Both Carvana and CarMax promise for “no-haggle” and “hassle-free” car selling or buying process.
The question our experts receive all the time is, which is better, Carvana VS CarMax?
We performed a thorough review of both website's processes and all available customer reviews about their experience with these websites.
This article aims to help you understand the main similarities and differences between Carvana and CarMax to help you decide which platform is suitable for you.
Since people’s experience are one of the best ways to decide which company to use, we highlighted the top stories and most relevant reported experience.
Carvana VS CarMax – What are the main pros and cons of each company?
Both Carvana and CarMax were created to help reduce the hassle in the car buying or selling process by making everything almost 100% online.
The two companies have massive inventories of car choices for customers to choose from with great customer experience.
In this section, we highlight to you how exactly each company works.
How does Carvana work?
One of the first differences between Carvana VS CarMax is that Carvana doesn’t have any physical location; they work entirely online. Thus, they work by “cutting dealerships out of the car buying process.”
With Carvana, you can sell or buy your car completely using your phone or computer, and Carvana then delivers your car to your door.
Carvana also has some Vehicle Vending Machines where you have the choice to pick up your car instead of them delivering it to you.
Similar to CarMax, Carvana allows you to test drive your vehicle for up to seven days to make sure you are satisfied with the car, and it matches the information in the Carvana system.
According to Carvana’s website, all when visiting the Vehicle Vending Machines, this is what to expect:
- “Insert your token
- Watch your car being retrieved
- Take it for a spin
- Sign and drive it.”
They also clearly stated that “Unlike a traditional dealership, when you receive your Carvana car, you get to actually live with it for 7 days. Take it on the freeway, see how it fits in your garage, and how you can maneuver it into a parking space at the grocery store. Does the trunk fit your child’s stroller or your golf clubs? If you have a trusted mechanic and want an outside opinion, feel free to take it in for an inspection.”
How does CarMax work?
CarMax has more than 200 lots to visit them physically and select your car across the entire United States; however, most car purchasing or selling process is done online.
Once you selected you're of choice, you have up to one week to drive and ensure that this is the car you want to own.
CarMax has its own company’s specifications that your vehicle must meet before they buy it from you when it comes to selling your car.
If you want to get an instant offer, you can visit one of the CarMax locations and allow them to inspect your car and provide you with the expected offer.
One of the greatest features of CarMax is that you don’t have to buy any car from their company if you sold your old car to them; there is no such obligation.
Customer reviews regarding Carvana VS CarMax
The best way to get some insights about Carvana VS CarMax is by listening to real customers and see what they think about their experience with each website. We conducted a thorough review of most customer reviews posted on multiple sites across the web, where they described their experience based on real stories. Here are some of the top stories:
Carvana customer reviews
Here is what people think about their experience with Carvana:
- Customer #1
“I decided that I wanted to purchase a car during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of dealerships in my area were closed or it was difficult to test drive before purchase. We were down to one car and recently decided to move an hour away from the city so it was really important for us to have a 2nd car. I kept seeing all of the Carvana commercials and I just knew it was meant to be. Within an hour of shopping I found the vehicle that I wanted and 15 minutes later I was approved. We scheduled my delivery and my job contacted me that I was to return back to work on the day of my delivery. I thought I was going to have to hold off for another day but Carvana was happy to switch the delivery location.”
- Customer #2
“I just bought a beautiful RR Velar from Carvana and I would recommend the experience to anyone that is thinking about using Carvana to buy their next car. I have to be honest, I was skeptical and my girlfriend tried to talk me out of it, however I found a great deal and I was willing to take a chance largely in part to their return policy and warranty. The buying process itself was very clear, easy, and straightforward. In fact, I would say it was superior to a traditional car dealer transaction. There was no haggling and paperwork was simple. Everything was done online.”
- Customer #3
“Reading all reviews before buying, it seemed that for the most part, Carvana cars are excellent, the buying process is good, and the registration process is terrible. I chose to deal with a potentially nightmarish registration process in exchange for an excellent car. I also promised myself I'd write a good review if my registration process went smoothly. Well I have my plates today, two weeks after the car arrived, so that part could not have gone faster. And I live in NJ, which must have the worst DMV process in the country right now. There are still lines to get a number that start at 4am. I'm thrilled to have not had to do any of that. The car was a good price and it is in top shape. I would definitely recommend Carvana and I'll likely look here first when buying again. It was super nice to not have to go and deal with a dealership.”
