From the Forum – Selling a car to CarMax and Wondering about kwh usage

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

Selling a car to CarMax:

“I’m considering selling my car to CarMax and was wondering if anyone has had any experiences– good, bad or otherwise — with doing so.

Any thoughts, tips, etc. would be very much appreciated!”

Is my kwh usage reasonable?

“I have a small studio apartment (450 sq ft), and according to my meter I’ve used about 200 kwh this past 30 days. Is this normal? I have only had the heat on for maybe 30 minutes to an hour this month, since our hallways are about 90 degrees (seriously, there’s a problem somewhere) and without heat and the with the windows closed my apartment stays at about 72. The only major appliances I have are a gas oven and a refrigerator. I have about 4 lamps that stay on several hours every day, and a tv that stays on maybe an hour a day, and is unplugged the rest of the time. I kind of feel like I should be using less electricity, and that maybe there’s a problem with my meter, but this is the first time I’ve had a place where utilities aren’t included so I’m not sure what’s normal. Please help me understand if you can!”

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24 Comment

  • A friend of mine sold his car to CarMax a few years back. Not sure of the exact amount, but I recall him being ecstatic about the amount that they gave him for a car that he basicaly limped into the lot (like a few thousand more than he had expected). I say do it :)

  • I’ve sold a car to Carmax and also gotten a quote where I decided not to sell. The time I sold, they gave me a great deal, more than the dealership where I was buying a used car would give in trade. The time I decided not to sell, the offer was a couple thousand less than I ended up selling it for. The process is really easy, so if you’re happy with the offer, I think it’s a good bet. If you’re willing to do some work, you can probably get a better deal selling it yourself.

  • Car: Sold a Yaris to CarMax in Laurel a few years ago for $8k. KBB was $10.5k and I had it on Craigslist for a few months trying to get $10k, but I couldn’t find a buyer and ending up taking the CarMax offer. You won’t get as much as you from a private private buyer, but it’s certainly a lot less of a hassle – you’ll be in and out of CarMax with a certified check in an hour or so.

    Electricity: 200 kWh/mo seems reasonable to me for your usage. At the DC avg of $0.13/kWh, that’s only $26.

  • Re: kWh usage: 200 kWh is a low consumption for a 30 day period. I’d say it sounds about right given what you said you have in the apartment. A refrigerator on its own will use anywhere from 100 to 200 kWh a month (depending on size, age, and efficiency of course).

  • We sold our 2005 Honda Accord back in 2010 when we moved to DC through CarMax. We wanted to get rid of it quickly because the move was imminent, and CarMax turned out to be a fast, easy way to do it. We got $14,300 for it, which while slightly less than what we could have gotten for it in a private sale, was still close to KBB. Also, because anyone buying it would have had to finance the purchase, it was a lot less hassle. We had previously sold my 2005 Honda Civic for $13K through a private buyer the year before, and that took a full week of dealing with both banks to close out my loan and get the buyer’s loan established.

  • If your car has a decent sellers market, I would use autotrader or craigslist. I had an Elantra with low miles on it and Car Max offered $2K less that KBB value for it. I ended up selling it on Craiglist for $500 less the KBB value.

  • Carmax quoted me a laughably low price, and I ended up selling my car on Craigslist for a couple thousand more, in about a week. Some people get great deals there, but that’s not necessarily the norm.

  • Re Carmax: Might want to check out webuyanycar.com. Recently sold a car through them after checking out Carmax first, got over 1k more compares to carmax and was just as easy and painless of a process.

  • Re: kWh, Is your water heater gas or electric?

    Also, I agree w/ another poster re refrigerator. If it’s older it could easily be using 100kWh/month.

  • We’ve sold two cars to CarMax and received higher than KBB on both times.

  • Where do you live? If you live in DC or MD, and are a customer of Pepco or BGE, you are more than likely to have a smart meter. A smart meter is a digital meter that sends your utility meter readings via wifi at short intervals (usually 15 minutes or so), as opposed to the old mechanical meters, which a meter reader would have read at the beginning of the month and at the end. One of the benefits of these meters is that if you access your account online, you will be able to see how much electricity you have consumed, and at which hour, going several months back. So, take a look at your account online and you should be able to tell if power is being consumed at the right time (when you are home). The Pepco meter portal will also tell you how much power you are consuming relative to your neighbors and give you tips about what you can do to save some energy.

