Sometimes, hassle-free can be a bad thing for buyers.
Car buying can be stressful enough; you have to contend with pushy sales people; scroll through a volume of resources to research, and then you negotiate, which for many is the buying equivalent of a root canal.
Therefore, when you hear of places such as CarMax and their hassle-free buying experience, it can be music to your ears. Buying a vehicle should be simple, right? It's a marketing message that resonates with many, but is it worth it?
Here are four bad things you might encounter with these places.
Little room to negotiate
With haggle-free dealerships, the key is a quick buying process.
However, as part of this, it means what you see is what you pay. There's no wiggle room to negotiate a lower price. And that could be a problem.
Because places such as CarMax focus on the quality of the vehicle, it means you'll receive a reliable car, but often at a higher price. Because you are unable to negotiate, you won't be able to talk the price point down, and depending on what you are buying and where you live, this could result in overpaying thousands of dollars.
Fewer trade-in options
One of the perks of trading in a vehicle is capitalizing on incentives for a newer model. Many dealerships might give you less for a trade in, but you'll make it up with a newer vehicle.
CarMax does a great job offering a fair price when trading in or selling your vehicle, but you'll miss out on manufacturer incentives as well since they don't stock new cars at all of their dealerships.
You'll pay more for warranties
When you purchase a newer vehicle, many dealerships offer a certified pre-owned program with it that includes an inspection, warranty, and other benefits such as roadside assistance. This coverage is standard with many dealers, but this isn't the case with CarMax.
With CarMax, they might extend the manufacturer's limited warranty, depending on the store, and then they'll offer MaxCare Service Plans. These plans are extended auto warranties, where you pay more for the same protection offered by the original warranties from vehicle manufacturers.
Overall, CarMax is an excellent place to research and test drive vehicles. However, unless you want to pay more, it is best to go with someone else.