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How to Sell?

CarFax vs CarMax Comparison: Where Should You Sell Your Car?

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Best CarFax vs CarMax Alternatives


Peddle logo

Get a legit offer in minutes – provide VIN, mileage and condition

$0 fees + you don’t have to pay for towing – Peddle will take care of it

Get paid in check during the pick up for any car (damaged, junk, wrecked)


Wheelzy logo

Quick car evaluation without the hassle – sell your car within 30 min

Choose a convenient date and time for free pick-up, as soon as next day

Get cash in hand the same day the Wheelzy agent picks up your car


CarBrain logo

Get an offer within 2 minutes and sell your damaged car within 48 hours

Free vehicle towing and no fees to getting rid of your damaged car

The tow truck driver will arrive with your check (nationwide service)

Which is Better for Selling the Car?

Upon looking at how CARFAX and CarMax work when it comes to car-selling, CarMax turns out as a better option. The company buys vehicles in most conditions, with few exceptions. 

CarMax’s offer is also valid for longer – CarMax gives you 7 days to consider the offer, while CARFAX offers are valid only for 3 days. On top of that, CarMax’s payout and turnaround times are also shorter, letting you get cash for your car within 48 hours of submitting your online application. 

While CARFAX works with partner dealerships across the US, CarMax guarantees you’ll only be dealing with them. For that, you can trust them to honor instant cash offers more. 

Finally, CarMax provides more ways to contact their support team if you have questions about their services. Depending on the urgency of your concern, you can reach them through social media, chat, an online form, or a hotline. 

CARFAX Summary

  • Dealerships compete for your car
  • Free tool to accurate price your car
  • Receive accurate offers within 3 days
  • Carfax connects you directly with dealerships

CarMax Summary

  • Instant online offer in under 2 minutes
  • Online offer is valid for up to 7 days
  • 2 options for selling – online or in-store
  • Get paid within 30 minutes on the spot

CARFAX vs. CarMax Comparison

Logo carfax logo carmax logo
Cars acceptedIn good conditionCars in most conditions, with exceptions
Requesting quotesOnline applicationOnline application
Offer validity3 days7 days
Payments offeredCash through check or direct depositBank draft
PayoutUp to 72 hoursUp to 48 hours
Car pick-upDrop offDrop-off and free-up in selected locations
Physical locationsPartner dealerships in the US240 CarMax locations nationwide
Turnaround timeUp to 72 hoursUp to 48 hours
Customer serviceContact form and social mediaSocial media, contact form, chat, or hotline

Cars Accepted

CARFAX will buy your car if it falls under any of these conditions:

  1. Fair: has cosmetic flaws or mechanical issues that are repairable or replaceable
  2. Good: has only minor cosmetic flaws and no major mechanical issues
  3. Excellent: has no cosmetic flaw or mechanical issue and is good as new

CarMax, on the other hand, accepts cars in most conditions. The only exceptions are those with frame or flood damage and salvage history.

When you sell your car to CarMax, you’ll need to prepare the following:

  • Valid and current registration
  • Valid IDs of titleholders
  • Payoff information or title, with all the titleholders, present during the sale
  • All remotes and keys


CARFAX and CarMax are free to use for the most part. Their free services include online application and appraisal.

Requesting Quotes

To request quotes, you can complete an online application to CARFAX. On the CARFAX homepage, click the Get Cash Offers button and enter your car’s VIN or plate number. 

Succeeding pages will ask for your car’s trim, options, and condition, and enter your contact details. From there, their partner dealerships will contact you with offers, providing you the option to sell for the best price. 

Once you select a dealership, you can set up an appointment to bring your car. They will inspect it to confirm its condition and finalize the sale.

CarMax has a similar online application process as CARFAX since they also require either the VIN or license plate number. You’ll also have to provide accurate details about your car’s condition and history. 

If you still owe money for your vehicle, you’ll also need to give the leasing information. Unlike CARFAX, CarMax’s website can generate an instant quote as soon as you complete the online form. 

