday morning.  At that time they told us they didn't see an after market alarm and would need to take it over to another Chevrolet dealer.  Really?  what about the expert.  Oh well so off the truck went on Tuesday to the dealership.  At this point we were so tired of the back and forth we decided not to call them and just wait until they called saying the truck was ready.  

Finally got a call from them late Wednesday that the truck was ready.  Perfect, Thursday morning husband goes over there in the pee truck to pick up his truck.  Locks were working perfectly, thank you Kearny Mesa Chevrolet.  They replaced all the fuses and had to rewire the locking system.  The jack was not secure and was exactly how it was when we dropped the truck off.  Also, CarMax had somehow used 1/4 tank of gas in this process as well.  Kearny Mesa Chevrolet is only about 2 miles away, so not sure how this happened.  

My husband asked the service person to take the truck back to the service bay and have the jack secured and to fill the tank up.  Honestly at this point, we are completely over this place.  About 25 minutes later she drives the truck back over to the customer service station, with no gas and the jack isn't secure.  Its missing pieces and so they will have to order it.  Again, how did this pass the 100 point inspection?  I am just happy that this was discovered prior to actually needed the jack.  Unbelievable.  

If my husband wanted to wait for the gas, the service rep would have to get a Manager to sign off on it and then he would have to wait.  Well that would probably be another 30 minutes.  No thanks, we will just take the truck and go.  Hopefully never needing to return to CarMax service department.  

While we are happy with the truck being Chevrolet owners for years, I don't think we will every buy a car from this company again.  I also won't be recommending them to anyone I know.  Its a shame because Shelly, our sales person, was very nice and extremely helpful through all this.  The sales transaction would have been 4 stars, the service transaction 0.

Now I wonder how long it will be before we get a tire jack?

 
Michelle Y. | 2015-01-06

When i got the thought to buy a "new" car my boyfriend and I decided to head to Carmax so that I could see a variety of vehicles. Despite there being a closer Carmax to our home, this Carmax had more vehicles in the category that I was looking. After purchasing my car I would have given CarMax 4 stars, the process was easy and painless and our sales guy was really friendly and did not pressure. 4 months into having my car, here we are at 1 star.

My car began to wobble when accelerating and made a weird sound when turning. Took it into Carmax Escondido where everyone assumed it was an easy fix (tire balancing or something). While there I also mentioned that moisture was getting into my headlight (1st time we got any moisture since purchasing my car). Get a call later saying that none of damages are "easy fixes". Both front axels have to be repaired and the entire headlight needs to be replaced ($1,000+ repair). The axels were luckily covered by Acura of Escondido, coverage of the headlight is being rejected by both CarMax and MaxCare siting "water damage" despite the fact there is not actually any water damage yet but rather HEADLIGHT damage.

Adam at CarMax (I believe he is a service manager or something) blatantly lied to us about numerous items and has been sending in circles, doing nothing to rectify the situation. He has stated that the headlight needing over $1,000 in repairs meets their "standards".

Do not buy from CarMax. Do not purchase their worthless MaxCare. I will ensure everyone I know knows better than I did when I purchased my car. Hope the cost of the headlight was worth losing many future customers. Thank you for making my holidays, while dealing with this crap, AWFUL.

 
Scott D. | 2014-12-28

Most expensive place to look for a used car. Check Kelly blue book for prices before you buy. Nice, friendly people though

 
Nicole M. | 2014-12-24

This 5 star review is really for Sebastian, my sales person at Carmax, who helped me out yesterday. I've been to this Carmax before and it was alright, but nothing special stood out to me. This visit I came to test drive some cars and get an appraisal on my BMW. Sebastian was so helpful and down to earth. He was super easy to relate to and was really genuine, which is huge being that a lot of car sales people can come across as being fake and in a rush.

I came in a bit confused about what car I actually wanted. I know I can be super indecisive, but Sebastian was so patient and was able to talk me through all of my considerations.  By the end of my visit there I had my mind and heart made up on a 2014 Lexus IS 250. Due to finances and timing with my current lease I won't be able to purchase until next year, but guarantee that I will giving Sebastian a call at Carmax when I am ready to buy!

 
Roanne C. | 2014-12-17

As we all know, buying a car can really suck sometimes. Especially dealing with sales people. But, I highly recommend this Carmax. It's busy, so be prepared. The sales floor is huge, and the selection is great. I looked online first. Also, they can transfer the vehicle from another Carmax, within 250 miles from this location... For free!

I bought a hybrid car from Laura about a week ago. I am very impressed with Carmax, the quality of customer service, and of course, purchasing my vehicle! Laura was awesome! Great communication both in person and via texts.  No high pressured sales tactics, all my questions were directly addressed and handled. I literally have nothing negative to say about the experience.

Most of all, I freakin love my car! No complaints. No issues. Go here, save yourself some time.

 
Yvette M. | 2014-11-17

I'm a bit concerned that 60+ helpful 1 & 2 star CarMax reviews are hidden under the not recommended section.  Does Yelp do that or do people check them as unhelpful, hmmm :/ if people check them as unhelpful how do we know companies don't hide their own reviews?
I am having a very bad experience with CarMax and I want people to know.  I do not want anyone to have the same problems and I do want CarMax to keep their promises.  
In the last four weeks every issue I have brought to their attention, was correct.  Yet, they treated me as a dumb female who's just trying to get things for free.
Biggest was I told them the car was shifting VERY roughly.  Them,"oh that's just how hybrids are."  Well my transmission went out on a pitch black busy road.  The manager I spoke to while stuck on the road said, "oh no biggie," related to the time.  I told him you're not the one tired nearly home, female alone, stuck in a pitch black road with no one around, and who has to be towed back to you nearly 30 miles.
Next the car was pulling and based on the tread measurement the service manager, Branden, gave me, front right was worn unevenly.  I said that's probably why it's
pulling, I said I'd like two tires.  He said it's the alignment. Well 3 weeks later back and forth, it is the tires!!  I bought the car with Michelins, which we all know are the best. He wants to put on Coopers, which aren't the same.  Brandon's favorite word seems to be NO.
Be careful everyone else is nice they promise the moon, but when it's time for the service manager to approve a reasonable request they put you through hell first.  If you buy a Mercedes you don't replace it with a Mazda.  If you buy a Range Rover you don't replace it with a Toyota.  I bought a car with all Michelins, I don't want Coopers and they only need to replace two.  I am reasonable, they act like I'm asking for four new Michelins.  They don't even have enough skill to discuss options or compromises, they just say NO and send you straight to hell.  Not that Coopers are hell, Branden's  lack of customer service skill is.  Chatting with him fine, need a reasonable approval = hell for you to be dragged through :(
Based on the salesperson's song and dance re. CarMax priding them self on integrity I am VERY appalled and disappointed!

 
Martin L. | 2014-11-11

Just traded in my 2004 BMW 325ci coupe, and purchased a  2012 mustang convertible, great service, painless process, great financing, So far so good!
I love the car.

 
Deb G. | 2014-11-09

This my first experience with car max and I had to say it was a pleasant one! Kim Wenzel is an excellent carmax sales lady.  Not only did it take 2 1/2 weeks to find me the right car she was patient and let me drive all kinds of cars till I figure out what I really wanted a Lexus ES350 w/ low miles.  I have to say that I didn't feel pushed or made to feel that this was the only car on the lot for me.  The steps to get financed were easy and very quick there was no let me talk to my manger or asking for more money.  I will be back for my next purchase in couple years and hopefully Kim will be there.   I did ask to have a couple issues fixed before I pick my car up so hopefully I won't have to come back and change my review because my car is not ready.

 
Lisa D. | 2014-11-09

Worst service center ever. Good warranty but too bad the service center is crap. They are always taking longer than estimated and they say problems at fix but they keep reoccurring.

 
Eric G. | 2014-10-24

I will recommend Carmax to every person I know!! Jeff was really great from beginning to end. Kick back style and informed me on every step of the process. I got $4,000 more than any dealership was offering. #stoked

 
Cynthia M. | 2014-10-21

Second car I buy here. Always great customer service. Salesman this time was Nate. Great guy!

 
Ken R. | 2014-10-17

Great service! Great people! Great purchase!
We bought a beautiful car this evening and very happy.
First of all we, my wife called CarMax on the phone to ask some questions about a car that we were close to buying from another car dealer that had a private stock of cars that he was selling out of his house as a private party through the Auto Trader.  The car was about 15% less expensive than other comparable cars.  Reema at Carmax saved the day for us by insisting that we run a Car Fax.  We did and we discovered that the car had been in totaled in an accident.  This creepy car dealer was not going to disclose this to us.  CarMax located a comparable car for us, and we bought through them. Clare was also wonderful to work with during the paperwork process.  And she even laughed at all my stupid jokes.  Thanks CarMax!

 
Angel M. | 2014-10-13

I highly recommend asking for Kim Wenzel at Carmax as I was referred to her as well.  

I have bought many cars from Meecedez, BMW's and now a GMC SUV.  

Kim helped me get the car I needed and fast and very painless as possible.  

She is good because she has a good heart and cares about the customers rather than a commission check!!  

Ask for Kim Wenzel you will not be disappointed!!

 
Nancy V. | 2014-10-09

John helped me with my appraisal and he was super nice.  He explained the process and how long it would take.  I got there pretty early so he said it should not take no more than 30-40 mins.  In between then he asked what I was trading my car in for.  When I told him, he said - hey I have one on the lot.  Let's take it for a test drive. This is the kind of service that takes a company from being great to one of the best in its industry.  Many may think, yea well its a sales pitch.  Not when I have a better deal locked in somewhere else which I told him upfront.  He was simply being a great representative of CarMax.

Although they offered less than what my dealership offered, the service was impeccable and I would always stop by first before a trade in just to see what CarMax has to offer.  Thanks John for providing exceptional service, I hope CarMax sees what a valuable asset you are to their company.

 
Darylle O. | 2014-09-29

This review is for Mariana who helped us look for a car at our price range. She was really helpful and patient. The best thing about her is that she keeps in contact with you. She's also patient. I really recommend her when you're trying to find a car. Although we didnt end up getting a car right now Im glad that she helped us out.

 
Geribelle B. | 2014-09-24

Where do I start???? This place is horrible!!! From the first day my husband and I walked into their door, until today.
We went to CarMax in search of an SUV, returning customers I might add, and when we walked in we were asked to be placed on a "short" wait list, as the lady described it. We agreed, as it was labor day weekend and we understood that it WAS busy. We looked around the top floor of the garage which holds all of their big vehicles. Salesman after salesman walks past us, when FINALLY one acknowledges us and says he was going to check on the status of "our" salesman. 30 mins later... STILL nothing. 2 hours later we call asking about when someone would help us, we were then told that our names were removed from the list and that we must have had our phones off... After arguing about NOT being placed on yet another wait list we were told to come back in and someone would help us right away. They did. Unfortunately the man who came to help us was a douche bag asshole who thought his shit didn't stink, repeatedly told us about how much he knew about cars, but never made any sense when he spoke about it. The man was rude and obnoxious. We got a vehicle transferred down from L.A. and requested another sales person.
When the car arrived we were blessed with the sales man, Renee. That man is a god send. He's funny, knowledgeable, and not once was he ever rude. HE is the only good thing this CarMax has going for them.
Now to the "after' purchase of the vehicle....
DO NOT trust their mechanics. They do not know a thing when it comes to vehicles and WILL NOT admit to it.
The first day I drove my Suburban home, its stalled out mid turn, turned back on and drove fine again. Then that same night, it happened again and again. We called the next day only to find out that their service center is not opened on weekends. What dealership has a closed service center on the weekends?! CarMax! We brought the Suburban back on Monday and were told that they were backed up, but would get to it as soon as possible. WHATEVER. At this point it was, "just fix my vehicle that should NOT have had issues as dangerous as this when you sold it to us". The loaner car they gave us had bald tires and the brakes were totally warped. We had to go BACK to trade for yet ANOTHER vehicle.
Almost 2 weeks later we FINALLY get our suburban back, Guess what?!?!?!? STILL having the same problems! Now its back in their shop, where it is getting its alternator replaced because their SMART mechanics couldn't get it the first time. Oh wait... did I mention that the loaner car they gave us this time has a "check engine" light on and an "oil" light???
This place is an absolute gem. They know nothing about vehicles. Do NOT trust their so-called vehicle inspection because the people that do that are complete idiots also. If you decide to purchase a vehicle from them, bring in your own trusted mechanic. Have them do a run around on the vehicle from the inside out. Don't end up spending a lot of money only to find out the vehicle that was purchased should have been sold for half the amount. Screw this CarMax. Returning customers, NO MORE.
DO NOT SHOP HERE. NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT CARS HERE.
ZERO STARS IF POSSIBLE.

 
Angela M. | 2014-09-17

I don't understand why everyone doesn't come here first if you are going to sell your car. Carmax has appraised 2 of my cars in the past 4 yrs and have given the best rate whether you sell them the car or not. It's better to go here first because most dealership will match Carmax.

 
Eats A. | 2014-09-14

I don't usually bash a place unless they are truly lame or pathetic.  I give Carmax one star for the salesman Chet, they would get 0 without him.  So, found a V6 Camry XLE online in Buena Park.  They transferred to SD for me to check out, test drive and probably buy barring any major issues.  The price was right at Kelly Blue Book for the model, year, mileage and extras.  Long story short, I could tell it was a 4 cylinder at first glance.  Hub caps, 1 muffler, no V6 emblem on rear of car or on tiny motor.  Pathetic.  Reason I say this is the guy who bought it at auction couldn't tell, their "techs" who review the car missed it, basically everyone except me....who has never even owned a Camry.  Anyways, reminded me of the surgeon who operated on the wrong patient....it's all in the details people.  First and last experience with Carmax.

 
Melinda T. | 2014-09-08

If I could give this review less stars I would.  I have purchased 2 cars from Carmax and have been recommending people for years.  I am highly disappointed by the lack of respect and empathy shown by their service center customer service department.  Anastacia has been the representative assisting my sister in her vehicle and 1 week later here we are same issue but they couldn't assist immediately.  The first time, mummy sister waited nearly 5 hours to get her rental and after sending her to the rental place she had to wait because these dingdongs didn't send the authorization - but the rep swore she handed it to my sister only to figure she forgot it on the printer.  Roland the manager of the service center is just as bad -he was a sarcastic j--- and speaks to you very condescending.  Every single time I asked who can we escalate to they danced around my question.

No longer recommending this company after experiencing this with customer service and to top it off the manager.

While I was there another customer walks I irate that this is the 4th time he's brought his black dodge Durango.

Sounds like a frequent issue!

 
Claire G. | 2014-09-01

A Place to Start Searching for Your New or Used Vehicle but Buy Elsewhere!

They have a ton of cars, all different makes & models, on one lot. All of the cars are open so you can easily jump in & out of just about any type of vehicle you'd like without needing a salesperson trailing along with you. Really beats driving from dealership to dealership & having pushy salespeople breathing down your neck. The problem is their cars are filthy inside & out! They spend almost no time cleaning them & the longer they sit on the lot, the dirtier they get. We bought a $40,000 SUV & when we detailed it at home found raisins, change, & trash under & in all of the seats. The wax job they'd done was awful - we had to clean dried wax off of it all over the vehicle. The carpets were filthy & their were all kinda of marks in it from the traffic on the lot.

They also buy used cars for the same amount if you are taking the cash or using it as a trade in. The appraisal process is pretty painless - of course you can get more if you sell it yourself, but that's almost always the case on any car lot.

If you do decided to purchase a car from Carmax, bringing cash or your own financing right away. Their 3 day pay off period deal is not as it seems. Despite what they promise, they send your financing through immediately & even if you come back & pay cash for your vehicle within the 3 day period, it will still show up on your credit report. I was specifically told this would not happen, but it did! I would have just waited to buy on Tuesday when the bank was open but was promised the financing would not be sent in to the company for 3 business days - this was a lie.

While I am basically happy with my new SUV now that it's cleaned up, I am very unhappy with the car buying process at Carmax & wish that I would have been able to buy it at a real car dealer who would have negotiated the price, made it look presentable, & would have held the car with a deposit over the weekend so we could pay with cash & not have wasted time with the financing b.s. we never actually needed.

Go to Carmax, find the car you want to buy, & then go buy it somewhere else!!!

 
Steve A. | 2014-08-22

I recently went over to Carmax to have my car appraised. I stoked because I was looking to get my old car off my hands quick and I've heard from friends that this is a good place to try when selling.

When I took my car in everyone was really nice. They appraised the car quickly once I arrived. The only complaint I had was the price. It was much lower then expected and was a bit upsetting to say the least. I know I'm working with a dealership so the price is going to be lower but it seems like they want to make a very high profit on the car. That or maybe they aren't to interested in older cars like the one I had. As it seems most of their inventory was nicer cars.

I think it is worth the effort to try and see what they'll offer you for your car but if they don't offer you something fair then don't accept it simple as that.

P.S nothing against Carmax I purchased a car for my son from here and it was super easy. So, I recommend the buying side more then the selling side.

 
Josh N. | 2014-08-21

Joe was terrific in every way. He Ordered the car we wanted from another location and he kept us updated on the car the entire time. He worked hard to keep the vehicle within our budget. Joe's wife helped keep my 3 toddlers entertained with coloring books while we talked to joe. I've bought all my cars new off the lot in the past but now I'm just going to buy used from Joe and his wife at carmax.

 
Aleksandra B. | 2014-08-17

Been looking for a Hybrid car and they are way too overprices here. I am trying to find a Hybrid that feels right and priced well. I came here because I did not want to deal with small dealers, and the public...But prices were too high.

 
Jason W. | 2014-08-10

It's been a few weeks now since I purchased my car.  Not only did I get the max trade in for my previous car but also I got an amazing price on my new car!  The staff here is very personable and not like your typical car salesman, which I really like.  A special thank you goes to my sales associate Sebastian, extremely knowledgeable, so personable, and has great communication skills.  If you go in, you have to talk to him.  He knows his stuff and can have you in and out in just a few hours (when buying a car, that's quick) also a quick shoutout Suleyka, she made the financing part so much easier and explained things in such a manner that anyone could understand.  That's extremely appreciated!!!

 
Cassie B. | 2014-08-08

I went to Carmax yesterday to sell my car. The whole process took less than an hour from start to finish, including the appraisal and sale. I walked out with a check in approx 45 minutes.
I worked with Valeska who was amazing- the perfect balance of being friendly and informative without being too pushy. I hope Carmax knows what an asset they have in her!!

 
Victoria H. | 2014-08-06

Sold my car: We met with Albert Hernandez when I decided to sell my 07 Mini. I had an appointment, but I called to move it up, and we met last Thursday afternoon. We were greeted promptly He was polite, thorough, and stayed with us while the other guys ("buyers" or "appraisers" ) looked at my car. He is great to work with and easy to talk to. I was not in the market for a new car as I am leasing a Fiat 500e. They offered a fair price. I took the printout, went  home, called Rob at Cash 4 Cars (we beat carmax). He said i had a good offer and would contact me in the morning. He did and said he could not buy my car. I took my documents, keys and quote to the Carmax office (the sales floor is massive and someone described it here on yelp very well- that it reminded them of the building in "Monsters." Maybe the scare floor. We worked with a nice guy named Valentine who took us through our paperwork about a half hour after I handed the docs to them (we sat in the waiting area). About another half hour later, I signed a bunch of papers and they gave me a check. He is great ! He really knows what needs to be done and explains everything simply. It would have been great ( 5 star service) if they offered me something extra for the windscreen, car cover and windshield sun shade (originally worth $550 together). These items are so model specific that it belonged with this Mini. But, I can recommend them for anyone who wants to sell their car straight away. An important tip: The quotes are only good for 7 days.

 
Amy S. | 2014-08-04

If I could give more stars, I would.  4 months ago my car was rear ended and eventually totaled out leaving me with no choice but to buy a new car.  I wasn't really looking forward to taking on car payments just yet, so I wasn't fully hyped as most people are when buying a new car.

CarMax was recommended by co-workers, family and friends so I figured I'd have nothing to lose by going there.  I first downloaded their app on my phone and started viewing the cars they had available at their Kearny Mesa lot.  Great app!  It was super helpful in narrowing down my choices.  Once I had 2-3 options in mind, I headed over with my sister yesterday.  We were greeted promptly by Eric Becher who made the whole experience such a breeze!  Eric was funny, helpful, nice and definitely not pushy.  I explained there were two options I was looking at and he asked a couple of questions but didn't try to persuade me into something else.

I think overall between walking in the door, the test drive, the financing and the checkout with Clare (who was also very friendly and helpful) we were out within 90 mins at max (possibly a little faster).  I love my new car and the financing/payment options have me way more relaxed than I thought I'd be about it :)

Thank you Eric & Clare!

 
Jeff A. | 2014-08-01

I had the best car-buying and selling experience ever at this Carmax. Purchased my 2009 BMW 335i here and love it. They purchases my 2004 545i from me and made the whole process very easy. The salesperson was exceptional. He actually helped me to identify this car and I'm so glad he did. It's amazing and with the full Carmax warranty added, I have no worries. I was actually told by my local mechanic that the Carmax warranty is one of the best warranties out there. Luckily I haven't had to use it but I have peace of mind knowing it's there if I do.

 
Beau T. | 2014-07-23

I went to CarMax today to sell my old Caddy.  I knew going in that I wouldn't get top dollar for my car but I gotta admit the process was just as advertised.  I was greeted by my sales rep he made sure I was taken care of right away.  The appraisal went just as I expected and I was out in under a hour and a half.  If your trying to get top $$ for your car then you may have a better result selling privately, but I just wanted it done asap.  CarMax was just what I needed and they performed admirably.

 
Emily G. | 2014-07-22

Painless experience, no haggling. The associate Elaine was very personable and nice to talk to. I made an appointment online for 4:30 pm and had my check in hand by 6pm. Granted, my car was in great condition and I owned it (had the title). Jerome put together my paperwork. He explained everything and made the process as quick as possible when I told him my ride was waiting. I received a fair price so I walked away happy. I don't know if I would buy from here because I like to have new cars, but I would definitely sell to Carmax again.

 
Carlos V. | 2014-07-20

Lame experience I had a Very very bad experience I had my car appraised it was the worst me and my wife got our car back it was all bad it was making noise that i never heard before when we drove the car it was all bad I had my mechanic look at it and said that it seem that someone tried to blow the engine it's was all bad ALL BAD it's like they break your car and then give you a broken appraisal , I wanted to test driver a Chevy Tahoe and its was worst they had the car on site but it was bad cuse the car was in a bad spot and it was realy bad diving out the garage.

 
Shawna E. | 2014-07-06

Wanted to feel out he "Carmax experience" that the tv commercials raved about. I know exactly what I want and how much I was willing to pay for it. Satuday 215pm, Fourth Of July weekend, 85 degrees, and determination.Was  ready to slap down a  good down payment, maybe trade in and drive away in my new ride. On the lot for 25 minutes, no salesperson to my rescue, although many walked by without acknowledgment. Caught some young dude, Brian L. He asked some basic questions, I decided to test him out. Told him I had no down payment, maybe a trade in. TOTAL change in demeanor. He told me to call or text if I needed him. I texted him, no response, 15 minutes. Texted him again, nothing, no where to be found. I finally saw one female salesperson, stopped her , she looked like I was bothering her, I asked for Brian, " I dont know, he'll text or call you". Another 10 minutes. Stopped a middle aged big dude showing a man and his young son a higher end car, he looked bothered that I asked him for Brian. He pointed over to the higher end car line, "You mean THAT Brian?" There was Brian, showing a senior citizen couple a high end car. I said "no wonder he didn't respond, he's helping someone else out." I guess he saw DOLLAR SIGNS with that couple. I asked the big dude if he could help me, he responded that He HIMSelF was in the middle of helping someone else out, but that he can pair me up with another salesperson. I declined. He reluctantly asked "are you sure?" I declined again. I started to walk away, and asked big dude if they don't work off commision, he responded YES, they did. I responded, OKAY. Maybe it was not meant to be. Figured it was too hot and salespeople were not feeling 100%. Went home, wanted honey to test drive with me later on that day. Decided to make an online appointment for a test drive, was supposed to get a response via email or phone call about test drive and possible trade in. 2.5 hours went by and NOTHING. I called the lot, PLace on hold for 8 minutes and no answer. Hung up. That did it for me. I am hope ful that maybe it was a fluke and not age or some kind of discrimination. Reading all the other reviews on here made me feel a little better that I didn't commit to a sale.

 
Cameron W. | 2014-07-03

My wife and I bought our cars here within a couple weeks of each other and were very pleased with their sales team. No complaints about any steps in the process.

Their service department is very friendly, but if you need service right away you are out of luck. They seem to always be booked at least a week in advance.

 
Jackie M. | 2014-07-01

They sold me a car with a suspended DMV title.  They would NOT stand behind their error.  I lost thousands of dollars selling that car a year later after having tried everything to get the title clean,  stay away from this company!
They deserve negative 5 stars!

 
Obed C. | 2014-06-27

What a complete difference from the mile of cars! I went to Carmax not knowing what to expect, I had only seen the commercials so wasn't even sure how the car buying process worked. I've been through this before and anybody who thinks buying cars is fun is completely lying!

When we walked in we were greeted and set up with a salesperson. Her name was Kimberly Youhouse. She made the buying process less painful than what it normally is. She was very happy to help us which made us feel at ease the entire time.

Would definitely try carmax again for our next truck purchase, thank you carmax and thank you Kimberly!

 
Stephanie C. | 2014-06-22

I've been at both ends of carmax, buying and selling. We're very happy with our purchase, Brian was awesome and really seemed to care and worked with us whenever we hit a snag. A few things were wrong with the car before we bought it and we made an appointment to fix them. I couldn't make it, rescheduled and I actually found a few more things wrong and they got it all fixed even after the 30 day warranty because because I made the appointment before the 30 days. I showed up to get it fixed and it turned out my parts weren't there and a miscommunication with the appointment and had to come back but they filled up my empty tank of gas which I thought was fair and generous! Loved kristen in service.

However selling your car is not a good idea. You will get $500 less if you don't take their first offer, they say it's because market value but a car doesn't go down $500 in a week. They pointed out stuff on our car that the person missed the first appraisal. We expected all this though. Natasha was rude and condescending and pretty much laughed at our car. We probably would've taken the offer from someone else but this girl was a horrible sales person and if we didn't have our kids with us would have definitely talked to a manager about her. Pretty much argued with us about how we should snatch up their offer and again laughed at our car. So buying was great, selling not so much!

 
Princess O. | 2014-06-16

The worst service I have ever come across! I purchased a Mercedes-Benz and the driver door didn't lock or unlock, the aux was completely removed from the  car, the alignment was off, the trunk wouldn't open and the drivers manuel was missing from the car. Not to mention the sales rep was well aware of the drivers door not locking or unlocking bc he showed me and assured me that I would get it fixed first thing in the morning. When I called into the service department they told me I would have to wait 10 days to be seen bc they were competly booked.

While I was in the service department there was another customer who said his Toyota Prius lights would turn off both inside and outside of the car while he was driving at night and he just purchased the vehicle a few days ago. Carmax  claims to undergo a 100+ points system inspection but I don't know how they would do that type of check and miss all these things.

When my mother in law purchased her Mercedes-Benz she realized a few days later her tail lights were out and she had to wait 9 days to get an appointment in the service department. It is completely outrageous how they sell cars that have multiple problems with them that are huge SAFETY HAZARDS

I DO NOT RECOMMEND CarMax

 
W. S. | 2014-06-16

The CarMax service department is useless.  Be very careful and think about other options before purchasing a car and an extended warranty from CarMax.  

