CarMax Return Policy Explained

Buying a car doesn't always turn out exactly how you hope. You may run into unexpected mechanical issues or find that the car doesn't meet your needs as you expected.

If your CarMax vehicle doesn't meet your expectations, returning it may be an option for you.

CarMax logo sign outside of a dealership location

CarMax accepts returns for any reason for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.[1][2]

There are some additional requirements to keep in mind; I detail the CarMax return policy and process below so you’ll know what to expect when you visit the dealership.

CarMax Return Policy

CarMax offers a 30-day Love Your Car Guarantee, meaning you can return your car any time within 30 days of purchase.[1][2]

MaxCare service plans are also refundable, with refunds prorated based on the time you’ve had the car or miles driven.[3]


To receive a full refund under the Love Your Car Guarantee, you must drive less than 1,500 miles before returning the car.[1]

Note that the car’s condition should be as it was when you bought the vehicle, with no new damage caused by you (such as scratches or dents).[1]

Return Process and Refunds

To return a CarMax vehicle, bring it back to the store where you bought it. You can’t return it to a different location.[2]

The store will check the vehicle’s condition, check the odometer, and process your return.[1]

Even if you received your car via home delivery, your purchase is associated with a store within 60 miles of your location;[4] you should contact the store associated with your purchase to make your return.[2]

CarMax issues refunds by check and typically mails them within two weeks of the return date.[1]

Options After 30 Days

After the 30-day return window passes (or if you go over 1,500 miles within the return period), CarMax won’t accept your return. However, there are still a few options available to you.

Tip: If you choose to keep the car, note that CarMax offers a 90-day or 4,000-mile limited warranty on all vehicles, which may be helpful if the car needs repairs.[3] Optional MaxCare service plans cover some repairs for 60 months or up to around 150,000 miles (whichever is first).[3][2]

Selling the Vehicle

You may be able to sell the car back to CarMax (or sell it to a different dealership) to recover a portion of the cost.[2]

If you sell it back to CarMax, you’ll need to go through the standard appraisal process.[5][2]

Exchanging the Vehicle

While CarMax doesn’t allow traditional exchanges, you can sell the current vehicle back to CarMax, choose another CarMax vehicle, and go through the financing process again (if you require financing).[2]

If you financed the vehicle you plan to sell to CarMax, you must either pay off the vehicle’s loan or work with the lender in order to make the exchange.[2]


Does CarMax refund shipping costs?

No. Shipping costs are not rolled into the vehicle’s price, so they’re not included in the refund. CarMax pays shipping fees directly to a separate transportation company.[2]

Does returning a car to CarMax affect my credit?

Returns within the first 30 days won’t impact your credit unless you’re financing a different vehicle. If you exchange your vehicle, CarMax will do another credit check, which may negatively affect your credit.[2]

What is CarMax’s refund policy with a trade-in?

If you financed your CarMax purchase and had negative equity from a trade-in, you must still repay the negative equity. You can either repay it directly or apply for financing approval for a different vehicle.[1]

Is there a limit to the number of times you can return a vehicle to CarMax?

This is at the discretion of each store’s manager.[2]

In Summary

You can return a car to CarMax within 30 days of purchase, though it comes with a 90-day or 4,000 mile warranty (whichever comes first).[2]

If you’re past this 30-day window, you may still be able to sell your car back to CarMax to recover your costs or exchange it by selling it back to CarMax and purchasing a new car.[2]

Feel free to add your own experiences with or questions about making a return to CarMax in the comments section below.

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