Then, you can choose from one of the 240 stores to claim the offer and schedule an appointment there. This process lets you skip dealing with local dealerships since you’ll be directly selling to CarMax.

Offer Validity

CARFAX offers are only good for 3 days, while CarMax allows you to claim your instant cash offer for up to 7 days.

Payments Offered

When selling to CARFAX, you have two payment methods to consider: check or direct deposit. 

On the other hand, CarMax only offers payment through bank drafts. You’ll need to deposit this to your bank account, subject to your bank’s holding period. 


It can take up to 72 hours or 3 days to get paid when you sell your car through CARFAX, while payout times can take up to 48 hours with CarMax.

Car Pick-up

CARFAX doesn’t offer a pick-up option. You’ll need to bring your car to one of their stores or choose a local dealership to finalize the sale.

On the other hand, CarMax offers pick-up services in select locations. For CarMax to pick up your car from your driveway, you’ll need to be within 30 miles of the nearest store that offers pick-ups. You can also drop off your car at any of the 240 CarMax locations nationwide.

Physical Locations

CARFAX works with numerous dealerships nationwide, and you can use the locator on their website to find one near you. Meanwhile, CarMax has 240 stores across the country, and its website also has a store locator.

Turnaround Time

Selling your car to CARFAX can take up to 72 hours since you’ll need to wait for offers from local dealerships. You can also factor in the time it takes for these dealerships to pay, which is also 3 days. 

Compared to that, CarMax takes up to 48 hours to finalize a sale. This timeframe already includes receiving the bank draft and if your vehicle is leased, communicating with your leasing company. 

Customer Service

CARFAX offers the following ways to reach their customer service team:

To contact CarMax’s customer service, you can try any of the following:

  • Chat icon on their website, available Mon-Sun 10 AM to 8:45 PM EST
  • Call 1-913-384-6697, available Mon- Fri 8 AM to 10 PM; Sat. 9 AM to 6 PM EST
  • Complete an online form
  • Send a DM to its Twitter or Facebook account. 


Logo carfax logo carmax logo
Better Business Bureau1.031.15
Consumer Affairs4.03.2

Most of the issues customers have with CARFAX are about their vehicle reports, which they claim were inaccurate and pricey. Also, few customers claim they received low offers from their partner dealerships.

In contrast, customers on Consumer Affairs complimented CARFAX for an easy car-buying experience. Others also liked their responsive and professional salesperson. Many of the complaints on Trustpilot are from customers about their car buying experience and the quality of their purchases. 

Looking over at BBB, CarMax was able to address these concerns and provide answers when necessary. As for car-selling, customers liked that selling to CarMax was easy and hassle-free. Others also pointed out that CarMax made the highest offer out of all places they checked.

CARFAX & CarMax Alternatives


Peddle Summary

  • Sell used, damaged or junk car nationwide
  • Get instant quote on (855) 925 4302
  • Free towing within 48 hours after offer
  • Receive payment upon car collection

Our Experience Selling the Car to Peddle

Peddle is among the top alternatives to CARFAX and CarMax you should consider. Though the online application is also the first step to selling a car to them, selling to Peddle means you don’t need to take your vehicle anywhere. 

The company offers free pick-up, letting you schedule their tow team to arrive, inspect the car, and tow it away. 

Additionally, you don’t need to worry about getting your payment at a later time. Peddle will hand you a check payment before they leave with your car. 

Finally, Peddle specializes in wrecked and junk vehicles, which you can’t sell with CARFAX or CarMax.

Recent Peddle offers

Toyota (Camry)2011150,000$2,225
Volvo (S40)200137,000$430
Mercedes-Benz (560)199192,000$1,930
BMW (528)2008126,000$1,140
Kia (Forte)2010145,000$635
Honda (CR-V)201167,000$2,930
Ford (Explorer Sport Trac)2004145,000$1,170
Oldsmobile (Alero)2004162,000$400
Audi (A6)2006106,000$530


Wheelzy Summary

  • Wheelzy stores are open 7 days a week
  • Get offer in minutes – (855) 510-1108
  • Free towing of your car from your location
  • Instant payment via cash or check

Sites like CARFAX, CarMax, and Wheelzy allow you to sell your vehicle without needing to deal with private buyers and hagglers. But Wheelzy’s business model seems to differ from the first two companies. 

