CarMax Used Cars Vs. J.D. Power

Both CarMax and J.D. Power leave an effortless experience around gathering pricing, ratings, and reviews for car purchasing & selling decisions. And while CarMax dipped their feet a little into selling new cars, the focus primarily now lies on used vehicles only. Learn more below.
J.D. Power

J.D. Power has cemented a reputation for professionally accumulating and analyzing data in the best interest of consumers. For the automotive field, verifiable & unbiased information of real-world experiences endured by real vehicle owners is gathered through surveying the market from the third month to the third year of vehicle ownership.

The feedback generated from verified vehicle customers is used to segment the car market by price & size to create car ratings. Eventually, from these ratings, we derive the J.D. Power 100-Point Score (an overall rating per model per year) based on the following categories, weighted as indicated:

  • Driving Experience (30%)
  • Quality and Reliability (30%)
  • Dealership Experience (30%)
  • Resale Value (10%)

The 100-Point Score can be converted into four classifications for a high-level summary:

  • Among the Best (90-100)
  • Above Average (81-90)
  • Average (70-80)
  • Below Average (0-69)

On top of all that, serving consumers with a fuller understanding of car pricing and value, our J.D. Power Verified Fair Price is a dependable indicator that one is not overpaying for the desired vehicle. Using the purchasing information from over 12 million retail transactions each year, we keep close tabs on the average price and the price range paid by the majority of the people. Dealers who qualify will have the J.D. Power Verified Fair Price badge applied! Seeing that badge grants the assurance that the price is close to the average in that region.

You can read more about our ratings methodology here, and Verified Fair Price here.

CarMax

Who CarMax Is

CarMax differs from other automotive based sites as it serves as a used car store and conducts retail sales in addition to providing vehicle reports. CarMax makes it easy to select and view potential vehicles, and there are even financing and physical locations nationwide.

CarMax allows users to search for vehicles based on make and model or by keyword, and they have a wide variety of inventory. It's also possible to filter search results for both sites based on year, features, or price. CarMax is a subsidiary of Circuit City and also provides a specific history for each vehicle on its website and an upfront price without any need for negotiating.

CarMAx Used Cars Buying & Selling

CarMax has around 195 physical shops across the nation, and the business is focused primarily on selling used cars but, at one point, attempted to sell new vehicles as well. Today, only a couple of locations will sell new cars, but the bright side is that buying a used car is a streamlined process with CarMax so buyers can make purchases with the confidence that they are choosing quality vehicles.

The CarMax website offers details in the vehicle history reports provided that come with pictures, a full listing of the specifications, a no-haggle price, and reasonable financing options. Customers can leave their reviews, and there are NHTSA safety ratings, but expert opinions are limited.

Users can also search for vehicles and determine if any recalls exist that require repairs to the vehicle, and other sources help customers conduct their research. Once a customer discovers a car they might want to purchase, they can put a hold on that vehicle without any obligation to purchase in the future.

Sellers can also sell their cars to CarMax, who can complete this transaction online in some areas. You'll need to check with CarMax to determine if online purchases are something they do in your area, but there is an appointment required so a representative can examine the vehicle. CarMax rigorously tests and inspects it's used cars so you can trust they're in good condition, and the history of the vehicle, it's current condition, and the features present are all considered.

On the CarMax website, you can navigate to a collection of best of articles and other reviews related to different cars you're interested in purchasing. There is also a collection of general interest articles that help visitors form expectations about the car buying experience, the car they're interested in, and what they can expect to pay.

Other topics may vary, but there are specific pages dedicated to different models released in different years and their related details like trim packages and other specifications. These articles are all straightforward and accessible to the average buyer, even if they aren't a car enthusiast. The jargon on these articles is minimal, and there's a helpful summary at the top of each entry.

If you buy a car through CarMax, you can manage the whole financing process online and make your payments after you set up an account on the site.

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