Why Is CarMax So Expensive? (5 Reasons Why)

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Bruce Coleman

Bruce Coleman is a diesel mechanic and car tester with 20 years of experience. He's a member of various vintage car clubs, and he loves restoring old motorbikes.

Over the years, CarMax has grown exponentially to become one of the leading used-car dealership chains in the nation, owing to its low-stress car buying experience.

However, the used car dealership chain has dogged some controversy regarding the cost it charges for buying or selling used cars. So, why is CarMax so expensive? I embarked on a fact-finding mission about this, and this is what I discovered!

Why Is CarMax So Expensive?

1. Quality Of Customer Service

Buying a used car on your own can be time-consuming and dreadful, especially if you aren’t conversant with car buying and ownership.

CarMax alleviates the need to spend countless hours researching different car options, test-driving different cars, and negotiating an excellent price.

For instance, the car dealership chain allows customers to test-drive all the car brands they’re interested in at a central location.

This used-car dealership chain also offers good car sales services and an easy car buying procedure, easing pressure on a car buyer or seller.

The car dealership charges hiked prices for its used cars to compensate for the superior customer service.

2. Condition Of The Cars

It’s worth noting that CarMax emphasizes selling and buying used cars in perfect condition.

For instance, the dealership chain guarantees that all their cars aren’t designated as flood-damaged or salvaged.

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Besides, all the vehicle retailer’s cars in the yard go through an intensive inspection process to check their roadworthiness.

If that’s not enough, CarMax offers its customers a 30 days warranty and a chance to test-drive the cars they’re interested in by simply paying a sticker price.

Thus, the car dealership chain charges higher prices than its counterparts to account for all the hustle and bustle it goes through to ensure the car’s roadworthiness.

3. Rental And Labor Costs

Rental And Labor Costs

CarMax is an extensive used car dealership chain with over 200 physical locations in the United States, besides having an online presence via its website.

The used car retailer requires a vast space to store and display its cars for customers to visit and check out.

Thus, CarMax spends enormous sums of money on rental, lease, and purchasing fees which are accounted for in its cars’ prices.

In addition, the retailer has many employees on its team, such as sales managers and mechanics, who are involved in repairing and selling used cars.

These personnel are compensated for their services, experience, and skills, directly impacting CarMax cars’ prices.

4. Taxes And Shipping Costs

As a used vehicle company, CarMax pays registration, title transfer, and state sales taxes for all their cars, depending on the state their physical yard is located.

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More so, since the car dealership chain is a business, it’s eligible to pay all the prerequisite business taxes to be permitted to operate in the country.

CarMax passes all these taxes it incurs to its consumers, thus increasing the prices of its cars in the long haul.

One good thing about the company is that it offers delivery services to its customers worldwide at a fee.

While the shipping costs are cheaper than driving the used cars home, these costs are included in the final purchase prices of Carmax’s cars, increasing their prices.

5. Additional Services

CarMax is an all-rounded car dealership chain that sells used cars and buys used vehicles that meet its specifications.

To sell your car, you need to take it to any CarMax location near you and have it thoroughly inspected by the car dealership’s experienced personnel.

Alternatively, you can contact the company online to get an online quote and an instant cash offer if your used car exceeds the required specifications.

CarMax allows you, as its customer, to exchange your existing car for another used car if you wish to upgrade but don’t have enough money for a new motor.

However, it’s essential to note that the used motor dealership charges high prices since it helps you get rid of your old car.

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To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Zipcar is so expensive, why Jiffy lube is so expensive, and why car batteries are so expensive.


As you may have noted by now, many factors directly affect the prices of CarMax’s used cars.

Nevertheless, CarMax justifies the high prices it charges for its used cars by offering quality customer services and roadworthy vehicles.


  • Bruce Coleman

    Bruce Coleman is a diesel mechanic and car tester with 20 years of experience. He's a member of various vintage car clubs, and he loves restoring old motorbikes.

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