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CarMax Warranty Overview

CarMax’s MaxCare warranty plan offers stated component coverage for critical systems for up to 5 years or 150,000 miles, whichever happens first.

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By:
Brogan Woodburn
By: Brogan Woodburn Senior Writer

Brogan is a Motor1.com Senior Writer based in Central Oregon. He produces in-depth auto product guides on topics spanning from auto warranties and insurance to tips on how to sell a car.

Last Updated 01/16/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • A MaxCare extended warranty is only offered with one level of coverage, with varying options for deductible amount and coverage length.
  • A CarMax warranty is only available at the time of a CarMax vehicle purchase. 
  • Warranty perks include emergency roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. 
Endurance
4.6
Industry Standing: 4.3/5.0
Coverage: 4.9/5.0
Cost: 4.6/5.0
Transparency: 4.8/5.0
Customer Service: 4.3/5.0
Memorial Day Special – Save $400 Off Any Plan
  • Best Coverage
  • Maximum Mileage: Up to 200,000 miles
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days for full refund
  • Longest Term: 8 years of coverage
  • Coverage Options: 6 plans including maintenance option
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

CarMax’s extended warranty plan, MaxCare®, offers an extended service plan with multiple term options that can be purchased with any CarMax vehicle. But what does it cover, and is it worth the investment?

We’ve spent over 1,475 hours researching extended warranties to help you choose the best one for your needs. Below, we review MaxCare and examine how it stacks up to other providers – namely, the providers that topped our list of best extended auto warranty companies from our 2024 warranty study.


Our CarMax Warranty Overview And Methodology

CarMax’s MaxCare extended warranty offers only one level of coverage to consumers. While it provides coverage for the most important vehicle systems, the benefits of the plan are lackluster. Consider other third-party vehicle service contract companies in your search to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

How We Reviewed CarMax’s MaxCare Warranty

We took a look at how CarMax’s extended warranties compare to some of the best options on the market by evaluating the provider in the following categories:

Industry Standing

CarMax is one of the most well-known used car dealers in the nation, with over 200 locations across the county. In business for over 60 years, it holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is generally held in high regard in the auto industry as a whole. 

Coverage

Our research showed that CarMax offers one level of MaxCare coverage, with varying deductible amounts and coverage length options. Plans can last up to 5 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Perks include emergency roadside assistance, coverage in the U.S. and Canada, rental reimbursement, and more.

Cost

CarMax provides an estimation tool for extended warranty coverage costs online, but it’s fairly generic and won’t allow you to see estimated plan costs for your specific make, model, or mileage. You’ll have to contact a CarMax dealership directly to receive a cost estimation tailored to the vehicle you’re considering purchasing.

Transparency

Information about MaxCare on the CarMax website is fairly detailed. However, there are no quote tools or sample contracts outlining specific covered repairs for consideration. MaxCare does say that you can cancel your extended warranty contract at any time, but there’s no mention of a money-back guarantee if you cancel within a certain period of time.

Customer Service

Unfortunately, CarMax warranty reviews as a whole are largely negative. Its average customer review score through the BBB is just over 1.0 star, and it was hard to find reviews that specifically mention its extended warranties. Our team’s local CarMax has over 2,000 reviews with just over 4.0 stars, so we recommend reading reviews from CarMax customers in your area to get a sense of the service you’ll receive.

Is A CarMax Warranty Worth It?

While CarMax is reputable and well known, the service you’ll receive seems to vary by location. In addition, it only offers one level of coverage to consumers. If you’re looking for a warranty company that consistently provides excellent service along with a variety of customizable plans, we recommend obtaining quotes from other reputable providers.

Pros Coverage for the most important systems Transferable to a new vehicle owner $50 deductible reduced to $0 in many states
Cons Only available at the time of your CarMax vehicle purchase Fewer reimbursement benefits than most extended service plans Customer service isn’t consistent and varies by dealership

CarMax Warranty Quick Facts

  • Founded: 1993
  • Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia
  • Coverage options: One
  • Coverage terms: Up to 5 years or 150,000 miles

Is A CarMax Warranty Legit?

Yes, CarMax and its MaxCare warranty are legit. It’s the largest used-car retailer in the United States, with over 200 locations across the country. Fortune ranked CarMax on its list of Top 100 companies to work for in 2020, and the company holds an A rating on the BBB website.


CarMax Warranty Coverage

CarMax tends to sell used cars that range from one to eleven years old, meaning roughly half of the vehicles will no longer be covered by their original new vehicle warranty. All vehicles sold by CarMax come with a 90-day Limited Warranty at no extra cost, with an optional extended warranty program available called MaxCare. 

CarMax Warranty Plans

You’ll be presented with the option to purchase a MaxCare extended service plan during the car buying process at CarMax. A standard MaxCare plan extends your limited warranty coverage to five years or 150,000 miles. Customized plans with smaller mileage limits are also provided by the company.