  • We’ve sold 2 cars to CarMax and both times at higher than KBB. One car was in good condition and the other limped into the lot.

  • I’ll echo what others have said here. If you’re selling your car to CarMax as a trade, they’ll meet or beat the KBB value. Although they don’t negotiate on the prices for selling their own cars, they can and will use the trade-in value to close a deal. If you’re just trying to sell your car outright, they you can probably get more from a private sale, but the CarMax process is just about as painless as any auto-related transaction can be.

  • Carmax: I had a 12-year-old Audi that was falling apart, in need of $5000 worth of parts and work. My trustworthy mechanic offered me $500 in cash only to use it as parts. He said, though, go to carmax and see what they’ll give you.

    Walked out the door with a smile and $2500 in my pocket.

    • Carmax gave you quite a deal, had a 9 year old Audi in good condition, need a little exterior TLC, that I recently parted with and Carmax offered less than double your offer

  • Take the car to Carmax and ask for an appraisal. They will inspect it and give you a written offer good for 24 hours. Especially recommend doing this if the car is older, has defects, low value etc.

    If your car is newer or in mint condition and you’re willing to put in some leg work for a profit, then skip Carmax and selling on your own.

    I sold mine to Carmax last year and got a decent price considering it had a major defect. Bonus, the whole transaction took about an hour.

  • I’ve sold a car to CARMAX. It was a great experience and they gave me a really good price.

  • CarMax was too agressive and I had to go all the way to MD for an appraisal. I would recommend using autotrader.com and try selling it in the spring time. Had a few sales calls from it and a few low ballers, but ended up selling to a vevy vevy nice couple in Arlington, VA. Me vevy happy!

  • Sold my Civic years ago. I had three options: 1) a dealer who was a friend of friend who offered me the wholesale auction price – sight unseen/as is. 2) CarMax and 3) Craigslist. The dealer offer was like $7K, CarMax was $7.5K, and I sold finally sold it on CL in two after reducing the price to $8.5K. The KBB was $9.5K and at $9K I had no offer.

    A word of caution. My car had frame damage that was spotted by my mechanic when I took it in for inspection. This damages was not in the carfax and CarMax did not detected it either. The guy that bought only asked for the carfax report and never asked about anything else. So if a car is fixed by a “friendly” mechanic, it is likely that these repairs/damage is not on carfax. Always take a car to your own mechanic to have it looked at.

  • I sold my 11-year old VW Passat to CarMax in Rockville after they gave me the highest of three bids I solicited. Even my Passat dealer (where I bought the car and always had it serviced) gave me a bid for $1000 less than CarMax. When I showed them CarMax’s quote, they said CarMax’s was a very “aggressive” bid and I should take it as the dealer couldn’t match it. (The dealer did go up another $500, but couldn’t go any higher.) Service-wise, CarMax was great too. As an aside, I sold my car since, living in the U Street area, I rarely used it. Couldn’t be happier without a car. Much cheaper to walk, Metro, taxi, ZipCar, or Car3Go when needed.

  • Selling to carmax is really easy. If I remember correctly you can make an appointment. I didn’t so had to wait a bit but once the process started it was pretty quick. There is even at least one near a metro so you can rude home easily as well.

  • Re Energy: if i had your wattage i would be happy. I lived in an old building in the same size apartment and would be out of town for a month at a time and have higher wattage. It is sad to say but we are at the mercy for whatever pepco wants to charge us and tell what we use. I have asked them to reassess a bill for a month i was gone for three weeks and they made it clear until I can prove my usage i pay what I am told

    I really hate pepco, worst utility.

  • For Carmax: you’ll probably get more from a private buyer on Autotrader or CL, but it will take longer (depending on the car). Bear in mind, Carmax isn’t buying most cars at a loss; if the price seems good there you can probably get more from someone else.

    For Energy: The gas stove uses no electricity, and prorating that 200 kw over the month that sounds reasonable. Factor in things like phone charger or computer maybe?

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