I bought a car from them 1.5 years ago and have had nothing but problems since.  Long waiting times to get the car in for service, they consistenly keep the car for extended periods of time and the problems are never fixed.  

The worst experience is a new set of brakes CarMax installed on my BMW.  One of the brake housing literally fell off while the car was in motion, cracking the wheel and destroying the run-flat.  Since then, it is problem after problem with that tire.

Be cautious if choosing to purchase a car from them!

 
Timo C. | 2014-06-04

I bought a 2005 convertible pt cruiser in 3 months less than 3000miles the a/c went out the lights flicker, and the catalytic converter was bad. They are very good fixed the ac the converter, and even gave me a loaner car the bad thing they never fixed the flickering lights why didn't they fix everything before giving it back??? wish they fixed everything at once because getting it back in is hard for me as I need my car and they probably make me pay for the loaner car this time plus I need my car.

 
Jonatan J. | 2014-06-01

I found my dream car through carmax's website and when I call for information the sales representative was not only knowledgeable but also professional.
Reema is her name and she went above and beyond my expectations. She will certainly be the one I ll use for my future purchases. Thank you girl!

 
Shannon D. | 2014-05-31

WARNING!  Do NOT buy a car from CarMax!  They are negligent and reckless!!  They refused to take accountability for their negligence.

I purchased a BMW from this CarMax and put a large down payment down on the car.    THREE weeks after purchasing the car, I was driving it when smoke came out of the engine compartment.  I pulled over and within 2 minutes the car was in full FIRE.  The fire department put out the fire.  The car was totaled.  My insurance paid off my loan.  My insurance had a fire inspector look at the car and the report states a RAG was left on the engine during "prepping" of the vehicle!!  CarMax, who claims to back their vehicles for 30 days AND inspect them will NOT give me back my down payment.  I've called their corporate offices and have been ignored.  Now I have to file a complaint with DMV investigations and go to small claims court.

**See my photos

Update:  The general manager from the store finally called me back.  His response: "I wasn't the general manager at the time and I'm not going to help you."

Update:  When I posted this to Carmax's Facebook, they responded "this is not the carmax way, please call us".  I called corporate offices and spoke to customer relations person who said "I will pass this on to my manager and they will call you tomorrow."  Guess what.....NO response, no call received!

Update:  Filed complaint with BBB.  Carmax response again was "we are not going to reimburse you."

Update:  DMV investigation and court suit have been filed.

UPDATE:  Court awarded me my FULL JUDGEMENT.  Court found CarMax negligent and CarMax is ordered to pay my loss and damages.

 
Patrick S. | 2014-05-28

Very nice sales people who are low pressure, probably due to the no haggle pricing.  Great place to do research on various cars, get a quote on a trade in, and check out market pricing on cars.

2 Stars because pricing is much higher than KBB and Nada, at least for the cars I was looking at.  I would love to buy a car at carmax for the ease of purchase, but can't pay their prices.

I recommend using Carmax for test driving, and to get pricing on your car and the cars you're interested in.  You can then drive to the dealer down the street and use the Carmax quotes as a bargaining chip.

 
Jessica L. | 2014-05-21

I had a very positive experience at Carmax today.

I brought in my 2005 MINI Cooper to get appraised and sold. Jerry and Brandon were the agents who helped me. They walked me through the process and explained clearly what would happen. I was already familiar with the process as I had visited the website, which was very straightforward already. I prepared the necessary documents that would be needed to finalize the sale.

There were some glaring faults with my car like the AC stopped working a month ago. But it's a relatively simple fix so it didn't seem to affect the appraisal much.

I think I was in and out of there in 30 min from start to finish. I walked out with a check in hand. It was more than I expected so obviously I was happy.

Thank you Carmax for a great experience. I would definitely use them again.

 
Jeff H. | 2014-05-19

Service was great up until the sale was final and then sales associate was missing in action.  Car was sold to me with the sales associate telling me car came with Sirius satellite radio.  After purchase was finalized I found out it did not have Sirius installed and CARMAX refuses to pay for installation of satellite radio even though sales associate told me it came with the car and I got 3 months free.  I strongly recommend going through a reputable dealer like ford or dodge.  Carmax does not stand behind their word.

-Jeff

 
Barbara Z. | 2014-05-19

Forty five minutes from start to finish and my 2003 Passat was sold! Easy, friendly and the only way I would ever sell a car again! Thank you and great work!! (Ask for Toriana O'Hara if you'd like the same professional treatment.)

 
Sarah C. | 2014-05-12

First off let me say I will NEVER EVER buy form carmax and it's your fault doug in sales! You have got to be the most cruel human being and worst sales/customer sales agent  I have ever met in my entire life. You should be fired for how you treated me and my family. Yelling and screaming at me and putting me down through text messages. you should be ashamed of yourself. Ii'm going to report you to the BBB. I have all the text messages saved in my phone. You are a horrible human being and I hope they fire you because you do not deserve to be in this type of position.

 
Elizabeth B. | 2014-05-02

I had an appt, but had to reschedule to 30 min later. And still, I was unable to show up till an hour after my original appt, but i kept the sales rep up-to-date.
So it was understandable she had to hand me off to another representative when I arrived. She was next to us during introduction. He asked if I was there for an appraisal and trade-in, but I said just an appraisal. We were about to walk out to take a look at my car and I was going to thank the girl one last time, and I saw her roll her eyes at him! Wtf. Cause I was late or because I'm here only for an appraisal, idk, but it was rude. At least the guy is courteous (to my face).
I then got my appraisal....I was here last year, they appraised it at $6000, now, $2000. Again, wtf. Adios carmax!

 
Jasmine N. | 2014-05-02

Great car buying experience! No pressure, listened to what I was looking for, stayed in my price range, and got a great deal! Test drove and bought car first time looking there. They have great service plans also.

 
Brenda P. | 2014-04-29

I wanted to like this dealership so bad, especially after having heard from a couple close friends who've all purchased a vehicle here nothing but good things.

Well.. I recently purchased a vehicle myself. And not even a week off the lot the seatbelt in the rear wasn't latching anymore. The rear bumper appeared to have been in a non-reported accident seeing as the carfax report came back with ZERO accidents reported and poorly placed back on, the air conditioning was very low on freon, and there's a faint, but rapidly growing strong smell of fuel.

I brought the car in immediately to get all those issues worked on and it took 2 weeks for it to be finished. The seatbelt and a/c were fixed. Bumper still not placed back in properly (I had to point that out.. Did they not think I would take a walk around the car and look at it myself?) I was told they would contact their vendor and get back to me, they even took a picture.. But I never got a call back.

And now, the smell of the fuel.. getting stronger everyday mostly when I've been driving a long period of time and when I turn the engine off. They told me they couldn't smell it the first time I brought it to their attention.. Well obviously they're not letting the car run a little longer for it to come through (which I had told them is usually when I smell it). I'm upset that I have to take time out of my day to bring the car back for them to fix it again, when it should have been done the first time I brought it in. Claire is the only one who genuinely expressed concern for me and seemed like she cared. Everyone else brushed it off and treated me like it was nothing and easy for them they're not the ones who have to take time off from work to come in and deal with the situation. I have 9 month old daughter and I can't even take her anywhere in it because I don't want her to inhale the fuel smell at all.

They have the car now, but I wasn't told how long it's going to take this time. All I know is this is my first and final purchase from Carmax.

 
Matthew L. | 2014-04-29

Nico from Carmax has called three times today. This aggressive sales push reminds me why car dealers get a bad rap.

 
Christine C. | 2014-04-26

This was the most awesome car buying experience.  I always buy used cars and have had one really bad experience in the past so I dread car shopping but CarMax has changed that.  I saw the car I was looking for on the internet and called about it.  It was in Los Angeles and I didn't even have to ask and the nice young man at Buena Park CarMax, Tanner, offered to transfer the car down to me in San Diego the very next day!  Once it arrived in San Diego Laura from San Diego CarMax called me to tell me it was here but it would be  another day because they wanted to inspect it once more after it got off the truck - nice!  She called me the next day and I went to test drive it.  It was even more than I expected.  Not wanting to make the same mistake that I had in the past and buy the car right then and there I told her I needed a night to think about it.  No problem.  Laura wasn't working the next night so I went in two nights later to purchase the car.  They also sold me a 6 year 100,000 warranty that was so reasonable I couldn't believe it.  It was less than what I paid for a 3 year warranty for my last car and that warranty wasn't as inclusive as the warranty from CarMax.  Laura was lovely and took care of everything for me, having the car washed and filled up with gas too!  I recommend CarMax to anyone wanting a no-hassle, positive car buying experience - and ask for Laura, she was awesome!!

As a side note, they gave me a really, really low appraisal for my current car so I am selling it on-line myself.

 
charles s. | 2014-04-20

It was a horrible experience. Salesperson Cindy was terrible. Uninformed about her stock, impatient, and rude. We felt rushed during the test drive. She obviously assumed we didn't have money and was already on to the next person. We bought the same exact model at another dealer for similar price. Cindy lost out on sale because we bought the exact car she showed us somewhere else.

 
Tiffany L. | 2014-04-20

Great hassle free experience. They offered me 800 less than KBB but due to the convenience I thought this was a reasonable offer. Highly recommend this location.

 
Joshua M. | 2014-04-19

Just garbage at the serivce counter. Nobody at all helped me out. Waited and looking like a dumbass for like 10 mins.

 
Cynthia C. | 2014-04-16

It was time to sell our aging car and we didn't want to deal with the hassle of selling privately. We took a trip down to CarMax to see what it was all about.

Walking in, my first impression - it reminded me of a scene from Monsters Inc. It was big white and so many people, half shoppers and half staff in blue shirts.

We were greeted immediately and matched up with someone to help us. We shared our intention and she went over the process. They took the car for a short drive, and completed an evaluation. Start to finish it took about an hour to get a quote which was pretty reasonable considering it was the weekend.

We were offered a reasonable amount but still wanted to think about it. They gave us the quote and told us it was good for seven days.

We decided to move forward with the sell and headed back in a few days later. A different department is responsible for the sale transaction and they were just as friendly and efficient as their front-end team.

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to sell their car in the future.

 
Jason P. | 2014-04-14

Went in this weekend to sell my car. They offered me a fair price and I will be selling it to them. Dealt with a Brandon Johnson , he was easy to deal with...extremely friendly...and didn't make me like I was pressured into buying anything. Would definitely ask for him even though everyone I talked to there was polite and courteous.

 
Long V. | 2014-04-09

Had an appointment at 1230 it is 110 and I am still waiting for service. If there's is no employee's at 1230 don't set the appointment. Apparently car max does not understand the meaning of appointment.

 
Tim W. | 2014-04-05

Looking to get a laughable appraisal value for your car? Then come to Carmax!

I was very careful before to look at autotrader, kbb and a variety of places to get a realistic trade in value, which by general consensus was $7,500.

I went in, chose my car, had my financing arranged, then BOOM they drop the appraisal bombshell. $3,000. "Oh you should ignore kbb." They said, before giving me a range of excuses why it was so low. Even my sales rep said it seemed lowball.

So, goodbye, Carmax. There's a customer you won't see again.

 
Cezar S. | 2014-03-27

On point. Fast paced. Very detail oriented staffs. Not pushy. Sold one of our vehicles here. They take care of everything. No back and forth with the manager and salesperson.

 
Brian S. | 2014-03-26

I've sold a couple cars here and I'm very happy with them. Very straightforward business. They appraise the car and give you am offer. Both times the appraisals seemed reasonable to me. It takes a half an hour after that to do the paperwork and they give you a check right then. No haggling with salesmen who do the play around and "have to ask their manager" only to return 20 minutes later with bad news.

 
Abril G. | 2014-03-10

First off, for me to go out of my way to take the time to write a horrible, and I mean horrible review means it was HORRIBLE. First off, got a outside loan, then called Car Max to have a cheesy car salesman on the phone with me and he never called me back, so I stopped in after I checked their inventory asked for a manager, where I told him what happened and met a lovely young car consultant named Clare, I knew what I wanted and Clare helped me not only with the car, she got me a better rate on my loan. I road off in my new car that night! Thought I am grateful, until 3 days later, there was a squeak in the car when I accelerated took it back to CarMax, now I was in the 5 day period where you can trade in your car, no questions asked time frame however I did not want to trade it back in, just wanted it fixed. Service was awesome, they gave me a rental car and communicated with me every step of the way again however close to 3 weeks later, they could NOT fix the car. I wanted to trade the car in, met with "Your car is registered in your name crap" from a floor manager, I then called the general manager, in which now come to find he lied as well, "we will do everything to find you a comparable or better car" I expressed my concern about getting me in the same loan and rate, he reassured me he would personally take care of it, which he did not, got in an argument with the floor manager when they wanted to give me a different loan and then told me it is what it is, we cannot change this! Then feeling like I invested too much time here, the same floor manager called me up the next day to ask me if I would like to have another car transferred, I said yes. Oh I forgot when I canceled the first car, I had my car consultant transfer down another mini cooper which that got supposedly "damaged" coming off the truck. I waited 2 days with no call back and when I called back to the inept sales manager, he told me that this car wouldn't work either in my loan and when I'm serious just to get in touch with my car salesman. I am still waiting on my check, the deposit I put on the 1st car... The service dept. manager told me that he would never put that car that missed their 120 pt inspection that they do back on the floor to sell, guess what.... that cream mini cooper that they couldn't fix is back on the floor and they're selling it. I will never ever trust this company again. Their General Manager sets precedence for all the managers to follow, I really wanted to believe that CarMax was different but it's not and it contributes to the bad stereotype that all car lots have! I will never do business here and their corporate office will be hearing from me. Oh and my credit score just from shopping loans went down over 50 pts from what they call "soft hits" they're full of shit. Please boycott CARMAX!

 
Jared T. | 2014-03-08

I bought my very first car last month and was very pleased with what I came off the lot with! Daniel helped me through everything and was all about customer service. Whatever questions I had he was there with an answer, carmax is definitely the way to go! I had my car transferred within 3 days so no hassle get what you want type of deal. Overall A++++ go to carmax

 
Vinu J. | 2014-03-06

Do you like McDonald's?  No??? Well... I don't usually eat there either but I admire them as a business.  McDonald's business model is all about providing a consistent experience across all their restaurants while setting reasonable expectations as to what you are going to get, how you are going to get it, and when you are expected to get it.  See where I am going here?  I think CarMax is trying to be the McDonald's of the used car world.  They try to make your experience as consistent and hassle free as possible.  Worried about buying a used car and having to fix small pain in the butt items which are costly but not necessarily serious enough to warrant not buying the car in the first place?  Enjoy CarMax's 30 day limited warranty and use the hell out of it. Worried about longer term problems that can manifest themselves down the road?  Get the CarMax MaxCare extended warranty.  Cancel it within 60 days to get a full refund if you are confident in your car not having major problems within two years or X number of miles.  Don't want to research used car pricing and haggle back and forth?  Well now you don't have to.  See where I am going here?  Now, are you getting the best possible deal you can?  More than likely the answer is No, but you have to ask yourself, how much is your time and peace of mind worth?

I bought a Porsche Cayman S from CarMax a couple of weeks ago.  Originally I was sceptical about buying this kind of vehicle from a large volume seller like CarMax but the price and the terms hit a note with me.  So far I have been happy with the car and have taken it on a couple of spirited drives.  During a shop visit to fix those small pain in the butt items that I was talking about earlier, CarMax replaced the front rotors of my car after I requested that they take a look at it since my independent Porsche mechanic told me they were worn down.  That's good because because that work is more than $1000 at a Porsche dealership.  I wish they would change out the rears as well but they were not as worn down as the fronts and was told that they were within CarMax specifications even though my Porsche mechanic thinks that they are also due for a change.  One of the problems with the car though and the original reason as to why I brought the car in for service is that I will periodically get a "TPC Inactive" warning in the car.  This is related to the TPMS sensors on the wheels not being able to communicate with the car.  After looking on-line for the error and on many Porsche forums, I am convinced that the batteries for the sensors are too low because the car is more than 5 years old.  CarMax thinks otherwise and since the problem is intermittent and not easily reproducible they will not do anything about it.  I'm pretty sure that a Porsche dealer would just change out the sensors and have it covered under their CPO warranty with no questions asked.  The good thing though is that my 30 day warranty is extended for a couple of months for this one particular issue so if it comes up again and is reproducible, I can get it fixed then.

So there you have it.  For those reviewers complaining about CarMax not giving them the best deal for their trade in, please be more reasonable.  Nobody can force you to sell your car to them for a particular price.  Your always better off selling your car privately anyway.  Use the CarMax offer as your baseline and go from there.  I can always offer you 1 dollar for your car.  It's your job to tell me to get lost.  That's the beauty of living in America... as well as driving a Porsche Cayman S down a twisty road at over 100mph of course :)

 
Tomnyuli A. | 2014-02-26

Sold our car here.

A lot of people like to say carmax offers too little and you go in ready to fight the person that helps you! But the truth is they are very nice people. Selling a car can be a HUGE hassle but carmax made it stress free.

And for the love of God take their offer the FIRST TIME!!

Don't go home and come back a month later you may find the Market went down and you get 500$ less the next time you come in! Or worst. So be prepared, have all your documents ready! Within an hour we had a Check for deposit only but it cleared and was available to us the next day! Very satisfied customers!

Wish we were ready the first time but 500$ less was not THAT big of a deal for us...offer was still agreeable.

 
Jason T. | 2014-02-24

Worked with a gentleman named Brandon a few weeks back, was very helpful and seemed honest with the whole process. While I ended up waiting to purchase a new vehicle until another year out I would recommend Car Max to my friends in the future. Thanks Brandon!

 
Dalyn C. | 2014-02-23

Walked into carmax and was very impressed with their services. They aren't like the typical dealer where you walk in and a sales person jumps on you. I was really impressed with them from the time I stepped into carmax to the time I drove off with my new car. Our sales consultant Dennis was very nice and professional!  If I do ever I plan to purchase another car I would definitely go back to carmax

 
Reg R. | 2014-02-21

I just bought a new vehicle and our extra vehicle was just sitting out on our driveway so I decided to sell it. I went in to Car Max for an appraisal on my Toyota and they were able to beat several dealerships around the county.  Excellent customer service.  It was painless, fast and hassle free.  I was tired of dealing with Craigslist low ballers and the horrible dynamics of showing vehicles who were dishonest and shady. I will definitely do business with Car Max again.

 
Paula T. | 2014-02-19

I bought a 2008 Mistbushi spyder eclispe from them  back in June 2011. It was the best deal I have ever gotten on a car. It ran perfect. Customer service was great. They went above and beyond to help me. I look forward to purchasing my next car from them very soon

 
Rebecca V. | 2014-02-18

The service department of Carmax makes it impossible to want to ever buy a car from Carmax again!  The service department is only open Mon through Fri and will not provide you with a rental car unless they decide after the whole day is through that they will need it for more than a day. I recently, a few months ago, bought a car there and my service light came on and they cannot get me in for another month!!!  Ridiculous!

 
Ed M. | 2014-02-10

Never sold a car before...after 13 years of driving my car I felt it was time to trade it in for some down payment funds for a new ride.  I kept hearing about this place from other people who had good experiences from here.  It's a big place, and a lot of people were here on a Monday.  Apparently, according to their sales reps they don't really have slow days here so I guess they're doing something right.  They're big on time and getting customers out quickly.  Assessing a car usually takes them 30 minutes and they do a basic once over on the car and test drive it for a short time before making a decision on how much to pay off for it.  They also run a background check on the car (DMV records, accidents, etc.) and check the value of the car online.  After assessing my car, they gave a pretty generous amount, more then I thought I would get.  I was able to get that check and was out of here within an hour and a half.  The associates were very friendly, helpful, and checked on me during the wait period.  This was a painless experience and I definitely did not feel low balled after getting that check.  Other associates at car dealers even admitted to me that CarMax usually offers more bang for the buck as far as paying off for your car.  They also sell used cars here, usually in good shape.  This was a good car selling experience.  Definitely recommended!

 
Cameron E. | 2014-02-08

Started off with an ok experience, except for a 30 minute wait to talk with someone. I was finally greeted by a salesman (Ryan Rohlman) who seemed nice. After about two hours and a test drive later, I was discussing numbers with the him. I never lead him to believe that I was looking to buy today, he assumed I was in love with the car. After many, many times of explaining that I was only looking and this was my first test drive, he then became very pushy with making me stay at carmax. I explained again that I needed to look around some more and said thank you. As I get up to leave I try to end with a handshake, as I extend my hand, he ignores my offer and physically turns away from me. No matter how upset you are that I didn't purchase right away, NEVER reject a friendly handshake. PURE UNPROFESSIONALISM! Needless to say, I will not return to this carmax and I bought a car the same night from a much friendlier dealership.

 
Marylou K. | 2014-02-03

The car buying experience was ok. BUT, once they have your money then the service and follow up is worse than terrible.  I paid cash for a 2013 auto and bought an extended warranty.  Two days after purchase, red warning light came on and I went to the CARMAX Service Center for repair.  Was first told that they could fix it while I waited.  Wrong.  Then they told me the light is supposed to be on.  HUH!!!!! Then they told me to take it to the dealer for repair and get them (CARMAX) out of the middle of the repair.  Nice customer service and a bold faced lie about the light should be on.

Now lets discuss the registration process.  Got the pink slip in the mail.  But no registration or license plates.   Called CARMAX and was told that they sent in the paperwork to the DMV (a full 30 days after I bought the car)  and I should go to the DMW to find out why I don't have a license plate or registration.  No further assistance was offered.  
So, if you buy a car from CARMAX expect no follow through once they have your money.  Expect lies and half truths when dealing with service and the Business Office.  
I will never go there again and plan to lodge a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs.  Can you tell I'm mad.

 
Stella A. | 2014-02-02

Horrible, horrible, horrendous! I would never ever come back to this place! I had the misfortune of interacting with the salesperson Daniel and he was the absolute worst sales person I have ever interacted with in my life! Not only was he unhelpful he was extremely insulting and rude. I do not know how he is a sales person trainer when he has such terrible interpersonal skills. When I informed him that I was less inclined to buy a car that I had personally found, not one that he had found for me, he became extremely belligerent and started insulting me. Perhaps this tactic has worked for him in the past, but it did not work on me. I had previously purchased a car from Carmax (not this location though) but I would no longer do so given this extremely terrible experience. Please save yourself the time and do not come to this establishment. But If you do happen to find yourself here avoid daniel at all costs!!!!

 
Jacqueline L. | 2014-02-02

This is strictly a review on the appraisal process.

Called ahead and set up my appointment with Brandon Johnson.  He was friendly and very agreeable in terms of explaining the appraisal process.  Fun to chat with while we were waiting for my car.  Even got a tour of the carmax lot and also looked at some vehicle options I could possibly trade my car in for.  

In the end Carmax did offer me a lower price point than a private sale, but a higher price point than any dealership.  For me, it was a great place to get the low end price point to privately sell my car.  

It was efficient service, no hassle car buying pressure, and really agreeable people.  In the end I would get my car appraised their again.

 
Norman R. | 2014-01-28

NOTICE: THIS IS STRICTLY FOR THE SERVICE SIDE OF CARMAX

DO NOT service your car at CarMax. Even under warranty. My service writer fumbled so many times.

Let's begin when I first brought my car in for service under the 30 day Warranty. I'm only pointing out the bad, most unprofessional things that happened.

Service Experience 1

I bought my car with 119k on it. It's a Lexus so I thought, cool, the car fax shoes a good history. When I added my car to the Lexus Drivers website, it gave me an extensive history of it's dealership service. Which I found abruptly stopped in 2008. I expected CarMax to at least have done a 90K (timing belt) but no. Nothing. They couldn't supply a history of repairs since they received the car. If it's in working condition, the car is sellable. The papers the service writer gave me said "inspected belt. dry, cracked. no repairs at this time." Strike 1

Service Experience 2

One of HVAC controls on my dash was stuck and I told them to take a look at it. My service writer told me they weren't going to change the controls out because that will cost them $1000. why would you tell me that? Strike 2.

Service Experience 3

My car physically didn't have a spare tire when I bought it. I realized this was a safety issue since It's supposed to come with run flats, but I didn't realize that until i bought the car. I contacted carmax about it and they offered me a tire inflation kit. a week later my service writer tells me "we actually can't get you a tire inflation kit because its $1500, otherwise you can pay the difference for the cost of run flats which are super expensive".Why would you tell me that? Strike 3.

She leaves me a message the next day "So we bought 4 cans of fix a flat and are installing a spare tire in the back".

Service Experience 4

I had my radio changed because the CD Changed jammed. The CD Changer has a motorized door cover that's matches the trim in my car. They replaced it no problem. When i received the car, the radio door was the wrong trim color, and had crazy deep scratches on it. They acknowledged it but I'm still waiting for the service writer to call me to make an appointment to replace it.

The bottom-line is Carmax won't spend anymore than they have to to make sure your car is in working condition.

 
RaeLynn F. | 2014-01-25

I worked with Albert Hernandez who was absolutely wonderful. Not only did I get more for my car than I thought, but he also walked me through the car buying process. I originally bought a car when I sold mine in (as a trade), but ended up not loving it, so I brought it back and Albert got me into the PERFECT car. He was incredibly patient with me, even though I felt like I was an inconvenience, he assured me that I wasn't. Overall, my experience was 110% good.

 
Kristen R. | 2014-01-21

Was offered jack for my car by dealerships and the guy who says he beats Carmax but, I went in got a decent offer and I'm giving them my car tonight.

I worked with Wes and he was really nice, showed me a few cars with no pressure. I wasn't big on any of the options they had, so I went elsewhere. I'm pretty certain the pricing on their lot isn't the best you can find but, if you like something there I am pretty sure they can save you a lot of headache.

 
Mark C. | 2014-01-20

I was very skeptical of this place but they were awesome.  Jerry assisted me in getting my car evaluated/appraised and he was great.  He really seemed to enjoy his job.  The appraiser Gaylord was very quick.  The price they gave me for my car was on the low side of my range but at least it was in range and not a lowball.  I had another guy see my car that claimed that he could beat Carmax and he was actually $1,500 lower.  He said Carmax often gives the best price becasue they can ship the car to any one of their national stores where it will fetch top dollar.  My Subaru would sell better in Colorado, for example.  As such, Carmax can pay me more here in San Diego, ship it there and still make money.  Very pleasant experience and a great place to start when you want to sell your car.

 
Nicole M. | 2014-01-20

Just bought a car at Kearny Mesa's Carmax and I was NOT disappointed. Our salesman Christos (spelling?) was such a wonderful salesman. Wasn't pushy about selling us a car. Helped us find exactly what we were looking for. As for the paperwork, Keisha was very friendly and fast, but still took the time to make sure we understood all paperwork. We will absolutely be buying cars there from now on. Amazing customer service. Everyone was SO friendly and helpful. Also, their website carmax.com is fantastic to look at before you go to see what they have in stock. Lots of pictures and specs of each car.

 
Dave B. | 2014-01-18

CarMax is a decent company, but not an outstanding one.  The staff is wonderful, but there's more to buying a car than helpfulness and enthusiasm alone.  Here's my experience.

