MaxCare Warranty Review: Extended Coverage by CarMax
Updated: August 3rd, 2023
The CarMax MaxCare warranty is an extended protection plan that goes beyond the standard limited warranty for your vehicle. Regardless of make, model, year, or mileage, MaxCare provides additional coverage for your vehicle, ensuring you remain protected throughout your journey with CarMax.
If you're looking into buying a used car with an extended warranty, read through our detailed MaxCare auto warranty review to understand the coverage plan, prices, and limitations.
An In-Depth Look at MaxCare by CarMax
CarMax, a renowned car retailer, boasts an impressive lineup of vehicles and provides two warranty plans specifically tailored for CarMax cars. Customers get a limited plan for free when they buy their car from CarMax. This plan offers coverage for up to 90 days or 4,000 miles. They also have the option to purchase an extended warranty known as MaxCare, which we will explore in more depth in this review. CarMax has been around since 1993 in Richmond, Virginia, and now has over 200 locations all over the United States. Plus, they have an A rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
MaxCare extends your limited warranty coverage to five years and up to 150,000 miles. With MaxCare, you get more than just extended coverage; you get great perks such as flexible options, roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement. Just keep in mind that MaxCare is only available when you buy a vehicle from CarMax.
MaxCare Extended Warranty: Strengths & Weaknesses
There are several factors to consider when evaluating MaxCare's warranty.
Strengths include the following:
- Comprehensive coverage: MaxCare offers coverage for major repairs that go beyond the standard manufacturer's warranty. This is an exclusionary plan, meaning it covers everything except specifically excluded components
- Flexible payment options: You can pay upfront with a credit card, cash, or check, and with CarMax's MaxCare warranty, you can also include the cost of your selected coverage in your monthly vehicle payments. This way, you can pay it off gradually over time. You can even set your own deductible, which can range from $50 to $300
- Transferable coverage: When selling your car, you have the option to transfer your MaxCare plan to the new owner. This increases the value of the car while allowing the new owner to benefit from the protection CarMax’s MaxCare provides
- Live chat option: MaxCare provides customers with the convenient option of connecting through live chat to request assistance from their service department. This feature ensures that prompt service is only a few clicks away. With round-the-clock support from a team of experts, MaxCare is always ready to deliver reliable and timely help for any need that may arise
- Nationwide coverage: Their warranty gives you nationwide service and repairs at service centers conveniently located throughout the US and Canada, making it super easy for you. This feature gives you convenience and adds value to the warranty coverage, so you are protected no matter where you are
- Roadside assistance tool: In addition to the live chat feature, their website provides a convenient digital roadside assistance tool that proves invaluable in unforeseen circumstances. It collects information about your vehicle's problem and location to promptly lend a hand
Some weaknesses include:
- No free quote engine: MaxCare does't provide a quote engine for estimating your vehicle's costs, making it difficult to compare it to other auto warranty companies. Instead, they encourage contacting them or visiting their office to discuss potential coverage and expenses. Unfortunately, this approach may subject you to sales pressure, potentially leading to premature purchases
- No sample contract: Despite CarMax's reputation for being straightforward, their warranty lacks transparency regarding its prices, coverage, and limitations. While their website provides a tool for estimating monthly prices, it doesn't state any limitations or additional prices that may apply. It's crucial to remember that prices vary based on the age, mileage, and manufacturer of your specific vehicle. There will also be terms and conditions in your MaxCare contract that you must keep in mind
- Can only be purchased through CarMax: This extended warranty is only offered through CarMax dealerships. Only vehicles sold by CarMax are eligible for their extended warranty, leaving you with limited options
- Can only be bought at the time of vehicle purchase: It's important to remember that MaxCare can only be purchased at the time you buy your car from CarMax. This limitation may not provide you with enough time to reconsider your options or explore alternative extended warranty companies that may better suit your needs
- MaxCare is administered by a third-party: CarMax isn't responsible for managing or fulfilling MaxCare, as is the case with other auto warranty providers such as CARCHEX, which is also managed by a third party. As a result, the claim submission process may be inconvenient for you. While we cannot directly comment on service quality, customer reviews of similar providers have shown that working through an intermediary can result in subpar service when compared to companies like Endurance, which administer and service their own contracts
MaxCare Extended Warranty: Coverage, Costs, & Exclusions
MaxCare works by providing additional coverage for your purchase beyond the CarMax limited warranty that comes with the car. Their range of services includes emergency roadside assistance, rental reimbursement (up to $40 per day for a maximum of seven days), reduced deductibles in select states (just $50 when your vehicle is serviced at a CarMax dealership or certified RepairPal service center), and comprehensive coverage nationwide. As stated on their website, you have the flexibility to take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility that offers a six-month, 6,000-mile warranty on both parts and labor.
