What Do I Need to Sell My Car to CarMax?

Hello there, are you thinking about selling your car to CarMax? It’s a popular option for those who want to sell their car without the hassle of listing it online or negotiating with potential buyers. CarMax is a reputable company that offers a fair and straightforward process for selling your vehicle. But before you head to your nearest CarMax store, you might want to know what you need to bring to make the process quick and easy.

The good news is that the process of selling your car to CarMax is relatively simple. However, there are a few essential items that you need to bring with you to ensure a smooth transaction. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know so that you’re fully prepared when you visit CarMax to sell your car. So, get ready to learn everything you need to sell your car to CarMax.

Preparing Your Car for Sale

When it comes to selling your car, preparation is key. The following are some of the important things you need to do when preparing your car for sale:

Clean and Detail the Car

The first thing you need to do when preparing your car for sale is to get it looking its best. Start by giving it a thorough wash and wax to make it shine like new. If your car has minor issues, such as scratches or dents, consider having them repaired to ensure that you get the best possible price for your vehicle. If you want to go the extra mile, you can have your car professionally detailed. This will not only improve its appearance, but also help to maintain its value.

Gather Necessary Documents

Before selling your car, make sure you have all the necessary documents ready. These may include your vehicle title, registration, and any maintenance records. Check with your state’s DMV to find out if there are any additional documents required in your area. Having all the necessary paperwork in place will help to speed up the sale process, and give potential buyers more confidence in the vehicle they’re considering.

Assess Your Car’s Value

Knowing the true value of your car is critical to getting a fair price. Do some research on your car’s make, model, year, and condition to get an idea of its worth. You can use online tools such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to get an estimate, but keep in mind that these are only guides. To get a more accurate assessment, consider getting an appraisal from a professional car appraiser. This will provide you with a detailed report on your car’s condition, history, and value, which will help you to set a realistic asking price.

By following these few steps, you will be well on your way to getting the best possible price for your car. Making sure your car is clean and in good condition, having all the necessary paperwork ready, and assessing its true value will all go a long way in ensuring a smooth and successful sale.

Getting a Quote from CarMax

When it comes time to sell your car, one option to consider is CarMax. With over 200 locations across the United States, getting a quote from CarMax is a convenient and hassle-free way to sell your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know to get the process started:

Visit a CarMax Location

The first step to getting a quote from CarMax is to visit a CarMax dealership nearest to you. Alternatively, you can schedule an appraisal online or over the phone. By scheduling an appraisal, you can save yourself time and the hassle of waiting in line for an associate to help you. You can also get an estimate of how much your car is worth before you even step into the dealership.

The Appraisal Process

Once you arrive at the dealership, a CarMax associate will begin the appraisal process by inspecting your car. They will look at the interior and exterior, check the engine and tires, and take note of any scratches, dents or gaps. They will also test drive your car to evaluate the overall condition and performance.

After the appraisal process, the CarMax associate will present you with an offer based on their findings. The offer will be good for seven days so you have ample time to consider and decide whether or not to accept it.

Accepting or Declining the Offer

If you choose to accept the offer, you will have two options. You can either take cash or use it as a trade-in towards a new car at CarMax. If you decide to take cash, you can usually receive it on the spot. If you choose to trade it in for a new car, the associate will help you find a car that fits your needs and budget.

However, if you decide to decline the offer, there’s no obligation to sell your car to CarMax. You can take your car back home and try to sell it elsewhere or keep it for personal use.

Getting a quote from CarMax is a simple and straightforward process. With their reputable reputation, it’s no wonder they’re a popular choice for individuals looking to sell their cars. By visiting a CarMax dealership or scheduling an appraisal, you can receive an offer quickly and easily without the hassle of dealing with potential buyers or haggling over price.

Alternatives to CarMax

While CarMax can be a great option for selling your car quickly and easily, it may not always be the best choice for everyone. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Selling to a Private Buyer

If you have the time and patience, selling your car to a private buyer could potentially bring in more money than selling to CarMax. You can list your car for sale on online platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or by placing classified ads in newspapers or on community boards. When selling to a private buyer, it’s important to make sure your car is in good condition, and to be prepared to negotiate on price.

Trading in at a Dealership

If you’re looking to buy a new car, you can also consider trading in your old car at a dealership. While the trade-in value may be lower than what you could get from a private buyer or CarMax, it can be a convenient option if you want to simply trade in your old car for a new one without going through the hassle of selling it yourself.