We bought an eight-year-old luxury car from CarMax.  My wife fell in love with it and REALLY wanted it, so we got it.  However, we're senior citizens and not up to speed like folks who carry smart phones, so we accepted the price.  But when we went to the bank, we found they don't cover loans in excess of book value.  So CarMax ended up charging us 11 percent more than the car is worth.  I complained to CarMax's manager, whose response was simply that Kelly, Edmunds, and NADA are all inaccurate and too low, and that the price we paid was indeed the fair price, using words like, after all, if a buyer and seller agree on a price, isn't that by definition fair?  He seemed like a nice guy, so I didn't tell him sure, if the buyer's a sucker.  After we got the car, we found out that the price had been $500 more a couple of weeks earlier, so the real answer is that a car's fair price is whatever CarMax can unload it at, so they start high, and as the inventory ages, they start lowering the price, to hell with other auto dealers say.  Caveat emptor (Latin for "buyer beware!").  True, we had five days to turn it back in, no questions asked, but as I said, my wife just loved this car, and I'm  glad we're able to afford what she wants.  But the saga isn't over yet.

I took the car during the 5-day period to my personal, trusted mechanic and paid him $70 to go through the car and let me know if anything was wrong.  That was the best $70 I've spent in a while.  The car is of recent enough vintage that it has computer support.  His check found error codes that reflected a bad oxygen sensor.  In addition, he found the front engine mount by the radiator was loose, the right side torque mount was cracked, the left side outer tie rod was worn out, the valve cover gasket had a small leak, and left rear shock was leaking.  Are you kidding me?  Why the hell didn't CarMax find AND FIX all these problems before putting the car on the lot?  Again, caveat emptor.  We could have walked away and been hit with unexpected repairs.

To its credit, when I brought the car back to CarMax, they addressed the problems at their expense.  Mostly.  They replaced the oxygen sensor, replaced the torque mount, tightened the engine mount, and replaced the tie rod and realigned the wheels.  At least they say they did all that.  And I believe them because they can't afford probative fraud.  But they did not fix the leaking shock.  Their comment was the car has air shocks and passed the bounce test.  What the heck?  How does a bounce test show no leak?  They didn't even indicate if they put the recommended amount of air in it.  And what about the leaky valve cover gasket?  The mechanic's comment was that he checked for the oil leak and that it "passed CarMax standard".  So I guess that means CarMax's standard is to allow leaking valve cover gaskets.  There were a few other minor issues that were resolved or explained away (like the air shock and valve cover gasket).

Once the car was fixed, we started our 30-day warranty coverage.  I found that the brakes were bad when applied hard, a very distinct and alarming shuddering.  Brake failure in an emergency can be lethal.  To be as brief as possible, CarMax came through and refinished the rotor surfaces and brake pads at no expense.  After we got our car back again, I found that the brakes still chatter under heavy stopping pressure, but not nearly as bad as before.  By this time I figured, what the heck, the car IS a used car, and I'd probably just be considered a whiner if I started to second-guess every fix CarMax made.

Will I ever use CarMax again?  Possibly.  I believe they're basically a good company.  Just lazy.  They set out what they can plausibly get rid of at the highest price with the least work.  You need to double check their prices first, which you can do on the spot if you have a smart phone to go online and check dealer prices.  Then you need to be willing to go through the trouble of holding their feet to the fire for any mechanical problems that you find at your time and expense (it WAS a big hassle), a "mechanical integrity discovery "job you should not have to be stuck with.  But unlike some other dealers, they DO stand behind their products if you're willing to raise hell about any deficiencies you take the trouble to find.

 
Joanne S. | 2014-01-14

I visited Carmax and worked with Sam Kasaab, he was great! He was so patient as I test drove and/pr sat in every sign SUV on the lot!

Then the trade in appraisal I was submitted was exactly what I had wanted.  I was afraid they would low ball me, but it was respectable and perfect.

Very casual, calm and low low pressure. I will never go back to the regular car dealer to buy and sell a car.

 
Tiffany H. | 2014-01-12

Roxy Pooka is a Rockstar! She went through everything thoroughly and we were out within 2hrs!!! Unheard of when ur going to purchase a vehicle!! Thanks Roxy, u will forever b our go to person!!!

 
Daeson K. | 2014-01-06

I have purchased A LOT of cars and I can honestly say that Carmax Kearny Mesa is truly the BEST certified pre-owned dealership in all of San Diego!!!! Their hassle-free car buying and selling experience truly is as the company proudly claims, "The way car buying SHOULD be."

My best piece of advice is to ONLY work with their sales consultant, Daniel Stephenson. I have purchased 2 cars from Daniel last year and I will continue always buying from him. He truly is exceptional both in his charismatic demeanor and outstanding customer service. The guy is extremely genuine and cared more about me making the most informed purchasing decision for me and my family, than just trying to make a quick sale.

 
Hollie W. | 2014-01-03

Shout-out to Sam Kassab, hit him up if you go to the KM location.  Perfect combo of chill, helpful, honest, patient, and informative.  A pleasure to work with, fun too!  Absolutely no pressure sales, a totally genuine guy committed to helping you find what you're looking for.  

As for CarMax, overall a great experience.   We will be back.

 
Kristen P. | 2013-12-31

In short, CarMax are low-ballers. It's complete B.S. that they have the best offers. I was able to get $1700 more at a dealership. Their offer was laughably below the legitimate KBB value (the one from the actual book, not the website), by more than $6000. Then the guy I dealt with tried to say his coworker just sold my exact car for only about $1500 more than what I'd been offered. How convenient that this other salesman just happened to have my EXACT car and happened to have JUST sold it. What kind of idiot did they think I was?

 
Robert B. | 2013-12-27

Very good place to sell your vehicle to but not so sure if the cars for sale are listed at decent prices

 
Melissa N. | 2013-12-02

Michelle in service is da bomb kind, friendly, fast, and knowledgable. She deserves an award for customer service. Carnax should be proud to have her on their team. 10 stars!! And she got me in a loaner car a nice one

 
Tony G. | 2013-11-21

Engine explodes at 75mph in the fast lane. Pull over, try not to die. Pleasant AAA woman on the phone, rattlesnake at my feet. Try to sound manly as I jump into a bush. Unsuccessful. Auto mechanic pops the hood, tries not to laugh. Laughs a lot. Rental car agency only has minivans available. Try to sound grateful. New car shopping, staring at price tags. Try not to cry. Cry a lot.

Head to Carmax Kearny Mesa, meet friendly dude named Wes. Try not to be jealous of his calves. Stare anyway. Shown an awesome car I could own. Frighten nearby women/children with awkward happy dance. Compose self. Trade in aforementioned exploded vehicle, get Kelly Blue Book value. Dance a lot. Bought that awesome car. No longer hate to drive. Drive a lot.

 
Vanessa P. | 2013-11-19

I am disappointed with my experience at CarMax.

Sales: the person who sold our car was very friendly and laid back. I REALLY liked that he was not pushy at all or pressured us in any way. We took a long time to make our decision and he never rushed us. However, he was NOT very knowledgeable about the car and knew less than we did. He also told us that any minor issues with the car would be fixed "before we drove away" which was completely false.

Service: Our car needed to have several minor issues adjusted in the service center (fender fixed, a cap in the trunk area, etc.). We were promised a phone call within 3 days. We called after 5 days. We called again after 9 days. We finally spoke on the phone with someone almost 2 weeks after we purchased the car. Now, almost at the end of our 30 day warranty period, our car is finally being serviced. The service office seems disorganized and less than polite when speaking with on the phone. I would not purchase my next car from here.

 
Simeko C. | 2013-11-19

CarMax... what can I say.  This was my first time visiting this establishment.  I didn't know what to expect and to my surprise I was pleasantly surprised.  I went before the lot opened and was able to look at all the different cars that they had on the lot.  They had a huge inventory and it was nice to just look at the cars that I had been considering.  After I left CarMax I visited two other car lots and the other lots could not compare with the huge selection of used cars.  I would suggest that one drop by and just look at the cars if you are considering many different makes or models.  This place probably has something for you to see.

 
Kaniala G. | 2013-11-19

Go! Go! Go.  See Ashley.  The only thing more beautiful than her smile is her compassionate, uplifting and down to earth understanding. This is my first review on Yelp.  The only reason I went to Carmax was because I read a review on here.  I am simply paying it forward to the next person and thanking Ashley for helping me find exact what I needed.  A right now car.  I went in because my life situation had changed and I needed a commuter car, specifically a hybrid is what I was looking for. The problem, my Ridgeline was less than a year old.  I knew I would be upside down.  I didn't want to haggle at all.  I went just to check it out and I had my 4 year old daughter with me which added another time restraint and dynamic.
Ashley knew my situation and knew exactly how to help me.  She said let's find a cheap car that gets great gas mileage because you will be carrying over from the Ridgeline.
I got a Honda insight, bare bones no frills but 45mpg.  I love the car! I enjoyed and respected the honesty and compassion Ashley had for my situation. She treated my daughter like she was her family.  I couldn't have asked for more. Thank you Ashley. I told you I would write a review for you and I kept my word.  You were a great help and I hope you get a raise.  You deserve it.  
Aloha.

 
Emma Jasper W. | 2013-11-11

made an appointment to get my car appraised, re-confirmed appt time the night before.  show up on time, and guess what....yep the guy i made appt with isn't working today....    and someone else will start all over with me....   how thoughtful.  ive already had a lengthy conversation answering 20 questions and you want me to start again ?????     how about showing up for an appointment you make !!!    These guys are gamers.

 
Bridgette A. | 2013-11-07

I always purchase cars from CarMax, as they seem to give the most fair prices for the cars brought in, and they are easy to do business with.  The most recent car I purchased has a major problem where water drains into my car, and it floods every time it rains.   I brought my car in,  explained my problem to the manager, and he did nothing to resolve the issue.

 
Blaine M. | 2013-11-06

Tryed to sell my 2008 dodge charger here yesterday and they offered me $5000 less than kelly bluebook and basically wasted 2 hours of my time there was nothing mechanically or physically wrong with my car not even minor damage it is in nearly perfect condition with farly low miles then the sales person tryd to explain why the offer was so redicoulously low saying they had to many in stock and tryed to show me by searching dodge charger 2008 on the car max website there was only 1 at any carmax in southern California and it was in north LA with more miles and a smaller engine than mine and it was selling for more than double what they had offered for my car.  I was pretty iratated especially because the inspection took almost 2 hours instead of the 30 they said when I walked in and called ahead

 
Clay B. | 2013-11-03

Carmax sold me a car with $1200 in pre-existing damage. I gave their "service" department 2 chances to fix it, but they gave me the run-around and tried to pass off pathetic, cheap "fixes" that were only temporary and did not include replacing any of numerous, concealed broken parts! I took the car to a reputable repair shop who showed me the extent of damage to this vehicle and the cost to properly repair it. With this info, I appealed to Carmax management where I purchased the car, but they would NOT repair it. Finally, I appealed to the CEO at Carmax corporate headquarters. They also denied responsibility and would not fix the vehicle. The person I spoke with, however, shared some important info that everyone should know: Carmax DOES SELL damaged vehicles and when they do, the car is only "repaired to Carmax standards"---which is not the same as fixing things completely or properly. DON'T BE SUCKED IN BY CARMAX, THEIR PEOPLE OR THEIR SHOWROOM DISPLAY. MY EXPERIENCE DEMONSTRATES THAT THEY ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF DOING THE RIGHT THING. Be wary of any 4 and 5 star recommendations here on Yelp! From my experience, it is clear that taking care of customers after the sale is not on the Carmax agenda. I don't want anyone to get ripped off like I did.

This car also had 2 outstanding NHTSA safety recalls that Carmax never told me about. Think my terrible experience with Carmax is rare? Check out the Carmax review done by ABC's 20/20, aired 12/12/14, then take your business elsewhere.

 
Tien N. | 2013-11-02

This place is great if you know exactly what you're looking at. Obviously selling your car here will net you less than if you sell it privately and the opposite is true if you're buying--but the convenience is unbeatable.

I dropped off my car here and within 30 minutes they gave an estimate while a charming sales person entertained me. I came back 2 days later to drop it off for good and got a check for more or less what I was expecting.

 
Lola Z. | 2013-10-30

If I could rate this Carmax a 10, I would! I'd heard they give the best price on trade ins and that was definitely the case for me! I was pleased with their offer. From the moment I entered their building, service was top notch! The salespeople were friendly, knowledgable and not pushy. The selection they had was good. I had a car brought in from another city. It took a few days and it ended up being the car I purchased. There were some minor reconditioning items that  needed to be addressed and they made everything perfectly brand new. The no-haggle experience I felt was fine. They are very transparent and you don't have to play the games you play at traditional dealerships. The financing offers were good as well. I would definitely recommend this Carmax to anyone. As a matter of fact, my friend who purchased a car here told me about them. I would have never come here had it not been for her. Happy customer!...fast forward a month later-experienced Excellent service for their Service Department-super friendly, efficient and professional. :)

 
Jeremy B. | 2013-10-23

Just bought a car here.  Pros - great selection, inventory turns over quickly, price was lower than KBB, fixing small blemishes on the car for free.  Cons - super crowded.  We shopped on a weekday and it was awesome.  But we went to actually buy on the weekend and it took hours cuz they're super busy.  2 people helped us.  One was super cool and easy going, the other was pretty salezy with lots weird industry and pre-programmed phrasing.  

In the end we got what we wanted at a great price with not too much hassle.  For a used car I'd do it again.

 
M F. | 2013-10-23

Amazingly convenient and speedy, with super nice, professional, and non-pushy staff. Thank you!!

 
Oliver c. | 2013-10-18

Weasels. I brought in my 2004 Accord V-6 with only 45K miles on it. It was is very good to excellent condition. Always garaged. All maintenance records. They offered $6000, over $2000 less than the dealer offered in trade (after negotiating a price for a new car).

 
Miguel T. | 2013-10-17

Had the worst sales person her name Courtney don't know if spelling correct. This is the second time I brought a friend here . The first one I brought here had a great experience he bought his car and was happy . Today was so disappointing . She gave us no information while on the test drive.  My friend wanted to test drive a couple of cars and she said no. She acted so bored and I have no idea how she got a sales job. I think she needs to go back working at bar. With great rapport maybe she could have bought a car we to Lexus down the street and got a better experience Bill from Lexus was great.

 
Scott L. | 2013-10-10

I bought my car there. buying used car from CarMax was easy and pleasant. I test drove all the cars in my list. and finally made decision to buy ML. later I felt I paid a little more than I should do.

however during 30 day warranty period, they fixed almost every defect I found. so I am very happy about the purchase now. they fixed loose power mirror, loose seat belt, loose net on front seat back panel. they didn't repair cosmetic glitches, but that's OK, since those were not agreed upon.

but I didn't like selling car to CarMax, since their offer was too low. they offered $850 for my 99 SAAB convertible, however when I post it to craigslist @ 1500, it got 10 calls in 10 minutes. so ended up selling my Saab @ 1800, could get $2000 easily also.

 
Mar B. | 2013-10-10

I went to Carmax this last Sunday and was immediately greeted by Brian. I brought my bf and parents with me just because i was bit skeptical about the whole experience. Luckily, Brian helped us out that day, he made the whole experience very Painless and not only was he very informative and upfront, he was also very easy to talk to.  Thanks Brian!!

 
Sean Y. | 2013-10-09

I went here to sell my 1995 BMW M3. After sitting through a presentation and waiting around for the inspection, they gave me their appraisal. They would pay $1,500 for the car. I posted it on Craigslist and sold it for $7,950. I had two other offers over $7,000, so this price wasn't an outlier.

Total waste of time at Carmax. I could have gotten more at the BMW dealer...

 
Alex M. | 2013-09-28

Go in expecting to test drive a few vehicles, maybe come back later after reviewing some other dealerships' prices, leave swearing to never buy a car from those jerks. Congrats Carmax. Our salesmanship name was Ryan. Truly wish my husband hadn't tossed his card as soon as we left the lot so I could list a last name.

 
Steve Y. | 2013-09-28

These guys did a fantastic job for me with my new 2012 Escalade!! Not only did they bring it down from Orange county for me to test drive it, they gave me a great price and got me financed with a really good rate in 10 minutes! Big kudoos to CarMax and their team. I would have never thought to buy from them, but overall the experience was seriously 5 Stars!

 
PaulSEGAL .. | 2013-09-27

I've been here several times. I find the sakes people all very friendly & helpful & so not pushy(Why not?). I've shopped, gotten estimates and even sold 1 car here. Super easy. Best to make an appt first tho, just in case.

 
Tammy R. | 2013-09-26

Wow what can I say. I went in to sell a vehicle, and I meet Chet he is one of the best sales representatives that I have meet. He listened to everything I wanted and tried to find the exact car and in my price range. He made the howl experience very easy.  I love my new vehicle and am glad I meet a great sales person.

 
kelsey c. | 2013-09-14

Yep, just as crappy as we were warned about.

Although, both the guy who gave the value on my car and the guy who came back to explain everything were amazing. Both informative and professional.

Aly was our contact when we walked in and she was horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible.

We were in the process of buying a new SUV for our expanding family and wanted to get money for my civic as a down payment. Aly started out nice enough but within 10 it was hard for her to not show her hatred on her face. I stopped counting how many times she rolled her eyes at my hubby and I. I realize she's a saleswoman but we made it very clear from the first moment that we wouldn't be buying a car from them as we wanted new or certified preowned. The entire time we were waiting aly repeatedly kept trying to show us car after overpriced car that we politely declined every single time. At one point my husband was talking about the normal warranty that comes with a new car and she rolled her eyes and said she had never heard of it. Really? You sell cars and you've never known that new cars come with new warranties? Awesome.

We were looking for a very specific new or CPO SUV under 20gs. She tries showing us a fully loaded suv for 30gs and rolls her eyes when I tell her were not interested. I went on to explain that we had been researching for over a month and knew exactly what we wanted and what we could afford. She rolled her eyes well over 5 times in the time I took to tell her that.

Aly, I would suggest treating people with respect, regardless if they buy a car from you or not. It'll will get you a lot further than your eye rolling.

 
Sue O. | 2013-09-04

Went to CarMax hoping to see my vehicle and avoid the hassle of trying to sell it myself. They came back saying the vehicle was mint condition but then offered significantly lower than blue book and trade in values. I realized they would want to make a profit but I researched the auto auctions and knew my what my Jeep was selling for at auction and they were offering about 1/4 of what they could sell it for.

I took it to another Used Car dealer who offered me $2,500 more than CarMax and they sold the car at a profit less within 48 hours of buying it from me. I don't recommend selling a used car here at all. Do your research on value and shop around. Going somewhere else may get you more money!

 
Keriane K. | 2013-08-31

Went to carmax and got an instant appraisal. They offered my $6,000 for my 2008 G6. Took my written appraisal (good for 10 days) to the dealer I bought my new car from and they only offered me $4,500 and wouldn't go higher. So we drove to carmax, signed some papers cleaned out my car and got my check then went to the dealer and bought my brand new car. I was so happy to have that extra $1500 for a down payment!! Awesome, fast, quick service!!!!

 
Ken W. | 2013-08-05

If you want to sell your car, here's all you need to know about Carmax:

1. They are a business with a lot of overhead. They need to pay that overhead and make a profit. Thinking you'll get top dollar at Carmax is like going to Vegas and thinking you'll win. (Hint: look at that big casino with all that shiny stuff--the house isn't losing very often. And when you come back and tell us you won? We know you're lying, because we do it, too.)
2. They have a great system and hire friendly, capable people. They will treat you very well, like a farmer feeding the sheep a carrot while fleecing him naked. (I can't say more than that. What happens on the farm, stays on the farm.)
3. Do your homework. Estimate your car's value on NADA and Kelley Blue Book. Go in with some knowledge. Their first offer may be negotiable. (As in, maybe they'll leave a little fleece around your *** so you don't freeze your *** off.)
4. Unless you're that kid on the Jimmy Fallon commercial who doesn't like more cash, you'll do better putting a listing on AutoTrader and selling it yourself. Yes, it's more hassle. Example: I sold my car for $2,000 over Carmax's offer to the third person who looked at it.
5. I'll probably just take the $$ to Vegas and blow it, so what the heck do I know.

 
Brian M. | 2013-07-27

I'm a big fan of CarMax's concept. Bought cars from them in Maryland, Sacramento, Las Vegas and now San Diego. Maybe I should be happy with doing well with 3 out of 4, but I'm not.
SD/Kearney Mesa CarMax reminds me of the old "used car salesman" reputation. I agree with other reviewers that Kearney Mesa is all about them closing the deal & poor customer care. I bought a $32K car with 11K miles on it only to discover 5 weeks later (not driving the car for 3+ weeks while on business travel) they hadn't completed the required 7,500 mile service. Even though their system indicated it hadn't been completed all I heard was "sorry, should have told us within 30 days".
Minor issue, but completing the paperwork was also disorganized & required me to make 2 unscheduled return trips to them.
Their paperwork problems & having the car transferred in from another location probably contributed to my missing-service problems.
I recommend using CarMax, JUST DON'T USE KEARNEY MESA/ SD!!!

 
Lonnie J. | 2013-07-22

Let me 1st start by saying that before I went to CarMax I visited Mossy Toyota in the Pacific Beach area.Those guys are the stereotypical "used car sales guys!" Stay far away from Mossy Toyota, they really tried to low ball me on my trade in and were playing all kinds of games. CarMax on the other hand was as straight forward as a car dealership comes and gave me a no-haggle appraisal on my car that I was looking to sell them (30% higher than Mossy Toyota.) I didn't end up buying a car there but I wouldn't hesitate in the future. It was a great experience start to finish.

 
Saman H. | 2013-07-12

This is the easiest place to sell your old car, buy and new car, and test drive whatever you like.

 
Reuben P. | 2013-07-11

I bought my used car from at this lot and will probably always buy a used car and from CarMax from now on.

The process was as quick and painless you can ask for when buying a car. I like the no-haggling setup. Financing my car (initially) through them was good.

What really tops it off is their service. Also a 4/5 and in my prior experience better than Audi's in terms of their communication and process. Definitely better than every other normal dealership by far.

 
Dan G. | 2013-07-11

Bought my 2004 Honda Cr-V from Kearny Mesa Carmax back in Dec 2012. Jenni was the associate who helped me. She was an absolute gem. She was fair, honest and patient with me.
   I don't like sales people as a general rule especially when it comes to cars. Jenni (jenny?) made this an entirely different experience. Even offered to give me a ride the next day to complete the paper work. She gave me sound advice on how to bring my payments down while repairing my credit.
   Love the car, more than satisfied with  Carmax and very grateful to Jenni.
My only regret is that it took me six months to finally sit down and write this long overdue review.

 
Michelle J. | 2013-07-09

Car buying experience was great. I can't complain. Both my husband I bought three cars, one for our son.

Service department: Less than average. I bought a Nissan Murano 2009 SL. 2 days after my purchase the glove box would not shut. They kept my car for a day when the repair had it been fixed properly should have been ready by the end of the day. The problem, this weekend I encountered the same problems with the glove box and decided to take it to Mossy Nissan Kearny Mesa only to discover the fix they did was a temporary fix rather than replacing the broken part which cost $400.00.  We had another problem with my sons Honda. He was told the struts needed to be replaced, then they replaced the dust boots...more to the story. They had his car for 5 days. Many phones calls to check the status. Now that I have discovered the service department is dishonest in their repairs, I let the corporate office know we will take my son's Honda to a Honda dealership for an inspection of the work performed by CarMax which the corporate office will pay for in addition to my glove box repair which will be done by the Nissan dealership. They lost my business..........I will NEVER take my car to any CarMax Service Department.

 
Ross A. | 2013-07-06

This was an amazing experience. It's just like they say on TV: haggle-free and worry-free. I was selling a 1997 vehicles with over 204,000 miles, significant body damage, and a turn signal that rather than being on the front bumper, was lying in the front seat (long story). Bernard was very friendly, patient, and made the whole experience very pleasant. In about an hour, I was out of there with a check in hand (and for an amount far behond what I had anticipated). This puts Cragslist to shame.

 
Dawn B. | 2013-07-04

Love this place. It truly does not have that car dealership feeling with the no haggle prices. I had no anxiety being there and Christiane Renz was awesome, honest and very helpful. The manager Todd Blackwell was extremely helpful and pleasant to deal with. After going to test drive a vehicle at Honda of Escondido (see my review on that) I went running back to Carmax.

 
Lars S. | 2013-06-18

I was looking for a 5th Gen SS Camaro to replace my 5th Gen V6...wanted to upgrade to a "big boy car". I had searched a dozen local dealerships and several online car sales websites to find one car that looked great...but when I stopped by that used car dealership I found that the car I thought looked great actually had of a dozen dings, scratches, and chipped paint. I left pretty disappointed. My buddy told me to check Carmax, so I went online and found a gorgeous 2011 Camaro SS with less than 11K miles and every option I was looking for! And the price...well it was just what I was looking for as well! I would see the same car with more miles going for several thousand more than the window price at Carmax. I immediately called Carmax in San Diego and chatted with Cynthia (Cindy) who contacted the Bakersfield location where the car was located to ask questions about the interior and exterior condition. I wasn't going to have it transferred to SD if the car was not in immaculate condition. She confirmed it was and we made arrangements to have the car transferred to SD. Later that day I got an email with a link to a website where I could see all the pictures and information on the car I was interested in as it was no longer available to the public. I was the only person who could see the car now. Cindy called to let me know that she would be taking some time off for a wedding but not to worry because I would be well taken care of...and I was! Elena called me to let me know my car had arrived and we scheduled a test drive for later the same day! I literally spent 80 minutes at Carmax, checking out the car, taking her for a spin, and completing all the paperwork to purchase! It was exactly what I wanted, in immaculate condition, for an amazing price! There was no haggle with pricing, no sales pitches, no "used car sales talk" to encourage you to purchase! It was simple, easy, and very friendly! The way dealerships should be!

Thank you Cynthia, Elena and Reema (back-office support) for a great, friendly, and quick car-buying experience! I would absolutely go back to you! I appreciate your service!

 
Brett S. | 2013-06-16

I have not purchased a car from CarMax but have sold them a couple of mine.  I found the sales people to be friendly and professional.  The whole experience is much more professional and easier than your typical car dealer.  Since they are a very large dealer group they seem to have their clear standardized systems and process down that focuses on treating the customer with respect. They typically give you an appraisal amount that is about what you'd get elsewhere with way less hassle and you come away not feeling taken advantaged of like most dealers. I can recommend CarMax.

 
Chris J. | 2013-06-13

This was a great place to go and get started looking for cars. My wife wanted a new SUV but had no clue what kind she wanted . The sale and was very friendly and took his time showing a lot of different cars, all of the cars they had were in very excellent condition . I would love to have bought here but unfortunately they did not have what we were looking for but I would recommend this as a great starting place for those who don't know what they want. Lots of great condition cars in one place . A little higher than some small lots but I think it is a safer bet here than some small shady car lot .

 
Sk T. | 2013-05-14

True Story:
CarMax offered $300 for our truck, insisting the odometer was broken. We walked out and didn't look back. Turns out, odometer was fine. It was so fine it was appraised at $3000 elsewhere. We sold it for $3000.
Need I say more?

 
Kaylee H. | 2013-05-05

I purchased a car from Carmax yesterday, and sold them my previous car.  My review will not include use of the repair shop, and, with any luck, I won't have to experience that any time soon.  If I do, I will definitely post a new review, good, bad, or ugly.

