Carvana vs. CarMax: Best Way to Buy a Car?

Updated December 15th, 2021

buying a car with carvana or carmax

When it comes to buying a used car, there are few people who absolutely love the experience of going to the dealership and trying to get the best price on a car they love. Then there are others who quickly shy away from stepping foot inside a dealership because they don’t want to deal with pushy salespeople. As used car sales continue to increase, what is the best and easiest solution to purchase a used car? researched Carvana and CarMax, two popular companies that sell used cars in unique ways.


Carvana is a used car buying company that holds a very unique way of car shopping as it is all online. You browse the vehicles online, decide to purchase and finance online and then get it delivered to your house. If you are comfortable enough with purchasing a vehicle online, then this is probably a great option for you. It saves you a trip to a used car dealership or any dealership lot for that matter, and they also provide peace of mind for your purchase. Carvana has a 100 day/4,189 mile “Worry Free Guarantee” and they allow you to test the vehicle for 7 days with a money-back guarantee.



CarMax is a brick and mortar used car dealership, with a very user-friendly online website, that promises to provide a no-haggle car buying experience. The price you see on the sales sticker is the price you pay. This model has helped buyers who don’t know much about cars or who don’t want to deal with pushy dealers, build trust for the Carmax brand. You also gain the benefit of being able to compare multiple vehicles from different brands at once rather than having to visit every dealership where you can only drive their make and model. Another benefit that adds peace of mind is the additional warranty provided by CarMax to each vehicle and the 7-day window to return your vehicle for your money back if you are not fully satisfied.

Who is better? interviewed two internal employees who recently purchased new, used vehicles, one from CarMax and one from Carvana. We asked about their overall experience, the process, what the pros and cons were, and what they ended up doing. Below are the following questions we asked about their experiences with Carvana and CarMax:

  1. What research did you do to choose CarMax or Carvana?
  2. What did you like about the shopping experience?
  3. What didn’t you like?
  4. What about financing? If you used it was it easy? Was it Hard?
  5. What did you end up doing?
  6. Were you happy?

Carmax vs Carvana Interview Answers

FAQs Carvana CarMax
1. Received positive feedback from other coworkers

Looked at other dealerships

Looked at the CarFax on the vehicle and safety ratings

Looked at the car with both dealers and did research on Carvana as it is a new business model.

Researched warranties and sales tactics as I didn’t want to haggle with pushy salespeople

2. Enjoyed how easy it was to use the site

It took about 20 minutes when I went to actually purchase

Having a person to talk to for advice and recommendations

The price is the price

3. No issues No issues
4. Financing was very simple, you type in your social security number in a secure site and asked a couple questions and you had your answer in minutes Very simple, they explained all the options and walked through them with me

It was also quick

5. I ended up purchasing my vehicle and I doubt I will be purchasing a vehicle the old way ever again I left with the car the same day from CarMax
6. Over all I would recommend the experience to anyone I was and still am happy

What will you choose?

If you are in the market to purchase a used car, CarMax and Carvana both seem like great options to go with. Both only sell vehicles that are reconditioned to look new and both offer additional warranties to ensure the vehicle is working properly. You’ll have peace of mind with both CarMax and Carvana offering a 7-day money-back guarantee. If you want more advice and in-person support, CarMax would be the way to go. If you are a tech-savvy buyer and feel comfortable purchasing a vehicle completely online, then Carvana would be ideal for you. Once you’ve purchased a vehicle, consider comparing car insurance rates on to ensure your new ride is properly covered. We even suggest comparing different insurance quotes while you are looking for your desired vehicle so you can get a good feel for your total finances.


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