Will CarMax Buy a Car With a Bad Transmission? Answered

Car with a CarMax ad in license plate holder

Short Answer

CarMax buys cars in almost any condition, including those with bad transmissions. The company will do an appraisal of your car before making an offer, so the condition of the transmission will factor into the amount you’re offered.

Will CarMax Buy a Car With a Bad Transmission?

CarMax will buy a car with a bad transmission — or virtually any other sort of deficiency, a customer service representative said.

The company also accepts cars with severe damage and salvage titles, as previously reported. In fact, one of CarMax’s online ads includes the tagline: “We Buy All the Cars.”

However, just because CarMax buys damaged cars, this doesn’t mean you’ll find cars with extensive damage for sale at CarMax’s retail lots. These vehicles are typically sold at dealer auctions, where the various deficiencies are disclosed prior to purchase.

CarMax Selling Process

To sell your car to CarMax, you will first need to schedule an appraisal by contacting your nearest CarMax location or by filling out a seller’s form on CarMax’s website. Make sure to gather your automobile’s title or payoff record, current registration, photo ID, and all keys before visiting the lot.

Various consumer reports say that CarMax appraisals often come in slightly below Kelley Blue Book value, though not always.

The company says that it takes into account a car’s current market desirability, its own inspection, a test drive, and a vehicle’s history report when making an offer. The condition of the transmission will likely affect the offer amount.

Keep in mind, minor cosmetic touchups like detail cleaning don’t really factor into CarMax’s valuation. The appraisal team focuses much more on the car’s history and regular long-term maintenance. Once CarMax makes an appraisal offer, it will be good for seven days.

For more information about the types of cars you can sell to CarMax, see our article about the company’s policies for buying old cars and cars with the check engine light on.


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