Does CarMax Take Trade-Ins? Trade-In Policy Detailed

Short Answer: You can sell or trade in your vehicle at CarMax. On its website, CarMax promises to “buy your car even if you don’t buy ours.” In fact, when it comes to the appraisal process and the offer CarMax makes for your vehicle, there is no price difference whether you decide to sell it or trade it in. While CarMax won’t give you more (or less) money when you trade in your car, some CarMax dealerships will offer a tax credit when you trade in a vehicle and buy a new one. For more details, see below.

Does CarMax Take Trade-Ins?

According to the company’s website, CarMax will buy your car even if you don’t buy one of its cars. This means that you can sell or trade in your vehicle at any CarMax location. In fact, the appraisal process and the offer CarMax makes for your vehicle will be the same whether you decide to sell or trade your car in for a new one.

We contacted CarMax’s corporate office and CarMax dealerships in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia to confirm this information. We were told that the appraisal process and valuation are consistent companywide, and CarMax will always make the best possible offer.

CarMax accepts damaged cars, cars with salvaged titles, old cars, cars with a bad transmission, and even cars with the check engine light on. CarMax appraisals take about 30 minutes and its offers are good for seven days. In order to finalize a sale, you’ll need the vehicle’s title and registration, a valid photo ID, and all of the vehicle’s keys and remotes.

While you won’t get a higher (or lower) price for trading in your car, we did find that some CarMax dealerships offer a tax credit if you trade in your vehicle for a new one. A CarMax associate at a dealership in Columbus, GA said that when you do a trade-in, the offer on your original vehicle remains the same, but the dealership will try to help you with the taxes on the new purchase. An associate from the CarMax dealership in Greenville, NC told us that this location has a similar policy. Tax credits will vary by transaction.

For more on CarMax dealership policies, see our articles about the company’s return policy, as well as how it compares to its competitors, AutoBuy and We Buy Any Car.