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Shift vs CarMax:  Which Is Better For You? [2024]

Shift vs CarMax:  Which Is Better For You? [2024]

Shift vs CarMax: Cars, cars, and cars. Talking about them can never get old. You can discuss anything and everything about the car in detail with anyone. Even the stranger sitting next to you will be interested if you start talking about horsepower, mileage, etc. 

And when we discuss cars selling and buying it just gets more complicated. Because trusting only on the local garages to give you a nice budget-worthy car or a great amount on trade-in and the second hand is a dream. 

Then enters online websites which offer their services in selling, buying, and trading cars. You can simply buy any car you want from an online site and book a test drive too. Nowadays, they even give you options to trade in and sell your cars too. 

In this article, we are going to talk about two well-trusted and very popular online portals which offer all the services related to the car. That two namely are Shift vs Carmax. We are going to compare both of them for you, to ease down your research regarding the same. 

By the end of the article, you will get a detailed comparison of Shift vs CarMax in their work patterns, buying, selling, fees, delivery, etc. 

What is Shift? 

CarMax vs Shift

Shift is said to be an online dealership where you can simply sell your car with ease. Shift is also very popular if you want urgent payment or an offer for your car and you don’t want to wait for the buyers. 

 Shift with time has been proved very quick in the payment processing, it also gives a $200 bonus for agreeing to sell your car with Shift itself. It also has two options for car evaluation where you can choose your home address to pick up and drops off or choose one of their hubs. 

The shift will also evaluate the car for free but only has a no obligation offer to decline or agree within 3 to 7 business days, once declined or agreed, then you can go back. And if you are waiting for a buyer, then it makes take some good time for great offers to close the deal. 

What is CarMax? 

Shift vs CarMax

CarMax is said to have the great and largest retailer for used cars with an inventory to be more than 55,000 vehicles. It is said to have more than 220 stores in different countries and locations. 

CarMax is an easy option if you want finances, used cars, etc, and don’t want to do any paperwork offline. It is said to have everything 1005 online with a few offline stores to pick up and delivery options. 

CarMax is also a great option for having minimum loan amounts which are kept very lower than other competitors. It also has finance options to select the due date as per your wish and manage the loan with an online platform. 

How Does Shift Work? 

The working of Shift is very easy. The user interface which Shift provides is easy to navigate and user-friendly to start with. Shift works on rules and regulations and does a great job to provide dealerships and buyers or sellers. 

Every car provided by them comes out of the final evaluation made by the expert team of Shift, and even if the deal is done for buying your car with Shift, it has a right to reject the offer if your car is found faulty or damaged.  

The procedures are divided into some steps to follow on their website, they also offer 150+ inspections of every car uploaded on their website. They also have an image, 360-degree resolution, short description, etc for the car before anyone chooses to buy it. 

How Does CarMax Work?

CarMax has an easy user interface which comes in handy for newbies too. You can simply download their app or get registered with an online platform and create an account to get access. 

CarMax also has a document upload option which can be easily done virtually and no need to rush to the office location for any kind of paperwork. It also has a detailed quality check team that scrutinizes every car before delivering. 

CarMax has 125 point inspection of every vehicle and it makes sure you have a perfect ride at any cost. They make sure that every vehicle is cleaned properly, is not damaged, working in perfect condition, etc. 

Shift vs CarMax: Comparison 

In this section of the article, you will get a detailed comparison between buying and selling cars through Shift and Carmax. Here, you will also get all the details about their procedures and Trade-In facility too. 

Buying a Car with Shift 

  • To simply start your buying a car journey with Shift, you have to website their website and create an account. 
  • After creating an account with them, simply select the buy a car option and search by make, model, year, color anything you want. 
  • Then from the options available, you can check their photos, descriptions, history, and pricing to choose the right one. 
  • Once you have decided on the right vehicle for yourself, then you can choose to pay how you want it and then the delivery locations. 
  • Once you have done that, you can simply book a test drive if you want before final payment. 
  • You can choose any nearest Shift location for a test drive or final delivery option. 