CarMax extended warranty protection can be an appealing option. Shoppers leave the lot with a used vehicle, and some may have chosen less-reliable, affordable models in an effort to save money.

MaxCare Service Plan Details

Learn more about what MaxCare service plans have to offer below, including added perks:

Plan ComponentDetails
Covered systemsThe parts MaxCare covers include the engine, transmission, drivetrain, electronics, electrical systems, steering, suspension, cooling system, and climate control systems.
MaxCare cost considerationsYour CarMax warranty cost can be added to the amount you’re financing, so you can pay for it over time (with interest). Or, it can be paid for in full upfront.
DeductibleEach time you bring your car in for a repair, you’ll pay an agreed-upon deductible. The lowest possible deductible is $50. In most states, this deductible is reduced to $0 if you have your vehicle serviced at a CarMax Service Center or a certified RepairPal shop.
When to buyYou can only purchase MaxCare at the time of your CarMax vehicle purchase. The vehicle may still be under its factory warranty at this time, depending on its age and mileage.
TransferabilityMaxCare coverage is transferable if you sell your car, but restrictions apply.
Roadside assistanceMaxCare includes 24/7 emergency roadside assistance of up to $100 per occurrence. However, replacement items aren’t included. For example, if you have a flat tire or run out of gas, you pay for the tire replacement or the fuel.
Rental reimbursementCarMax will cover up to $40 a day toward rental car reimbursement for seven days while it’s in the repair shop.
Repair facilitiesYou can use MaxCare at any repair facility certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®).
Direct paymentMaxCare will pay the repair facility directly.

We recommend asking for a sample MaxCare contract before you purchase a CarMax warranty. That way, you can read about the coverage yourself and ask questions as needed. 

It’s important to note that MaxCare is sold by CarMax but is a contract with an independent third-party service plan administrator. This means CarMax dealerships aren’t responsible for any issues or problems you have throughout the course of your service plan’s term.

What Does A CarMax Warranty Not Cover?

Here’s a sample of some exclusions on a MaxCare extended service plan:

  • Regular maintenance services like oil changes and tune-ups
  • Aftermarket accessories like GPS, radar detectors, and radios
  • Maintenance parts such as batteries, brakes, trim, wiper blades, and wheels
  • Damage from collision, negligence, or misuse of your vehicle
  • Cost of fuel during emergency roadside assistance fuel delivery services
  • Flat tire replacement costs during emergency roadside assistance

Ultimately, the above services and parts aren’t covered by many extended warranty plans, no matter the provider. However, some companies offer supplemental maintenance packages and warranty plans designed to cover in-car tech. For this reason, it pays to shop around before committing to CarMax or any extended warranty coverage.


CarMax Warranty Cost

CarMax extended warranty plan costs depend on your vehicle, its mileage, your deductible, and terms stipulated in your service contract. The company provides sample quotes for its plan for three 2020 vehicles including a sedan, SUV, and truck. 

Below are some of the provided price ranges for each of these vehicles for a MaxCare coverage plan with a five-year term. We’ve chosen different deductibles and yearly mileage totals to provide an idea of how warranty costs change based on these variables. Each of the vehicles used for quotes has 30,000 miles. Keep in mind that your quoted price for a total cost or monthly payment will likely vary.

Vehicle ModelVehicle TypeYearly MileageDeductibleTotal Plan Cost Estimate
2020 Toyota Camry LESedan9,000 or less$50$1,289-$1,469
2020 Toyota Camry LESedan9,000-14,000$50$1,379-$1,599
2020 Honda Pilot TouringSUV9,000-14,000$100$1,359-$1,589
2020 Honda Pilot TouringSUV14,000-19,000$100$1,479-$1,779
2020 Ford F150 XLTruck9,000 or less$50$1,629-$1,949
2020 Ford F150 XLTruck14,000-19,000$50$2,179-$2,799

When compared to other extended warranties on the market, prices for the CarMax MaxCare plan are on the affordable side. However, when you examine the maximum amount of coverage you can get with a MaxCare plan, it doesn’t look like much more than a basic powertrain warranty. Other extended warranty providers may offer more comprehensive coverage.

In November 2023, our team surveyed 1,000 consumers who had purchased an extended warranty. When asked about how much they paid for coverage, the majority of respondents reported paying between $1,500 and $3,500 total for their extended warranties. To see if Carmax contracts fell into this range, our team launched a second survey in January 2024 and was able to connect with 36 Carmax contract holders. Here’s what they paid for warranty coverage:

  • 10 reported paying under $1,000
  • 18 reported paying between $1,000 and $2,000
  • 3 reported paying between $2,000 and $3,000
  • 1 reported paying between $3,000 and $4,000
  • 2 reported paying between $4,000 and $5,000
  • 2 reported paying more than $5,000

It’s a small sample size, and it’s important to remember that pricing can vary widely depending on your vehicle and level of coverage. But with the majority of survey respondents (78 percent) reporting contracts under $2,000, it seems like Carmax can be an affordable choice for many drivers.


