CarMax is increasing its return policy on vehicles to 30 days and up to 1,500 miles for a full refund. That time frame is more than quadruple its previous, seven-day return period.
Claiming an industry first, the nation's largest used-vehicle retailer is calling the initiative the "Love Your Car Guarantee." Also included in the effort are 24-hour test drives.
CarMax said the move comes after its own research showed that 96 percent of used-car shoppers would take advantage of a 24-hour test drive if they could. And 63 percent of shoppers said they needed more than seven days to feel confident that they were making the right vehicle purchase, CarMax said in a release Tuesday.
CarMax's leading online competitors in the used-vehicle space — Carvana, Vroom and Shift — all offer seven-day return policies. Each has its own mileage allowance, including up to 200 miles for Shift for a full refund, up to 250 miles for Vroom and up to 400 miles for Carvana, which tacks on $1 for every mile driven beyond that total prior to a return.
Group 1 Automotive, the nation's fourth-largest auto retail group, has a three-day or 300-mile, no-questions-asked return policy for its Val-U-Line budget used cars and trucks.
CarMax's extension of its money-back period comes as it also moves forward with its reinvention as an omnichannel retailer, which essentially means it can meet customers wherever and however they want to do business — whether at a physical location or on a computer or mobile device.
The company completed the rollout of its omnichannel capabilities to its 220 U.S. stores last year. CarMax is now in the midst of a marketing effort surrounding these capabilities, which include things such as online car-buying, vehicle delivery through contactless pickup and home delivery in most parts of the U.S.
"The Love Your Car Guarantee sets a new standard in the industry by providing customers an unrivaled opportunity to truly fall in love with their car," CarMax CEO Bill Nash said in Tuesday's release. "We know buying a car is a big decision that has a significant impact on your family, and customers are telling us they are loving the guarantee already."