Buying a Car with CarMax 

  • To buy a car with CarMax you have to log in to their website and select buying option. 
  • Then simply search for the car you want as per the searching tools. 
  • CarMax has special searching tools to search the car directly for color, make, year, model, budget, etc. 
  • You can simply adjust the filter and then search car according to the same. 
  • Once you have selected your car, they offer an option to book that car for 24-hr till you complete the payment procedure and make the final paperwork. 
  • Then you can simply choose to pay or finance it. 

Selling a Car with Shift 

  • Selling a Car with Shift is a very minimal procedure to follow. 
  • You simply need to enter your car details like Year, Make, Model, License Plate, VIN, etc and provide history details too. 
  • Once that is done, then you can simply set a price for your car or get it priced by Shift. 
  • Then you can add some photos of your car with a short description if you want. 
  • Then you can choose to keep your price or get it priced with Shift as an estimate. 
  • If you agree with the estimate then simply elect that price and wait for the buyers. 
  • You can also choose from Trade-in offers to buy and sell a car with the Shift dealership. 

Selling a Car with CarMax 

  • To sell the car, simply click on the Sell My Car option on their website. 
  • Then you will ask for some details related to the car like license number, VIN, Car registry details, Zip code, etc. 
  • After providing all the details, within just 3 minutes you will get an offer from them for your car. 
  • If you are okay with the offer, then you shall go further and can schedule an appointment for the same. 
  • You will have 7 days to compare the offer with other pages etc. 
  • And if you are going with the offer then you simply have to redeem it. 
  • Once your offer is verified and confirmed they will pay you at the same spot while taking your car. 

Shift vs CarMax: Overview 

In this section, you will get details of finance options, fees, warranty period, return policy, etc for both- Shift and CarMax so let’s get started with their features overview. 

Finance Options 

Shift offers financing options for you without any need for a credit score. Then you can simply choose a car according to your budget or get it financed with monthly or quarterly installments with Shift. 

CarMax has a Fiance option namely CarMax Auto Finance which offers financing partners for your perfect budget financing to have the flexibility and give you a good credit score. It doesn’t require any credit score for you to get it approved via their finance options. 


Shift does have a service fee for those who sell to Shift under Concierge service. The shift is said to have better fees and less than other dealerships do have. It may even charge delivery fees as per the distance and location gave by customers. To schedule delivery, it may take up deposits from the buyer as $250 for security. 

CarMax does charge you fees on payment processing and much more in general. But in total, the fees may come in the range of $100- $200 counting all the paperwork, ownership transfer, etc. 


Shift offers a 30-day warranty period and also offers Protection Plans for the same. The Protection plan takes care of air conditioning, engine, cooling, suspension, towing, drive axle, key lockout, and many more features. It also offers 7-day moneyback guarantees or 100 day warranty period. 

Carmax also has a limited warranty period to offer their customers. It offers simply a policy of 90 days or 4000 miles whichever comes closer first. If you don’t like the vehicle even after 90 days, you can just return it and have your refund. 

Return Policy 

Shift offers its customer a 7-day free return policy. You can simply keep the car for 7 days and test it to full, and if you don’t find it suitable then you can simply return it. The return policy for miles is kept to be 200. 

CarMax offers 90-day money-back guarantee to return the car you bought with them and get your money back. From the purchase date if you cancel your contract within 90 days period, then you will get a full refund. 

Final Verdict: Who wins?

Here, we came to the end of the comparison article of Shift vs CarMax where you can easily find all the details like buying a car with shift and Carmax, selling the car with shift and CarMax, fees, returns, warranty, etc. 

Hope you find every detail important for your research and make a conclusion which is better according to your requirements. 


Who owns Shift?

The shift is owned and managed by George Arison, Jeff Clementz, and Toby Russell. 

Who owns CarMax?

CarMax is in the hands of- AI Mulla Automobiles Group. 

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