What Customers Are Saying

When our research team polled drivers with Carmax extended warranty contracts, 78 percent reported satisfaction with the coverage. Seven of the drivers we polled had submitted claims, and only one had a negative experience. Here’s what drivers had to say about their Carmax warranties:

  • “Very satisfied for the price and what it covers. Customer service par excellence.”
  • “I love it! It has saved me a bunch of money already! [I] submitted a claim, then I talked to the agent, then I got [a] check!”
  • “Very dissatisfied. I tried to use it thinking I had a lot of time left on my warranty, however I was already over the mileage limit in the warranty, which no one mentioned before. Had they mentioned it I would not have purchased the warranty because the mileage amount was too small to make it worth it.”

CarMax Extended Warranty: Bottom Line

A CarMax warranty can be a decent option to protect major parts of your vehicle and provide additional peace of mind. However, a varied customer service reputation, lack of benefits, and limited coverage options make the company hard to recommend. While it can be a convenient option if you’re purchasing a used vehicle from CarMax, we recommend searching around and comparing multiple quotes from extended warranty companies to find the best deal.

Endurance
4.6
Industry Standing: 4.3/5.0
Coverage: 4.9/5.0
Cost: 4.6/5.0
Transparency: 4.8/5.0
Customer Service: 4.3/5.0
Memorial Day Special – Save $400 Off Any Plan
  • Best Coverage
  • Maximum Mileage: Up to 200,000 miles
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days for full refund
  • Longest Term: 8 years of coverage
  • Coverage Options: 6 plans including maintenance option
  • Discounts: $300 same-day signup discount, $250 shopping voucher, and others
Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
Exclusionary plan One-year membership for free
Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
Rental car $250 rewards voucher
Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

Other Options For Extended Car Warranties

The best thing to do when shopping for an extended warranty is to call around and get quotes customized to your specific vehicle. That way, you can compare each company’s prices and get a feel for customer service. We recommend starting your search with Endurance and Carchex.

Endurance: 4.6 Stars

We awarded Endurance with the title of Best Coverage because it scored well across all our categories: coverage options, trustworthiness, cost, customer service, convenience, and additional perks. These same factors earned the company a 4.6 from our team, the highest score of all providers we rated, among which the average score was 4.0 out of a possible 5.0.

Endurance has six levels of coverage, with the first five being extended warranties with varying levels of coverage to protect against mechanical breakdowns and major repairs. The last Endurance plan, EnduranceAdvantage™, is a combination of an extended auto warranty and a maintenance contract.

Warranty plans come with one year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which include identity theft protection, total loss protection, up to $5,000 in repair loans, collision discount, key fob replacement, tire repair, and access to the Endurance Protect App.

An Endurance car warranty costs between $100 and $140 per month with a $100 deductible on average.

Carchex: 4.5 Stars

Carchex is a reputable third-party extended car warranty company that’s been in the industry for nearly 25 years. The company offers five levels of coverage that are further broken down into a total of twenty-one warranty contracts. Coverage ranges from comprehensive protection that’s similar to your manufacturer’s warranty to basic powertrain protection for your engine, transmission, and related parts. 

We chose Carchex as the provider that’s Best for Used Cars because of its reputation for providing a positive experience throughout the shopping process. We like how the Carchex sales teams take a customer-centric, consultative approach. The representatives will gladly answer all your questions along with providing a quote customized to your vehicle.

Carchex’s reputation has also earned the company a long list of endorsements and partnerships from trusted companies in the industry, including SiriusXM, RepairPal, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Carfax, and more. Combined, the company’s strong industry reputation, outstanding coverage options, and excellent service transparency earned it 4.5 out of a possible 5.0 from our review team, the second-highest provider score from an average of 4.0.

The median monthly cost for a Carchex warranty is between $177 and $218 per month, based on quotes our team received across the industry’s most popular makes and models.


CarMax Car Warranty: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about CarMax extended warranties:

Is a CarMax extended warranty worth it?

A CarMax extended warranty can be worth it depending on your vehicle and its reliability, as its costs for plans are on the lower end compared to industry averages. However, there are better deals out there in terms of coverage options and overall costs from other reputable providers.

What does the CarMax 90-day warranty cover?

While specifics of what the 90-day CarMax limited warranty covers aren’t fully listed online, it claims to cover major systems and parts of your vehicle including your transmission, engine, drivetrain, and steering.

How long is a CarMax warranty?

A standard policy for a Carmax extended warranty can last for up to 5 years or 150,000 miles, but term lengths offered could depend on the dealer you go to.

How much is a CarMax warranty?

How much your CarMax warranty costs depends on the vehicle model and make, its current mileage on the odometer, the deductible you put down for repairs, and your average yearly mileage you put on your car.

*Data accurate at time of publication.