Key Takeaways:

  • BBB gives CarMax an A+ rating
  • A CarMax limited warranty is good for 90 days or 4,000 miles
  • CarMax MaxCare is accepted at any 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 one or not, 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 that you might have. As far as extended warranties go, there are many choices on the market. We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended 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 Warranty 3.9 out of 5.0 stars because of its excellent transparency and costs. The CarMax MaxCare vehicle service plan might work for some people, but there are too many unknowns without being able to compare quotes and plans ahead of time. On the other hand, there are many reputable third-party extended warranty companies that 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

Like we mentioned at the beginning, it’s a little tricky to get a feel for the customer experience with the MaxCare plan since most of CarMax’s business is selling used cars. Many people do 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 organization 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?

If you’ve ever bought a car from CarMax, you’ve probably been asked about MaxCare. The MaxCare program is actually an extended service plan administered by other companies. Once you purchase a CarMax warranty, the CarMax dealership doesn’t have anything to do with your service plan.

If you move to a state without a CarMax location, you don’t have to worry. MaxCare is accepted at any repair shop in the U.S. or Canada. The shop just has to be licensed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).



What Does CarMax MaxCare Cover?

We’re talking about the CarMax MaxCare extended service plan, but let’s back up for a second. All CarMax vehicles come with a limited warranty that lasts for 90 days or 4,000 miles. 

What does the CarMax warranty cover? 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.

MaxCare Service Contract

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

Covered Systems

MaxCare covers parts in the engine, transmission, drivetrain, suspension, cooling system, climate control, electronics, electrical systems, and steering.

Repair Facilities

The plan is accepted at any ASE-certified service center.


MaxCare makes payments directly to the repair shop, so you don’t have to pay upfront and wait for reimbursement.

Roadside Assistance

All plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance, which covers things like towing, battery jump-starts, flat tire service, and fuel delivery.

Rental Car Reimbursement

CarMax 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 main coverage option. CarMax describes the MaxCare warranty as covering any part unless it is listed under exclusions. 

At first glance, it might seem like the CarMax warranty is an exclusionary contract, which usually covers over 1,000 parts and is what factory warranties use. However, this might be a fancy way of saying that a listed part might not be covered under certain circumstances. 

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

Even though you can’t choose different levels of coverage, you can choose between a wide range of mileage and year limits. These also depend on the vehicle you choose. 

Compared to a manufacturer’s certified pre-owned warranty, the MaxCare plan covers less and offers fewer perks. Of course, you’ll have to shop from a mainstream dealer to get one of those.

MaxCare Exclusion List

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

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

Make sure you take good care of the vehicle. The repair shop can request copies of your service history to make sure the damage isn’t your fault.

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, as well. 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 will affect the cost of your warranty plan, as shown in the graphic below:

Icons showing what factors affect extended warranty cost.

MaxCare Deductible

Deductibles are also variable, but you can receive $50 off your deductible if you visit a CarMax or RepairPal service center. That can make it go 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. Since you’re at the dealership, you’ll be able to roll the cost of the service contract in with your car payment, if you want.

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 and get an authorization for the repair before doing anything. You also might have to authorize a teardown diagnosis, which MaxCare won’t cover unless the repair is covered.

You can transfer the CarMax warranty if you sell your car. Usually, there’s a small fee of about $50, however having a transferable warranty can often add a good amount of value to your car. CarMax doesn’t list a cancellation policy online, but most companies allow you to cancel within 30 days for a full refund if you haven’t used the contract. You should also be able to cancel after that point and get a prorated refund.



CarMax Extended Warranty: Conclusion

This review went over the coverage and costs of CarMax. CarMax is great for people who value low prices and company transparency. We gave CarMax 3.9 out of 5.0 stars and believe it can perfectly fit your needs as an extended warranty plan. If you are still not convinced, 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 of these focus only on extended auto warranties. That means you can work with people who know the ins and outs of the contracts and who can help you find the best option.

Endurance: 4.6 Stars

We chose Endurance as the Best Coverage overall because it’s a direct provider and offers a large number of perks. As a direct provider, Endurance administers claims and handles every part of the process. Endurance has been around for more than 15 years and offers six levels of coverage. 

To get a free quote from Endurance, click below.

CARCHEX: 4.4 Stars

In our research, we recognized CARCHEX as Best For Used Cars out of all providers in 2021. CarMax sells cars up to 11 years old. At that point, 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.

Get a free, personalized quote from CARCHEX to see how much you would pay for coverage.

CarMax Warranty: FAQ

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.

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