As it is, my experience yesterday was very good.  As a fan of two-seater fast red cars, I've been looking at Boxsters for awhile, and then Caymans.  I had my eye on a cute red one at San Diego Porsche, however it was only two years newer than my 14 year-old Miata (a.k.a. "Keiki").  When I stopped at Carmax to look at a newer Boxster, I met up with Calvin, the sales associate.  He was very friendly and we didn't have to wait a second for someone to greet us.  I told him what I was looking for, and what Hubby was looking for (a truck for his desert adventures).  Calvin led me over to the Boxster and I immediately took it out for a spin with Calvin while Hubby checked out the trucks.  Turns out that particular Boxster's shifting was a bit spongy, and I was disappointed.  After the test drive we wandered around and I spotted a luscious red 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 two-seater hard top convertible.  I'm not going to say the angels sang, but I think I did see little hearts floating above my head like Sally on Charlie Brown cartoons.  "Isn't it the cutest thing??"

My first though:  "Oh. My. God."  My second thought:  "Pfft, that'll be way out of my range."  Well it wasn't.  Even though we had an appointment to test drive the cute little red Boxster at San Diego Porsche, I was able to bark out:  "Must test drive SLK..."  Calvin must've known I was hooked.  After calling the guy at SD Porsche to tell him we'd be late (I am nothing if not polite...), I took the SLK out.  Of course I loved everything about it, but I am coming from a vehicle that had crank windows and non-power steering.  So the MB was making me starry-eyed.

Reluctantly I pulled myself away from the SLK so we could make our appointment to test drive the cute red Boxster at SD Porsche.  Calvin didn't follow us off the lot saying "Someone's going to buy it!!!" or any of those smarmy car sales tactics.

After test driving the red Boxster (and if the SLK hadn't already stolen my heart I would've been all over that Boxster in a second), we went home to research.  The SLKs had good reviews and I had hot pants to buy this thing so I dragged Hubby back that same day.  The only sad part about this was giving up my sweet Miata, which I had purchased new.  I did get teary-eyed when I was cleaning it out, I admit it.  I kept saying "I'm sorry..." to her.  Carmax gave me $3000 for a 14 year-old car. Granted, it was in great shape (engine-wise and cosmetically) and had only 96k miles on it.  We had done our research, it was a very fair price.  Sure I could've sold it for more on CL but then I'd have had to worry about the buyer coming back to kill me in my sleep.

The buying process was painless, thanks to Calvin and Reema in the business office.  Kudos.  We were in and out in a couple hours.

Hopefully the experience will continue to be un-tarnished.  Stay tuned, I've only had "Rosie" for 1 day.  :-)

 
R W. | 2013-05-02

We traded in our car and purchased another one at Carmax. The procedure was smooth and the financial aspect was fair. You will not get a steal here but they are honest and courteous.
I can  recommend Carmax without any reservation if you don't want to deal with shady car dealers.

 
Stephanie H. | 2013-05-01

I sold my car to these guys before I moved abroad and it was super fast and easy. I tried other routes, but this place get major points for being so swift.  I had a 350z in excellent condition and they gave me an offer that was thankfully in my range of acceptableness. Perhaps it's the San Diego convertible market working for me.  It surprised me that they offered me something this good, seeming as I also went to a lower rate small company in San Diego prior to this that claimed to "offer better than Carmax." Let's just say this other company was a complete headache.

Once I agreed to the offer, within about half an hour I was off with a check and parted ways with my beloved 350Z.

I can't say anything about the purchasing side, but don't write this place off so fast if you want to sell. They may surprise you, especially if you have a really nice car. For the simpleness and speed of how everything is handled, totally worth it.

 
Alice R. | 2013-04-27

We just bought a car from CarMax and our experience was TOP NOTCH! Doug was our sales agent and from the very beginning of the process, he was incredibly accommodating, never once pressured us into making a decision, went above and beyond to make sure his responses were timely and all our requests were met. He even came in on his day off to show us a car when we requested it. On top of it all, the car selection at CarMax is unrivaled and that's why it was so convenient to select a car. We had the option of buying a car straight from the auction through a family friend, but the prices here actually beat the auction prices... we couldn't believe it. We purchased the extended warranty, and while I can't testify to how good/bad it actually is, it seems like a great investment because it extends your manufacture's warranty for miles/years beyond. Our car was missing the owner's manual, and they even told us they'd reimburse us if we bought it from the actual dealership/manufacturer. Emily helped us fill out all of our paperwork and she was so, so sweet and thorough. She answered all of our nitty gritty questions about the paperwork down to the fine print and did so very efficiently. To be honest, I really wasn't expecting this from a huge corporation, but the customer service was so superb and the price was amazing. We're so satisfied and will be coming back for future purchases!

 
Kief Z. | 2013-04-22

I am very disappointed in the service center. We bought a car last week, and just after the 5 day window in which you can return it, the power steering pump broke. Now, carmax is booking us to come in a full WEEK after I called in. This bothers me for several reasons:

1. We only have a 30 day warranty. This week cuts into that significantly, limiting what else I might be able to find in the time given.
2. They wouldn't let me take the car anywhere else and submit the claim.
3. I won't have use of the car I just bought for a week.

I am very glad I didn't get the extended warranty, because I do not want to deal with service like this going forward.

 
M E. | 2013-04-12

Purchasing Vehicles:

Not even worth one star.

Sold me a car with frame damage (goes against every policy they have right?) that I discovered via diligence. Sold me another car with a possible accident at a ridiculous price(after some investigation and a pre-sale assessment). (Nothing on carfax and supposedly they do a 125 point inspection????)

All of this hassle lead to possibly messing with my finances which I take pride in.

I am done being a quiet, dissatisfied customer. Level of incompetence is unmatched. I had to do all of the legwork and communication. Management reminded me that they were trying to make it right - ok....but, seriously, 3 free oil changes, basic maintenance and buying back a car with Frame Damage!!!!????

If you go to Carmax, do your homework...over and over and over. Take that car to get assessed. Be sure to take advantage of the 5 day return policy. Do not purchase MaxCare - go through a dealer.

Just my warning. I am detailed oriented and thorough when it comes to investing my money.

(Maybe Ill take this review down once this mess is FINALLY over......maybe.)

 
Eric M. | 2013-04-12

Simple and effective.  I walked in, and in about 20 minutes, I sold my truck and had a check in hand.  

I think that some people go in there with delusions of grandeur when trying to sell their vehicles.  You are not going to get top dollar for your 2001 Jetta.  I can't speak on purchasing a car from there, but I would highly recommend Carmax if you have a car that you are trying to get rid of and don't want to deal with Craig's List or anything like that.

 
Janelle L. | 2013-03-30

Oh CarMax. Major fail. We had been seriously shopping for a vehicle for the last week. We stopped into CarMax for the second time this week to look at their inventory and was greeted by a very nice young man. We found a car my husband loved, that was in our price range, and they even offered a very competitive price for our trade-in.  Everything seemed great, until it came to the financing . . . My husband has impeccable credit and yet they offered us 12%!!! Seriously?! I did not know they even financed cars at such a rate! To make matters worse, the salesman then proceeded to hassle us about what a decent rate 12% was. When I explained to him that: 1.) 12% is horrible and 2.) 12% is embarrassingly horrible, he then told me that he, himself, has good credit and is financing his own vehicle at 18%. Great, that's awesome . . .; however, it gets worse. He then proceeded to degrade me as an individual, that I should know the numbers well enough to know that less than 5% financing does not exist, and I would somehow be getting scammed by accepting financing at a lower rate. Him and I then got into a very heated debate about interest rates, down payments, and vehicle equity, to the point where I had to leave immediately. (Am I an idiot? I think not.)

End result . . . we went to Lexus around the corner and purchased a newer vehicle with less miles, lower monthly payment, smaller loan term, at *gasp* 3% interest. According to the sales associate at CarMax, we got scammed. I will, however, be laughing all the way to the bank. Never again CarMax, never again.

 
Jen S. | 2013-03-24

Best experience I have had buying a car.

My car was stolen and i had bad credit (my identity was stolen when I was living in Europe). I knew that with my credit issue buying a new car would be a challenge. And it was.

Lucky for me I worked with a sales person named Aaron. Before I could buy the car I had to wait for my insurance company to pay off the old leinholder and I had to come up with 6k down.

Before going to CarMax I called Mission Valley Honda and the sales guy there refused to help me. He never returned my call once he saw how much time he would have to spend in working with me.

However, Aaron at Carmax didn't back down. He kept in close contact with me, was professional, and always returned my calls. He was also very patient.

I finally bought my 2011 Honda Accord Coupe and because of people like Aaron CarMax made another sale, and the Honda dealership didn't.

The sales staff at this CarMax are well-trained and they truly care about their customers. In fact, Aaron talked me out of buying a more expensive car (a Mercedes) and sticking to the Honda that was more practical for me. They truly try to help people find the best car to fit their needs and budget. Also, there were no high-pressure sales tactics at all.

I would buy another car from here any day.

 
Rhonda G. | 2013-03-22

I have sold two cars to CarMax, and each experience has been good.  In both cases they gave me $1000 more than the new car dealers I was working with.  The first car was older and paid off.  I received a check within thirty minutes.  Selling the second car, a 2011 Lexus 350, was even faster, and I was given a check for the difference between the payoff and their offer.  When the lien was paid in full CarMax credited a small payoff difference into my account.  

I haven't purchased cars from CarMax, but I can vouch for their excellence in selling them my used cars.  I would encourage anyone to check with them during the trade process.  Their efficient appraisal is good for seven days.

 
Mr and Mrs T. | 2013-03-21

Sara Obrien was our sales chica and she is the BOMB!  We were so tired of car shopping (for over a month) and rejection after rejection and we had arleady had our approved financing voucher.  Sara welcomed us with open arms and we were in and out in a few hours and driving away with our new Jeep Patriot!  Sara was kind enough to work with me via e-mail to get all of the preliminary mumbo jumbo out of the way so when we came in, filled out a few forms and drove our new car home!  Carmax is really up to date with a very inviting showroom, guest waiting room and even when you're back in their finance department to sign your loan vouchers is amazing and courteous.  I couldn't have asked for a better experience.  If you're looking for your next vehicle, stop by Carmax and ask for our girl Sara!

 
Dan C. | 2013-03-20

Read some of the reviews before I wrote this. There is a common thread here. The purchasing experience was no pressure but that was because I found the car thru the search process. However you do pay 10%-20% more. Now here is the kicker! I purchased the vehicle from the CM in Escondido and live in San Diego. So the work had to be done in Kearny Mesa CM. So apparently they did not do the 120 step check on the vehicle. I had brake issues (really a car with brake issues?) and took it back and they tried to fix it and waited 3.5 hours and went home and 3 days later made another appoint the following week. They have what they call standards and if it meets their standards its OK. DO NOT LET THEM PASS THIS OFF ON YOU! So the bottom Line is they had my Truck for 3 days to turn the brake rotors and put on new brake shoes! I have done this to my own cars and barely takes 1/2 hr to install rotors! Their management is a pass the buck Ivory Tower attitude...its hard to get a hold of the top guy. So their service sucks bottom line. Would I buy another car from them...possibly this car is a 10 year old truck with low miles and was in good shape for the most part. It seems they are hunting these vehicles and snatching them up as their MO. They are a good resource for that type of vehicle. A newer car I do not think I would buy from them. Aloha

 
Marti B. | 2013-03-12

If I could give less than one star, I would! The customer service at this store is awful. When I bought my car in December 2012, I drove it home and the radio did not work. I drove it back the next day and did not get it back for six weeks. When I did get it back the speakers on. The drivers side did not work. I called them and they said I needed to call the stereo place that fixed it. I did and they said it needed to go to Mercedes to get reprogrammed. Then Carmax said I would have to pay for it. Now they won't return my phone calls. I guess I'll have to drive down there (waste a day) to stand in the device office so they can lie to me some more.

 
James W. | 2013-03-09

I don't have the patience to draft out a long review here is what you need to know. Financing options from CarMax are unparalleled and the inventory is also unparalleled. The salesperson you want to ask for is Richard. If you need service ask for Mike Proctor. Beware of Nico the sales manager, in beware of Andre in the service department. Other than that you get 4 stars from me.

 
David J. | 2013-03-09

I was looking for a quality preowned car and came to CarMax on the recommendation of a used car dealer who did not have the model I wanted in stock. Because this is an important purchase, I was doing lots of research on the internet: comparing fuel economy, looking at specs for headroom/legroom/cargo space, calculating warranty costs, getting pre-approved financing at my credit union, etc. So I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted (a Honda Fit), and how much I was going to pay (about $12-$13K). CarMax did not have one in my price range originally, so I test drove a Toyota Matrix. Tori O'Hara helped me out. She was personable and shared some of her car-dealer wisdom. She explained how CarMax works, about their warranty program, how all of the cars are reconditioned to meet high standards, and how they basically stand behind the cars they sell. Although the Matrix was a fine car, the fuel economy and cargo space were less than the Fit. When I told her that I definitely wanted the Honda Fit, she went to their inventory. She explained that I could request a car to be transferred to San Diego from another CarMax location. She said sometimes sticker prices are so much lower in neighboring states like Arizona and Nevada, that it actually saves money to have one brought in. Tori offered to have a Honda Fit brought in from Irvine (about 100 miles away) at no charge to me. So I agreed, and a couple days later I cam back to test drive the Fit. Ultimately, my research indicated that I could find a better deal at another dealership, which I did. So I did not buy from CarMax, but they were professional and easy to work with. I would recommend them with the understanding that they make the car-buying process easier for the consumer, but they do so at a price that is a little higher than other dealerships.

 
Joe C. | 2013-02-17

If you have no other choice, can't sell your car or don't mind paying the high end for a used car then they are ok.  I took my 4Runner to sell and they really low balled me, they were selling the exact same 4Runner model and year on the lot for 18K, offered me 12K.  While waiting I spent time looking at their cars on the lot, all priced at the high end of market value. Good luck.

 
Jeannie L. | 2013-02-14

CarMax is different from a used car dealership in the aspects of fixed price, no pressure and generous warranty and return policy (5 days!). Otherwise, the rest is all the same as all the other used car lots and you should treat it as such - buyer beware!

--- This review is for buying a vehicle ---

I purchased a vehicle here but then finally had to return it. The salesperson was extremely accommodating and helpful, and purchase and loan approval process was generally painless and I was out the door quickly. Each salesperson gets the same $150+ commission whether they sell you a cheap or expensive car, so there's no incentive to upsell or push you. They get a little more commission if they sell you the extended warranty. The only catch is that you need to bring the vehicle back to the CarMax Service Center if you have their warranty.

The problems started when I collected the vehicle. I had given it an initial visual inspection before I left the lot, but it started to rain heavily, so I decided it should be okay and drove it home to inspect it again. This in my opinion was a mistake I should not have made.

At home, I found cracks on the front grille and bumper and near the radiator. The vehicle most probably had been involved in minor front impact accident even though the carfax checked out clean. The dashboard display also started flashing with a "light malfunction" message intermittently. I suspected that the headlight electronics most probably were affected by the impact, and they weren't checked.

I was amazed at how these problems could be missed during the initial reconditioning inspection. So I cancelled my third party inspection appointment and brought the vehicle back the next day to be returned. The kicker was when I spoke to a manager at CarMax regarding the front impact damage I found, and how those could pass the inspection. I estimated such a repair in the $500-1000 range for labour and parts. His answer shocked me: "If you don't want the vehicle that's fine. I'll simply repair the bumper for $100 and sell it again". Really? Replace with cheap non-OEM parts and without diagnosing any deeper malfunctions caused by the impact?

He further demonstrated his ignorance when I overhead him shouting into the back office "Hey - I have a wire transfer from China, how do we do a wire transfer from China, they are like 24 hours ahead of us" (Figuring proper facts on that one is left as an exercise to the reader)

Despite that less than satisfactory experience with the manager, the vehicle return process and paperwork was extremely hassle free. I got my money back and was on my way.

The CarMax Service Center and their 125 point inspection is a joke. With the sheer volume of vehicles they process and multitude of makes and models, there's no possible way they are able to know the ins and outs of every single make and model and service them all, especially all the electronics on late-model vehicles.

After purchase, I'd advise bringing the vehicle to the dealership (or other independent mechanic that specializes in that make) and paying for an inspection. The inspection will be done by a third-party with no vested interest. If the car does not check out, return it within the 5 days, hassle free. Don't bother with their extended warranty.

 
Tamera S. | 2013-02-06

We bought an SUV with a $10,000 down payment a few days ago. The buying process was easy and we appreciated the play room for our kids. On the fourth day, we decided that we didn't like it better than our smaller car that we were thinking about selling. I read a bunch of negative reviews and felt pretty stressed out when my husband and I went into Carmax today to return the SUV. The whole process took less than an hour. At no point did anyone try to talk us out of returning the car or persuade us to look at more cars. We left with a $10,000 bank draft. I don't know how anyone else had such a bad experience. If we are in the market for a car again, I will definitely come back here.

 
Michael P. | 2013-02-06

I bought my 2008 Nissan Versa here in April 2012. My experience was amazing! There was no pressure, pure honesty, and phenomenal customer service. The ease of buying my car was so simple I couldn't believe it and they are extremely efficient. I came in today for a tire balance and rotate and was still blown away how efficient and friendly that staff is. I highly recommend doing business here!

 
Janet X. | 2013-01-27

This review is for the sales center.

I'm pretty impressed with my experience at this CarMax. Kudos to John Ahlberg for making my experience such a pleasant one. I sold a very well-maintained car to them, and got a good price (based on the KBB trade-in value). I also bought my new car from them the same day. I was in and out of Carmax in under 3.5 hours (this includes the time to get my car appraised, for test-driving a couple of cars and the check-out process). The car I was initially looking to buy had a few cosmetics issues and a light interior. John A. found an identical car with fewer cosmetic issues and a dark interior, which is exactly what I was looking for. The financing department offered me a very good rate (lower than SDCCU) and had my paperwork done in under 20 minutes.

I really appreciated his honesty while picking warranty options. He also had one of their appraisers check out the car I was buying to look for issues. I'm delighted with my sale and  new purchase; especially as the prices were pretty competitive and aligned with the KBB values.

 
Sarai G. | 2013-01-26

first time shopping for a used car at carmax, got the most money for my vw 06 jetta, transmission was about to drop, engine light out, needed 1,500 to make final payment on it, carmax offered me 3,000, paid vw and the other half we used it to put a down payment on a 2010 chevy traverse which we loooveeee.  the process took about 3 hours but our sales lady sarah smith was a gem, our appraiser andrew was great, they made us feel really comfortable and with no pressure, everything you need to know about your new car is given to you upfront, you don't leave not knowing any information about your purchase, they let you test drive the car they even fill up the gas tank before you take it home and i don't know about you, but with gas prices this day we sure appreciate a full tank of gas.  bottom line is carmax is a great place to sell your car and buy a great used one with little miles and greeeattttt customer service.

 
Vipin A. | 2013-01-14

This review is not for CarMax Sales it is my experience with CarMax Service Center.

I recently took my Infinity M45 2008 to CarMax service and I bought this car from CarMax 6 months earlier. I had some warning lights showing on my dashboard and I reported while I left my car for service, the mechanic doesn't have any idea of what these lights are for, and returned my car just saying he doesn't see any lights and asked me to bring it back if I see it again. Before even leaving the parking lot, warning lights are back on. And this time they made to wait for another couple of hours in their waiting room and when I asked for shuttle service so that I can come back again when my car is ready, they told me I cannot get shuttle service because their policy is they only offer shuttle service for one side which I already used once.
Whatever I just decided to wait to get my car fixed and after waiting they told me, they couldn't able to figure out the problem and asked me to go to some other service center or Infinity dealer. Oh by the way they tried to charge me diagnosis fee which they don't know what they really did. And when I went to infinity dealership they told I have to pay extra, because the full coverage extended warranty I bought it from CarMax is not accepted with Infinity dealers in San Diego.

Bottom line CarMax service center sucks!! And their full coverage extended warranty is more like a scam

 
Gerald D. | 2013-01-13

My wife and I were starting the process of buying a vehicle for our growing family. I looked on CarMax.com to start the search and found a mini van in L.A. that we liked. I contacted CarMax in Kearney Mesa and they had it transferred here for free with no obligation to buy. When we went to look at the vehicle it was too good to be true, it had everything we wanted and at a great no haggle price. There was no pressure to buy and the customer service from Bo was great. CarMax also bought our old vehicle from us and gave us a good deal. This is by far the best car buying experience I've ever had. I highly recommend checking this place out first when you are in the market for a vehicle.

 
Natalie R. | 2013-01-11

This seriously is the way car buying should be.  It took us two days to find the perfect car for us with our salesman, Benjamin.  We were a bit indecisive, but Benjamin was so incredibly patient and was really there to help us find the perfect vehicle.  He clearly cared and wasn't just in it for the commission.  We finally found the BMW that was perfect for our needs and the price was very fair!  Next time we are in the market for a car, we will start at Carmax.

 
Ginna R. | 2013-01-02

If you want excellent customer service and someone who definitely knows his stuff about cars make an appt with Ryan!

 
Katherine S. | 2012-12-29

Carmax is pretty great, you just need to understand their business model so you know what the point of going here is.

*********The portion below is a review for buying a car******************

The point of coming to Carmax is NOT to get the best deal and save that extra 500-1000$. There is no haggling, so if you want to argue, this is not the right place for you. Can you save 500-1000 at a dealership? Probably. But will it take you 5X as long and be 100 times more annoying? Yes.

Basically at Carmax, you pay the extra 500-1000 for 2 things: 1) a comfortable, non-pushy sale of a vehicle you can trust is good. No pressure, no gimmicks, no games. Just  easy and fast. 2) A kick ass, long term warantee. You can buy a car and be confident that the warantee is a good one, and if you change your mind about the car within a few days, you can return it with no questions.

So for many people, they are willing to pay a bit more to have a more pleasant buying experience and to be able to buy with more confidence. If that is you, go to Carmax.

Sara in Kearny mesa was amazingly helpful to me, let me drive 3 cars, and was overall great. No pressure and very friendly and knowledgeable.

**************The portion below is a review for selling a car**********************

Again, the point of coming to Carmax rather than selling to a random on craigslist is that you can be confident that they are not screwng you over, and that you don't have to deal with scary randoms coming to your house.

I brought my 1999 BMW here to be appraised, and was very happy with the offer they made me. I could have made 1000$ more selling private party, but for me, the ease and safety of not dealing with strangers was worth it. Also, I would have had to pay 300$ to detail my car in order to sell on CL for a good price, and didn't have to do that to sell to Carmax. So in the end, for me it was 100% worth it to sell my car here, and the experience was amazing and painless.

They will give you a better price than a dealer, and they don't care if you are buying a car from them. The offer will be the same regardless. So that's nice.

Just don't be shocked if you could get a better price from someone buying in person---that is a given.  Just weigh the decrease in price against the pain in the ass that comes with having people come to your house, lowball, etc etc.

Overall I was very impressed with Carmax. It is a great place to get information about the cars you want, and a place to buy if you don't want to deal with haggling and arguing with dealerships (or if you don't know a lot about cars and want to be 100% sure you are buying the right thing). For me, it was a great place to sell my car, and to narrow down exactly which car I wanted.  I then took the price that Carmax offered, and went to the dealership, saying "Here is the offer in my hand...if you can't beat it, I'm leaving".  The dealer wanted my business so badly that I got a better deal. But again, it took time, effort, and research.

When I make enough money that I can afford an extra 1000$ in order to save 6 hours of time and effort,  buying a car here will be 100% worth it.

Carmax has an awesome thing going, and I expect that more and more people will start going here. I recommend going, and was highly impressed overall.

 
Yongkai L. | 2012-12-25

when I was planning on buying a new car I had my current drive appraised at carmax and got a decent offer (kbb trade in of very good/excellent condition). Later on at the dealership the new car dealer offered less than half of the carmax offer for the old car. So I bought the new car without trade in, and later that same day sold my old car to carmax. very satisfied.

There are many carmax stores across SolCal, so get your car appraised and you can sell your car at the most convenient carmax,

 
Brianna F. | 2012-12-17

We brought our 2011 Honda here, which sounds like it would be no problem to sell anywhere, but we basically used the car to play bumper cars in, and it has many dents and paint chips. We figured we wouldn't get a fair estimate based on the reviews but wanted to try anyway. We were way wrong, they offered us about 1000 below the kelly blue book value for that car in perfect condition, which is amazing because it needed upwards of 2000 in repairs. Also, its worth the money for the ease. You just walk in sign some papers and leave with a check, they do everything else. I will definitely be back when i need to buy a car!

 
Robert H. | 2012-12-10

Well the car buying experience what's positive, in my opinion I would not buy the standard warranty. Their service department is very poor.

 
Ed J. | 2012-12-05

I Won't argue with the fact that they are friendly and organized.  I took my 2007 BMW 750i which is clean carfax and immaculate for an appraisal. After about 30 min they came up with a friendly $18000 offer WTF????? They have the same car for sale $30,000?????? I mean I know we have to make a living but DAMN.
I would be friendly too if you were gonna stop by for 30 min and give me $12000.
The guy that helped actually recommended BMW of SD who offered me $21k. I give him the one STAR.
Sell your car on CL or find a Franchise dealer. Carmax is only Max-imizing their PROFIT they don't care about you.

 
Mateo M. | 2012-11-27

Yes, I'm a fan. Damn I really wanted to hate this place and I kind of still do because they gave me almost nothing for an awesome car that I sold them, but they did make the whole experience extremely simple, very friendly and 100% painless.

I got to give them props; they got this thing down to a science. It works!

 
Patrick S. | 2012-11-25

BOTTOM LINE:  Carmax is the "easy button".

Now, generally speaking, you pay more for "easy". In the last two months, I've sold 2 cars to Carmax: a 2007 SUV and a 2001 coupe.  The SUV was in what most car websites would consider as excellent condition.  Very low miles and no history of accidents.  Went to Carmax on a Saturday in both cases and in less than an hour, walked out with a check for $1,000 more than what I was expecting to get.  The amount they gave me was right in the middle of the Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds.com pricing for a similarly equipped vehicles with one caveat: THIS PRICE IS FOR TRADE IN VALUE!!!  

Do not go into ANY car dealer, Carmax or other, and expect to get the same price as if you'd sell it yourself.  Does it happen sometimes? Sure, but don't expect it...  

I went to Carmax because I needed to sell this vehicle right away and couldn't afford to wait or haggle with potential buyers for a month or two. In less than an hour the tittle was transferred, check was printed, and I was leaving with fair trade in value.  

Remember, take emotion out of it and keep in mind, your car is only worth what someone else will pay for it.  And in the case of Carmax, they will buy it but it will be lower than what you could get IF you do the work yourself.  And the difference will be up to you to accept or not accept as the price of hitting the "easy button"....

 
David J. | 2012-11-24

So my visit here was my second visit ever to the dealership (the first time was just a few minutes before and it was a terrible experience) so I was very nervous. All my previous cars have been handed down to me by family members but now I am looking to getting my first car that I've wanted.

Anyways, I heard great things about Carmax and since they have a huge selection and the ability to appraise your car, I thought I would go ahead and check it out.

