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Buying a Used Subaru with Carmax

When considering purchasing a used Subaru through CarMax, there are several pros and cons to weigh, especially with concerns about improperly fixed cars being sold.

Regardless of who you buy a Subaru from, there is a real possibility that the seller is hiding something so you need to carefully inspect the vehicle before making the purchase.



First, CarMax offers a wide range of used Subaru models, providing buyers with numerous options to find the perfect fit for their needs and budget. You can even reserve a car for a 24-hour test drive which is a great feature (not all cars qualify for a 24 hour test drive).

Second, CarMax’s no-haggle pricing policy simplifies the buying process by offering fixed prices on all vehicles, eliminating the stress of negotiation.

Third, every vehicle sold by CarMax supposedly undergoes a detailed inspection to ensure it meets specific quality standards. This can give buyers peace of mind regarding the vehicle’s condition.

Last, buyers have the option to purchase extended warranties for added protection, covering unexpected repairs after the sale.


So what are drawbacks from purchasing a Subaru from Carmax?

One of the significant concerns is the risk of purchasing a vehicle that has been improperly repaired after an accident or damage. While CarMax inspects its vehicles, the depth and thoroughness of inspections can vary, and some issues may not be evident or may be overlooked.

While convenient for some, no haggling price means you may pay more for a used Subaru than you would through private negotiation.

Although CarMax provides vehicle history reports with AutoCheck, these reports may not always capture every incident or repair in a car’s history, particularly if previous owners did not report them.

Sample Listing

Let’s take a look at the 2014 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring (picture was shown at the top of this post).

The vehicle is stated to be “Carmax Certified” with no issues according to the description of the Subaru.

When you read the AutoCheck report, it does that the vehicle was involved in a “minor” accident.

If it was indeed a minor accident, I wonder why it has such a noticeable gap on the hood?

Gaps usually occur on cars involved in an accident and the repair shop was either too lazy to fix it the right way or they could not due to unforeseen damages (i.e. frame damage that they could not straighten out).

Here is a comparison between a two cars at the same Carmax location.

Is it a big deal to have such gap? I think so. Large gaps usually mean water penetration while driving which may cause a host of electrical/mechanical/rust problems in the engine bay area. In addition, the wind noise will be significantly higher.

But most importantly, do you really want to buy a car that was not fixed properly?

Final Thoughts

I do not think Carmax is unique as I have seen tons of similar situations involving Carvana and third-party dealers. When buying a used Subaru from anywhere, you need to remember that it is always buyer-beware.

So it’s crucial for you to conduct thorough research, consider purchasing an extended warranty, and possibly have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision and avoiding potential pitfalls like improperly fixed cars.