CarMax 30 day return policy explained (2024)

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CarMax offers a 30-day return policy allowing customers to return a purchased car and receive a full refund for any reason, provided that they have driven the vehicle for less than 1,500 miles during this period. This policy grants buyers the flexibility to reconsider their purchase within a reasonable timeframe.

Beyond the 30-day window, CarMax may still offer an opportunity for customers to sell their cars back to CarMax in an attempt to recoup the initial purchase cost. However, the terms and conditions for repurchasing the vehicle after the return period might differ, and the value offered might be subject to various factors such as market conditions, vehicle condition, and mileage accrued beyond the initial return period.

CarMax return policy

CarMax has a 30-day Love Your Car Guarantee, allowing you to return the purchased car within 30 days of buying it. To verify this policy, we contacted CarMax stores in California, Florida, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia. Additionally, if you have a MaxCare service plan, it’s refundable. The refund amount is calculated based on the time you’ve owned the car or the miles you’ve driven.


To ensure you qualify for a complete refund through the Love Your Car Guarantee, there are specific conditions to meet. Firstly, you should drive the car for less than 1,500 miles before deciding to return it.

Additionally, the vehicle’s condition upon return should be as it is when you initially purchased it. This means it should not have any new damages caused by you, like scratches or dents. Meeting these requirements is essential to be eligible for a full refund under the Love Your Car Guarantee.

After 30 days or over 1,500 miles

This policy outlines CarMax’s guidelines regarding returning a purchased car after a specific time frame or mileage limit has been exceeded. If you’ve had the car for over 30 days or have driven more than 1,500 miles within that period, CarMax won’t accept the return. However, they might consider buying the car back from you, though this involves undergoing their standard appraisal process.

If you decide to keep the car, CarMax provides a limited warranty lasting for 90 days or 4,000 miles. This warranty could be beneficial if you encounter any problems after the initial 30-day return period.

Alternatively, instead of returning the car, you could explore the option of getting repairs done. CarMax offers optional MaxCare extended service plans that cover repairs for up to approximately 150,000 miles, providing additional coverage beyond the basic warranty.

CarMax return process and refunds

To return a vehicle purchased from CarMax, you’ll need to take it back to the specific store where you initially made the purchase. When you return the vehicle, the store staff will inspect its condition and verify the mileage on the odometer before processing your return.

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Even if you received the car through home delivery, your purchase is linked to a specific CarMax store within a 60-mile radius of your location. Therefore, it’s essential to contact the store associated with your purchase to initiate the return process.

CarMax issues refunds for returned vehicles via a check, and they typically mail these refunds within two weeks from the date of the return.

It’s important to note that if you financed your CarMax purchase and there was negative equity from a trade-in involved, you’re still responsible for repaying this negative equity. You have the option to repay it directly or seek financing approval for another vehicle to address this outstanding balance.

How long do CarMax refunds take?

When you return a used car to CarMax within their 5-day money-back guarantee, the refund process begins after the car is back at the dealership and checked to ensure it’s in the same condition as when sold. This check might take a few days, depending on dealership availability and inspection time.

Once the inspection’s done, they process your refund. It usually goes back to your original payment method within a few business days. However, the exact time might differ based on your bank or credit card company’s policies.

For those canceling a MaxCare extended service plan within the 30-day period, CarMax processes the refund after verifying your cancellation request. Again, the time it takes for the refund to show up in your account depends on your bank or credit card company.

Overall, CarMax aims to process refunds swiftly after completing the necessary steps. Remember, specific refund policies and timelines may apply, so it’s wise to be familiar with CarMax’s terms when making purchases or cancellations.

The bottom line

CarMax’s refund policy for used car sales is simple and customer-friendly. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing buyers to return the car within thirty days of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price, minus any applicable fees. This policy aims to provide reassurance to customers, granting them the flexibility to return a car if they’re unsatisfied.

To qualify for a refund within the 30-day window, you must have driven the vehicle for less than 1,500 miles during this period. Additionally, the car must be returned to the CarMax dealership where it was bought. The refund is processed after the vehicle is inspected to ensure it’s in the same condition as sold. However, fees like taxes or DMV charges are non-refundable.

In essence, CarMax’s refund policy aims to offer customers peace of mind with a straightforward money-back guarantee and an optional service plan that can be canceled within a specific timeframe for a full refund. This transparent policy ensures customers understand their options if they’re not satisfied with their purchase.