Jerry greeted me as soon as I walked in and from that moment till I left, he was nothing but professional and courteous to me. I let him know that I wanted to get my car appraised and so he said it wouldn't be a problem and that it would take 20 minutes (went on Black Friday too). I suggested that we go look at some cars and he said absolutely. This is how it felt to me when I got out of the office: you're 6 years old and you've just been given 5 minutes to get every toy you want in Toys R Us. There was so much selection and Carmax that I didn't really know where to start. i am considering a used entry level luxury car so I said we should start there. Jerry never coaxed me once towards a particular car and even though I asked him 5 or more times if he was bored (how often do you ask that to a Sales person??), he said nope and that he was having a great time.

The great thing about Carmax is that they have the keys on the window of every car. There was no waiting around for the sales person to run and get keys and instead he just opened the box and was ready to go. Perfect. He let me know at anytime we could take a car out and go for a drive. And yep, he insisted on freeway too which was great as a car I really wanted I noticed a TON of wind noise on the freeway. Wouldn't have noticed that otherwise.

We ended up driving 4 or 5 cars, finding some new ones I loved and taking some off the list because they didn't preform. After that, we went to the office and he got the paper that showed me the appraisal amount for my car and said it was good for 7 days. You don't have to sell there if you don't want!

If I had one complaint it would be that not all the cars were in great shape. A BMW I looked into had a display dash that looked glitchy and another car I went to had the reading lights flickering. Their warranty no matter what you buy covers that though for 30 days.

Overall, it was a REALLY great experience. At first I was concerned because it looked like just a huge IKEA for cars but the service was fantastic and the cars were great. The best thing is that Jerry stayed with me out there with no pressure to leave even though it was past his work hours. How do I know? When I was walking to my car I saw him running to his car to go home and spend time with his kids. Highly recommended!

 
Dominic F. | 2012-11-19

carmax has been horrible to me. I bought a used mercedes benz and it's already giving me problems.  They said it was running well and no problems.  Everything started to be problematic.  Lights going out, breaks squeaking, and to top it all off they had me come in more than 3 times and told me that it was fixed.  It seemed like my car was never touched. My experience so far is horrible. I should have stuck with my car and not trade it in.  All we had was problems with carmax and no resolution, we are always left hanging and in question.  Not good service.

 
Smiley H. | 2012-11-17

Visited CarMax to get my car appraised for its value.

Took advice from Yelpers to avoid weekends, and personally, think weekdays morning visits are the best, though still need to spend at least an hour there. Basically, there are two rounds of waiting: 1) for the next available sales consultant to attend to you (15-30mins) and input your info to their system, and 2) for the next appraiser available to appraise your car (20-30min for appraising only).

Pros:  
1) Staff are friendly; car appraiser will come to the desk to do self-introduction while sales consultant will stay and chat with you while the car was in line for appraising and during the appraisal.
2) No pressure to sell immediately as the appraisal is good for a week.
3) Appraisal report and offer printed out in black and white for record and reference.

Cons:
1) No room for negotiation as appraisal is system generated. Appraisal offer was 1-3K lower than that estimated on KBB and Edmunds.com for my case.
2) Long waiting time.

Unhappy Comments:
Realized the touch-up paint on door of my car was scrapped off after I left CarMax, making it look worse than before the appraisal! Felt it was done on purpose to reveal its cosmetic defects and depreciate the appraisal value that I will be getting elsewhere..

Would have given 3 stars if it wasn't that the paint was scrapped off without my consent that left frays of paint hanging by the scratches!! They have no right to make my car look worse, especially when I did not promise that I am selling to them!

In the end, another dealer bought my car as it is at a higher offer, and I had my paperwork and transaction done in the same amount of time spent at CarMax.

 
Katherine C. | 2012-11-15

If you read previous review about my Car Max review, you know that I bought a car from here. That car was gulping oil like there was no tomorrow and I took it to Car Max, they could not figure what was wrong and told me to come back if the car computer said something was wrong. That's crazy, by the time car says something is wrong I would probably need to replace the motor or something. So I called actual dealership and spoke with tech that specializes in my car and told them what my car is doing what should be done and they told me 2 tests that needed to be done in order to figure out what is wrong

I told Car Max this is what the dealership said, please perform these tests.  

So far, you are wondering, she gave it 4 stars and so far it just sounds like Car Max didn't do anything right.

The reason I gave them 4 stars is because they have 30 days warranty to fix anything and everything if something is wrong, no charge to you.  I did take it to Car Max 1 time to have it looked at and I used up my 30 day warranty without Car Max finding anything wrong. I made another appointment but it was the last day of my 30 day warranty and they said since I made appointment before the 30 days were up they will honor the warranty. This I thought was given.  They did not find anything wrong again on that visit either.  

When I inquired to actual dealership and took the car back to Car Max with requesting specific test to be perform, it was long past due of 30 day warranty but they said they will honor the 30 day warranty. They did the test and when they could not figure it out, they took it to actual dealership to have it fixed.

So dealership fixed it and Car Max paid for $600+ repair on them and I was happy because I got it fixed and I had a loaner car to use while they were fixing it.

Best of all, the person who helped me at Service center told me I didn't have to fill up the gas on the loaner car... ( you know how expensive gases can be these days even though the price dropped a lot... =)  ).

 
Carrie H. | 2012-11-02

Straight to the point and no bullshit. Never go on a weekend it's ridiculous and you'll need an appointment or else plan to be there for an hour before you're seen. I was told when I went on a weekend the wait was 45mins and then about 35 mins for your appraisal, not wanting to wait all day I asked for an appt for Monday and was given a card and told to call on the day I wanted the appt... of course when I did so at 9:58AM (They open at 10) I was told all appointments were already taken for the morning. o_O So how is that possible when you say you don't make appts til day of and I called at 8am got the answering service to call back at 10 and now you're booked solid? Anyways I did a walk-in at 10:30 and found they had 5 guys standing at the door there was no wait, and very few customers in there at all.  The appraisals are straight forward and pretty quick but don't expect YOUR ideal price they look at what they believe the value of your car is, what cars are selling for in the area and auction prices-- what they could get the same car from there which is much cheaper. So leave your KBB values at home you will almost undoubtedly be offered 1-2k less especially if you think your car is in "excellent" condition when it's actually meets KBB "good" condition. Be realistic, they're in the business of making money not making you money. This is a place that WILL buy your car if it has frame damage-- a plus for those who can't get rid of their car with smaller dealers, however they're good because they will not resell it in store they sell damaged cars at auctions. They only buy car with under 120k miles and are less than 10 years old so if you've got anything older you're better off private selling- they won't even waste their time doing a free appraisal. From what I was told due to gas prices in SD if you have a gas guzzling Hummer, Truck or large SUV they may not buy it or they may come in well under asking price due to the fact that those cars are just not selling. I didn't end up selling my car to them or buying one but it was a good experience overall and if they actually had one in the Northwest where I'm relocating to I would give them my business on account of their no haggle methods and quality of cars.

 
Kristina W. | 2012-10-04

I had such an awesome experience here! Bo Bovensiep who was just as nice and helpful as they come! I bought a 2008 Nissan Versa and just absolutely LOVE IT!!! Great price great service. I liked other cars at other places but they were so annoying with their spam emails and spam calls and the pressure!!! There was no pressure here! I felt so great about buying a car! It was as easy as could be! Thanks so much!! I will be buying my future cars from carmax!!

 
Dee D. | 2012-09-07

I straight up got a great deal, with very little trouble. I sold them a pretty high end car, after doing the Cars.com , Autotrader thing. Jeez, was this a lot less hassle.

I sold a pretty high end car, that had been well maintained and got the top Kelly Blue Book price. Everyone's exprience may not be as pleasnt, but it is sure worth going in and getting a free quote. I actually went in got a qoute, then kept the car and put it up for sale on the previously mentioned sites, a bunch of talkers and looky loos later, I was back at CarMax to get that green paper.

The facility had free Wi-fi, it was air conditioned and well maintained. So take your laptop or iPad, because it can get crowded while waiting to get an APPRAISAL. (Oops - what's up with the caps lock on the iPad 2 - I digress.) Anyway, Wash your ride, and if you candetail the engine, it boosted my apprasial price and was worth it.

 
Patricia J. | 2012-09-07

I have to say that after many years of not going to a car dealership to purchase a vehicle I was a bit Leary of who to buy a car from.  I had heard a lot of buzz about Carmax so I thought I would give it a try.  I started by shopping online to find the vehicle I was looking for within my price range.  Once I found a vehicle I was able to schedule a test drive online and was contacted by Roxy Poonka to discuss the vehicle requested and to get my pre approval information going.  

I have to say that this was the most painless process I have ever experienced in purchasing a vehicle.  Roxy went out of her way to assist me in finding the perfect vehicle and to have it available for my test drive.  Once I decided to purchase the vehicle I was in and out within 2 hours.

 
Mark B M. | 2012-09-02

If u want cars, that is already damage. Come to cars max.  Peeps r not friendly.  Sad

 
Mandy L. | 2012-08-31

When I found the love of my car life, #2, I came to CarMax to get my little 2003 Civic appraised.  I knew she wasn't going to go for much, and I knew it was going to be a tearful parting.

CarMax appraised my car in about 50 minutes or so, during which time I test drove an Escape I knew I wasn't going to buy because it was $4,000 more than the love of my life (#2) that I found the day before (it was blue).

Anyway, CarMax set up all the paperwork for my father to sign and send back.  You see, my car is registered in his name... in Ohio... which I thought would pose a problem, but it was actually really simple and easy.

Once I came back with the signed paperwork from my dad, the whole transaction only took about 20 minutes, and I was out the door with my check!

Civy, love of my life #1, you will be missed.... for at least a week.

 
Everyday C. | 2012-08-30

I bought a 2006 Acura rsx type s here and by 2008 the paint was fading differently on almost all of the panels and the clear coat was ripping up all over the hood. I was literally embarrassed to drive my car around. I then had to leave my car in a shop for 3 weeks and spend $2500 dollars as part of a deal to get my car re-painted. Carmax took no responsibility and told me that they can't know whether the paint is good or not on a car. Really? Isn't selling quality used cars your business model? Paint was part of the car inspection which claimed it was good. I paid an extra $1000 to get a car from CARMAX and that was clearly a mistake.

 
Chris N. | 2012-08-28

I went to Kearny Mesa Carmax to get a car really because I Carmax's business model.  I want to support the idea of a seller offering a fair price without having to worry about their salesmen trying to overprice just to haggle down to a fair price (waste of time and energy).  Anyway, I went to purchase a vehicle and the process was very simple.  They gave no pressure to purchase while they hold a vehicle for a few hours for you to decide if you want to purchase.  

Well I ended up purchasing it and found I did not want it.  Why?  I made a vital mistake of going there at night and buying it on the spot.  Do not buy a car at night!  Look at it in the evening if you must, but daylight is needed to really inspect the vehicle.  I was unhappy with the appearance of the car so I returned it within the 5 day period.   Not hassled at all about why.  I want to emphasize that the salesmen and managers (I talked to a few sales managers and the store manager) are very friendly and deliver great customer service.  

I didn't even buy a car yet, but I was so pleased with their service (1) up-to-date website for searching, (2) no pressure process of buying the car, and (3) return process that I wanted share my experience on Yelp.   Overall, I'd say give Kearny Mesas Carmax a try if you are looking for a car/truck.

4 stars for the ease of buying and return policy.

 
Gail B. | 2012-08-26

The carmax sales associate, appraisers, and customer service business office need to all be on the same page before sending people out to spend their hard earned money to get vehicles within standards for acceptance. Not only did I loose money in the process, my vehicle wasnt even accepted! What a misleading event.

 
Sarah G. | 2012-08-23

I had the pleasure of working with many members of the CarMax staff at my previous job. When it comes to professionalism and customer service CarMax knows best. I have worked with Sonal, Shawn, Eric, Trisha, Matt, Andre, Alissa, Andy and David Bowie. Whether it be via telephone or in person these staff members are super stars. I would definitely buy a car here based on their good reputation, business model and their friendly and knowledgeable staff! Great place to go if you need to buy a car. CarMax lives up to their commercials and the staff will help you and treat you like royalty while doing so!!!

 
Troy G. | 2012-08-20

Wanted to sell our older Volkswagen Passat and did not want to deal with the Auto Trader or Craigslist thing. Drove our car into CarMax, got a fair offer and left with a check an hour later. CarMax is a business. Yes they must make a profit. Sure we left money on the table. But when you take into consideration the amount of time spent showing our car to potential buyers, the risk of them taking our car for a test drive, and potential fraudulent transactions it is well worth it.

Go CarMax!

 
Pks L. | 2012-08-12

Just purchased a car from CarMax and I was dreading going through the whole purchase of buying a car but let me tell you this was EASY. I should have went here from the start and I wouldn't have wasted five hours at other dealerships. Everyone was so nice, pressure free and excited/happy to be working for CarMax. I first night we went to CarMax we weren't familiar with the process and found out we were sixth to be waited on (some don't like waiting to be helped when you are considering such a large purchase as a vehicle but its worth the wait or you can also make an appointment) the gentleman at the front told us he would take us to look inside the vehicle we were interested in and come to find out he was one of the general managers. We love he took the time to show us the vehicle and the next day we came back and bought it!  Bottom line - Give CarMax a chance you wont buy another car from anyone else.

 
Jen R. | 2012-08-03

Will never go to another car dealership again! Our CarMax experience was awesome! I have bought SEVERAL cars from regular dealerships in the past, and the CarMax way is SO much better!

We worked with Jeanne at the Kearny Mesa location. She explained everything in detail to us and completely walked us through the process. We had already looked online at their inventory and found a vehicle we were interested in. Jeanne had it ready to go for the test drive when we got there.

CarMax keeps the vehicle trade in transaction totally separate from the vehicle purchase transaction, which is pretty cool. They appraised my vehicle in less than 20 minutes and we received a fair offer. It was $2k less than what I had expected, but, it was definately fair considering I was trading in a gas guzzling SUV with high miles. Jeanne was very good at explaining that whole thing to us ("Blue Book may say $15k, but we're offering you $13k based on the fact that these are hard to sell right now, etc").

I held off on writing this review because there were two transactions after my purchase that I wanted to review.

First, CarMax gives you 3 days to shop the interest rate that you are offered (pretty sweet). I went to my credit union and was able to get a much better rate. I wanted to make sure that I didn't have any issues when I brought my banks check to them, but it was a smooth, seamless transaction.

Second, after a few days of driving my vehicle, I realized there must be something wrong with the ingnition. Turns out, because it's one of those fancy keys, it's missing a little ignition cap/switch, to turn to start the car (who knew?). I just took the car back to the Escondido location (much closer to my house), they checked it out and ordered the part for me. It was within the 30 day warranty, so it was free. They even washed my car while we were waiting for the parts manager!

So, all in all, an amazing experience. We will be back! Thanks Jeanne!!

 
Sophie A. | 2012-08-01

When I decided to trade in my 2009 Audi A3 for a Prius-C, I was dreading the whole car trade-in experience.  My friends recommended CarMax to sell my Audi as a no-hassle, easy way to sell my car.  I couldn't have been more pleased with the experience.  

Not only did CarMax give me $1,000 more than what I was hoping to get for my car, but the whole process was as easy as could be.  I made an appointment, walked in and two hours later had a check in my my hand for my car.  Staff was pleasant and professional and I didn't come away with that "car sales" feeling.  

Overall, I would recommend CarMax to sell your car in lieu of the dealership trade-in.

 
LeeLee E. | 2012-07-17

carmax was super helpful!

i just had my first car buying experience and it was amazing!  i couldn't believe how easy, hassle-free, and super quick it was. the whole process took less than 2 hours!

the car i really wanted was located at another dealership and thankfully carmax was able to transfer the car to kearney mesa for free.  

day 1:  cindy from carmax called who was very nice and very personable was able to set me up with an appt. to see the car i had transferred, the very next day.

day 2: i showed up the next day and was welcomed by open arms by cindy. she helped me get right down to it. showed me my camaro ss, took it out for a test drive, fell in love with it right away, it was super clean and drove like a champ! while paperwork was being signed, crew washed the car and filled the tank for me.

finance dept. explained everything to where it was clear to understand. they too, were very friendly and knowledgeable.

like i said before i couldn't believe how quick  and easy it was to buy a car here.

i would definitely recommend carfax kearney mesa!!! go see cindy williams!!!

 
Tony K. | 2012-07-13

Car buying here is super fast. When they sell you a car that has been in accident before they don't disclose to you. I purchased a car on Feb 2012 and replaced transmission in May 2012 ,same vehicle now has suspension issues ,also had crack on the dash when I purchased ,brought to service they said they were going to fix it instead of replacing the dash they SPRAY paint the dash to HIDE the crack, yet they also spray painted the VIN placard so I had issue with highway patrol as well. The service manager Sanal does not and will not corporate to get this fixed at all. Every issue I brought to her attention she simply replied "Well you bought a used car sir" yes I m aware of what I bought when it comes to used cars, yet I came to CARMAX and bought two  cars 2-3 months a part and she is telling me I bought a used car yes I did ,however CARMAX promised me that they don't sell cars had been involved in a accident when I mentioned that she says to bring your car back to resell to CARMAX, I will for sure and i m sure they are going to low ball me by $10 k lower then what I purchased for. Ever since I purchased this car within 5 months I spent $6 k on top of what I purchased the car I could have afford to buy newer or NEW car. Simply today I called so call their General Manager still waiting for a phone call.
They are not going to do anything since I have had a very bad experience with them i decided to right this review based on their customer service and their replies I know for sure they are not going to repair the car or even do their warranty work. Sanal is very bad manager for this location ZERO personality and customer service. I can't believe she is not going to even try to do anything rather she simply says she doesn't want to do anything since I purchased a used car.

In the end I m stuck with a car has been involved in a major accident and nothing was disclosed to me and of course I m paying for all repairs..

I will not buy an other vehicle from this location service manager SANAL  and sales people are very shady . They make it so easy for you to sell then you are on your own.
Will never recommend anyone to this location or come near this location my self.

I recommend people who are really looking for a used vehicle i suggest do the math! By the time you pay CARMAX and repairs I highly recommend considering a brand new car with warranty. Trust me you are not saving anything at CARMAX. It seems you are but in few months expect to come out of pocket MAJOR repairs. They say they check their cars before they sell but don't trust them. In two months expect to pay couple thousand to repairs and will be out of car.
I learned my lesson from them and will not buy or recommend them. Going to get new car soon.
Save time and $$$$$ go somewhere else.

 
Erica L. | 2012-05-23

This review is about the quality of the cars and their repairs after the purchase


Car buying experience was alright, the guys still put some pressure on you and the whole 5 day try it out thing is really amazing. I bought one car, drove it for 5 days, decided it was impractical and upgraded to a bigger car. So thats where the 2 stars come in.

BUT after the purchase it went down hill, I've had my car for less than 6 months and its been in the shop 5 TIMES! Which on occasions Car Max has been too busy for me and I've had to take it else where.

of the times I did get it into the shop- it has been a bunch of confusing circles.  my service rep seemed confused about everything the whole time. Every time she calls its something completely opposite of what she tells me the phone call prior. Technicians don't know their left side from their right. I hear one thing is broken one phone call and the next it's not.

I brought my car in with in the first 30 days, to get a left headlight failure fixed. In the first 30 days they are supposed to fix whatever is wrong. I did my research (because I saw 2 of the SAME cars with the same left light out) and found its a common issue in my make. I told the person I was working with that it appears to be electrical and not the bulb and that it is something with the make and model. The mechanic agreed. 4 months later, same thing happened. I'm annoyed because this should have been fixed the first time!

Anita tells me they'll accept it under the warranty of the 30 days and/ or the 6,000 miles or 6 month warranty of the part . So I don't pay a dime.  That's when they think they can just replace the bulb. Then she calls back and when the price tag of $1500 comes up, all of a sudden it's my responsibility and they no longer will cover..... the issue they were supposed to fix the first time in the first 30 days!! Granted I only pay $150, but it's the principle! if you're mechanics did their job the first time! I wouldnt be in this position!!

My sales rep had my back and agreed with my opinion and went to bat with the manager for me and I ended up paying $50 and I got a car to use for the days in the shop AND they filled my tank up... so all and all not terrible, but still it is a little frustrating. but it's a used car- i can't expect perfection. just hold your ground with car max!!

 
scott p. | 2012-05-17

I sold these guys my leased 2010 Audi A4 and got more then I owed on the deal.  It was super easy and no bs.  I am astonished to read the negative reviews and I have to surmise that used car buyers are tough to please in general.  I have no qualms recommending Car Max for selling a car and next time I'm looking I would consider buying from them.

 
Ron M. | 2012-05-12

Seems like reviews of CarMax are all over the map here on Yelp...I'd like to contribute a positive review.

I just bought my 2009 Rabbit S two-door at CarMax. Three years old, 9000 miles, ultra-clean. An amazing find.

I worked with Fred Aban, one of the nicest and most accomodating people I've ever worked with. I had perused the lot, seen the Rabbit, and Fred went with me on a test drive. I fell in love with the car immediately.

The financing process took 30 minutes. The signing process took 20 minutes. The entire car buying process took about two hours. And, they took my old, old Accord Wagon off my hands and paid me what I consider is a fair price.

Now, if you do a search of similar cars, you will find that Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds lists the average price at $1K to $2K less than what you'd pay at CarMax. I felt this was worth it for a couple of reasons:

1. No pressure, no haggle sales policy, and the car was super clean and solid.
2. CarMax gives you five days to drive the car and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund. They even give you a full tank of gas before sending you on your way. So essentially, you get a free week with the car.

So, I drove off the lot loving my new car.

But...the car has a steeply raked windshield, designed so that the top of the window and start of the headliner is clearly in my sightline. Unfortunately, I was born claustrophobic, so this orientation can make me feel a bit confined and anxious. So I was initially uncomfortable driving the car, though I absolutely LOVE everything else about the car.

I called Fred on his personal cell phone (he readily gave it to me when I bought the car) to express that I wasn't sure I could live with this car and could we explore some other alternatives within the five day return period.

Fred was absolutely gracious and accomodating. He said sure! He helped me transfer a Mazda 6 from Irvine to San Diego for me to compare when I came back to the lot. He went on another test drive with me. He let me sit in a variety of other cars to compare how I felt in the front seat. He even indulged me when I asked him to sit in the back seat of the 6 and the Rabbit to compare room back there (he's taller than me and I want to make sure my passengers are happy in my car.) I.e. he was super nice about indulging my anal compulsive behavior. Throughout, he insisted he just wanted to make sure I was happy with my car purchase. Keep in mind, he was doing this with me after the sale when he could have been spending time with other customers.

In the end, after spending a week with the Rabbit, I realized I could get used to the sightline and not feel anxious with my mild claustrophobia. I decided to keep the Rabbit.

So, kudos to CarMax and kudos to Fred for really going out of their way to help me have a good car buying experience, instead of trying to sell me a car.

My next experience with CarMax will be when I take it in for car window tint and also have them check an AC issue that is common to Rabbit's - bacteria build up that can cause a mild odor.

I'll update my review at that point.

 
Adam M. | 2012-04-28

I like the concept they try to pull off. But it's really just a used car tent sale in a permanent location. They want all sorts of information about you before they walk you around the lot. And their prices are a little bit below full retail so you think you might be getting a deal.

But the reality is that if you're willing to do some research and haggle a little you'll find a much better deal at several other dealers within 2 miles for the same car.

Tip: If you want to know where they keep the minivans and SUVs... they are in the parking garage, unmarked.

 
James T. | 2012-04-24

I took my 2008 BMW 328i to get appraised at the Kearny Mesa CarMax (San Diego). I take excellent care of my car inside and out, so I was shocked to see a huge scrape on the area just below the passenger door and a dent to the undercarriage just below it. I went in to inform them of the damage and the first guy (claimed he was a manager) said that CarMax wouldn't damage a vehicle during and appraisal. When I told him the damage was on the passenger side, he told me that it was not possible for them to have caused the damage because they don't make any right turns during the appraisal process!!! WTF... they don't make any right hand turns... that's something u don't hear everyday. He didn't even take a look at the damage and was already telling me there was no way CarMax was responsible.

They had me wait for the actual person that did the appraisal only for her to tell me that if she had in fact done the damage, she would have come clean about it. I asked to speak to the manager and she said she was a manager. I kept asking for the general manager's name and she would't to give it to me. I then asked for a district manager and she told me that there was no one above her... I didn't know CarMax's CEO did appraisals!!! I was persistent about getting a phone number until she told me that they don't really have that information available but that she would see what she could find. After a while, she comes back with the number for customer relations.

I'm so disappointed with the way they conducted themselves. Especially with the "We don't make any right turns," response. Had I known this is how CarMax handles customer disputes, I would have never taken my car there. I'm going to post this on as many review sites that I can so that people can read for themselves and see if taking a car in for an appraisal is worth the risk.

 
Jon N. | 2012-04-18

Great experience at Carmax. Jeanne Keller did a great job in a low stress transaction. Got way more than I expected on a trade in. Highly recommend this place.

 
Juliana L. | 2012-04-11

I had a great experience selling my car at Carmax yesterday. I was in and out with a check in hand in just over an hour - and this was with 6 people ahead of me for the appraisal. My man Randy was very friendly and helpful, and kept me constantly updated on the progress of my appraisal as we sat and chatted while they were working on it.

I was pleased with the offer - it was $100 higher than the Autotrader "instant trade-in" offer, and about $2k higher than the trade-in offer I received from the dealership where I was purchasing my new car. (Yes, I could have probably made $500-1000 more on Craigslist, but it wasn't worth the hassle and personal safety risk to me.)

BTW, my trade in was a Honda Accord - with gas prices these days, fuel efficient cars are going to get better offers than gas guzzlers. It's not Carmax's fault if you get a "lowball" offer on your giant SUV. They aren't going to be able to sell it easily (or get much for it at auction if it's 100k+ miles).

Thanks for making my busy life a little easier, Carmax!

 
Chad S. | 2012-04-04

I had never been to a Carmax before and one of the reasons I hadn't was because of their "no haggle" policy.  

They list a price on the window of a vehicle and claim that it's the lowest price, therefore you don't have to worry about haggling.  Well, sorry, just because YOU say it's the lowest price, it doesn't mean that it's a fair price.  

The "no haggle" thing, to me, just seems like they've carved a nitche and a marketing ploy, to be honest.  They simply don't want to haggle and hope that consumers get the impression that this is a rock bottom price.  

After spending a decent amount of time on their lot, we noticed that some of their vehicles were priced "okay" and some were a little high.  By no means, did I leave there thinking that they were ultra competitive as their commercials and ads would have you believe.

The one thing I would credit them with would be that the process in dealing with a salesperson was much, MUCH easier than that of a "traditional" dealership.  It wasn't nearly the hard sale approach.

But when you remove that aspect of the equation, it's a standard dealership, in my opinion.

 
Dave K. | 2012-03-31

When it comes to selling your car, I would recommend taking your car to carmax to get it appraised for free. I found on several occasions I was surprised and happy with the trade-in appraisals they gave me. When it comes to buying a new car, its good to know what to expect as far as how much your vehicle is worth. If you are in the market for a used vehicle carmax has a selection hard to beat. I like their no haggle pricing but I feel their prices are a little bit high. Overall I would recommend Carmax for buyers and sellers.

