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How to Sell?

CarGurus vs CarMax Comparison: Which Is Better For You to Sell Car?

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Best CarGurus 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 24 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?

cargurus vs carmax which is better for selling the car

Overall, CarMax is better to sell your car to compared to CarGurus. First, it’s completely free to sell your car while it may cost you $4.95 to list your car on the CarGurus platform. What’s more, CarMax offers cash or trade-in value for your next car while CarGurus only offers cash. CarGurus offer is valid for 7 days or an additional 250 miles while CarMax offer is only valid for 7 days. Finally, it takes up to 48 hours to sell your car to CarGurus.

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

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

CarGurus vs. CarMax Comparison

Cars acceptedAny cars, subject to restrictionCars in most conditions, with exceptions
Fees$0 for instant offers, $4.95 for listing fees$0
Requesting quotesOnline applicationOnline application
Offer validity7 days or an additional 250 miles7 days
Payments offeredCashCash, trade-in value
PayoutBank transfer, checkBank draft
Car pick-upFree pickupDrop off
Physical locationsNone235 CarMax stores nationwide
Turnaround timeUp to three business daysUp to 48 hours
Customer serviceChat, phone, emailChat, phone, email

Cars Accepted

cargurus vs carmax cars accepted

You can sell any car at CarGurus if you’re listing it on their website. But if you prefer to request an instant offer for your car, CarGurus has several factors to consider before they deem your car eligible. 

These include the vehicle’s age, aftermarket customizations, and other related factors. 

When it comes to selling cars to CarMax, you can sell any car in most types of conditions. The cars that they normally don’t accept are that have:

  • Frame damage
  • Flood damage
  • Salvage history


Selling to CarGurus and CarMax doesn’t cost anything. You can request quotes online for free when you visit their websites. Similarly, you don’t have to pay for anything if you get an in-store appraisal at CarMax. 

However, listing your car at CarGurus to look for private buyers charges a listing fee of $4.95 per vehicle. 

Requesting Quotes

cargurus vs carmax requesting quotes

You can request a quote at CarGurus through an online form on their website. It will ask you to enter your vehicle’s license plate number or VIN. After that, you’ll need to provide additional details to describe your car’s condition and history. 

Before submitting the online form, you’ll need to provide an active email address. CarGurus will send you the instant offer through email, along with other instructions on how to claim it. 

Quote: Similarly, you can use an online form through their website to get an instant cash offer from CarMax. The difference is that as soon as you finish entering your car’s details, condition, and history, the CarMax website will generate an instant offer.

You can accept the offer right away and choose the nearby CarMax store to claim the offer. In some cases, however, the website might not generate an offer right away. In that case, you’ll need to bring your car to a CarMax Store for appraisal. 

Offer Validity

Both CarGurus and CarMax offers are valid for 7 days. However, CarGurus also considers an additional 250 miles reading on the odometer. Beyond that, you’ll need to request a quote again even if you’re claiming the offer within 7 days. 

Payments Offered

CarGurus pays cash through checks or bank transfers. CarMax, meanwhile, hands payments through a bank draft, which you’ll need to deposit to your bank account. Also, you can claim your payment and use it to purchase your next car at the CarMax store.    


Getting payment through bank transfers is the fastest option when you sell your car to CarGurus. This typically takes up to 1 to 3 business days from the day they pick up your car. Plus, you’ll get the money straight to your bank account.

Some banks might not be eligible for this option. In that case, you can still opt to receive check payments. CarGurus normally sends out checks within the same day they pick up the vehicle. From there, how soon you’ll receive the check depends on the postal service. 

CarMax hands out the bank draft as payment within the same day you bring your vehicle to their store. Just note that some banks might have a holding policy for bank drafts, so it’s best to check it first to manage your expectations. 

Car Pick-up

CarGurus offers free pickup when you sell your vehicle to them. You can schedule a pick-up after accepting their offer. 

CarMax, on the other hand, requires you to bring your car to one of their stores to finalize the sale. 

Physical Locations

Since CarGurus offers free pick-up, you need not worry about finding physical locations to drop off your car. CarMax, on the other hand, has 235 stores nationwide where you bring your vehicle and claim your offer.

Turnaround Time

The online application to get an instant offer from CarGurus usually takes less than 15 minutes. You’ll receive the offer within 24 hours of initiating this request so make sure to check your email inbox and spam folders. 