Wheelzy makes selling cars easy and convenient since it offers a free pick-up service. The company also accepts vehicles in most conditions, including the ones that CARFAX and CarMax will likely decline to give an offer to. 

And, once you accept their instant offer, Wheelzy will keep it for as long as they can. This is quite contrary to 3-day and 7-day guarantee offers from CARFAX and CarMax.  

Recent Wheelzy offers

Hyundai (Tucson)2006200,000Doesn’t start$400
Mercury (Sable Sedan)2003150,000Doesn’t start$225
Mercedes-Benz (C)2001150,000Starts$222
Ford (Edge)2010200,000Doesn’t start$1,200
Ford (Flex)2009150,000Starts$1,000
Lexus (RX)2002300,000Doesn’t start$750
Chevrolet (Cobalt Sedan)2007200,000Doesn’t start$200
Toyota (Corolla)2003250,000Drives$555
BMW (528)2008250,000Drives$1,487


CarBrain Summary

  • Call for a free quote – (844) 407-2200
  • Get cash for your car in under 48 hours
  • CarBrain buys cars in over 7 conditions
  • Up to 7 days to accept CarBrain’s offer

Like CARFAX, CarBrain lets you get an online offer through a phone call instead of only filling out an online form. But that’s about the similarity these companies have. CarBrain offers a pick-up option, unlike CARFAX and CarMax.

Similar to Peddle, you can also sell damaged and junk cars with CarBrain. Finally, CarBrain offers more options to reach their customer support, including email, chat, and fax. 

Recent CarBrain offers

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport201150,000Collision damage, starts, doesn’t drive$1,270
Jeep Grand201543,000Collision damage, starts, doesn’t drive$8,000
Chevrolet201350,000Collision damage, does not start$1,335
Dodge Charger2011143,448Collision damage, does not start$1,000
Nissan Altima201382,000Collision damage, starts and drives$1,725
Chevrolet Silverado2008250,000Engine damage, starts, doesn’t drive$1,750


Carvana Summary

  • Get an online quote within 2 minutes
  • Free pickup wtihin 100 miles of a hub
  • Offer valid for 7 days or 250 more miles
  • Haggle-free process to sell your car

Carvana, like CARFAX and CarMax, will send you an instant online quote. All you need to do is input your car’s VIN or license plate number on their platform’s calculator.

Carvana also provides free pickup if your car is within 100 miles of their hub, but you’ll have to shoulder the pickup cost beyond this range.

Their unique selling proposition includes a no-obligation offer, giving you ample time – up to seven days or an additional 250 miles – to decide whether to accept the initial offer.

Carvana buys a wide range of vehicles as long as it’s in running condition and is no older than 1992.


CarGurus Summary

  • Receive payment within 3 working days
  • Find out the market value of your car
  • List your car for sale in under 5 minutes
  • Up to $75,000 in protection for your sale

CarGurus similar to CARFAX and CarMax, offers a simple and hassle-free way to sell your used car.

CarGurus allows you to choose between two ways to sell a car. You can either get an instant cash offer from their dealership network and sell 100% online in a few minutes or list the car on their website and sell privately.

To get an instant cash offer:

  1. Enter your VIN or license plate number
  2. Get a cash offer in just two minutes
  3. Schedule pickup time
  4. Get paid within two business days by cash or direct deposit

If you are interested in selling your vehicle to a private buyer, you can list a car for $4.95 on the CarGurus website.

To list a car on CarGurus:

  1. Add your zip code
  2. Provide the car details (make, model, year, mileage)
  3. List special features
  4. Describe the condition and history
  5. Add images
  6. Provide your contact information
  7. Pay listing fee
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Michael Becker


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