CarMax is now in Portland, Oregon. We hope this will be a good thing for the Portland used car market.
Just as we recommend with any dealership we always recommend you go in well informed. There is much to be found on the internet that suggests CarMax like Carfax (everybody has heard of these companies) invests a lot into marketing and advertising and not all of their claims pertaining to inspections, certifications and guarantees are entirely accurate. When spending a lot of money on a used vehicle you need to protect yourself and the best way to do so is to have the car independently inspected. We always recommend doing this prior to getting to potentially becoming emotionally attached to the vehicle or before making an offer in case we find issues that the dealer may be willing to address prior to your purchase. CarMax advertises that they perform an in depth 125 point inspection on their vehicles. Looking at their inspection, in our opinion appears to be pretty quick and basic when considering these are modern vehicles.
We’ve been told by several of our customers that CarMax will not allow mechanics to come onto their property to perform the inspection. There is no reasonable excuse for this. Since 2007 we have been welcomed by all of the reputable dealers throughout Portland. Portland dealers typically appreciate the fact they don’t have to have the vehicle leave their lots for an inspection. We’ve been told by many that they will not allow their vehicles to leave, because to often they end up at a competing dealer or shop and receive an in-accurate or potentially biased (trying to up sell products/services) assessment causing confusion to the buyer. We are completely objective and unbiased, we only report the facts and best of all the dealer doesn’t have the liability of having the vehicle leave their lot. CarMax states that all of their vehicles have already been inspected and push their customers to buy the car and then bring it back if they’re not satisfied. They advertise that they will allow the buyer to return the vehicle within 5 days. Typically we recommend having it inspection prior to going through the hassles of buying the car, credit reports, paperwork, time etc. but if this truly their policy, it’s still very important to have it inspected immediately at the beginning of your 5 day window.
We’ve done two inspections on CarMax vehicles that the buyers had us come to them within their 5 day return window. One vehicle came from the Beaverton, Oregon store and the other from the Milwaukie location. Both vehicles had had accident repairs/paintwork that the buyers were not aware of. This paint/repair work didn’t show up in CarMax’s inspection nor on the Carfax they supplied with the vehicles. This isn’t uncommon with many vehicles we inspect at dealerships, however we were surprised by our initial experience with the quality of CarMax vehicle inspections.
There are several websites and stories about the quality of CarMax’s own inspections including 20/20.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1YQkysD15g – 20/20 video
There is nothing better than having the peace of mind of having an in-depth, independent unbiased inspection performed on a vehicle you’re strongly considering buying. We come to you and perform the inspection at your home or place of business at your convenience and hopefully give you the confidence or knowledge of pending issues or previous paintwork or accidents that may alter your decision to keep the vehicle or take it back while you’re still within their 5 day return window.