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CarMax Warranty Review

Have you been offered an extended warranty along with your CarMax vehicle? Check out the details of the MaxCare warranty plan.

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04/25/2024 12:00 AM
Reputation: 4.5/5.0
Coverage: 5.0/5.0
Price: 4.5/5.0
Customer Experience: 4.5/5.0
idée Endurance is our first choice for extended warranties
  • Best Plan Offerings
  • Mileage Covered: 200,000 miles on the odometer
  • Free Cancellation: Full refund within 30 days
  • Plan Options: 6 different plans to choose from
  • Longest Plan Term: Up to 8 years
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

The Gist:

  • MaxCare is an optional service contract that will help pay for future vehicle repairs if you purchase coverage when you buy a CarMax vehicle.
  • The extended coverage takes effect after the CarMax limited warranty, which is good for 90 days or 4,000 miles.
  • CarMax MaxCare is accepted at any licensed repair shop in the U.S. and Canada.

You are probably familiar with CarMax as the nation’s largest used car dealership. When you buy one of its cars, the vehicle comes with a CarMax warranty. You then have the option to buy the CarMax extended service plan, which is called MaxCare®. However, you won’t have much time to decide at the dealership if you want to buy coverage, so it’s smart to understand your options in advance.

We’ll get into the details of the CarMax warranty and compare it to other options you might have. There are many choices on the market for an extended car warranty, which can reduce your out-of-pocket costs for vehicle repairs. We’ve reviewed the best extended car warranty companies to help you in your search. It pays to get free quotes from multiple providers to find the best deal.

CarMax Pros And Cons

Pros Accepted at any licensed repair shop Wide range of term lengths Direct payments to repair shops
Cons Only available at time of used car purchase No sample contracts online No trip interruption reimbursement

CarMax Warranty Reviews

We rate CarMax’s warranty 3.9 out of 5.0 stars because of its excellent transparency and affordability. The CarMax MaxCare vehicle service contract might work for some drivers, but it’s difficult to compare quotes and other options ahead of time. By contrast, many reputable third-party extended warranty companies let you shop online, so you don’t have to feel pressure to buy something on the day you buy a used car.

Customer Experience3.4
Overall Rating3.9

It’s a little tricky to get a feel for the customer experience with the MaxCare plan since most reviews focus on CarMax’s core business of selling used cars. Many people appreciate CarMax’s no-haggle business model, and the company gets positive reviews for customer service. Below are a few examples.

Positive CarMax Warranty Reviews

“CarMax was the only company that didn’t lie to me or misrepresent their vehicles. They were upfront about everything and gave me time to make my decision instead of calling, texting, and emailing me constantly.”

– Helen A., BBB

“The fuss over MaxCare is also not deserved. Try finding an extended warranty that allows you to cancel at any time and get a prorated amount back.”

– Benjamin R., BBB

Negative CarMax Warranty Reviews

“I’m not sure if they no longer service vehicles or if they’re just busy? I paid for the warranty and need to set an appointment to make some major repairs covered under the warranty but can’t get through!”

– Lyh, BBB

“This company has failed at every level. They sold us a lemon, did not offer help (even with the extended warranty they sold us) and failed at every turn from the local to the corporate level.”

– Devon H., BBB

CarMax Reviews BBB

CarMax has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it gets good reviews online for its used car buying process. However, CarMax MaxCare is only a small part of what the company does. It’s difficult to get a read on customer experience with the vehicle service contract since the company is much more focused on selling used cars.

What Is CarMax?

CarMax has been around since 1993. The company operates 244 dealerships in 41 states, and you can buy a MaxCare warranty from any dealership. 

What Is MaxCare?

CarMax offers extended vehicle protection through MaxCare, which is an optional plan available for purchase when you buy your car from CarMax. MaxCare benefits are administered by other warranty companies so while you can pay a lower deductible at a CarMax repair center, the dealership is not servicing your extended coverage. 

MaxCare is accepted at CarMax locations, RepairPal-certified service centers, or any repair shop in the U.S. or Canada licensed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).

What Does CarMax MaxCare Cover?

MaxCare covers the cost of repairs for certain vehicle components and systems. As an extended service plan, MaxCare takes effect after your CarMax limited used car warranty runs out. All CarMax vehicles come with a limited warranty that lasts for 90 days or 4,000 miles. 

This warranty guarantees coverage for the vehicle’s major systems, but you’ll have to go to a CarMax dealership to get the details. In the past, this 90-day warranty was a 30-day warranty in some states. If you buy MaxCare, coverage terms and pricing will vary.

MaxCare Service Contract

Now, let’s talk about the details of what’s included with the MaxCare vehicle service contract. Here’s an overview of the program:

Covered SystemsMaxCare covers parts in the engine, transmission, drivetrain, suspension, cooling system, climate control, electronics, electrical systems, and steering.
Repair FacilitiesThe plan is accepted at any ASE-certified service center.
Claims and PaymentMaxCare makes payments directly to the repair shop, so you don’t have to pay upfront and wait for reimbursement.
Roadside AssistanceAll plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance, which covers things like towing, battery jump-starts, flat tire service, and fuel delivery.
Rental Car ReimbursementCarMax MaxCare will reimburse you up to $40 per day for seven days in the case of a covered repair.

MaxCare Coverage 

Unlike many other vehicle service contracts, CarMax only offers one coverage tier. CarMax describes the MaxCare warranty as covering any part unless it is listed under exclusions. A vehicle service contract with exclusionary coverage is similar to a manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper factory warranty but every plan carries a distinct list of exclusions, often found in a sample contract. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t any sample MaxCare contracts online. You’ll get to read a contract if you decide to buy the plan, but we suggest you take your time and go through it carefully.

