Two and a half years ago my wife and I found we owned a vehicle we no longer needed. We visited Carmax.com and saw a number of cars and SUVs at good prices as compared to the local market. We had them appraise a Ford F-350 dually diesel we had bought used no more than six months before and knew we paid to much for. They offered slightly more than half of what we paid and approximately 65% of Black Book wholesale, $12,500. We were insulted and left. We took the truck to a ford dealer where a relative buys fleet vehicles. This dealer gave us wholesale + $1,000 (approximately 17,000).
Although we were somewhat unhappy with what they offered for a "trade" we still felt their prices were more than competitive and found ourselves back in the showroom 1 year later. After two weeks of regular visits to Carmax as well as other local dealers we had decided on the make model and price range we desired. We bought a Chevy Tahoe (Valuemax) for 12,998. We put a small amount down and got talked into the warrantee. Our financing was through Carmax Auto Finance. There was never any mention of gap insurance. This was the first time I'd ever had a car payment. The alternator went three days later. Carmax replaced it and gave me a loaner car for 24 hours. 3 months later the water pump went and the radiator burst (not a radiator hose, the radiator itself).
Eighteen months later a teenager, who drove passed a stopped car to run a red light, hit my wife. My wife, five-month-old son, and eight-year-old son were nearly killed. The girl who caused the accident disappeared from the hospital before the police arrived and has yet to be found.
When the dust settled we were left holding the bag on a $12,900 loan balance and $8,000 in equity, with no gap insurance. After talking to every other significant dealer in town, I found out that gap ins. costs $300 and every dealer insists on it for every vehicle they finance.
Our lawyer recommended we appeal to the integrity and sensibility of the finance company and dealer to roll the negative equity into a new loan on another similar vehicle.
Two dealers have offered to take my wife to an auction and get a wholesale vehicle for us and finance the whole amount. We would no longer be upside down.
Four days after the accident my wife took this proposal to Carmax. She was not only rebuffed, she was treated like dirt by a group of five salesmen (most of whom had been there over two years) including the one who had sold her the Tahoe. Now, I understand five salesmen don't have control over the decisions Carmax Corp. or Auto Finance make; however, they DO have control over their compassion for another person's plight. This they certainly did not have. As my wife picked up the baby's car seat to turn to leave in tears, she said to all of them, "This is the last time I recommend Carmax to anyone." To which their manager responded, "Who Cares?"
A lesson to ALL who finance a vehicle...get gap insurance. It covers the difference between what your car is worth and what you owe. We learned the hard way.