 
Georgia M. | 2012-03-15

had a good experience at carmax, we sold our car due to pcs'ing but we got a fair price for our car,it took us like 3 hours to do all the paper work, it's a serious business to deal with in my opinion

 
Ken H. | 2012-03-09

I am still in the process, so will post a subsequent message. Shopping for a late model Boxster, test drove an automatic, but didn't like it, they are now transporting a 2009 Boxster from their store in Duarte at no cost to me - down to Kearny Mesa. I hope to see the car this weekend, they already sent me an email telling me it's been shipped.
Selling the old car - Porsche dealer offered me $15K for a trade on my Acura. In looking at Carmax, they took half an hour to come up with an appraisal of $16K - whether I buy a car from them or not.
So far so good, as long as the car they're bringing down is in good shape.
Overall I was very impressed with the efficiency and cleanliness of the store, and the lack of haggling seems OK as the price looks good on the used model I want to buy.

 
Russ S. | 2012-02-23

The lady I purchased the Jeep from at the Modesto carmax was Victoria and she was really great to work with. The Jeep was clean and low mileage so I decided to purchase it. Every other vehicle I have bought has been private party and with cash. I was not looking forward to a used car dealer but there was not any pressure.

Where Carmax fails is the 3 day grace period for being able to refinance through your federal credit union or bank for a better interest rate. All of the paperwork was filled out by my credit union, a cashiers check was sent to them for the remainder. Their financing department was made aware of all this and said not a problem. Here I am a week later still trying to sort this all out, they cannot find the $10000 cashiers check that their financing department said had in their hands last week, they are refusing to send the paperwork my credit union needs to finalize the refinancing and I have now spent hours on the phone trying to get this sorted out but they are a 4 hour drive from where I live.

Just when I thought it could not get any worse they just called and told me they would need me to drive the vehicle back in and resign the agreement in order to cash my cashiers check! I would never recommend Carmax to anyone, if you decide to purchase a vehicle go with cash in hand or all of your financing paperwork finalized and do not leave the store until everything is finalized.

Single worse sales experience I have had anywhere...

 
Khan S. | 2012-02-16

CarJACK is more like it. I don't know how Carmax is still in business. High prices for high mileage cars.  You are better off shopping on  Autotrader.

They offered me $3500 for my truck that other dealers were offering $6000.

I have to admit, their extended warranty is hard to beat.  But don't sell your car here! You'll probably get more selling your car at a garage sale!

 
Ryan D. | 2012-02-14

Ppl alway say they buy cars at great prices. But I have never experienced that. They offered me $4,000 for my car n I sold it for $10,900 on CL . I just bought a 2012 sienna and at Carnax a 2011 sienna w/ 11,000 miles was more money than my 2012 with 30 miles

 
Preston P. | 2012-01-31

I purchased a vehicle helped by Sandra, she was awesome, I give her 5 stars.
Unfortunately I give their service and parts department -1 stars and that's what brings my score to what it is.

The service department will tell you want you want to hear, not what you need to hear. I have left numerous messages and have NEVER received a call back, no joke. You must consistently and persistently stay on them if you want any communication but again this is with you picking up the phone and calling. My car part is still apparently overseas and is supposed to arrive in two weeks, that was December 2011. Today, the person who was handling my order no longer works for Carmax yet his voicemail is still active at Carmax. I spoke with another person in the service & parts and expressed my concern, I was told it'll be two weeks, yeah right.
I will contact them at least two times a day until I receive my part or small claims here I come!

 
J P. | 2012-01-07

My husband and I recently bought a car at Carmax and we loved the experience so much that we can't imagine going to a dealer ever again! Dennis was knowledgeable, helpful and reliable. He was available to answer any questions we had, even over the holidays! We were looking for a very specific car and Carmax was able to find it in their data base and have it shipped out for us! Seriously, this place is a one stop shop and the people are awesome! If you are looking for a personalized experience, Carmax is the place to go!

Our experience with the service department was awesome as well. We had read some bad reviews and we were a bit worried, but Courtney and Sanal made everything simple and easy. The entire service department was friendly and quick to help us.

We are grateful to have found Carmax in Kearny Mesa and will use them for our next car!! Highly recommend asking for Dennis!

 
Jason G. | 2011-12-08

I enjoyed my experience at this Carmax location. They gave me a $10,000 appraisal for my 2009 Ford Focus. This was $1000 more than Drew Ford in La Mesa offered me.

My entire experience at this Carmax took about two hours. They were a little busy and couldn't appraise my car immediately. However, Andy the appraiser only took about 20 minutes to do it. Carmen was very nice and we chatted after I sat in the waiting room and right before and while Andy was appraising.

Carmax's appraisal said they would honor this appraisal for 7 days at any Carmax location. This was fantastic because I was planning a road trip across the country and I wanted to sell it at another location.

The only thing I would recommend is they offer free wi-fi in their waiting room.

 
Samuel B. | 2011-12-05

I came to CARMAX to get an appraisal on my van in hopes to sell it. Well Lawrence helped me and his customer service and attentiveness was awesome.

So I looked around, felt in love with a couple cars, until got the appraisal. Got lowball big time! 3k under Kelley Blue Book Trade-in Value and they claim that blue book is outdated! I left... Don't get fooled by CARMAX, they will buy your car and sell it triple the price!!!

 
Ulysses Z. | 2011-11-23

PLEASE NOTE: I DID NOT BUY A CAR, I SIMPLY SOLD MY CAR TO CARMAX.

The team that looked at my car was nice and thorough. Their waiting room was all right with ample seating, vending machines, TV...even a kid's playroom. Of course I was distracted by their relatively large lot of cars.

They were efficient with evaluating my car and were very up front with me.

They gave me more than what I expected in terms of money (The car I sold them had  frame damage / accident damage and several other issues). I was happy enough they didn't turn me away for trying to offer them such a crappy car.

I arrived and was out the door with a check in under an hour.

Take care everyone and good lock.

 
Lynette M. | 2011-11-12

follow up on Carmax....

Well, I have to say that the car I bought is a lemon and I have had to put a lot of money into it since I purchased it a few months ago. Which sucks and everything I said in my previous review was true and correct. But I kept bugging Carmax and they finally started to work with me

After talking to the service manager, she helped me a lot with getting some of the work done at their cost for parts and half labor. Which saved me.

I do really like the ease of car buying there and they do have a great selection of cars.

Cant believe that I actually admit this, but I bought another car  from them two weeks ago, couldn't help it. ! selection and price.

I took to my new purchase to my mechanic and my new car checks out just fine.  No issues.

Just keep in mind that buying a used car from anyone is a risk - Have a second party check it out and if it has too many issues, take the car back.

Carmax gives you 5 days no questions asked. Their service department is very busy, so if you in a hurry for your car don't bother going there.

 
Mike R. | 2011-11-01

Beware!!! A couple years ago I test drove a car that was a dealer transfer. The car made a terrible sound after it was "inspected." Needless to say, I bought a brand new car elsewhere instead.
Don't sell your car there either. I had two cars appraised for a couple thousands less than blue book. I actually got a better trade in value at the dealer. Do your homework before you settle on this place.

 
Erin A. | 2011-10-28

I've had a couple of terrible customer service experiences here. The short version is they will tell you they will call you with information and never call. They won't tell you parts are in and when you call to find out if you can't talk to the same person each time you won't get anywhere. If you have to leave a message they won't call you back.

You should be able to trust when someone says "I'll call you with a quote within 4 hours and we won't work on your car before we have your approval", but this company will not call you and will work on your car.

 
Binh N. | 2011-10-26

********  WARNING TO BUYER ********
I bought a 2010 Infiniti G37 with 15,000 Miles on it - The "Passed" our 120 point inspection certificate that they give you when you purchased the car is all B.S.

Good luck if if you need your car service from them the only way to make an appointment is you have to drive there & manually make an appointment because the people working in the service department doesn't pick up or return phone call because their busy making personal phone call. Once you're there to make an appointment the earliest day is 2 weeks after the day you came in. I called Infiniti & was able to bring my car in the same day. FYI they don't have any technician or mechanic working at CarMax.

I bought the car & only drive it on the weekend. 6 months & 5,000 miles my car started having problems, I had to bring it to Infinity because I couldn't wait 2 weeks from the day I made my appointment with CarMax. The Infinity did an inspection on my car and found out
The brakes were worn out, the rotors need resurface, 1 out of 4 tires is bald, the car is out of alignment and they didn't do a thing for me, they said " It's normal wear and tear" after 5,000 miles COME ON MAN!  
because they don't want that cost on their expense report.

All they do is hussle cars in, change the oil and sell them as is. The Inspection is all B.S.

It was a shame to, because I really liked dealing with them prior to finding out that my car needed all this work.

 
Rich T. | 2011-10-25

I gave another star for Dave Robinson for getting my tundra over to Toyota and getting it fixed right. I would give 5 stars to Dave alone for going the extra mile there, in my opinion he should be in charge, the operations manger Doug is a complete tool and should not be the face of this place, any way the vehicle is in top shape. Thanks Kearney Mesa Toyota!

 
louis t. | 2011-10-07

Had a guy named Dennis Smith who was super friendly and not pushy at all. He was just a good guy and wanted to match me up with the car of my dreams.

Awesome shopping experience here. I ended buying a car within 1.5 hours and I love it so far.

 
David M. | 2011-10-06

This place rocks sold two cars here! with no hassles of trying to do it yourself. FAST and EASY!!!!!!!

 
Elizabeth W. | 2011-08-30

CarMax really is the way car buying should be! Clinton helped my husband and I pick out the best car for our needs. He was informative and thorough and not pushy at all. I really dread going car shopping because I can't stand car salesmen, but he really made it a great experience and we were in and out of there in a new car within a couple hours. It was the best car shopping experience I've ever had.

 
Jessica M. | 2011-08-29

We reciently took our convertable here to sell since we were having a hard time in these times. Eric helped us and he was GREAT. They gave us a really good price. only 500$ less than we were asking for private buyer.....not bad.
They were very nice and efficient. I cried when i let my little spider go for the mini-van. But the baby is worth it. :)

 
Jenny S. | 2011-08-24

I went into this place yesterday to get a quote on my car. John helped me through the process. He was very helpful. Their quote came in lower than I expected but they are a dealership so I was not surprised.

I was very impressed by their online search tools for buying a car. I would definitely recommend buying a car here. John showed me how you can do a search including options (like leather and color). I'm super excited about this since I thought I would have to settle on some of this when buying a used car.

 
Billy R. | 2011-08-20

Just had a great experience buying my 2002 Lexus RX300...Carmax was great and so was Mark Wintjen!! If you go to Carmax San Diego get him!!

 
Tyson H. | 2011-08-11

MAJOR WARNING TO SELLERS.

From question #20 on the CarMax web site FAQ:

"If a previously paid-off lien is listed on the title, you'll need both the title and the lien release from the lien holder before we can purchase your car."
( carmax.com/enus/we-buy-c… - )

I bought out my car lease in order to flip it at CarMax.  Under CA law, you can do that within 10 days without having to pay use tax on the purchase price of the car.  According to the DMV, BOE and CarMax web site, this can be accommodated through the title and bill of sale that are provided by the leasing company.

The "business office" at CarMax Kearny Mesa denies this reality.  They only accept a title solely in the owner's name, despite the fact this violates their own company's policy.  Theoretically, I can pay the use tax ($2,000) and then petition the BOE to refund it to me if I am able to complete the payoff, title transfer and CarMax purchase within ten days, but it is technically impossible since the paperwork CarMax is demanding takes over four weeks to clear.

The business office can't feign ignorance on this, either...after researching everything listed above, I showed up to talk to their Manager on Duty about these facts.  Nothing changed; their arbitrary violation of CarMax company policy stood.  My favorite two quotes are actually from the BOE and DMV.  BOE: "I have never heard of any company having these sorts of demands on a customer." DMV: "That's the stupidest policy I've heard of in a long time."

When the DMV is in a position to ridicule you, you know things are bad.

 
Jenn H. | 2011-08-08

I have had good experiences at other locations but will NEVER go to the Kearny Mesa location again.
We just bought a 2007 Lexus from an Orange County location but noticed the brakes sounded a little weird after driving it home, back to San Diego. We called Kearny Mesa to do an inspection again and repair the brakes. It started bad, continued bad, and ended bad! The guy who answered the phone when I called to make the appointment sounded like he was half asleep and took forever to enter my information into their system.
We showed up the next morning 5 minutes early for our 10am appointment and no one greeted us on entering. Finally we got someone's attention (they were all standing around gossiping and ignoring customers) and they told us we had to wait for our specific technician who wasn't in yet - he ended up being 20 minutes late. Then they couldn't find our information in the system. All the while, they gave us attitude - they were arrogant and rude and acted like we were an inconvenience to them. After 40 minutes of sitting around, being ignored, having employees be rude to us, my husband asked for the keys back. I did NOT want these unprofessional, immature staff members working on my car - who knows what they would've done to it!! We told them we were leaving and would reschedule with another dealership - they finally started acting like they cared about us and seemed shocked that we were disappointed. Overall, they were the most unprofessional group of employees I've ever encountered - and I worked in sales for over 10 years.

 
mark d. | 2011-07-31

My experience was as follows:  I had recently paid off my Nissan 2006 SE base model Sentra and was ready to trade it in and buy a Nissan TItan LE crew crab 2006.  They are GREAT about transferring select vehicles for free from one location to another.  I went there and met a nice car salesman.  His first question was about how much are you expecting for your tradein?  I didn't recognize it but this is to see if they can give you less than it's worth and the customer not notice initially.  They gave me far less then what the blue book value was.  The TItan test drove well and I was set on purchasing it.  They assured me it had been thoroughly inspected.  I left happy with my new truck that night.  A week later little things such gear lights stopped working or started flickering.  Then the ac didn't work.  They make it extremely difficult to schedule an appt for repair.  Also they offer a $1000-$2000 warranty that doesn't cover anything for a limited amount of time.  This place seems great on first glance but is terrible.   DO NOT i repeat DO NOT bring your business to CARMAX.  They should be called CARMINMUM

 
Destiny u. | 2011-07-27

I wanted to sell my car at carmax if they offer me decent price. Lady who helped me was pretty nice but their offer wasnt so I had to go.

 
Saraa B. | 2011-07-13

it's like  wal~mart but for cars... and the inside of the dealership has some bizarre air freshener that smells like an airplane lavatory, or public bathrooms that try to make it smell good....ew.. when in doubt people~ use apples and cinnamon! that way your customers will enjoy lingering around your store... i had to plug my nose the whole time....

 
Francesca A. | 2011-06-04

We just bought our 2nd car from Carmax in the last 2 years and we will always go back. The salesmen aren't pushy or cheesy like you get everywhere else. We have 2 small children and they're play area for kids is amazing. We always go in knowing what we want and the salesmen always keep us on track. I highly recommend Clinton and Bernard.

 
David Y. | 2011-05-28

This dealership belongs in every military town.  The Kearney Mesa location is my second time at a CarMax.  This is my second time buying a car from Car Max. The first time was in Virginia Beach, VA CarMax.  The first car is still running in great shape, but I had to give it up on a divorce settlement.  

This dealership will put those rip off "we finance E-1 and above" crap heads out of business.  CarMax needs to open a location in National City and put the Mile of Thieves out of business.  

I enjoy the experience, the dealership sells the cars at blue book value.  When banks don't finance, they fairly finance at what reflects of your credit score and credit history.  There is no old geezer trying to trick you into a lease.  

I say minus one star and not to due CarMax's fault.  Buyer beware, California charges a high registration and tax.  If you want to save money on taxes and registration, go buy at a Virginia or North Carolina CarMax location.

CarMax, please open a location in National City and Jacksonville NC.

 
Jenny W. | 2011-05-27

OMG!!!! I have been in the Auto sales industry, but a friend of mine thought they might give me a good offer on my vehicle AN HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER.... they offered me THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS LESS than the lowest offer I had received. They said they had to offer less than wholesale book AND said that my bumper needed to be replaced... which is funny, because the MOST EXPENSIVE body shop in the town where I'm from, told me the "superficial scratches" could be buffed out for a hundred bucks... yep, they offered me $9500 dollars for a 2009 Corolla in perfect mechanical condition.

The lady I worked with was pleasant, but I asked her outright BEFORE waiting if they were going to try and offer me wholesale book. She said she thought I would be pleasantly suprised... pleasant is NOT the emotion that enveloped me after this. I looked at their prices, they are at least grand over retail book on their vehicles... ALL of them. They are selling a car JUST LIKE MINE for Sixteen grand.

These people pray on people that don't do the research.... and they get away with it, because they dress up and paint the place as if it were a best buy....

These people are crooks!

 
Randy C. | 2011-05-07

I have had good experiences with CarMax.  I have sold 3 cars to them, a luxury Lexus, a newer loaded Tundra truck, and an old Passat beater.  

The Lexus, they offered me $4K over what two other dealers offered.  Done.  The Tundra, they offered what I thought was fair.  The Passat, exactly what I would have tried to sell it on Craigslist for.  

Now I could have taken a different route on selling.  I could place an ad on Craigslist and/or Autotrader.  Then waited.  Get calls from random people,  Arrange test drives.  See people flake out.  And when I eventually get a sale, try to work out the transfer, smog, paperwork... and if there is still a loan on the car, the pay off and pink slip stuff.

Or... I could just take it to Carmax and 45 minutes later be totally done.  No haggling.  No debates.  They arrange the pay off.  For the Lexus, on a Sunday night, they contacted the lender and I walked out with a large check.   Nice.  They take care of the details.

Could I sell the car on my own (and here is the thing, I am a licensed car dealer)?  Of course.  Would I have made a little more doing that?  Probably.  Would it have been worth it?  Not for me.

I have also bought cars at Carmax and have had an equally good experience.   And like the selling, could I have shopped around a lot any maybe saved a little?  Sure.  But what you get is that mechanical guarantee, the ability to return the car if for some reason it does not work out, and no haggling. No "let me talk to my sales manager and see what I can do" crap.

The employees I have dealt with have all been very friendly and good.

Tip-  Go early in the day and/or get an appointment.

Only negative is the canned speeches and rah-rah things that they have to do to sell you on the company and concept.  I am sold already, save it.

 
john a. | 2011-04-19

Good honest outfit. Sticker Prices are just okay but the cars are tight and clean and this place  offers a GREAT 30 day warranty.

Yes, they DO live up to it. Even fixed the CD player for free, along with a few more serious issues,  a battery and a trannie problem. It took them awhile to get it all done, but they paid for a rental while my car was being serviced, again, all for free.

Their extended warranty ain't bad either, and quite reasonable considering.

You could do a lot worse than buying from these guys.

 
George M. | 2011-03-28

CarMax is a great place to sell your car. They gave me a great price for my car and the salesman that I was working with, Larry Parker, was very low pressure and was very helpful when it came to selling the car to CarMax. He obviously wanted to know what I was replacing it with and and showed me his inventory, but when he couldn't find exactly what I wanted, he didn't try to sell me something I didn't want and never pressured me to buy from him. If I end up buying a used car in the future from somewhere, it will definitely be from him.

CarMax has a play room for kids, which was nice for my daughter to play in while we were talking to the salesman and waiting for our car to get appraised. However, the toys apparently never get cleaned since they are all a little dirt stained from the use of however many hundreds of kids play in there every month. Also, they have a broken toy shopping cart in there and the broken wheels and axles are mixed in with the Legos, so that's annoying too. So keep your babies from putting the toys in their mouths and you'll be fine. The lack of care for their toys is the only reason I didn't make this a five star review. Because it bugged me.

 
Russ L. | 2011-03-18

I bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee from the Austin South store in June. After reading the owners forum about little problems with this model I decided to purchase the extended warranty. Best move I ever made!

It's been in the shop 5 times since then, all covered under the warranty. Two window regulators have gone bad and two emission faults which caused the check engine light to come on. This last one though was an oil leak which I thought might be the rear main seal. Not good!

They had the car two weeks. The first week a rental was covered under the warranty and cost me $87.00. The second week they gave me a nice 2008 Taurus for a loaner. I called and talked to the general manager about maybe trading for something else since this is getting old. No problem he said. Willing to ship anything in stock from anywhere in the country for me if that's what I wanted to do. He also waived any decuctible I owed. I ended up getting my transmission rebuilt and a new rear main seal, all it cost me was the $87.00 for the rental! Not only that but the service guy who took the order called me twice a day every day with updates on my car.

All in all, it's the best service I've ever recieved from a dealer after buying the car! Absolutely stellar! They went above and beyond what I would consider good service. Yeah, the Jeep's been a problem. I don't think that's their fault. But the service I've recieved has been outstanding!

Russ Lane

 
Daryl E. | 2011-03-03

Cars in general are a hobby to me, I love cars and know the value of them.I took my 2007 Honda Civic Si in here today (3/3/11) to get appraised for shiits and giggles. I was half-serious and half-joking to sell it. My Dad and I met up with one of their employees(Steve) and we chatted for a little bit, he took down some of my information and he sent someone to go and get my car appraised.

During that time, My Dad and I decided to go check out some cars that we liked and I took the time to pick the brain of Steve. He was very knowledgeable and he took the time to talk to me about the whole appraisal process. Then I took asked him some questions like. "How many cars does this Carmax sell each month," "How does the commission for salesman work," and pretty serious questions of that sort and he answered them well. That's when I knew they were pretty serious. We checked out a few cars and I took my iPhone to see the pricing of the cars at other places and Carmax had most places beat by at least 1-2k. Impressive. And No Hassle nonetheless.

Now onto my appraisal. It took about 20-30 minutes for them to check out my car, which is in pretty good condition minus a few dings and paint chips. Well, when I saw the amount that they offered me, I suddenly became serious about selling my car. Carmax offered me about 1.5k above what I was expecting (and I was expecting a good amount) and they were in line with KBBs pricing as well. They told me that the offer was good for 7 days, but I decided to sell the car immediately so that I can start looking for a new one. Keep in mind that I still owed on the car, and that Carmax offered me more than what I owed, and I even cashed in a few bucks for getting rid of it. The process was quick. Within the hour I was rolling out of Carmax with cash in my hand and a gleam in my eye.

Overall, it was a good experience. No hassle, and I wasn't insulted in any way. Friendly staff, nice big lot, and many cars. I like the way they do business. I'm only giving them 4 stars for now since I haven't experienced buying a car from them yet, but I will update my review once I go back, which will be in a month when I look for a new car.

 
Dave A. | 2011-02-16

This is the place to go to buy a car.  I bought my Nissan Xterra in 12/2010.  I did quite a bit of research on the type of vechile that I wanted.  I found that they had the vechile I was looking for.  I brought a trade in and was given more than I expected based on my prior research.  I already had my financing lined up before I showed up to the showroom.  The entire process from the time I showed up until the time that I left with my new vehicle was about 1hr 45min.  

The customer service was fantastic.  Everyone from the salesperson to the fiance person were very friendly and courteous.  I loved how the salesperson performed an inspection of the new vehicle with me and had me test everything (lights, power accessories, etc.).  I greatly enjoyed my experience and will go back to CarMax to purchase my next vehicle.

 
Emma E. | 2011-02-15

I originally tried to purchase my first car from Drew Hyundai and I was very displeased. Drew Hyundai jerked me around for about a week and kept offering me deals which they knew were out of my price range. My dad had found an elantra on the Carmax website and we called them immediately. That day, I was approved for a first time buyers program and went to Carmax to test drive my potential new car. I was in and out with my beautiful 2008 elantra in about two hours and was so happy with their costumer service. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is having an unsucessful time trying to find a car. And after I pay off my car Carmax told me I will automatically be approved for purchasing a car with them in the future! Also, my salesperson was very friendly was honestly trying to find me the best deal. It's nice when people care!

 
Nick T. | 2011-02-06

In the event that the Purchaser defaults in the payment of any installment of purchase price, taxes, insurance, interest, or the annual charge described elsewhere herein, or shall default in the performance of any other obligations set forth in this Contract, the Seller may: at his option: (a) Declare immediately due and payable the entire unpaid balance of purchase price, with accrued interest, taxes, and annual charge, and demand full payment thereof, and enforce conveyance of the land by termination of the contract or according to the terms hereof, in which case the Purchaser shall also be liable to the Seller for reasonable attorney's fees for services rendered by any attorney on behalf of the Seller, or (b) sell said land and premises or any part thereof at public auction, in such manner, at such time and place, upon such terms and conditions, and upon such public notice as the Seller may deem best for the interest of all concerned, consisting of advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city in which the security property is located at least once a week for Three (3) successive weeks or for such period as applicable law may require and, in case of default of any purchaser, to re-sell with such postponement of sale or resale and upon such public notice thereof as the Seller may determine, and upon compliance by the Purchaser with the terms of sale, and upon judicial approval as may be required by law, convey said land and premises in fee simple to and at the cost of the Purchaser, who shall not be liable to see to the application of the purchase money; and from the proceeds of the sale: First to pay all proper costs and charges, including but not limited to court costs, advertising expenses, auctioneer's allowance, the expenses, if any required to correct any irregularity in the title, premium for Seller's bond, auditor's fee, attorney's fee, and all other expenses of sale occurred in and about the protection and execution of this contract, and all moneys advanced for taxes, assessments, insurance, and with interest thereon as provided herein, and all taxes due upon said land and premises at time of sale, and to retain as compensation a commission of five percent (5%) on the amount of said sale or sales; SECOND, to pay the whole amount then remaining unpaid of the principal of said contract, and interest thereon to date of payment, whether the same shall be due or not, it being understood and agreed that upon such sale before maturity of the contract the balance thereof shall be immediately due and payable; THIRD, to pay liens of record against the security property according to their priority of lien and to the extent that funds remaining in the hands of the Seller are available; and LAST, to pay the remainder of said proceeds, if any, to the vendor, his heirs, personals representatives, successors or assigns upon the delivery and surrender to the vendee of possession of the land and premises, less costs and excess of obtaining possession.

This is one sentence. One !

 
Kevin M. | 2011-02-02

This was my first time ever even setting foot on a Carmax lot, and I was pretty pleased with the experience. After a quick stroll around the lot looking at a few cars within my price range and of the appropriate year and mileage, I was ready to take some out for a test drive. This is where I encountered the only real negative aspect of the dealership.

There were several sales associates walking around the lot, some who appeared to not be helping anyone at all. Seeing as it my brother and I on the lot and we don't look like the "well-to-do" type, I initially thought we weren't being helped because we didn't seem to be seriously interested buyers. I then went inside to try and find someone to help me, only to learn that there was a 40 minute wait to just have an associate help you look at cars. I understand being busy, but seeing as I later found out that not only were they about to break all sorts of selling records that month but thy also have hired tons of new people recently, one would think they could have more people on the lot helping potential buyers. So I put my name in and walked across the street to Subway while I waited.

When I was back on the lot and had an associate helping me about 30 minutes later, that was when I began to understand why many people review Carmax as highly as they do. Larry Parker was my associate and he was the most genuinely kind and helpful used car salesman I've ever dealt with. He made the process extremely comfortable and put very little pressure on me to try and buy a car right then and there. We test drove a few cars and each time he was cracking jokes and offering advice regarding the car I was testing.

I found a great car (a 2010 Hyundai Elantra) that fit all of my requirements, but still needed to shop around before making a decision. Larry said that was fine, but just let me know that they don't hold cars for more than a day, so if I decided on that car I would need to let him know within a day or two. I actually emailed him that night letting him know I decided I would take that car. Right after 10 am the next morning (which is when they open) Larry called and we set up the a time later that night to come pick up the car and do all the fun paperwork.

I could not be happier at this point with the car, especially since I know it was not a car I was basically forced into buying, but rather the car I wanted! I can definitely see why Larry was the Sales Champion of December last year, for he seems to truly take into consideration what the buyer is looking for and what their needs are when helping with a car. Carmax is alright in my book!

