CarMax vs. Vroom: Where to get the best offer for your used vehicle
Updated: Apr 25
In today’s car buying industry, many car dealers offer incredible services making the car buying experience seamless, quick, and easy for individuals looking to sell their used vehicles. Two major car dealerships in this arena are CarMax and Vroom. CarMax offers fairly seamless service to car buyers in terms of selling your used car to them, but unlike Vroom, you are required to visit a physical CarMax local dealership to receive an appraisal for your vehicle. You can read more about the process of selling your used car to CarMax in our article here. On the other hand, Vroom's car buying process offers online appraising for your vehicle which will be solidified when a Vroom salesperson comes to your home to do a point-inspection, test drive, and pick up your car.
For more on the details of the process to sell or trade-in your vehicle to Vroom, check out our article here. In this article we will be covering which car sales service between CarMax and Vroom will give you the best offer for your used vehicle. We will be using several factors from data we have collected to help you make an informed decision to include:
Below you will find a chart detailing whether CarMax or Vroom gives better offers depending on the mileage of your vehicle.
As we breakdown this information, we can see that for vehicles that have under 90,000 miles on them Vroom has better offers on average over 75% of the time. Meanwhile, for vehicles that over 90,000 miles, CarMax gives out better offers on average over 68% of the time. Vroom gives the best offers for vehicles under 20,000 miles at an 89% win ratio, while CarMax does best with vehicles with 100,000 miles at a 77% win ratio.
Another data point we can look at is the price of the vehicle. Below is a graph showing the average price of vehicles and whether CarMax or Vroom gives better offers.
The data reveals that vehicles with an average price of $5,000 receive better offers from CarMax 90% of the time. This makes sense as we saw CarMax gives better offers to vehicles with higher mileage. Vroom on the other hand, gives much better offers to vehicles with a price of $25,000 and above, which also makes sense since we saw that Vroom has a much higher win ratio with vehicles that have lower mileage.
Last we will look at how offers vary by vehicle year. We have below the comparison between Vroom and CarMax on the win ratio for vehicle years from 2012-2019.
Here we can see that from 2012-2015, both CarMax and Vroom are fairly even when it comes to better offers for vehicles made in those years. Models made after 2015 receive significantly higher win rations from Vroom. As we saw above this is most likely related to the fact that newer cars have lower mileage and are more likely to receive better offers from Vroom. Some cars might vary such as Toyotas which are known to maintain higher value over time, while luxury vehicles like Audi might depreciate faster. If your vehicle fit within the characteristics above, we suggest checking CarMax or Vroom out and skip the haggling from craigslist, private party sales, traditional dealerships, and other autotraders.
Overall, what this information demonstrates is that if you are planning to sell a used vehicle that is on the newer side with lower mileage, you will have a better chance of getting a higher offer at Vroom rather than CarMax. Conversely, if you have an older model with high mileage you might be better off taking your vehicle to CarMax to sell.
Know your vehicle's value
Bottom line, if you are looking to get the best deal on selling your vehicle to get some extra money or buy a new vehicle, you should first start by getting an idea of what your vehicle’s current market value. Start by reading online resources like Consumer Affairs and Kelley Blue Book. We have created a vehicle valuation tool to help you do just that. Our pricing tool uses data from vehicle offers from the major online car buying retailers.
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