1 in 4 People Find Used Car Buying Riskier Than Trying Gas

RICHMOND, VA, May 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest buyer and seller of used cars, announced the results of a new survey* that highlights consumer attitudes and behaviors surrounding large purchases, including used cars, and how generous return policies bolster buyer confidence. Buying a used car has historically been associated with feelings of stress and uncertainty. In fact, the survey found that even today, one in five surveyed said they would rather have a root canal than buy a used car. Approximately a quarter of respondents feel buying a used car is riskier than trying gas station sushi or sky diving.

Key among the many insights revealed by the survey is the effect an easy-to-use and generous return policy can have on alleviating buyer uncertainty. One in four surveyed said they wish they could get their money back on the used car they purchased. A similar percentage said they wanted to return their purchased vehicles but felt the process was too difficult or complicated. At the same time, 93% said that a 30-day money back guarantee would have an extremely high level of influence in their choice of where to buy a used car.   

Additionally, survey results suggested that a generous return policy may entice consumers to make bolder purchases, such as an electric vehicle (EV). Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they would be more likely to consider purchasing an EV if they knew they could return it within 30 days if they didn’t like it. 

“In today’s environment, it’s more important than ever that people feel confident with their purchasing decisions,” said Jim Lyski, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at CarMax. “Our customers have responded really well to our unrivaled 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and this survey further validates that to provide the best customer experience in the industry, you must give customers the time and flexibility to know they made the right choice.”

CarMax is known for disrupting the industry with its “no-haggle” buying and selling experience and continues to set the trend of the future of automotive retail with a focus on providing the most customer-centric experience in the industry. The company’s signature experience, the Love Your Car Guarantee, launched in 2021 and provides customers with pre-and post-purchase benefits, including 24-hour test drives and an industry-leading 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Customers enjoy peace of mind knowing if they decide a vehicle isn’t the right fit, they can return it within 30 days if it hasn’t been driven more than 1,500 miles. CarMax empowers customers to buy a car on their terms – online, in-store, or a seamless combination of both. The company offers online instant appraisals as well as online car buying, where customers can receive their vehicle through express pickup, available nationwide, or home delivery, available to most customers. Learn more about these offerings and any relevant limitations at carmax.com.

Additional key findings from the survey:

  • A 30-day money back return policy among used car retailers is seen as unique by an overwhelming majority (88%) of consumers.
  • Nearly two in five respondents (38%) have thought about a major ($10k+) purchase but NOT moved forward because they weren’t sure they would like the item. Vehicles top the list of items not purchased.
  • One-fourth (23%) of respondents have spent more than $10k on an item and then regretted it.  When asked directly about cars, 26% of respondents say they regretted a used car purchase and wish they could have gotten their money back.
  • Most respondents (85%) would have made at least one major decision in life differently had they been able to see into the future, and half admit to regularly second-guessing major purchases.
  • Almost one-half (44%) of respondents would have decided differently about their line of work if they’d been able to see into the future when they were younger. One in five respondents (20%) would have made a different decision about the car they decided to buy.
  • One-third of respondents (34%) were somewhat, not very, or not at all confident that they were selecting the right car during their last vehicle purchase. 
  • In the past month, about one-third (31%) of respondents have purchased something and then returned it to get their money back (typically clothing or accessories). 
  • Respondents are more likely to say they regret what they haven’t done in life (70%) than the things they have done (30%). One in five respondents (19%) regret not buying a car they wanted.
  • Respondents are split fairly evenly between intending to buy a new or used car for their next vehicle purchase (50% and 40% respectively.)
  • Nearly one-quarter (23%) of respondents said buying a used car feels riskier than skydiving.
  • More than one-quarter (27%) of those surveyed said buying a used car feels riskier than trying gas station sushi.
  • Nearly one-fifth (18%) of respondents said they’d rather get a root canal than buy a used car.

*CarMax Survey, conducted anonymously between March 30 and April 4, 2022, polled a cross section of more than 1,000 (18+) adults from across the United States. This was not a poll of CarMax customers, specifically.

To learn more about CarMax’s Love Your Car Guarantee, visit CarMax.com.

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About CarMax

CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used autos, revolutionized the automotive retail industry by driving integrity, honesty and transparency in every interaction. The company offers a truly personalized experience with the option for customers to do as much, or as little, online and in-store as they want. CarMax also provides a variety of vehicle delivery methods, including home delivery, express pickup and appointments in its stores. During the fiscal year ended February 28, 2022, CarMax sold approximately 924,000 used vehicles and 706,000 wholesale vehicles at its auctions. In addition, CarMax Auto Finance originated more than $9 billion in receivables during fiscal 2022, adding to its nearly $16 billion portfolio. CarMax has 230 stores, more than 30,000 associates, and is proud to have been recognized for 18 consecutive years as one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. For more information, visit www.carmax.com.


        

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