MaxCare provides a single plan characterized as comprehensive or exclusionary. Rather than offering an exhaustive list of covered items, they highlight what's not covered. They claim to cover the majority of repairs and replacements, including engine, transmission, drivetrain, electronics, electrical systems, steering, suspension, cooling systems, and climate control systems. A standard MaxCare plan extends the limited warranty coverage up to five years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
They do provide a comprehensive list of what's not covered. These include:
- Maintenance services and parts, such as batteries, brakes, trim, wiper blades, and wheels
- Aftermarket accessories or equipment installed after your vehicle's purchase date
- Breakdowns, including overheating, caused by abuse or misuse
- Certain vehicle components and conditions caused by corrosion, collisions, or poor maintenance
- Emergency roadside assistance for flat tires only covers the removal of the flat tire or mounting of a spare tire replacement
- Emergency roadside assistance fuel delivery doesn’t cover the cost of fuel
We recommend that you take some time to read the fine print and discuss each part with your dealer before making your final decision.
Cost of coverage
Although they don’t provide much information about costs and prices, the MaxCare website has a cost estimate tool that displays potential prices and deductible amounts.
The only options you have when using the tool are to pick from three different kinds of vehicles with 30,000 kilometers on them. To get an estimate, you can select one of these vehicles, the number of miles you generally drive per year, and the deductible you prefer. Then, you’ll see monthly payments, the total cost, and the estimated extended coverage miles or months. The total plan cost typically ranges between $1,000 and $5,000. It’s important to remember that the final price for the warranty is determined at the time of purchase.
When evaluating the expense of an extended warranty, knowing the additional costs and prices is crucial. Comparing MaxCare's pricing with other warranty alternatives helps you make a better decision. It's important to understand that used cars might need repairs more frequently than newer ones. By analyzing these factors, you can ascertain whether they offer a cost-effective solution that fulfills your needs.
Is Maxcare Worth Considering?
Based on the advantages and disadvantages discussed, MaxCare is better suited for certain individuals than others. MaxCare could be great if you:
- Are in the market for a used car: MaxCare applies to a wide range of makes, models, and miles on the vehicles it sells on CarMax lots. If your budget buys you a used car, it could be wise to consider the vehicles CarMax provides along with the extended warranty
- Want reassurance on your purchase: When buying a used vehicle, choosing the right warranty can greatly enhance its reliability. Given the higher repair expenses and costs associated with used cars, opting for a warranty that reduces these financial burdens is a wise decision
- Prefer online tools: Instead of worrying about prices, repairs, cost estimates, and car rentals while yours is at the repair shop, simply drop off your car and easily get a rental car through MaxCare's website with just one click. Thanks to their modern features, customer service and emergency response are simpler in comparison to companies using less advanced technology
- Want financing options: Purchasing a car and an extended warranty can often impose a significant financial burden. With MaxCare, you have the flexibility to choose between financing options, allowing you to conveniently consolidate your payments with your monthly car payment
- Are thinking of selling your car: If you decide to sell your vehicle, you can proceed with confidence, knowing that your warranty will easily transfer to the next owner. This ensures the preservation of your car's quality and value. Additionally, if you sell your car back to CarMax, you will get a refund for the time you still have left on your warranty
MaxCare might not be a great choice if you:
- Travel frequently: Even though MaxCare serves their customers across the US and Canada, frequent travel accumulates mileage on your car. Since CarMax sells used cars that already have accumulated miles on them and MaxCare only covers your car up to 150,000 miles, they might not be a great choice if you plan to use your vehicle often
- Prefer other dealerships: Because MaxCare, a CarMax-exclusive offering, is only available through their platform, you have fewer options when it comes to selecting your desired vehicle. If you want more options on your vehicle purchase, it's better to consider an alternative
- Don't want to deal with a third-party administrator: Dealing with a third-party administrator when it comes to your warranty can be inconvenient, as it often requires navigating multiple channels, coordinating with different parties, and potentially encountering delays in resolving any warranty-related issues
- Your car still has the manufacturer's warranty: Some used cars with two or three years on them might still have their factory warranty, which already covers most parts of your vehicle, so going for this warranty might be an unnecessary extra expense. If your car already comes with a certified manufacturer's warranty, don't feel pressured into getting the warranty on top of that
Customer Experiences: What Are People Saying?
