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About a month or so ago, I went along with my girlfriend to help her purchase a car at our local CarMax.
While I could probably spend an entire post talking about the reasons for and against choosing CarMax to purchase a used car, overall, I have to say that the buying experience at CarMax was a rather positive one.
In particular, my girlfriend liked the ‘no-haggle’ pricing structure they have going on there and the fact that their cars are high-quality/not going to be ‘lemons.’ Perhaps the only drawback to buying a car from CarMax is that it is very difficult to find cars below $10,000 there. This is due in part to the fact that their cars are high quality, but in my opinion, also to the fact that because of their dependable reputation, CarMax knows people are going to be willing to pay a slight premium for cars purchased there.
Apart from the CarMax buying experience being overall very positive, there were two things that were midly “pushed” on us to buy that I thought would be interesting to share with you all (described below):
- A 9.0% APR interest rate car loan.
- CarMax’s MaxCare Extended Service Plan for only $1,000.
CarMax’s Attempt to Push Car Loan Financing On Us
CarMax’s Attempt to Push the MaxCare Extended Service Plan On Us
Details of the MaxCare Extended Service Plan from CarMax
- You pay $1,000 at the time of purchase of the plan/your new car.
- Then, each time you need to bring in your car for a repair, you pay a pre-selected deductible, ranging from $100-$500 per visit.
However, the thing that surprised me was that the specific details about the price of the plan and what is and is not covered is somewhat difficult to discern, especially during the car buying process where decisions are being made very quickly.
- Regular maintenance services described in your car’s manufacturer manual. This includes major 30k and 60k mile services and other major component replacements described in your owner’s manual.
- Engine spark plugs and ignition wires.
- Batteries, air conditioner refrigerant, engine coolant, drive belts.
- Brake pads and shoes.
- Suspension work, tires, wheels, catalytic converter, manual transmission work.
- Painting, bumpers, alignment of body parts.
- Repairs made to meet government emission standards.
I don’t know about you all, but looking at the list above on what is EXCLUDED from the plan pretty much encompasses every single costly repair I’ve ever had on my 2004 Honda Accord in the 8 years I have driven the vehicle.
How about you all? Have you ever purchased a used car? If so, did you ever consider CarMax?
Did CarMax or the other used car dealer try to pressure you in to obtaining their financing options or their extended warranty/service plans? Do you think these extended service plans are a good deal?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5MzkJkgHQEI/TDSrlqyHJXI/AAAAAAAAA-A/WnHWj44Doe0/s320/probe.jpg