- Customer #4
“I notice everyone here is all complaining & I'd just like to say as an automotive technician myself that if you buy any used car, it will not be perfect. There will always be some flaws.. Remember you are buying a USED CAR. If you want a perfect car, go buy a new one then! I bought a 335i Coupe about 3 weeks ago with very low mileage & I have to say the process was very easy. Literally took me about 30 min to go through paperwork where at walk in dealerships it would take your whole day. One thing i will mention though is that the cars are slightly pricier than cars you’d find at nearby dealerships. If you really think about it though, Carvana doesn't have dealership prep fees & dealerships do so the price would be basically the same… I will definitely make my next car purchase with them again!”
CarMax customer reviews
Here is what people think about their experience with CarMax:
- Customer #1
“We have purchased our 2010 Chevrolet Traverse at Pleasanton,Ca. We chose the bumper to bumper warranty and it has been a blessing. The Repair Pal has been great when you can't get a service appointment at the dealer. We have had over $6000.00 worth of repairs due to age of the vehicle. Steering rack, transmission pump, replaced flex plates, air pressure sensors, and all but one transmission sensor. And I have 2 more years left on the warranty. My neighbor bought her van there after us and bought the same warranty and she had mechanical issues. She settled with a newer van, less mileage, and smaller car payment. My son then bought his Jeep Wrangler there and his wife got her Dodge Charger there. Everyone has been pleased with Carmax service, though you need to be firm with your needs for loaners during repairs.”
- Customer #2
“From the no pressure sales at the store in Portland Maine, to the unbelievable kindness and patience I was treated with at the service desk in Irvine California, this company has been repeatedly good to me! Not only did they work with me when they technically could have told me to go suck rocks, they were also kind about it! Everyone I have ever spoken to at the company has been polite, respectful and kind, including the person I spoke to when I was sick with a fever for two weeks and needed to put my bill off for a month! It was much appreciated on my end as these seem to be qualities that are diminished to non existent. We all put a good face on social media for quarantine but the truth is, out in public, most people are scared and reactive! They're downright mean! So nice to see smiling eyes above a mask or hear a cheery voice on the phone! Thanks Carmax!”
- Customer #3
“Ok, so first of all – Reading some of these comments are TOO hilarious! Most of them are people who do not have their documents together, not understanding the website or just think they are getting a “new car”. These are ONLY USED CARS! Next, YOU ARE BUYING A CAR! You’re are not getting a combo at Burger King, clothes or some small item – it’s a car! It’s going to take some hours, depending on what you are getting done. Second, you have to get that mess out of your head that USED cars are NEVER going to have any issues. No matter what new age or small of miles, as the first owner or second owner you can NOT predict how they used and took care of that car. I love how Carmax reconditions their vehicles, upfront with the prices and they offer the Extended Warranty. I would only assume those people who don’t get the warranty has the most repair problems and paying thousands of dollars.”
- Customer #4
“I have been shopping online for the past 6 months for a GMC Yukon XL at multiple websites and have visited dealerships for a test drive. I was a little reluctant when I saw a vehicle that was in my price range with the low mileage that I wanted for sale on Carmax's website because I question where they get their vehicles, reputation, return policy, etc. The vehicle was located two states away and it was a $99 shipping fee to the local dealer by my house, so I figured if I don't like it I will just eat the $99 fee. I must mention that previous to this purchase I did a lot of research, test drove multiple vehicles and made offers at local reputable dealerships, but received the run around treatment and classic used car dealer line of “our vehicles are priced aggressively to sell” with zero flexibility on their overpriced tags (overpriced both on Edmunds and KBB). To say that my patience was at an all time low would be an understatement.”
Buying a new or used car is a big decision, and it must be based on deep research, especially when buying a used car.
You probably heard of Carvana and CarMax in most advertising nowadays as they aim to make selling or buy your car completely online and hassle-free.
Based on our intensive analysis of customer reviews about both websites, we can tell you that both websites are a great resource for car buying, and they are trusted.
According to our own experience trying to buy cars through both websites, there is no huge difference between pricing, process, and customer service.
Thus, whether you purchased/sold your car through Carvana or CarMax, you should be good and not notice any remarkable difference.