CarMax is a Fortune 500 used-car retailer. The company has more than 200 stores nationwide and during the latest fiscal year sold nearly 750,000 used cars and 450,000 wholesale vehicles at its in-store auctions.
In addition to selling used automobiles, CarMax sells extended service plans, also known as extended warranties, for its vehicles. Although CarMax sells these extended service plans, CarMax is not the service plan provider. MaxCareⓇ providers are third-party extended service plan companies that specialize in this business.
If you’re considering CarMax for an extended warranty plan, we recommend getting quotes from the following providers as you make your decision. We reviewed the top warranty providers across the industry, and find the following three to be worth a look. At the very least you’ll have custom price quotes you can compare apples to apples.
Runner-Up, Best Provider
CarMax’s Limited Warranty
Before evaluating CarMax’s extended service plan, it is worth noting the factory warranty that comes with every vehicle purchased from CarMax.
The CarMax Limited Warranty covers “all of your vehicle’s important systems and hundreds of parts inside and out.” The CarMax Limited Warranty lasts for 90 days or 4,000 miles.
While this limited warranty may be helpful for the short-term, most vehicle owners who desire an extended service plan are looking for coverage much longer than 90 days or 4,000 miles.
CarMax’s Extended Service Plan Coverage And Cost
In contrast with many other warranty providers, you can only purchase a MaxCare extended service plan at the time you purchase your vehicle.
Since many different MaxCare providers work with CarMax to sell extended service plans, there is no one-size-fits-all plan. The coverage and cost for a specific plan will depend on the 3rd party provider that administers the plan.
However, all MaxCare extended service plans cover the nine components of a vehicle found in the table below. In general, MaxCare’s coverage seems fairly comprehensive and is competitive with other providers.
However, we recommend that readers study the sample contract they receive for MaxCare and any other provider they are considering before purchasing an extended warranty.
Sample contracts can reveal differences in coverage that are not evident when first looking at the high-level descriptions of coverage on a provider’s website.
Unfortunately, this is not possible with CarMax extended service plans since you have to purchase them at the time your vehicle is purchased.
While CarMax offers a no-haggle price for all of its vehicles, it does not disclose MaxCare plan costs or term lengths online. MaxCare providers are third-party companies, not CarMax, which may explain the lack of cost detail available.
CarMax Extended Service Plan Exclusions
As with any extended service plan, there are exclusions to be aware of when considering MaxCare.
Below is a table that explains the exclusions that come with CarMax’s extended service plan.
|CarMax Extended Service Plan Exclusions||Maintenance services and parts such as batteries, trim, wiper blades, and wheels.|
Aftermarket accessories or equipment installed after vehicle purchase date.
Breakdown caused by abuse or misuse.
Emergency roadside flat tire assistance does not include tire replacement.
Emergency roadside fuel delivery does not include the cost of fuel.
Pros & Cons Of A CarMax Extended Service Plan
To make it easier for you to evaluate a CarMax extended service plan as a whole, our review team documented two notable pros and cons of MaxCare to consider before making a purchase.
- Nationwide Protection: You’re covered everywhere in the United States and Canada under MaxCare. This is not available with some other providers.
- CarMax accessories coverage: Accessories purchased when you buy your car are fully covered. With other providers, you may have to pay extra to cover those accessories.
- Only available to CarMax customers: Unlike other providers such as CARCHEX and Endurance, a MaxCare extended warranty is only available to CarMax customers.
- Only available at time of vehicle purchase: Most third-party providers let you purchase their policy any time, with some potential mileage restrictions for older cars. CarMax’s warranty limits consumers by not letting them consider an extended warranty after the purchase, when they may need it most.
Our Recommended Providers
While we recommend that every prospective customer do their research and form their own conclusions, our review team believes that Endurance, CARCHEX and CarShield are better warranty providers than CarMax.
Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the reasons why we believe this is the case.
Endurance, CARCHEX and CarShield
These three providers received high ratings for extended warranty companies, and they come out ahead of a CarMax service plan for the following reasons.
- Free, customized quotes online: With free quotes available online, prospective buyers can receive the cost of their prospective warranty before talking to a sales representative.
- Sample contracts available online: Prospective customers can review sample policies to make sure the warranty covers exactly what they are looking for before making a decision.
- Reputation and endorsements: CARCHEX holds an A+ BBB rating and is endorsed by many organizations, including CARFAX, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and Repair Pal. Endurance received a 2019 Stevie Award for Great Employers and was ranked on the 2019 Inc. 5000 as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. CarShield has countless positive reviews.
Runner-Up, Best Provider
How to Choose
We recommend that you collect quotes from all companies you’re considering, including CarMax if that’s the case. It’s best to compare them side by side with personalized price quotes, which will vary based on your vehicle, location, and more.
Read our other guides for more information: