Despite most industries adapting to a 21st Century way of doing business, many car dealers are still stuck in the past which makes the entire shopping process a big hassle and, in the time of COVID-19, a big risk. Carmax has just announced that it will be taking a few big steps to make buying a used car a bit less stressful.
Despite predictions that COVID-19 would force dealers to make radical changes to the car buying process, there has not been a dramatic shift in the way most places do business. Right now, used cars sell fast, so dealers don’t have to accommodate a potential buyer who would like a clear disclosure of the price or even have the car inspected prior to purchase.
Carmax has always taken a different and “lower stress” approach to sell its cars. Now the brand is taking that a step further by offering what they call the
“Signature Experience.” This new program naturally has incorporated pandemic related adjustments, like contactless transactions, and increased sanitation procedures. But the big news is now Carmax will offer 24-hour test drives and an industry-leading 30-day return policy.
I have yet to encounter a traditional dealership that offered any kind of return policy on this level. Occasionally some stores may advertise something like a “48-hour love it, or leave it” type of thing. For the most part, when a dealer sells you a pre-owned vehicle they figure it is “your problem” once that contract is signed. It is worth noting that online car retailers such as Carvana and Vroom, in addition to most rental agencies that sell cars also offer return policies. However, none of them give you up to a month to make that decision.
While Carmax doesn’t always offer the most competitive prices in the used car market, buyers that are constantly frustrated with the games and uncertainty of buying a pre-owned model from a traditional dealer could benefit especially from the extended test drive and generous return policy.
Though I would strongly encourage anyone buying any used car from any dealer to get that car inspected by a trusted mechanic. At least with Carmax’s 30-day return policy that enables a buyer to conduct that inspection and really see if that vehicle is a good match for them.