 
Thomas O. | 2011-01-19

If you ask me, these guys are great.

As long as you do your research, and know going in what your existing car is worth, or what you are looking to purchase should sell for, they are an excellent resource.

I was referred to Craig Church at CarMax by a friend, and couldn't be happier with his demeanor.  He took the time to explain CarMax's business model, and never once made me feel pressured to buy anything.  He took me on several test drives so I could look at some different vehicles I was considering.

In the end, I ended up buying a brand new car, since I was surprisingly able to get great financing for it, and with the new-car interest rate it will cost me LESS in the long run than a one or two year old used car, which I was looking at initially.  Plus, the specific model and feature set I wanted isn't TOO common, and there weren't any available with their 250 mile 'free transfer' radius.

However, the dealer I bought the new car from low-balled so horribly on my old vehicle, and I got twice that much from CarMax!  Certainly I could probably have gotten more ha I tried to sell it myself, if I had the time and inclination to do so, but I think the price was certainly fair, and the process was really quick and painless.  I have another old vehicle that CarMax already appraised, and if I don't get any bites on it before this weekend, I'll take it down there as well.

Granted, everyone's experience will vary, but I think it's worth your while to at least go down there and have a look.  In about an hour or so you'll be able to see what they have, and also find out what they're willing to give you for your car, and you will never feel any pressure or rush to do anything.  Can't speak highly enough of Craig and all of the efforts he made not only to find me a car, but also keep me informed of alternatives as they came along.

 
Serena P. | 2011-01-07

This isn't a review on CarMax.. it's on the salesperson that works there.. If you're going to buy a car from CarMax.. use Brian! He was amazing! He doesn't feel like a salesperson.. believe me I was at a ton of them before I went to him. He knew a ton about all of the cars and kept reminding me that he wanted me to be happy with the type of car I decided on.  He's not cheesy and you don't have to have your guard up when speaking to him. He gets to know your taste, and will show you what he thinks you will like. He actually got me to consider the Elantra when I was dead set on the Versa. Same price, better car! Whether you buy from a dealer, lot, privately, or CarMax is your decision.. but if you do CarMax.. use Brian! (I actually switched from another CarMax salesperson to him and was so happy I did!)

 
John M. | 2010-12-16

I'm reading some of the recent reviews about CARMAX and I am wondering if we went to the same store, on the same planet, in the same universe?

It appears to me that more of the unhappy reviews here on Yelp are the reviews coming from people who are attempting to "SELL" (DUMP) their used cars onto CARMAX for top dollar.  They made you an offer that you did not like, why be offended?  This is business nothing personal; you have the personal choice to go and sell you ride elsewhere, simple as that.

What do you expect from a retail business that is going to take your car off your hands in a matter of minutes with zero stress, no smog check, or any other bit of hard work on your part?  They are a business and have to pay the bills too.  

They are the "middle-man" in your transaction if they end up shipping your car off to an auto auction. They will get low-ball prices for the car that you "NO LONGER" want and that they cannot sell on their lot because it "DOES NOT" meet the CARMAX standard.

Think about it people, there is a perfectly good reason why their store inventory is filled with an excellent selection of used vehicles.

If you are insulted by their offer, than "YOU" need to go sell the car yourself, it's as simple as that.  You will undoubtedly make more cash by doing so.  That's what I did; I got near double the dollar amount from what CARMAX had offered me for my 1993 Jeep by selling the car myself on Craigslist.  I was not going to allow laziness to lose me any of my hard earned money.

I recently purchased another vehicle from CARMAX (after I sold my old Jeep) about 3 weeks ago, which brings my grand total up to 4 cars to date that I have purchased from this store.  Never mind what the Naysayer's have to say.

I challenge any person to find a better retail used car dealership in this marketplace today; which by the way would also have to offer up an identical or better warranty plan than CARMAX offers.  Allow me to help save you some time...  You will not find it.  Their business model is unbeatable in today's open market.  

As long as CARMAX Corp does not screw up this business model with stupid ideas while trying to make an extra buck, their competition cannot touch their business model, and the competition understands this all too well.

Also, let's not forget the great people in the service department.  David and Tricia are simply the best.  Dan is unquestionably the best service/operations manager that I have "EVER" had the pleasure of working with in this industry.

I'm SOLD!

P.S. Shout out to Ray A. for being a great sales rep!  Thanks Ray.

 
Teag c. | 2010-11-27

Word of note - purchase the vehicle history before you buy anything from Carmax - will never purchase from them again. Buyer Beware!

On a side note, they do have one extremely helpful service employee....David...ask for him always.

 
Mike W. | 2010-11-11

First ClassOperation!!!
ASK FOR TODD EDDERT OR BRIAN HENNING,,Great service Dept as well , Dan and Tricia go the extra mile for you!

I bought A 2007 Mercedes,, Ill never buy a used car elsewhere again

 
Mike B. | 2010-11-08

So here's the deal.

I was interested in selling my vehicle as soon as possible, since I am moving from San Diego within the next couple of months.  I posted my vehicle for sale online (Craigslist) for a couple of weeks, at Kelley Blue Book suggested retail value for a "Good" vehicle ($6400), and wasn't getting any inquiries at all.  

Before deciding to lower the asking price online, I decided to go into CarMax to see what they would offer.  I wasn't necessarily going to sell my car to them, but just wanted to get a "ballpark" figure.  I was new to selling my car.  I had always traded in my cars at dealers.  I just wanted additional information.  If they offered a "decent" price for my car, I would sell it to them.  No problem.

The people there were very friendly, and they made me feel very comfortable.  I instantly struck up a good conversation with the associate, as he sat me down and explained how the process works.  Little did I know.....

They basically do a 15-20 minute inspection of the vehicle (interior, exterior, test drive) to get a rough idea of the condition of the vehicle.  They are looking for ANY reason possible as to how they can lower the resale value of your car in your eyes (ie. how are the tires?  has the car been repainted?  is the car seasonal?  how are the carpets?  too many miles!, bs bs bs)  They obviously focus on the negatives, in order to have leverage and backing as to how they derive a lowball value of the car.

They then pull up some data as to how similar vehicles like yours, were sold by dealers at auction, in the area.  This is absurd.  Auctioned vehicles are OBVIOUSLY sold well below any reasonable price, because the sellers are basically just trying to ditch them.

And that is how CarMax works.  They are essentially praying on people who are just trying to get rid of their cars ASAP, who don't want to go through the trouble of selling it themselves.  

They offered me $3000 for the car.  The associate said that I should definitely take this deal, since it was a great deal.  I said no.  They then told me that this offer was good for 7-days, and if I came in after that to get it re-appraised, it would definitely be offered at less.  I immediately walked out.

Sold it for $5900 on Craigslist LITERALLY a week later.

If you don't want to sell your car on your own, and take the time and effort (inspection, meeting with buyers, etc), go to CarMax.  But, they are ripping you off.  If you are cool with that, then you are an idiot.

 
Ric A. | 2010-11-07

outside of the fact they lowball you regarding the value of your vehicle, i have nothing bad to say about carmax.

came here to get a ballpark idea of how much i would be able to sell my car for.  talked to a representative who took all of my information & turned it into his manager to get it evaluated. while we waited, the associate took me outside to look at possible cars that were available for purchase.  after about a half hour of mindless banter, we walked by a few corvettes.  the associate asked if i wanted to test drive one of them & i gladly said yes, since this was probably the only time in my life i would drive one.

once my corvette test drive was over, we went back inside to go over the evaluation.  the offer they gave me was much lower than i had anticipated & figured i would be able to get more if i sold it via craigslist.

but the service was great & the associate never once pressured me to sell my vehicle or to purchase one of theirs.

 
Erin H. | 2010-11-03

Twas a rainy Saturday night a couple of weeks ago when late evening we decided last minute to stop in and get my car appraised. We were put on a wait list until we could be helped, so they took down my number and told us we could peruse the lot or whatnot and they'd call when a sales person was available. So we went out to the lot and were having fun poking around until I received "the call." Went back in were lucky enough to be helped by John Tomasello.

As he told us about the process and then proceeded with taking my keys I kept thinking about how much the whole scene really was just like the commercial. Everyone was smiling, busy, and friendly!

I didn't really know what to expect and was a bit nervous when they appraised my car - but it came back with flying colors and I was offered $11K for it. This is lower than I was hoping for but it was about what I expected...it goes on Auto Trader for closer to what I owe on it. They didn't have the model of SUV we wanted to replace my car so we left with the appraisal and decided to try and sell my car on my own. Two weeks later however I found myself at Toyota of Carlsbad because the SUV we'd decided on fell into our email box at too good of a deal to pass up. I had them appraise my car as well to see if I could just trade it in - but they only offered me $9K for it.

John told us that we could go back after the seven day appraisal was up but it would have to be re-appraised. I'm saving up to cover the difference of what I owe on my other car (since it's payed up through another few weeks) and then going back to Carmax to turn her in.

Our man John was super professional, personable, and helpful - presuming the sale goes as smoothly as it seems like it will with their streamlined process - I presume I'll be back to write another happy update.

 
Cristina F. | 2010-10-06

My sweet first car has been through two, no three boyfriends, commuting to LA from SD hundreds of times for school and leisure...it was time for an upgrade. I parted with my speedy little Honda Civic at this CarMax a week ago and I can truly say that I had a great experience! My husband and I went in on a Saturday to get a quote for my 2002 Honda Civic LX with about 95K miles. I was the only owner, took it to Pacific Honda for all maintenance including oil changes and followed all suggested check ups. It had some light body damage (from when I slightly rubbed up on the divider in my parent's garage 2 weeks after getting it :D). I was very skeptical about CarMax but decided to give it a try. I had an appointment with Jenny on Saturday afternoon and she was SO nice! She took the time to really calm my concerns and was very professional. Jenny was very friendly and knew her stuff so it made me feel comfortable with really going through with this. The appraisal process was quick and easy (about 30 minutes, drive in to park and walk in to building). We walked around the lot and a very nice manager (don't know his name but he lived in Hawaii for a while and kindly asked if I was Hawaiian because of my Plumeria earrings. I'm not but love it there...ok sorry for the daydream/side trip lol)...back to the nice manager...he asked us if we needed help and let me sit in some cars to get a feel for them. He helped me realize that I CANNOT drive an SUV haha! Jenny came out and got us when the quote was done. She also asked what I wanted to upgrade to and gave me some good vs. bad comments on the car I was eyeing. I was quoted a really great price and after some thought, decided to go for it! I came back on Monday evening and said goodbye to my trusty sidekick for almost 9 years. I think the representative's name was Tim (not sure but all of them were super nice) and the whole sale process took all of 30 minutes or so. They even let me go out to the car and say bye one last time :) I am sure my little guy will make someone else happy! Apparently, it has already sold and is on its way to Texas. This is truly bittersweet! Anyway, love my new ride (which i did not purchase from CarMax but from BMW of San Diego - I have reviewed them also) and send good wishes to my old car's next owners. Thanks Jenny and CarMax for all your help!

 
Simon Y. | 2010-10-02

Could be better! Went to test drive a mini and waited 1/2 hour because salesman couldn't locate the car! No worries, we bought a Rav4 instead. I don't think they will ever give blue book value for trade in, get real. I think those who wants bb should sale the car  themselves. Quite honestly they def give you a fair offer. Regardless good buying exp. They should consider opening up a cafe inside!!!

 
Robert S. | 2010-08-20

Attempted to purchase a car from an auto broker earlier in the day. After not being able to get a car fax out of then and hearing suspension noise while test driving the car, I left. It was a 5 hr waste of time.

Driving up the 805 I decided to stop at carmax. It was 7:40pm to be exact. As we entered I used my iPhone to search their inventory for my price range and vehicle type. I found an SUV that met my needs and criteria .on their site and on the lot. At 8pm I asked a sales person for a test drive. Took 6 min to enter my information into the computer for insurance reasons. 8:10 we looked at the inside and then took it on the test drive.

We returned to the lot and parked by 8:25 and were back at her desk by 8:35. Though I was preapproved for financing by my credit union, she found capital one would finance me with 4% better interest.

I was financed and insured by 9:05. She took me to the area where I sign the agreements it took 10min to sign all the title and loan info. They washed the vehicle and I drove awAy at 9:30pm.

Ridiculous efficiency, everyone is smiling, perfect used vehicle for 15% under KELLY BLUE BOOK and NADA.

Their commercials are true. This is how they have grown so fast! This isn't a used car lot! It's a retail store for used vehicles. I hate haggling and they don't do it.

This is a real review and not an inside store plug. I read other reviews that are negative. Honestly, just go their. You'll see that the people that had a negative experience are over exaggerating. Their sales staff doesn't chase you thru the lot or pressure at all.

 
Chase D. | 2010-08-11

Rip-off artists extraordinaire.  I'm guessing most of their business comes from people for whom haggling to save themselves $2000 to $10000 just isn't worth the fifteen minutes.

Took my 1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 here that was in excellent condition and had just had all the few outstanding things that needed to be replaced replaced:  new air filter, new air mass sensor, detailed inside and out.  I'd just put about $1000 into fixing it up to sell.

Kelly Blue Book retail price for my vehicle (what a dealer would get):  $8325

Kelly Blue Book private sale price for my vehicle (what the average private seller gets):  $6750

Auto Trader average sale price for my vehicle:  $7350

Want to guess what CarMax offered me?

$1200.

I don't think it's possible to even LOOK at a 1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 in excellent condition and think it's worth anything less than $5000.  It LOOKS like money on wheels.  When they told me $1200, I assumed at first it was some kind of silly joke and they were going to tell me real price after I picked my jaw back up off the floor and they revealed to me that I was on Candid Camera.

So, they came back and told me it was in great condition and had no problems whatsoever.  A possible mileage rollback, though it looked like it was probably just an error at the DMV, and a minor collision in the vehicle's past that hadn't affected anything and the entire vehicle was in exceptional shape.

And they offered me $1200.

And then the sales guy tried to convince me it was a good deal.  Seriously?

While I was waiting for this ridiculous low-ball offer, I was regaled with stories of how wonderful CarMax was for helping people out of jams, like the tale of the guy who bought a new car at CarMax, and my sales guy convinced him to have his old, broken down car towed into CarMax and appraised.  And CarMax was so good and righteous that it offered this man $300!  He left happy, knowing that he'd covered the towing.

I thought to myself, "Apparently, he didn't realize that he could have DONATED IT TO CHARITY and gotten maybe a $1000 tax deduction, PLUS had the charity tow it FOR HIM."  Or, he could've just sold it to a scrap yard for more, most likely.  Or just fixed whatever was wrong with it and sold it for a lot more than the cost of the repair.

What I actually sold my car for a week later:  $5400.  Not as much as I could've gotten, but a solid FOUR-AND-A-HALF TIMES the CarMax offer.  And this was after a thorough inspection by one of the premiere Mercedes mechanics in San Diego gave my buyer the thumbs up and told her $5400 was a bargain for this vehicle.

CarMax, don't know what you're doing, but I know it ain't right.  Had a buddy get his car appraised in NYC at CarMax -- KBB value:  $37,000; CarMax offer: $30,000.

From what I've seen, it appears that CarMax lowballs people who don't know what their car is worth, puts their cars on its lot, then oversells those cars to people who think they're getting a good deal because they don't have to go to the trouble of haggling.  It's a shame that so many people are apparently fooled by the marketing the company does and the salesmanship of its people.

I advise anyone considering doing business with CarMax to KNOW the value of their vehicle before they go in to sell it, and to write down the information on any car they want to buy and go do some hard research to find out the real value of the car and what they'd pay on average if they bought it from a dealer, or from someone doing a private sale.  It will save you a lot of heartache, a lot of headaches... and a lot of big holes in your wallet.  I promise.

 
Katie B. | 2010-07-14

I'm giving this place a 2 only because the guy that helped me was very nice and took his time with me.

I brought my car there to get appraised.  I have a nice, well taken care of car that I could easily sell on the street for 16K (probably 19-20K on a good day).  I took it to carmax thinking they would offer me a decent amount, and if they did, I had plans to sell it to them (since the offer lasts for 7 days).  The process of getting my car appraised was very quick (about 45 minutes), and thank God it was because it was also a complete waste of my time.  They offered me 11K for my car which was a joke (and insulting!).  I get home to look at what they're selling my car for and there is a car just like mine on their website (granted it had about 15K less miles than my car) for 23K!  Surely 15 thousand miles and the "reconditioning" they do to the cars doesn't make a 12 thousand dollar difference!!

The cars aren't really the cheapest.  It's a great place if you don't want to haggle, but honestly I would consider just going to a dealer.  There are no people on the lots these days, so dealers are selling at great prices... prices undoubtedly greater than the prices at car max.

 
RJ M. | 2010-06-27

Visited this location on the weekend in hopes of driving away with a BMW. I recently went through the tedious process of cleaning up my credit so my super sweet Mother decided to cosign on this purchase to help get me a better rate.

My mother and I were immediately approached by Edd the saleman. After spending over an hour test driving vehicles we sat down to look at the numbers. Edd was obviously an amateur car salesman (which Carmax tends to hire since there is no negotiation involved), one of those salemen that were very long-winded and didnt really answer your question. After a few minutes of watching him slooooowly navigate his way through the app process he stopped and then said that he didnt "feel" right selling us a vehicle since my Mother WASNT the one that would be the primary driver of the car and she was co-signing. HUH?? He then went on to say that he "thinks" this could be a "STRAW SALE" and that he wasnt sure what it meant but he heard of it before. I was in complete shock. I asked Edd, "What about those parents that buy cars for their kids for graduation presents?" Then Edd said "I usually dont do those types of purchases." What??

I walked out and drove to the BMW dealership next door and within 1 hour drove away in a new car with a LOWER interest rate than Edd quoted me and a much more competitive price point. Save yourself from the amateurs that work at this place and go somewhere where they actually know what they are doing.

 
RJ M. | 2010-06-26

If you're a spineless agoraphobic or a push-over then I suggest you come to Carmax if youre in the market for a used vehicle. Their high-priced no-haggle pricing and emotionless sales experience will surely get you back home and in the glow of your computer screen in no time, albeit with a new high interest auto loan.

HOWEVER, if youre an educated consumer and the type that actually understands value then you'll shop elsewhere for your vehicle and probably drive away with a significantly lower interest rate and a few thousand dollars extra in your pocket. Keep in mind that just because Carmax touts their "no-haggle" pricing experience, that doesnt necessarily mean they are giving you the BEST deal on the market.

I spent over an hour today at Carmax shopping for a preowned BMW. The vehicle was nice, low mileage, everything was on the up and up even though I was somewhat cringing at the price. After sitting down to look at the numbers I was astonished to find out that their best interest rates were DOUBLE that of a neighboring dealership. I walked away. 30 minutes later I drove by Carmax in my new BMW with HALF the interest rate that Carmax was offering and $6,000 MORE in my pocket for the SAME vehicle.

The only good thing about Carmax is they have a large selection of vehicles. You PAY for this selection on the premium they charge you for that "no-haggle" pricing.

 
Kay M. | 2010-06-10

It seems that each relationship I have lasts as long as the car I am driving at the time - after 12 years with my ''no-longer-significant' other, I am DONE! So, I needed to sell my car!

I had no idea what to expect when I went to CarMax, to sell them my 12 year old Honda CRV, with 217,000 miles on it.

I was pleasantly surprised - CarMax is definitely interested in developing positive relationships with customers. All 3 people that I interacted with were professional, courteous and informative. Craig welcomed me to the facility and explained the process. Maya inspected my car with a relaxed, yet knowledgeable manner. Kyle handled my paperwork - and handed me my check - with a friendly and efficient approach.

BTW - CarMax offered me 30% more for my old car than AutoTrader Trade-In.

I will miss my car - we had a good ride. I wish I could say that about the relationship that coincided with it!!

 
Andrew C. | 2010-05-27

I cant comment on the buying experience but if you just want to sell you car to CarMax and expect to get a better price than you might as a trade-in at the dealer - forget it!

They basically low-balled me. The KBB was $9.5k-$10k as a trade-in and they offered me $8K. Similar cars to mine were on sale at CarMax for $12-14K. Mine was a one-owner, all maintenance, no accidents etc etc and really is on good condition. Having bought and sold many cars I am not living in a fantasy world about value.

Presumably if I was buying a car from them  they may have given a better price.

 
Josh M. | 2010-05-11

I just purchased a used 2003 astro van with 64k on it. the car is great. the service I got and continuing to get is 2nd to none in the used car industry. they are all polite, not pushy at all. will defiantly buy from them again in the future. Thanks!

 
Arnel D. | 2010-05-03

Dropped by with a friend, who purchased a car here with the extended warranty.  Seemed to have decent cars and fair prices... but their service desk was so slow and could never provide an exact date as to when a simple repair would take place.  They could definitley add more service staff.  They only had two guys working- and neither one seemed to know what they were doing.

 
Linda I. | 2010-04-29

Worst experience EVER!! We were pre-approved for the loan the week before we went in to sign the paperwork. We provided all the paperwork they requested and we were told it would be a seamless process...HA!! It took them FOUR hours, it didn't have anything to do with the credit or anything on our end....they basically flubbed the paperwork.
A week after that ordeal we noticed the car was leaking and the brakes were squeaking....we call and set up an appointment to bring the vehicle in for inspection and repair. Here's where the fun begins....
We take the vehicle in and it takes them about 40 minutes to an hour to inspect it and come to the conclusion they will have to keep it, and issue a loaner. It took them another 1 hour to conclude that they could not have a loaner available until after 3 that afternoon. We told them we'd go home and return after 5pm because we weren't waiting 4 hours for a loaner. They asked what kind of loaner we would like and we said either an SUV(which is what we purchased from them) or a sedan would be fine. May I add that the vehicle is for my boyfriend.
We return at 5:30pm the same day to pick up the loaner which was.......a MINI-VAN!! No offense to any minivan drivers but come on, this is my boyfriend who want a BIG-A** SUV to drive and they give him a minivan! He was livid!! I calmed him down a bit and drove home.  The loaner itself was awful...shook when you came to a stop and sounded like semi truck when coming to a stop.
The whole ordeal to a week and a half...it took 2 days to get the part, then they realized they ordered the wrong part, returned, and we had to wait another 2 days for them to receive the correct part... a complete mess!
They would leave us on hold for minutes at a time when we called to get updates and one time we called for the service guy and the girl put us on hold for 20 minutes, during that time the service department closed!
The icing on the cake......they broke the brand new license plate frame I bought for my guy! I know, it's just a license plate frame but after everything else....really?! How lame!
I feel a little bad giving Carmax such a horrible review after reading all the good experiences people had, but I have to be honest and tell like it is....worst experience ever!
I give them 2 stars because at least most of  the people were nice and apologetic, but honestly after an experience like this what good are apologies....

 
Kyla K. | 2010-04-26

Two stars, one loaded reason: poor customer service.

Let me unpack that statement. Purchasing the car was fairly easy.  Dealing with the service department, or should I say the department where customer service goes to die, is a nightmare.

Let's see, with whom shall I start:

John: Grumpy old guy who has the worst phone etiquette and is terribly rude to people in person.
David: Equally grumpy guy, older, not as old as John who is VERY rude to people.  For example "Didn't I tell you I would call you when your car was ready?"
----wow-----
Jeremy: Younger guy who repeatedly dropped the ball on a simple phone call return that HE SAID he would do, it wasn't my idea buddy.

Dan: The "Operations Manager," what ever that means, who promises to "get things taken care of" over the phone but "there isn't much I can do" in person. He will promise to look into things and find things out but his follow through on conveying what he's told you over the phone  to the Grumpy old guys in the front is very poor.

Todd: The General Manager, the "I'm so sorry you're experiencing this frustration" guy.  Todd swoops in to save the day after a four week ordeal of trying to repair something simple: a glove box light. *sigh*
Todd assures me he understands and says the old Carmax repair department mantra "not much I can do."  He then states he will give me a free oil change.  He then tears out a voucher book and hands it to me and I read it and it says $25.00. The price board displayed in the service department clearly states that oil changes START at 31.00.
I point this out and he goes, "oh yeah, we'll consumerize the cost" (wrong usage of the word Todd.)
He then writes at the top of voucher "up to 30.00" I didn't read this until I left. What a jerk. Not only do I have an SUV that takes synthetic oil for oil changes, I don't even have a true "free oil change" that was given to me.

I demand more, he then says "we'll fill up your gas tank."

My tank was full.
*sigh*

I sit here typing this still awaiting a call to see if my part is there or not.  That was promised to me by Jeremy last Thursday.

Sell your car here, maybe
Purchase a car here, maybe
Get your car repaired here: HELL NO!

I strongly recommend a Franklin Covey class on "7 Habits on how not to be a repair department douchebag."

 
Nick O. | 2010-03-21

I have dealt with CarMax 3 times.  And each time the experience gets better and better.  CarMax in general is very low pressure, no haggle, easy car buying.  I like this style of business and would go here or to a certified pre-owned dealership if I were needed a used car that I would be driving for an extended period of time.

This CarMax dealship itself is really nice, decent size main showroom, clean, with workstations spread out along the edges.  I bought a car from here and was done within an hour or so.  The paperwork process was the fastest I have ever seen and super efficient.   I paid my down by personal check and if you do that, they want you to log into your bank account online just to see that you have the funds available for the personal check.  That rubbed me the wrong way, but I did not have time to go get a cashier's check.  Perhaps they got burned one too many times with personal checks.

I used the phone service to transfer a car and begin the financial process which was really fast and easy.  I also sold a car here and the appraisal process was quick, the price I got back on my car was definitely fair and better than a typical dealer would give I bet.  You just go inside ask for an appraisal, then sit and wait for it to be done.  If you are looking for another car, the rep can help you.  Otherwise you are kind of just sitting around staring at each other.

I did not have to ever service my car here, so I can't comment on that.  But the service waiting area is tiny and cramped with a few chairs, a small tv, and some vending machines.  For those with kids, they did have a playroom for them which is thoughtful.

With any used car you got to be careful; CarMax isn't the golden solution and you still have to do your research.  But their warranties and such do give a little bit more piece of mind then other no-name used car dealers.

If I were in the market, I wouldn't mind using this CarMax if I couldn't find what I wanted from a certified pre-owned dealer (I prefer those or new).  I definitely recommend working with "Sarah Elwood", super nice and very helpful.

 
Cynthia B. | 2010-03-07

I had a good experience here.  They are super easy to work with... they bought me out of my lease.  It was a very easy process.  If you need out of your lease then check it out.  But, I recommend making an appt to avoid the wait.

 
Erica C. | 2010-03-03

I had the pleasure of using CarMax this past weekend.  Can I just say Cameron was AWESOME!!!!

I met him earlier in the week when I was looking at a car I saw online.  All the associates were busy but I was told to go ahead to the lot until someone was available.  Once I saw it I almost didn't wait-you know how creepy car salesman can be-but I'm glad I did.  Cameron let me test drive it.  And when I said I was looking for something more specific he got on his computer and had one ordered for me to be delivered later in the week.  At no charge!  At no obligation for me to buy!  He stayed in contact with me until the car arrived and I was able to make an appointment with him over the weekend.

In the end the car was out of my price range but he did everything he could to help me find one that worked better.  I really liked the "No Haggle Pricing."  It took the edge off.  I will be telling anyone I know that is in the market for a car to stop by CarMax and see Cameron.

