Carmax Is Now Allowing For 24-Hour Test Drives

We’ve all done it before. We’ve all bought a product, brought it home, decided it wasn’t for us, and then returned it the next day. After all, that’s what 30-day return policies are for, right? Well, not so much for cars, until now. Carmax is now doing 24-hour test drives to make sure that you “love your car” before you buy it.

Carmax’s “Love Your Car” guarantee

When was the last time a salesperson at a dealership allowed to take a car home for the night so that you can show it off to your family and friends as you prominently display it on your driveway? Probably never. Fortunately, the salesperson at Carmax will now let you do just that as the retailer recently unveiled its new “love your car” guarantee, which not only includes a 24-hour test drive, but also a 30-day return policy.

Previously, Carmax’s test drive process included the normal 15 to 20-minute awkward test drive with the salesperson sitting in the passenger seat in addition to a 7-day return policy, which was a highly regarded incentive for prospective buyers to shop with the retailer. However, this new guarantee gives buyers all the time they need to make sure that the car is right for them, which should build a lot more trust and credibility with the brand.

The front of a CarMax dealership
The facade of Carmax used car sales company store in Pleasanton, California | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

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Apparently, the 24-hour test drive works

According to Car Scoops, Carmax’s research indicates that 96 percent of used car shoppers said that they would take advantage of the 24-hour test drive and 63 percent of shoppers said that they need more than seven days to decide if the car is right for them.

“We never stop innovating on behalf of our customers. 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. 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.”

Bill Nash, president and CEO of CarMax

One other point to bring up is that with a 30-day return policy, buyers will be able to not only get a good feel for the car as they drive it around daily, but it’s also a good amount of time for all of the electrical and mechanical bugs to be discovered and worked out, if necessary. Fortunately, Carmax does have a very comprehensive warranty and service plans that buyers can opt for, so if any issues with the cars do come up during that time period, then buyers can even see how well Carmax takes care of them from a service standpoint as well.

 customer looks at a Ford Motor Co. F-150 pickup truck at a CarMax Inc. dealership
A customer looks at a Ford Motor Co. F-150 pickup truck at a CarMax dealership. | Photographer: Hasan Sarbakhshian/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Carmax isn’t the first retailer to offer long test drives

While some automakers don’t widely advertise longer, 24-hour test drives, they can be offered on the dealership level and on a case-by-case basis. The dealership typically will ask you for your full insurance information and license to protect them in case anything happens, but you should be able to take a car on a longer test drive if you have a real intention of buying a car. Just don’t ask about a 30-day return policy, which normally doesn’t exist at a traditional dealership.