You can choose between a wide range of mileage and year limits for MaxCare, which may be dependent on the specific vehicle you’re buying. 

Compared to a manufacturer’s certified pre-owned warranty or extended vehicle service contract, the MaxCare plan is more limited and offers fewer perks. For more extensive coverage options, you’d need to purchase factory-backed warranties or shop with a reputable third-party provider.

MaxCare Exclusion List

Like all protection plans, MaxCare doesn’t cover everything. Here are a few examples of exclusions:

  • Maintenance services and wear-and-tear items
  • Aftermarket parts or unauthorized repairs
  • Damage from lack of maintenance or misuse
  • Damage from environmental events or accidents
  • Replacement parts that increase the value or performance of a vehicle

To have future repairs covered under warranty, you’ll need to keep up with factory-recommended interval maintenance on your vehicle. The repair shop can request copies of your service history to make sure repairs paid for under warranty aren’t caused by lack of regular maintenance.

What Voids A CarMax Warranty?

If you tamper with the odometer, stop paying your bill, or if your car is declared a total loss, the warranty isn’t any good.

CarMax MaxCare Cost

Since you can only buy a MaxCare plan along with a used car from CarMax, prices aren’t listed online. You’ll have to go to a dealership to find out what a CarMax warranty costs on the vehicle you’re considering. 

Since we can’t give you an exact CarMax extended warranty cost here, we’ll let you know what you should look for. According to our research, a full-coverage plan similar to the one you might get from CarMax is about $484 per year.

So, if you are presented with a CarMax warranty cost of $1,000 for two years of coverage, that price is about average. On the other hand, if the CarMax warranty costs $3,000 for three years, that’s pretty expensive ($1,000 per year).

The cost is usually affected by the year, mileage, make, and model of the car. A five-year plan for a car with 20,000 miles would cost less than the same coverage for a car with 80,000 miles, since the likelihood of repairs increases with mileage. There are other factors that affect the cost of your warranty plan, as shown in the graphic below:

Icons showing what factors affect extended warranty cost.

MaxCare Deductible

Deductibles vary, but you can receive $50 off your deductible if you visit a CarMax or RepairPal service center. That can make your out-of-pocket expense for vehicle repairs as low as $0.

How Does CarMax Extended Warranty Work?

The only way to purchase a MaxCare plan is to get one at the same time you buy a used car from CarMax. You can choose to roll the cost of the service contract in with your car payment.

After that, you’ll deal with a third-party company for claims and car repairs. If you’ve never had a vehicle service contract before, the main thing to keep in mind is you can’t just give your car to the mechanic and tell them to get started on the work.

They have to call your contract administrator for authorization. You also might have to authorize a teardown diagnosis, which MaxCare won’t cover unless the repair is covered.

You can transfer the CarMax extended warranty if you sell your car. Usually, there’s a small fee of about $50, however having a transferable warranty can often add value to your car. 

If you cancel MaxCare, you’ll be eligible for a prorated or partial refund based on your vehicle’s mileage. The plan administrator may also charge a cancellation fee. If you financed the cost of your extended vehicle service contract, any refund amount will be applied to the balance of your loan with CarMax.

CarMax Extended Warranty: Our Take

CarMax is great for people who value low prices and company transparency. MaxCare, the company’s extended vehicle service plan, can help with the cost of major car repairs for the length of time you purchased coverage and it offers additional perks like roadside assistance. We gave CarMax 3.9 out of 5.0 stars and believe it can perfectly fit your needs as an extended warranty plan. It’s wise to shop around, however, to find the best deal. Check out some other car warranty companies below.

Who Are CarMax’s Competitors?

Two companies we think you should check out are Endurance and Carchex. Both have extended auto warranty experts who know the ins and outs of the contracts and can help you find the best option.

Endurance: Best Plan Offerings

We chose Endurance for Best Plan Offerings because it’s a direct warranty provider and its vehicle service contracts come with many perks. Endurance administers claims and handles every part of the repair process. In business for more than 15 years, the company offers six levels of coverage and a wide range of deductible options. 

We gave Endurance 4.5 out of 5.0 stars in our review. To get a free quote from Endurance, click below.

Carchex: High Mileage Limits

In our research, we recognized Carchex as a great choice for used cars because of its High Mileage Limits award. Even if you buy one of CarMax’s oldest vehicles (up to 11 years old), you should have no problem finding a good warranty plan from Carchex. The company has been around for more than 20 years and it holds an A+ rating from the BBB.

In our review, Carchex earned 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Get a free, personalized quote from Carchex to see how much you would pay for coverage.

CarMax Warranty: FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about the CarMax warranty:

Is CarMax worth it?

Yes, CarMax is worth it. Depending on your needs, it can be an excellent option for a wide used car selection and good value under the MaxCare extended vehicle service contract.

What is not covered with CarMax warranty?

There are a few things CarMax won’t cover. Maintenance services, aftermarket parts, damage from misuse, damage from the environment, unauthorized repairs, and replacement parts that increase the value of the vehicle are not covered by a CarMax warranty.

How long is a CarMax warranty good for?

All CarMax vehicles come with a limited warranty that lasts for 90 days or 4,000 miles.

What is CarMax extended warranty called?

The CarMax extended warranty is called MaxCare and coverage, including claims and covered repairs, are handled by third-party warranty companies

What will void a CarMax MaxCare warranty?

Your CarMax MaxCare warranty will be voided if you stop paying your bills, your car is declared a total loss, or you tamper with the odometer. In this case, CarMax will not provide you with a refund.

How We Rate Warranty Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
  • Transparency: Our team evaluates the availability and transparency of each company’s contracts, as well as whether each provider offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.

*Data accurate at time of publication

View Pricing from our #1 Provider – Endurance