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Old 12-05-2013, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,799,301 times
Reputation: 16189

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Anyone have experience with either of these vendors? I find myself in need of a car and wonder if these options are better than going to a dealer. Was hoping to get something used, under 20k. (sedan, 6 cyl, under 70k)
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,966,792 times
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If you know what to buy Carmax is fine, Autonation is just a traditional dealer responding to Carmax success.

On some cars you'll pay a lot more than you would at a traditional dealer, on some you can get a fair deal.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,167 posts, read 6,066,596 times
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I don't know how you define a dealer, but both of these are dealers. You still go to a dealership, deal with salesmen and F&I, etc. If you think of the local "John Smith Family Dealerships" its like that times 20. Carmax has approximately 110 stores nationwide, AutoNation 250 or so.

CarMax has lots of customers happy with their hassle free business model. You may pay more money for the vehicle, and they won't come down on their prices. As always, shop around and know what the vehicle you want is selling for; there are good deals to be had with them.

Autonation isn't any different than Joe's Toyota. It is a traditional dealership owned by large corporation. In my hometown, the Autonation store was called "Pleasantville Toyota" until this year. You wouldn't know at first glance that it was an Autonation store. Its kind of like SCI does with the funeral homes...
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:32 AM
 
1,724 posts, read 2,255,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oildog View Post
Anyone have experience with either of these vendors? I find myself in need of a car and wonder if these options are better than going to a dealer. Was hoping to get something used, under 20k. (sedan, 6 cyl, under 70k)
I have owned a car repair shop for over 30 years.

When I tell somebody their car has a problem that will eventually be terminal, such as they ran it low on oil and it has a little engine knock which will eventually turn into a BIG problem, they often say, "Ok, I will sell it to CarMax." Several have reported they did just that.

CarMax offers warranties on their used cars but they don't seem to be worth much. Had a customer buy a late model high dollar Honda Pilot from them. They refused to fix the leaking rack & pinion steering gear because they said it "isn't leaking that much."

I have had several of my customers ask me about late model Hondas they were thinking about buying from CarMax. I try to send them to a trustworthy salesman at a local Honda dealership. Typically the Honda dealership has a similar car, maybe a year newer, less miles, certified, full service records, one owner trade-in, LESS $$$.

This is what little I know about market conditions in Austin, Texas. i own a repair shop, do NOT have a used car dealer's license and am NOT an expert regards used car wheeling and dealing. Your area might have very different market conditions from what I have observed here.

Don in Austin
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:49 AM
 
2,907 posts, read 3,025,247 times
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I've bought 3 cars from Carmax. While all 3 were in great shape on the last one I bought (a year ago), it turned out that the tires were dry rotted. Within a few days of getting the car home, I had a flat in my driveway, when I changed the tire I realized that I could squeeze the tire with my hand it was that soft. I called Carmax and they had me bring it in and they gave my a new set of tires + a free oil change. I would still deal with them and find that they stand behind their product. I don't think that they sell junk. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Pearland
799 posts, read 2,097,266 times
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Actually, Autonation was just like Carmax initially. Then they accepted defeat as a used only dealer and started buying up new car dealerships. Must have had a TON of financial backing.

Trust no one in used cars. They are equals in that respect. Use Carfax, and autocheck as prequal type tools, not as the ultimate benchmark. Those reports can take a car off your list, but they alone should not make you confident in buying one.

A pre purchase inspection by a reputable mechanic is the greatest value in the process of buying a used car.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,530 posts, read 6,604,961 times
Reputation: 11197
I bought my last 2 vehicles from Carmax.

The first was a Ford F150 lightning and it was an awesome truck. I got the Carmax warranty and needed to use it once for a rear end issue that was probably my fault for it going out but they covered it.

My 2nd Vehicle from them is my current X5M, it had 2 issues that were both covered by the carmax warranty and the cost was more than I had to pay for the warranty to begin with, so they have stood behind the warranty and I would not hesitate to buy another car from them if they had one I was looking for.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,167 posts, read 6,066,596 times
Reputation: 11380
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgmike View Post
Actually, Autonation was just like Carmax initially. Then they accepted defeat as a used only dealer and started buying up new car dealerships. Must have had a TON of financial backing.
Yes. They Had Wayne Huizenga as one of their initial investors.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,026 posts, read 19,850,532 times
Reputation: 7640
I bought from Autonation when they were exactly like CarMax. I've bought one car from CarMax. Both cars were great, and that warranty was actually worth it for one of the cars. It paid more than I paid for the warranty.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: West Somerville
79 posts, read 151,345 times
Reputation: 73
I sold my 2010 honda civic with 23k to Carmax. After I bought my Acura TL, I needed to sell the Civic. Carmax gave me thousands more than any Honda dealer did. Whoever bought my car got a meticulously maintained car in great shape.
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