When shopping at a CarMax store, simply tell a sales associate that you'd like to take the car of your choice for a 24-hour test drive. You’ll be asked to provide a valid driver's license, verifiable comprehensive and collision coverage, and to return the car to the same store on the next business day. Please note, there is a 150-mile limit for 24-hour test drives and the car’s condition must remain consistent with when it left the store.
What is a substantially refreshed model? Substantially refreshed models are existing vehicles receiving significant engineering, design, or technology updates. Because complete redesigns cost a big pile of money, car companies sometimes take what is a fundamentally sound design and give it a major makeover. Think of it as the difference between rebuilding your home or remodeling it. Examples for 2021 include the the Lexus IS.
To determine our top picks, we started by comparing 17 popular online car buying sites and narrowing the list down to only the sites that offer a wide selection of vehicles at different price points. We also considered average reviews and ratings from verified consumers on ConsumerAffairs, only including car buying sites that had at least 14 5-star reviews in the past 12 months. Finally, we excluded any companies that don’t provide financing and customer service that’s available at least five days a week.
When the time comes to close the used-car sale, there are a few important items to take care of. Have the seller get a smog test for the car if your state requires one. Check the registration to ensure it is current. Make sure the seller gives you the title (also called a "pink slip"). If the owner still owes money on the vehicle, you may have to contact his or her bank or credit union to complete the transfer of ownership. Some states require the seller and buyer to complete a bill of sale. This document is good to have in case you are pulled over and haven't yet registered the vehicle. To prevent any hassles like that in the first place, go to the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as possible to register the vehicle in your name and pay any appropriate taxes.
If you want more context on the vehicle's selling price, Edmunds can help with its True Market Value tool. You'll get an idea of what people are paying for vehicles that are similarly equipped to the one you're considering, and it's a good reference point for negotiations. Edmunds also has a tool to help you appraise your potential trade-in to determine if you might trade it in or sell it on your own.