When trading in your car at a dealership, it’s important to do your research and negotiate the best possible deal. You can use online tools like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to get an estimate of your car’s trade-in value, and to compare offers from different dealerships.

Donating Your Car

If you’re feeling charitable, you can also donate your car to a non-profit organization. This can be a great way to give back to a cause that you care about, while also getting rid of your car without having to deal with the hassle of selling it. Some non-profit organizations that accept car donations include the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Make-A-Wish.

When donating your car, make sure to research the organization beforehand, and to get a tax deduction receipt for your donation.

Overall, there are several options available when it comes to selling your car, and it’s important to consider your individual needs and circumstances before making a decision. Whether you choose to go with CarMax or one of the alternatives listed above, be sure to do your research and weigh the pros and cons before moving forward.

Finalizing the Sale

So, you’ve gone through the appraisal process and received an offer from CarMax to purchase your vehicle. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to finalize the sale. Here’s what you need to know:

Getting Payment

CarMax offers two payment options: cash or a bank transfer. Whichever option you choose, be sure to bring all the necessary paperwork and identification with you to the dealership. This includes your driver’s license, proof of car insurance, vehicle registration, and the car title. If you are making payments on the car and still owe money, you will also need to bring documentation showing the loan balance and any pay-off amount.

Once all documents have been verified and the sale price has been agreed upon, you can expect to walk away with a check or electronic transfer of funds within a few hours. Note that the payment may take up to two days to process if you choose the bank transfer option.

Transferring Ownership

In order to legally transfer the ownership of the vehicle to CarMax, you will need to sign over the title and any other necessary documents. The CarMax representative will handle all the details of the title transfer and registration on your behalf, including notifying the DMV of the change of ownership. This will release you from any liability related to the vehicle.

Canceling Any Insurance or Registration

After the sale has been finalized, it’s important to cancel any insurance or registration associated with the sold car. This will prevent future fees or complications from arising. Be sure to contact your insurance company and let them know that you have sold the vehicle and no longer need coverage for it. You may be entitled to a refund for any prepaid premiums or unused coverage.

Additionally, you will need to notify your local DMV that you have sold the car. This will officially terminate your registration and any associated fees or taxes. Failure to do so could result in future fines or penalties, so be sure to take care of it as soon as possible.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience selling your car to CarMax. Remember to bring all necessary documents and IDs, choose your payment option, sign over the title, and cancel any insurance or registration associated with the vehicle. Congratulations on selling your car!

Thanks for reading!

We hope this article helped you understand the process of selling your car to CarMax a little better! Remember, the most important things you need to have when selling your car to CarMax are a clean title, a valid photo ID, and your car’s registration. CarMax will also need to inspect your car before making an offer, so be prepared for that. If you decide to move forward and sell your car to CarMax, be sure to bring all necessary paperwork and any extra keys or remotes you have for the car.

Thanks again for reading, and if you’re ever in need of car-selling advice, be sure to check back here!


1. What paperwork do I need to bring when selling my car to CarMax?
A: You’ll need to bring a clean title, a valid photo ID, and your car’s registration.

2. Will CarMax buy my car even if it’s not paid off yet?
A: Yes, CarMax will still buy your car if it’s not paid off, but they’ll pay off the remaining balance as part of the transaction.

3. Does CarMax offer appraisal appointments?
A: Yes, you can book an appraisal appointment online or by phone.

4. How long does the appraisal process take?
A: The appraisal process typically takes about 30 minutes.

5. Does CarMax offer financing options for buyers?
A: Yes, CarMax offers financing options for buyers through several third-party lenders.

6. Will CarMax still buy my car if it has a salvage title?
A: CarMax typically won’t buy cars with salvage titles, but it’s best to check with your local CarMax to be sure.

7. Can I sell a leased car to CarMax?
A: It depends on the leasing company’s policies, but in most cases, you can sell a leased car to CarMax.

8. What if I don’t have the car’s manual or service records?
A: While it’s helpful to have the manual and service records, they’re not necessary when selling your car to CarMax.

9. How soon can I get paid for my car after selling it to CarMax?
A: You can typically get paid for your car the same day you sell it to CarMax.

10. Will CarMax buy a car with over 100,000 miles?
A: Yes, CarMax will buy cars with over 100,000 miles, although the offer may be lower than for a lower-mileage car.

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About the Author: Eibar Schmidt

Eibar is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. Also He is a casual autocrosser and occasional track day participant who believes everybody should drive cars that make them happy.

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