 
Princeton J. | 2010-03-02

Awesome quick to the point no pressure car buying experience...
no frills show room...
no snooty car salesmen or finance predators...
you tell them what you want... and if they can work with you.... you got your car....you can say no at anytime... also 5 day return policy no questions asked....
simple simple simple
IN AND OUT CAR BUYING EXPERIENCE 2 HOURS MAX (last time I bought a car it was like 5 hours???? ugh)
CAR MAX GETS TO THE POINT... NO LIE

 
Lance B. | 2010-02-09

My check engine light came on about a week ago so I figured I'd bring it in to Carmax and get it looked at since I have an extended warranty with them.  I called at 9am hoping I could get it looked at the same day.  I press 4 to be transferred to their service department and get an answering machine.  Thinking that is a little odd, I try calling again and get the machine again.  So I leave a message and assume I'll get a call back pretty soon.  They must be busy.  By 2pm I still have not gotten any call back, so I call again and select operator this time.  I want to know if my extended warranty allows me to take my car to other repair locations.  I get transferred to another answering machine and leave another message but still no call back!

Its bad enough that they dont have anyone answering the phones in their service department, but 6 hours later and still no return call to even be able to schedule an appointment or ask a question is ridiculous.  Buying my car from Carmax was not too bad of an experience but their post-sale service is the worst.

 
A G. | 2010-01-22

Plain and simple.  I wanted a car.  Searched online.  Found 2 dealers I wanted to see cars at.  One dealer did not service me...the other CARMAX was the opposite.  First visit i didn't even like the car I had picked out.  Roy San Jose said "no problem" allowed me a couple of days to keep looking...found one i wanted that was 250 miles away...it was delivered.  I was called, I loved it, did the financing over the phone and picked up my car the same day.  Seriously...ask for Roy San Jose and let him take care of you.  You will not be disappointed!

 
David L. | 2010-01-07

Went here to sell my car as it was going south fast.  No hassle at all, and was offered to ride along with the inspector to see him work.  Great people, and I got a good price back.  Would absolutely do business with them again.

 
Reid B. | 2010-01-07

I went to Carmax to get an offer on my RX8. I'd had it listed for a couple of weeks on Craigslist, with no bites, and with 80k miles most dealerships weren't interested or offered me ridiculously low quotes--like $5k, when bluebook was $12k.

We waited about 15-20 minutes for an appraiser to come look at the car. In the meantime, a salesman sat with us and chatted us up. He was quite pleasant and didn't ever pressure us to buy a car from them (I'd stated that I wasn't looking to buy another car). My only minor annoyance was that he relentlessly kept talking up the company. He seemed to genuinely believe that CarMax was the best company in the world, and I guess kudos to him for the enthusiasm...but it was still a bit annoying. You already got me in the door...I don't need the advertising!

The appraiser was very professional and courteous. He took the car for a quick spin and then checked it out. Unfortunately, this was how I discovered that my car had been in a major accident at some point :(. I didn't believe him at first, but he showed me the marks where the frame had been bent back, tiny differences in the paint between the new fender and the rest of the body, and how there were tool marks on the trunk lid bolts which indicated it had been removed (the factory paints over the bolts after they're installed). The car had a clean title and the dealership I bought it from either didn't know or didn't disclose this information to me, so I had NO idea.

He definitely knew his stuff. He explained that even though the repairs had been performed well and the car was completely safe and roadworthy, it's their policy not to resell cars with major repairs so they would only buy it at wholesale price. He offered me $6500, which I didn't take, but which was still the highest offer I got from any dealer by some margin. I was pretty impressed. Not to mention, I did appreciate him showing me where to look for telltale repair signs in the future.

Anyway, I decided to hold out and keep the car listed on CL and eventually got the price I was looking for, but the CarMax experience was still a positive one and I don't regret going there. I still encourage people to look on the private market first, because you can save a lot of money (have the car checked out by a trusted mechanic before buying). But as far as dealers go, this may honestly be one of the best around.

 
UmSureOkay S. | 2010-01-02

This was the best car buying experience I have had. No pressure, no price haggle and I didn't leave the lot feeling like I paid two thousand too much. Everything is straight up and how I wish it had been for the last five cars I purchased.

 
Krista K. | 2009-10-12

I went to the car max in Costa Mesa (because it would take a couple of days to to transfer the car I wanted to drive down to SD). I wasn't able to make it up on the day we spoke, and they took the listing off the site and marked the car as sold until I could make it up for a test drive.  Not only did they take down the car I was considering, but also they car I wanted to drive to compare it to. It was a GREAT experience. The salesperson was nice and knowledgeable, and their policy is that the price is as listed and is haggle free. The car was in the shape that was indicated on the webposting, and they never sell salvaged, frame damaged or flood damaged cars. I would absolutely recommend buying from them. I love my new-to-me Acura!

 
Dylan M. | 2009-09-20

Good selection of cars from multiple manafactures make it easy to cross shop cars. Prices are higher than private party and lower than dealer. Cars in good condition but not as clean or costly as certified used cars from dealers.
Trade in prices are low.

 
Alex A. | 2009-09-12

Where do I begin? If someone is writing a bad review about CarMax it's probably one of their competitors! This was by far the best car buying experience I have ever had! I would buy again, plan to and have recommended family and friend already!

Our sales associate was Craig Church, he did a great job. No hassle, didn't stress us out, no pressure. We were looking for a Cream colored Lincoln MKX which they did not at the time of our 1st visit.  They did have a Red one which we liked but didn't love. He suggested that we wait and make sure we find something we love 100%! Since when does a car salesman tell you to come back later when they have something you really like?

So about 10 days later we received a phone call from Craig letting us know he tracked down a cream colored MKX in Fresno. He sent it to San Diego, we loved it and purchased it. It was also $3K less than any other model match we found at the time.

Everything about CarMax was great!

Also, some of the negative reviews or less than happy reviews I have read about CarMax are from people that sold their car or were looking to sell it to CarMax. Let me tell you CarMax is not the place to sell your car, no dealership is going to give you anything for it. If you want to throw money away then trade it in or sell it to a dealership! If you have a few hours, sell it on Craigslist. You will make a few extra bucks!

 
Ruggy J. | 2009-07-23

Since I'm moving to a city where cars aren't exactly a necessity, I'm trying to unload my whip before I bounce. After getting completely low-balled by my dealership (no big surprise there), I went to Carmax. I'm still deciding whether or not I'll be selling this car to Carmax or not... but if I don't now with this specific car, I certainly will later with a future one.

The process was totally easy. I came in, made an appointment with one of their 'salesmen,' and had a quote in about 35 minutes. The reason I put the word salesmen in parentheses is because this dude was anything but the typical salesperson you'd come to expect. No pressure, really nice dude... and they ended up giving me a pretty great quote on my car ($11,000).

Best of all, they don't pressure you into buying or trading for a different car on their lot. They could easily give you less cash for your car, and try to persuade you into getting more value by applying that towards a trade, but no. It's pretty black and white. Love it!

If you're looking to sell a car and don't want to deal with getting some whack offer from your dealership, or getting rooked on Craigslist... give these folks a call. They seem pretty straightforward, which is a rarity in the automobile industry, for sure.

 
Fiona T. | 2009-07-19

I test drove a MINI COOPER type S here, & he let me smash on the freeway. Mark rocks!

I went with her :)
\/

 
Sarah C. | 2009-07-06

When I purchased my mini from Brecht BMW it was an arduous experience. I was at the dealership for at least 3 hours waiting on the financing process, reviewing warranties and completing paperwork. Carmax was a breeze in comparison.

I recommended Carmax to a friend who had been in the market for a vehicle after seeing and hearing their advertisements. I accompanied him during both his visit to Carmax and both times I was impressed with their services. We waited less than 5 minutes for an available representative. The sales representatives who assisted him were Elena and Kevin. They were remarkably professional and affable. Elena had transferred a vehicle from their L.A. office stated to be "nontransferable" on their website and she kept my friend well informed on comparable vehicles. The financing process took about 15 minutes which is ridiculously fast especially when the norm for car dealerships is move like turtles in a 10K race. Surprisingly, the deposit and monthly payments were reasonable. The signing process lasted approximately 15 minutes and Kevin was instrumental in expediting the process.

Carmax is the place to be for uncomplicated car buying. I recommend Kevin and Elena as they provided phenomenal customer service.

 
Jes E. | 2009-03-21

Holy hell. I know car shopping is painful, but Carmax is like the ghettoist Walmart of car dealerships. We went in and waited. Someone came out. Five minutes later, his "appointment" came in, so we waited another 15 minutes for some other schmuck to come out. He asked for our credit score 5 times. He asked about our employment the same number of times. And then he asked us if we already had a car, after explaining to him numerous times that we have an Altima and want a second car. So over an hour was wasted with the shittiest of shitty customer service. Rancho Auto Group down the street has far better customer service, and they can remember what you tell them for longer then 30 seconds.

 
Jeri G. | 2009-03-10

So, I've been dying to own a Volvo for forever! And I went to a Volvo dearlship that was absolutely no help at all. I drove by, and then pulled into Carmax because I knew they had a Volvo I wanted to look at. So I walk into the lobby and here comes Clinton, all smiles and welcome handshakes. He knows where the car is supposed to be but sadly it's not there any more. But, he looked up a couple of the other stores in LA and Buena Park and happened to find just the Volvo I was looking for! Of course I thought it was going to cost me but he said nope, bringing it here was free, and once it arrived here, even though it came from a Carmax, it would get the full inspection again once it got here. He walked me through, step-by-step, the financing, and gave it to me in terms I could totally understand. Matt came out and told me what he was going to do to appraise my car and see what we could do for the trade. He was also incredibly helpful and friendly. The financing was a breeze, they offered me three choices for who I could finance with, then explained that I still had time to try to finance on my own if I wanted. Clinton gave me my price, plus the quote for what they were going to give me for my car. No one tried to talk me into something I didn't want, didn't tell me the deal couldn't be done and didn't try to get me into a car I didn't want.  They were so nice, helpful and didn't condesend or treat me like I wasn't worth their time. AND, they gave me a great deal on my car and got me a car that I could be happy with. I can not say enough great things about Carmax! If you're looking for a car, definitely stop by Carmax and let them help you out.

 
Astrid S. | 2009-02-04

Mr. Astrid S. and I bought our 04 Touareg from Carmax just about a month ago and we can't say enough about their customer service and the level of ease we encountered when going through the process. I won't write again about the details of their financing and selling, it's been done- I want to talk about the 30 day warranty and the lengths they went through to help us.

So I'm driving 'Jeeves', that's what we've named our little demographic mobile that we fit into, mostly because it cares about us and reminds us to buckle up, turns on it's lights when it gets dark and when we come up to it, it turns on the lights so we can see. How could you fault this demographic mobile for caring too much? Well anyway, I digress...

So Jeeves isn't feeling so good, so he starts to squeal when we brake and he wobbles a bit, like he isn't balanced. So Mr. Astrid S. calls the CSR's and they say sure bring it in, we'll be happy to help. I bring it in, they give me a loaner for the day and I'm off. Yes folks, a loaner. No charge, of course I have to gas 'er up but that's it. So I drive off ,expecting to see Jeeves by afternoon, but alas, he needs overnight care. They call Mr. Astrid S. and tell him that (only cause they didn't have my contact #, not in a little woman sort of way) Jeeves is getting his rotors resurfaced, new ebrake job, new brakes and hell a total balance. This will take a while, they are waiting for a part. Hellz yes!! Can they do anything else for us? Nope, let us know. Turns out Jeeves was in for 2 days and when we got him back, he was much better.

A few days later, I notice he's limping a bit...pulling to the left, so I rationalize the jumps I was taking him over down and over the San Diego speed gutters threw him out of alignment, wait...is he still under warranty? So I call Carmax again and (to save the totally awesome CSR's rep, I will not use his real name because he busted the law for us) ask about an alignment, cause we're still under warranty. Oh, it expired on the 2nd and today is the 2nd, shit. Ok, how much do you charge? I need to shop around now...

"Oh, well why don't we honor your warranty one more day and not charge you...I want to have a happy customer." Oh yea, I like this.

So, Jeeves is in one afternoon, they gave me some loaner and I picked him up this afternoon all better again.

So total brake overhaul, parts, difficult alignment cause it's a new VW and all done with a smile. Can't bet that!!!

Good company, honest and they really do help the customer. Totally rare...

 
Anthony S. | 2009-01-06

You know the scene:

You pull up to the car lot and park on the street just so you can get a jump on the salespeople.  You tentatively step foot on the lot, trying to see if there is a car you're interested in while keeping your peripheral vision open for an impinging sales-vulture.  You begin to sweat as you continually try to avoid being seen...then it happens, you're in the sales-dude's sight.  He puts on his "happy-car-sales-guy-face" and extends his hand, introducing himself as Bob or Jeff or Jimbo or Todd.  You notice his pleated khaki pants, his tucked-in polo shirt, his white tasseled loafers and his comb-over.  You're in for it, you've been swooped...

Astrid and I happened by CarMax while looking for a replacement car for our lovable dead Subaru last week.  We were the people in the scenario above, waiting with baited breath, trying to avoid seeing a salesperson.  We walked around the lot looking at all of the previously-owned models and then realized it... something was different here.  We didn't have anyone tracking us!  We were able to look around the lot without any hassle!  SWEET!  

We found a VW Touareg that we were interested in looking at, so we went inside to ask for a test drive.  We waited about fifteen minutes and the salesperson assigned to us called our mobile to ask us to meet them at the car.  We took a test drive and really enjoyed it.  There was no pressure to buy, no pressure to make a commitment, no pressure at all.  It was great.

CarMax is the IKEA of the used car world, except you don't build your car yourself, at home, with really shitty instructions.  You find the car you like, test drive it, if you like it you buy it, if you don't you leave and everyone is happy.   The price on the car is the price you pay, it's their 'No Haggle' price.  It is usually the same as Kelly Blue Book, but all of their cars go through a 12 hour quality control process, so you know you're getting a thoroughly checked out vehicle. The salespeople are paid hourly and they get a small commission per car sold, so they aren't trying to force you into anything you don't want.  There's even a childcare room so Mom and Dad can look at cars in peace.

We ended up purchasing our car from CarMax last Friday.  The entire process from start to finish was no more than two hours.  I've purchased quite a few cars in my life and I've never had an experience that was this easy! Elena, Dan and Karen were all terrific during the process.  Fun, helpful and quick!

I definitely recommend checking them out next time you're looking for a new used car.

I love my new VW!

 
Erin C. | 2008-12-05

I got my "new" car from here yesterday.  The whole experience was odd.  

I'd say it started out as a 5 star experience when I saw my car (that was sent down from another Carmax) on the lot and got to test drive it.  The person (I won't name names) that helped us was nice and friendly and somewhat knowledgeable.  After the test drive we decided to think about it and get back to the dealer later that day.

We had lunch at the Dumpling Inn, which is across the street.  We decided to get the car and later that evening we went to pay, sign paperwork, and get my new ride, yo.

Then it turned into a 1 star experience.  We arrived just after 6pm and finally left the dealership after 8PM!  Don't ask me what was took so long.  It just did and it was freaking annoying.

They have like half a million people that work there and they all have their own tasks that they do.  So your I.D. and paperwork go through like 1000 peoples' hands before they hand you over the keys.

This was my first experience buying a car from a dealership, so I really don't know what to say.  Maybe it was because it was late and people were tired, but the employees seemed odd.

Plus side: Lots of cars, friendly, big, clean, kids play area
Down side: Takes foreeevvvverrr, employees are weird

 
Obtara J. | 2008-10-28

We finally got our car back today; had to pay for 7 days insurance on the rental car (not covered in the warranty) which was about $84 total, and yes, the car was finally fixed.  What was wrong with it to take 7 days to fix it?  The idle was off from cleaning the throttle body, which caused the engine light to come on, and this is something CarMax cannot fix.  After holding the car over the weekend, they finally sent it to the dealer, only for it to sit there another 2 days...  I finally called the store manager today and threatened to go to their corporate office if they didn't fix the problem.  Less than 30 minutes after my call (I had to leave a message by the way) the service manager called us and said the car was being picked up from the dealer.  We found out all it took was for someone to call the dealership, have them reset the idle and service engine light, and send the car back.  This should have taken less than one day!!!

I still haven't received a call back from the store manager to discuss any reimbursements for this HUGE inconvenience, but the service manager did fill our gas tank for free, which we never asked for.  This is a way of admitting they're severely at fault.  If I don't get a call back from the store manager by tomorrow I'm going straight to the corporate office for a total reimbursement for every fee we've paid since our very first visit.  

Lesson Learned!!!  Never take your car to CarMax... go straight to the dealer if you have an extended warranty!

P.S.  The reason the car smelled like antifreeze- the mechanic spilled it all over the engine and didn't rinse it off.  This time they had to power wash the engine to get all the antifreeze off....

 
Jacquelyn Q. | 2008-10-22

As painless as buying a car can be when you don't have the money to buy it outright... that is how painless my experience selling and buying at CarMax was.  

In a nutshell, I bought an absolute lemon about six months ago from another (smaller) car dealer. While it was no fault of mine, the Carfax report looked fine and my husband the mechanic couldn't spot any problems, paying almost $3000 in repairs in the six months I owned that car led me to desperation. The lemon car always had a check engine light or something else on, the odometer was wrong (two numbers were missing) and the car died randomly all the time: I was DONE!

Because of all the crap wrong with that car and the fact that I knew we would have to spend even more money to get it in condition to sell it via craigslist or AutoTrader, I decided to give CarMax a chance.

Of course, I was basically at the end of my emotional rope with the POS lemon car I was selling them, so I basically took the very, very low amount they were offering and used that as a down payment.

Still, though, the sales guys at CarMax were friendly and easy-going, not pushy AT ALL and basically followed me around as I hemmed and hawed over practically every car on the lot, test driving three in one hour.

While their offer for the trade-in car was lower than I expected, I was actually thankful to not have to drive it again and they were more than happy to take it off my hands and sell it at an auction.

So, I chose a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and they had us approved in less than five minutes -- all very openly and no "Let me go talk to my manager" haggling like a usual car-buying nightmare. The price is what it is and they present all of your financing options clearly, from 8 banks and with financing that ranges from 12 to 72 months right in front of you.

Their optional MaxCare program is a complete warranty that is added right on to your payment and that covers 60,000 miles or 5 years with just a $50 deductible for ANY repair (AC, transmission, engine work, etc.), so for an extra $1800, we opted for that peace of mind guarantee.

I did not feel like I was being duped, schemed or schmoozed at all the entire time, and that, my friends, is worth a lot ($310 a month, to be exact...).

Hey CarMax: I agree that this is the way car buying should be!

Even if I may have gotten a better deal on another used car from craigslist,  knowing that my Jeep has been checked and re-checked and has a complete warranty is worth the extra dinero.

And also, thanks for the free tank of gas!

 
gh h. | 2008-10-09

Just to make things clear, I sold my car to CarMax but did not purchase one there.

I had to sell in a hurry and learned from their well put-together website that CarMax can generally appraise and buy your car on the spot.

The representative I met with was friendly and professional, and explained thoroughly how the selling and pricing process works.  (It was encouraging to learn that CarMax's compensation system is designed to keep its representatives from becoming the annoying hard-sale types one runs into at regular dealerships.)

Bottom line:  about an hour after I walked into their showroom, I left with a cashier's check and one less vehicle.  

I probably got 25% less than what I might have got with a normal listing, but I consider that a fair price to bypass the routine of placing and renewing ads, fielding phone calls, and meeting with who-knows-how-many potential buyers when I'm in a hurry to sell.

I will definitely pay a visit to CarMax when it's time to buy.

 
Benito D. | 2008-08-04

The GF didn't end up buying her car here (she ended up leasing a Mini at Brecht, which I have a review of) but we did test drive 4 cars in a few hours and were close enough to buying we got quotes on 2 cars.

The selection was good, the GF was looking for something sporty with decent gas mileage so she settled on a Mini which they had 3 of. They also had a few other cars she was interested in which we test drove.

They were willing to give her the full Kelley Blue Book value for her car even though it needed some work. Our saleswoman, Elena was nice, no-pressure and knew what she was doing.

When it was time to get a quote from a bank, the were able to get 3-4 quotes in about 8 minutes. What's cool about the experience is that she shows you everything that is being done on the computer so it's completely transparent what's going on.

Overall a good experience I would recommend.

 
Jon T. | 2008-04-05

I'm debating to give this place 3 or 4 stars, but i think it deserves 4, the service is very good, right when you walk in the door someone greets you and helps you with what you need, the haggle free price is convenient but i noticed they are not priced low, they are priced average and a tad above average if anything. Their selection on european cars... sucks, they had 1 manual bmw, prices were on the high side like I said and selection was very limited in the european selection :( it's too bad cause the staff is pretty friendly, needs to get a better stock of european cars, that's for sure

 
Amy C. | 2008-03-25

I have to say, buying a car is another one of those painful purchases, but with CarMax's whole haggle free shopping, it was a breeze!

I went with my boyfriend on a weekend a few months back and was at first turned off that as soon as you walk into the door you are assigned a sales person-- so the whole "Let me look around and I will let you know if I need help" plan we originally had in mind was not going to work.

We had a nice sweet boy Joel that helped us that day-- all 4 hours until the sale was complete- the poor boy! We test drove a variety of cars on the lot as my boyfriend had in mind what he thought that he wanted and was impressed with the inventory they had on site. Joel was sure to tell us that if there was a car LA had that he didnt, he would be happy to arrange for the car to be brought down,

He got a great deal- and was very pleased with the process. Granted, not all the Sales guys know all the fine details about every car as they sell everything, but as long as you do your research beforehand with things like Consumer Reports, you are all set.

The financing department was great and very thorough in our options-- when the day comes to get a new car for me, this is one place I will check out for sure!

 
Steve R. | 2007-12-10

To add on to Austin's review, my experience with CarMax was for a different purpose. I wasn't in the market to buy a car, I wanted to sell my car instead.

CarMax advertises that they buy used cars from private parties w/out the obligation to purchase one of their cars. This sounded like a good option for me since I didn't have the time to deal with all the would-be buyers from cars.com or autotrader.

So, back to the story. I made an appointment with them over the phone to have my car inspected and, ultimately to get their purchase price. I arrived 15 minutes early and checked-in with the clerk. When I mentioned to him that I had an appointment, he looked at me as if I was on crack and said that "CarMax doesn't make appointments over the phone." I was like "well here's the e-mail one of your associates sent me confirming the appointment!" Dumbfounded, he called his manager, they apologized and said the next available "associate" would meet with me.

Fast forward 45 minutes later.... Finally one of their associates called me over and began the process.

The process is pretty simple: (1) You give them your info, car make/model/year, etc (2) They have "experts" inspect your vehicle and take it on a test drive and finally (3) You get an offer price.

The process didn't take too long for them to inspect my car. It was about 45 minutes. Meanwhile their sales associate was trying to brain wash me into buying one of their used cars at an astronomical price. I made him understand that I was not interested and only wanted to sell them my car, nothing else. He then explained to me that CarMax will give me a great deal on my car, regardless of whether I purchase from them. He also said that they would come close to my asking price. So, the positive person that I am, I was actually getting hopeful about this!

In the middle of our conversation he received this "instant alert" on his computer screen, and became really excited.

Before I reveal their offer, let me provide some background info on my car. It was in mint condition, never been in an accident and I was asking $13,000 (which was $1500 below the KBB value). I had offers on my car from 10k to 11k but thought they were too low, so that's why I was there.

Anyhow, they offered me $8500 and made up some story that the car had body work done. Keep in mind $8500 is almost half what the car is worth and I can attest that it has never had body work done.

As a result I was extremely disappointed. Not because of the low offer price, but because they're whole marketing campaign is that they are better than car dealers. The two car dealers I went to offered me more for my car than them, so I don't understand what makes them so good.

My overall recommendation, if you're simply in the market to sell your car, you're better off using craigslist, unless you're extremely desperate!

 
Austin D. | 2007-11-26

"The way car buying SHOULD be?" Indeed.

On the hunt for a specific vehicle for the past 3 months, I had no idea I would eventually buy it at CarMax.

They have a great business model which is wildly successful (evident by how fast they're growing). They prequalify every used car to ensure that it has a clean title (no crashes) and do a 125 point inspection covering every system of the vehicles they sell.

I studied practically every feature of this particular car and spent months hemming, hawing, and scouring the web to check prices. I found a vehicle that met all my criteria at a CarMax location (in L.A., but later I do go to the new Kearny Mesa location, keep reading!) A great resource for researching cars from not only CarMax but many other sources, btw, is cars.com .

The buying process was smooth. The "no haggle" pricing was just that, and it was a fair price. The salesguy who helped me explained the buying process thoroughly. He wasn't necessarily an expert on any specific vehicle (like you might find at a dealer), but I already knew more than most dealers would about the car, on account of all my research.

Once I made the decision to purchase, he took me to "cubicle 1" (the location is laid out like a typical office, with desks in a row) to discuss financing. He provided me a printed bill of sale listing each item and explained each one. Then he offered me financing. They have an instantaneous credit check/approval system which for me, found 2 lenders (BofA and Carmax's own finance company). They give you a 3-day payoff option which means that even if you sign up with their financing, within 3 business days, you can have any other financing source pay off the loan before their interest kicks in. One of the many cool parts of the buying process. A few days after the sale, I got my own credit union to provide the loan (loan rate was 1.5% lower than their lowest deal). By doing that I saved $20/month on my payment.

I also opted for an extended warranty, for which the salesguy explained the different options. The warranty price was built into the bill of sale so I could finance it as well. There is an opt-out on the warranty so at any time I can cancel and get a prorated refund.

I was then taken to "cubicle 2" to settle some of the paperwork. I was putting a large down payment down, so they needed to verify that the funds would be there, etc.

In "cubicle 3", I signed the remaining paperwork. Each document was explained carefully and then I was sent to the final waiting room, while they prepared the vehicle. They gassed it up and cleaned it (it was immaculate)! The whole process took about 2 hours and I left happily on my way!

REPAIR SERVICE: The car does have a minor issue with the radio (reception is weak). I took it to the KM location to have them look at it. Very friendly service, no hassle, no out of pocket expenses (it is covered under their standard 30 day bumper-to-bumper warranty). They weren't able to fix it, and they pointed out that if they continued to mess with it, then it might void the original manufacturer's warranty. This is the only way I found out that it was still under the manufacturer's 3 year/36K mile warranty! The CarMax I bought at made no mention of it. Luckily, the original dealership is right up the street from the KM CarMax, so now it's in the dealership's hands.

PROS
- Huge selection
- Great website, but inventory is also available on other sites like cars.com
- No haggle pricing, no pressure to buy any specific vehicle
- Clear explanation of the process
- Friendly staff
- 3-day payoff (if you want to get your own loan and didn't do your homework before purchasing)
- 5-day cooling off on USED cars (if you want to return it for any reason).
- 30-day unconditional warranty (even if you don't opt for the extended)

CONS
- They didn't tell me that the original manufacturer's warranty was still valid.
- No expertise on specific car models. So do your own research first if you have a specific vehicle in mind!
- The car has a minor issue with radio reception. Somehow this escaped their "125 point inspection". Luckily it is still under the factory warranty so now I have taken it to the original dealer.
- I had to take car to be fixed twice, and problem eventually had to be handled by the original dealer.

 

CarMax in other cities (California)


Sacramento, CA Roseville, CA Riverside, CA Oxnard, CA
Torrance, CA