If you buy a used car from CarMax, you’ll be given the option of purchasing the CarMax MaxCare warranty. This warranty is available with most CarMax cars, but only at the point of purchase, so you’ll want to consider it before you even start your vehicle-buying process. Learn beforehand if the MaxCare extended warranty is a good choice or if you should decline it in favor of better options.

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CarMax MaxCare Highlights

Overall Rating 3.8
Reputation 4.2
Coverage 3.0
Price 4.3
Transparency 4.0
Customer Service 3.6

Originally a subsidiary of Circuit City, CarMax split into its own business in 2002. It has over 190 locations and was ranked number 20 on the Fortune list of the top “100 Best Companies to Work For in 2020.” While CarMax’s primary business is selling new and used vehicles, it also offers an extended warranty option called MaxCare.

CarMax MaxCare Coverage

All CarMax vehicles come with an automatic 90-day/4,000-mile CarMax limited warranty. This standard warranty covers:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain
  • Electronics
  • Electrical systems
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Cooling system
  • Climate control

The MaxCare extended service plan from CarMax is a vehicle service contract that increases your warranty to 5 years and up to 150,000 miles. There are options for 75,000, 100,000, and 125,000-mile plans as well. A CarMax extended warranty can be purchased for both new and used cars.

The CarMax MaxCare extended warranty includes the same coverage as the 90-day warranty and is fully transferable. Warranties are serviced by an independent third-party service plan administrator.

CarMax Warranty Extra Services

In addition to the warranty coverage listed above, CarMax warranties include:

  • Rental reimbursement up to $40 per day for seven days
  • Emergency roadside assistance up to $100 per occurrence (does not include tire replacement or cost of fuel)
  • Coverage for all CarMax accessories

CarMax Warranty Exclusions

CarMax warranties also come with a list of excluded uses that will void your warranty. MaxCare does not cover breakdowns caused by:

  • Addition of aftermarket accessories or equipment
  • Abuse or misuse
  • Towing a trailer or another vehicle with a car that is not equipped for towing as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Using your vehicle as a commercial vehicle, such as a taxi, police car, or delivery service

Wear-and-tear components like brake pads, shock absorbers, and wiper blades are also excluded from coverage. This is standard for any warranty.

In order to keep your MaxCare contract valid, you must also follow the maintenance procedures recommended by the manufacturer for your vehicle. The MaxCare warranty explicitly states that you must keep service receipts that include your vehicle identification number (VIN), the date, a description of your vehicle, and all services performed. Maintenance services such as tire rotations, coolant refills, or oil changes are not covered under the MaxCare warranty.

The MaxCare warranty is most similar to a powertrain warranty in what it covers, but it is a little more expansive. It also includes systems such as the suspension, climate control, and steering. While a CarMax MaxCare warranty offers only bare-bones coverage, coverage does include most of the essential parts of your vehicle. There is a good chance most major repairs would be covered by this contract.

CarMax MaxCare Cost

Warranty costs are determined by vehicle model, mileage, and the specific terms of your contract. With all CarMax contracts, the price can be paid in total upfront or included with your vehicle’s financing. We reached out to CarMax for warranty quotes on a 2017 Ford Explorer XLT with 23,000 miles and received these quotes for a five-year plan:

CarMax Warranty $50 deductible $100 deductible $200 deductible $300 deductible
75,000 miles $1,759 $1,659 $1,549 $1,459
100,000 miles $2,069 $1,949 $1,789 $1,659
125,000 miles $2,399 $2,229 $2,029 $1,869
150,000 miles $3,249 $2,989 $2,679 $2,399

It’s possible that if you elect to include your CarMax MaxCare plan cost with your vehicle’s financing, you will end up paying interest, effectively raising the total cost of your warranty. However, this option does allow you to make a monthly payment rather than fund the entire cost of your extended warranty upfront.

CarMax warranty prices are very good for the industry. A low-deductible, 75,000-mile plan comes to around $352 per year. Given that the average annual repair cost for a Ford Explorer (according to RepairPal) is $732, this is a pretty good deal. The most common problem for a 2017 Ford Explorer is an air conditioning fan issue, which would be covered under the CarMax MaxCare warranty.

CarMax Warranty Deductible

With a CarMax warranty, your vehicle can be serviced at any repair shop. However, if you elect to have your car serviced at a certified RepairPal or CarMax service center, $50 is knocked off the deductible. This means if you have a $50 deductible plan, you will pay no deductible for covered repairs.

CarMax Warranty Refunds

All CarMax contracts have a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your contract within 90 days of your purchase date, you will receive a full refund, minus a $30 processing fee. While the processing fee may be annoying, 90 days is much longer than standard warranty money-back guarantees.

CarMax Warranty Quotes and Claims Process

CarMax MaxCare warranties are offered only at the point of purchase. For a quote, you will have to ask your CarMax dealer. You can also reach out to CarMax through its website to be contacted by email or phone. When we messaged CarMax for a quote, we were contacted within minutes.

