February 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM EST
Price Makes “Sparks Fly” between Owners and Their Cars

When asked what made the sparks fly when deciding to buy a car, nearly half of all respondents said price was the leading factor, according to a new survey conducted for CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars. The car of their dreams and lifestyle changes were other major factors, according to the survey. Additionally, men were more likely than women (35 vs. 27 percent) to say the car’s personality or features (horsepower, MPG, etc.) was what made the sparks fly.

CarMax wanted to know about the love connection between owners and their vehicles to help kick off a five-week Love Your Car Facebook contest. To enter the contest, visit the CarMax Facebook page and share a picture and caption to show how much you love your car. For complete contest rules, visit http://www.facebook.com/CarMax.

“Our customers are passionate about their vehicles,” said Joe Kunkel, senior vice president of marketing and strategy at CarMax. “Whether it’s the color, features, style or just a great price, everyone loves their car for a different reason.”

The survey also asked respondents why they “broke up” with their last car – 37 percent said “not meeting my needs” – and why their car continues to “go the distance” – 45 percent chose “makes financial sense.” More than 1,000 adults were asked the following questions through an online survey conducted Jan. 20 through Jan. 24, 2012 by Ipsos Public Affairs. The results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points.

Which of the following made the sparks fly when you decided to buy your car?

Responses Offered

Percent

Price 49%
Personality/features (horsepower, mpg’s, other engine specs.) 31%
Lifestyle change 12%
Car of my dreams 9%

Which of the following was the cause of your last car 'break-up'?

Responses Offered

Percent

Not meeting my needs 37%
Wanted a “younger model” 36%
Need more space 12%
Widowed 8%
Baggage overload 4%
Bad influence (speeding tickets, etc.) 3%

Which of the following best describes why your car has 'gone the distance'?

Responses Offered

Percent

Makes financial sense to stay with “her” 45%
If “she” ain’t broke, don’t fix “her” 34%
“She” fits in with my family 16%
Sentimental reasons 5%

Consumers can search thousands of quality used cars on www.carmax.com or visit their local CarMax store to browse a large selection of vehicles. Each vehicle is reconditioned, goes through more than a 125-point quality inspection and comes with a free online Vehicle History Report. Consumers can search vehicles from 30 top brands by fuel economy and features, read customer reviews, review reliability ratings by J.D. Power and Associates and obtain safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all on carmax.com. All vehicles come with a 30-day limited warranty (60-day in Conn. and 90-day in Mass.) and a five-day, money-back guarantee.

About CarMax

CarMax, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and the S&P 500, and one of the FORTUNE 2012 “100 Best Companies to Work For,” is the nation’s largest retailer of used cars. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., CarMax currently operates 107 used car superstores in 52 markets. The CarMax consumer offer is structured around four customer benefits: low, no-haggle prices; a broad selection; high quality vehicles; and customer-friendly service. During the twelve months ended February 28, 2011, the company retailed 396,181 used cars and sold 263,061 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com.

Contacts:

Media Contacts
Elia Imler, CarMax Public Relations, (804) 747-0422, ext. 4029
Britt Farrar, Manager, Public Relations, (804) 747-0422, ext. 3473
Twitter: @CarMax
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