NADAguides vs CarMax

CarMax and NADAGuides, both are heavily inclined to leaving a seamless experience of providing information around auto for purchasing & selling decisions. And while CarMax dabbled a little into selling new cars, the company seems to have almost abandoned that practice to focus on creating value around used car shopping specifically. Learn more below.

National Appraisal Guides (NADAguides)

When we attempt to value a used vehicle we use a number of data points. These data points include, but are not limited to, actual wholesale transactions (around 80% of the market with our relationship with NAAA) and retail transactions (through our relationship with J.D. Power and its PIN data), as well as asking price information from In addition, we have data from various OEMs and wholesalers and retailers of used vehicles that provide us the amounts for which they paid and sold their vehicles. We also take into consideration MSRP, invoice, equipment assumptions, as well as supply and demand and other macro- and micro-economic factors and the competitive landscape of vehicles. Our retail value is what a person could reasonably pay for a vehicle at a dealer’s lot. Our values are designed and intended to assist users in performing their own valuation of a particular used vehicle. The process by which users of NADAguides determine valuation is inherently subjective. Individual vehicles may have an actual value that is higher or lower than the estimated values created by us.

NADA has been around for over 80 years and is the premier valuation guide in the used vehicle industry. Customers include, but are not limited to: dealers, wholesalers, rental car companies, insurance companies, lending institutions, OEMs, government agencies, as well as individual consumers. We attempt to create the most accurate, market-reflective, unbiased vehicle values and we believe we do so each and every time one of our products is presented to the outside world.

NADAguides is additionally known as a credible source for pricing outside of the automobile industry. Comprehensive pricing data is also published for powersports, recreational vehicles, boats and manufactured housing.


CarMax differs from other auto sites as the online presence of the company’s used car retail store. It is a subsidiary of Circuit City. Its mission is to make buying a vehicle less painful with a streamlined process of selecting, viewing, and financing the purchase. There are 195 brick-and-mortar shops nationwide. While the business tried selling news cars, CarMax has since abandoned it with only two stores remaining.

The site allows users to search by make, model, or keyword from its inventory. Users can filter the results by year, price, monthly payment, or features. They can also browse by type or brand. You can even view the inventory at a specific store. The options are listed by best match by default instead of price. There is a comparison tool, along with verified customer reviews. Individuals can favorite vehicles to view later.

The details page provides the vehicle’s history upfront along with a no-haggle price, financing options, pictures, and comprehensive listing of specs. Users can search for unrepaired safety recall issues. There are also customer reviews and NHTSA safety ratings. However, there are limited expert writeups about cars. Potential buyers can put a freehold on their choice, with no obligation to purchase it.

CarMax also buys vehicles. Sellers can initiate the transaction online in select markets. An interactive interface tells users whether they will buy or accept the car for a trade-in before going to a store. If so, they can schedule an appointment to complete the sale. The company puts its purchases through a rigorous inspection process based on its history, features, and condition.

The website includes a research section with best-of articles, reviews, and general interest articles. The car-specific pages are detailed with information about different model years, trim levels, and specs. They are straightforward and easy to comprehend with minimal jargon. A summary at the top provides all the essential info to the forefront, including pricing.

Buyers can manage their car financing online and make payments after setting up an account and agreeing to the email consent and services agreements. Purchases come with a seven-day guarantee and limited warranty.