If you purchase a MaxCare plan, when a breakdown occurs, you can call or visit MrClaims.net to file a claim. Note that an extended car warranty will not cover any conditions that exist before coverage begins.

CarMax Ratings and Reviews

CarMax holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In the past three years, there have been around  1,095 customer complaints about CarMax warranties logged with the BBB.

CarMax customers who complained were upset that they had difficulty having their vehicles repaired. They claimed that CarMax facilities do a poor job servicing vehicles. Many customers were also upset that they had to pay diagnostic fees when repairs were not covered by the CarMax warranty. However, this condition is standard among car warranty service contracts.

CarMax MaxCare Warranty: 3.8 Stars

CarMax is an established company with a strong reputation. With locations available across the US, there is likely a repair facility near you. Using a certified CarMax repair facility can eliminate your deductible. However, the quality of CarMax service technicians may be lower than mechanics at a dedicated dealership.

CarMax offers an excellent price for a car warranty, but the drop in price comes with lower-quality service and basic coverage. A CarMax warranty isn’t a bad choice, but it is worth investigating other providers before making your final decision.

Top Recommendations for Extended Car Warranties

If you’re considering purchasing a used car or your manufacturer’s warranty has expired, it’s not a bad idea to consider extended auto warranty options for added peace of mind.

Most dealerships offer extended warranties, but these generally must be bought at the point of purchase, and the cost of the warranty may be rolled into your financing, meaning you will pay interest on it. You should at least have an idea of the cost of warranties from other providers before you sign up for a dealership warranty.

If you think an extended warranty is right for you, compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best coverage and price. Here are three top recommendations beyond the CarMax warranty.

CarShield: Best Value

If you are looking for a quality extended warranty at a low price, we recommend CarShield. Our CarShield review rates the warranty company at 4.2 out of 5.0 stars because of its reasonable cost and expansive coverage options. CarShield even offers warranties that go as high as 300,000 miles.

The company holds a “Great” rating on Trustpilot based on more than 23,000 reviews. It has been selling policies since 2005 and has covered over one million vehicles since its founding.

Our research found this provider to be the most affordable. Plus, it offers monthly plans.

Endurance: Best Coverage

Since 2006, Endurance has continually kept customers satisfied with its customer service and six different tiers of coverage, which is why its plans hold a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars from our review team.

All Endurance car warranty plans come with rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and trip interruption coverage, plus a free year of Endurance Elite Benefits, which offers benefits including:

  • Key fob replacement
  • Total loss protection
  • Tire repairs or replacements
  • Roadside assistance
  • Collision discount
  • Endurance mobile app

For a free, customized Endurance quote, click below.

Endurance is our pick for Best Coverage with its comprehensive warranty options.

CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars

CARCHEX offers five levels of warranty coverage. The Silver package, which provides essential coverage to the major systems of your vehicle, is probably most similar to the CarMax MaxCare warranty.

We rate CARCHEX at 4.4 out of 5.0 stars and believe it provides the highest quality service of any extended car warranty provider for used vehicles. CARCHEX has a large number of licensed repair facilities nationwide, where customers can have their vehicles serviced, plus perks like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement coverage.

Our research found this provider to be the Best for Used Cars.


Our review team prides itself on sharing accurate and unbiased information with consumers. We have accumulated data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate our rankings of the industry’s best providers. Companies receive a score out of 5.0 overall, as well as a rating in each of the following categories:

  • Price: Comparing providers can be difficult due to the many factors that influence cost. To determine this score, we employ a secret shopper analysis using different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations.
  • Coverage: A wide variety of coverage is essential to support the differing needs of customers. We take into account the number of extended car warranty plans available, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
  • Customer Service: The level of customer service and care provided by an extended warranty company is an important consideration. Our review team sifts through customer reviews and complaints from reputable sources such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot. We also consider the responsiveness of each company’s customer service team based on our secret shopper analysis.
  • Reputation: Good extended warranty providers consistently provide quality experiences. Our team takes into account BBB ratings and the company’s history of reliable service when giving this score.
  • Transparency: Customers value a commitment to open and honest communication when it comes to vehicle service contracts. Our team of experts takes into account the availability of money-back guarantees and sample contracts.

Q & A

How long does the CarMax warranty last?
The CarMax warranty lasts for 90 days/4,000 miles. Coverage for up to 5 years/150,000 miles can be found through an extended warranty from CarMax.
What will void the CarMax warranty?
Your CarMax warranty will be voided if you neglect to take care of your vehicle, don't cover regular maintenance on it, or fail to make payments on time.
What is not covered under MaxCare?
Regular maintenance needs such as oil changes and tire rotations are exclusions from the CarMax warranty. You'll also not receive coverage for vehicle modifications or for damages from collisions or environmental factors.
How much does the CarMax warranty cost?
Prices for the CarMax warranty vary widely based on your specific vehicle, but the company is generally known for its competitive rates.