Once you have the instant offer, you can schedule the pickup, within 24 hours, depending on the availability of CarGurus’ team. 

Quote: What you can expect during the pick-up schedule is that their representative will confirm the conditions of the car based on information provided in the online application. After that, you might need to provide some documentation as proof of identity and ownership. 

Finally, CarGurus will tow away your car. The pick-up process takes 30 minutes at most. 

Requesting a quote at CarMax also takes several minutes. But since you’ll get the instant offers as soon as you complete the online process, you can quickly schedule your in-store visit. 

You can even drive to a CarMax store within the same day as long as you have all the necessary documentation to sell your car. In-store appointments typically take up to 90 minutes. After which, you can leave the store with a bank draft as payment. 

Customer Service

CarGurus’ support team is accessible through a chat icon at the bottom right of the screen when you start an instant offer request. You can also send them an email at 

If you prefer to talk to them by phone, you can contact the support team at 877-492-4737. Their phone support team is available only every Monday to Saturday, between 9 AM and 9 PM ET. 

Meanwhile, CarMax has an online form you can use to reach their customer service. You can also call them at (913) 384-6697 or chat through the message icon at the bottom right of their website. 


CarGurus and CarMax received a 2.4 and a 1.7 rating at Trustpilot, respectively. At the Better Business Bureau, CarGurus has an A+ accreditation and an average customer rating of 1.54. 

Similarly, CarMax received an A+ accreditation, although its customer rating is at 1.14. Positive reviews for CarGurus mentioned that the company matches instant offers and that there are no hidden charges when you sell your car to them.

Consumer Affairs3.73.6

Additionally, customers liked that there are several ways to contact support, making it easy to talk to someone about their concerns. But, some sellers at CarGurus had complaints about the listing fees charged to them. 

At CarMax, customers liked that they were able to sell their cars fast, with one user claiming to have completed the sale in 24 hours. Others also liked that they received reasonable offers for their cars. 

In contrast, some sellers at CarMax felt that they could have gotten higher offers for their vehicles. Few also complained about a CarMax store not honoring changing the offer after their vehicles were inspected.

CarGurus & 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

Peddle is a company that works quite like CarGurus and CarMax, making it an excellent alternative. You can get an instant quote online and ask them to pick up your car, similar to CarGurus. The total car-selling process of used cars typically takes up to 48 hours with Peddle.

But unlike those two, Peddle lets you sell cars regardless of their condition. Considering that, it’s a great option to dispose of old vehicles in your garage or driveway. 

However, Peddle will only buy your vehicle if you have the title. It doesn’t purchase cars with outstanding liens. Additionally, Peddle is among the few companies these days that pay in cash, along with checks.

Recent Peddle Offers

Toyota (Camry)2011150,000$2,225
Volvo (S40)200137000$430
Mercedes-Benz (560)199192000$1,930
BMW (528)2008126,000$1,140
Kia (Forte)2010145,000$635
Honda (CR-V)201167000$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 Wheelzy and CarGurus are helpful for people looking to conveniently sell cars within 72 hours. And like CarMax, Wheelzy is also available nationwide and you can visit one of their stores to sell your car. 

But what sets Wheelzy apart from CarGurus and CarMax is the type of vehicle conditions it purchases. Technically, you can sell cars of any condition at Wheelzy. 

In rare cases that a vehicle is ineligible for cash offers, you can still sell it to private buyers by creating a listing on the Wheelzy website.

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

CarBrain is a service that offers a hassle-free and quick way to sell damaged cars. It begins with an online form that you fill out with information about your vehicle. Once CarBrain receives the information, it will provide an instant or a guaranteed offer for the car. 

After accepting the offer, CarBrain arranges for a local partner to pick up the car from the seller. Their offers are based on the car’s age, make, model, and condition. 

Additionally, CarBrain offers an efficient service, with the payment made up to 48 hours after accepting the offer through check.


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 is one of the most reliable used car dealerships that offers a simplified, haggle-free car-selling process that includes an instant online quote. All you need to do is input basic information about your vehicle on their platform’s calculator.

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

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 you want to accept the initial offer.

Carvana buys a wide range of vehicles, including those with salvage and rebuilt titles, as long as it’s in running condition and is no older than 1992.

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Michael Becker


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