When it comes to MaxCare, customers have expressed positive feedback, highlighting their satisfaction with the coverage and good service provided. On the other hand, we also came across negative comments on multiple websites. This is what we found.
Many positive reviews highlight the prompt and efficient service that MaxCare offers. Customers value MaxCare's comprehensive coverage. Their swift customer support also receives praise, with satisfied customers finding the staff to be helpful and knowledgeable.
While reading through the positive reviews, we came across a blogger who discussed how, without MaxCare, the constant repairs and expenses for his used Range Rover would've really drained his wallet. Luckily, MaxCare came through multiple times over the years, especially when he was stranded on the side of the road. They even covered things that broke repeatedly, at full price, no less.
Another customer on Reddit wrote about the quick response to his call. He was in an emergency, and MaxCare offered a rental and covered all the expenses of his BMW. He was very pleased with the whole experience and said he would purchase the extended warranty again.
Complaints and concerns
While MaxCare offers coverage for used cars, some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of coverage provided. There have been reports of delays and difficulties in getting claims processed, which has frustrated customers. Another concern is the high cost of the warranty compared to other options available on the market. Customers have also complained about not having the time to read the contract carefully.
One CarMax customer wrote an entire blog post documenting how he and his wife felt very pressured when they decided to buy a car from CarMax. Because the extended warranty is exclusively available on the day of the car purchase, customers are provided with various reasons to consider investing in this additional protection. However, the customer does say that even at the time of the sale, the information they received on the warranty was very limited, their questions were not answered, and they were not given enough time to consider the warranty. They ended up going home with just the car.
Although there is no BBB page specifically for MaxCare, there is a page for CarMax. CarMax garnered more negative reviews than positive ones, with customers voicing concerns regarding subpar customer service and a lack of transparency.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of MaxCare and CarMax's customer service, we highly recommend reading the reviews further. Visit websites such as Reddit and Yelp. This will help you make an informed decision regarding the MaxCare warranty. Furthermore, we suggest contacting CarMax directly for any queries or additional information about the warranty. It is crucial to ensure that you are comfortable with the warranty terms and have all your questions answered prior to committing.
After you consider these aspects in your research, we recommend you read more about this extended warranty and compare it with other car warranties. Visit our blog, review, and comparison pages for more options and help in making the best decision for your needs.
How to Reach MaxCare
MaxCare has multiple support options on their website. You can call the company directly at (913) 384-6697, Monday–Friday, 8 AM–10 PM, and Saturday, 9 AM–6 AM EST. Or you can fill out the contact form on their website. They also have an online option for emergency roadside assistance with a tool on their website for quick assistance.
MaxCare does not offer a dedicated section or information for filing a claim on their website, but we suggest you use any of the previously mentioned means of communication. Alternatively, we strongly recommend that you ask the salesperson at the time of purchase about the claim process and any other details you might have questions about.
MaxCare Warranty Review: Final Thoughts
To put it simply, MaxCare has got you covered when it comes to your used vehicle from CarMax. Investing in comprehensive coverage can prevent unforeseen repair expenses. Their plan covers major components such as the engine, transmission, and electrical system, as well as benefits like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement.
If you decide to go for a MaxCare policy, consider your finances when choosing the deductible and mileage level that suit your needs and budget. Doing some research on the typical issues with the specific make and model of the vehicle you're buying, along with considering its age and condition, can be helpful. Also, considering some of the limitations and drawbacks of the warranty’s coverage can help you make an informed decision.
Finally, we suggest asking for the contract so you can take it home and read through the entire agreement, including all conditions and exclusions, before signing. This will make it possible for you to clearly understand the warranty's terms and ensure that your car is well protected. With this in mind, make sure to ask all questions beforehand so that you can get a clear understanding of the policy.
Save Big on Auto Warranty
Fill out a quick form to claim special offers on Auto Warranty