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Best Place to Buy a Car 

Readers' Pick

First Place: CarMax

carmax.com

Second Place: CarLotz

Third Place: David R. McGeorge Car Co.

Goochland-based CarMax and its haggle-free method of trading cars has been much imitated nationwide. It'll buy any automobile and sell a wide selection of new and used cars that are thoroughly checked out by staff mechanics. You may pay a little more but your chances of picking up a lemon are smaller. To make browsing easier, CarMax has developed its own mobile phone app that lets you display possibilities quickly and easily. "We found it's too hard for smart phones to show websites so we did it this way," says Bridget Szuminsky, a CarMax spokeswoman. One of the reasons behind the company's success is founder Richard Sharp. The former Circuit City chief executive oversaw the upstart CarMax, which started slow but turned out a winner. CarLotz is a good choice if CarMax's pricing doesn't work out. It works like consignment — for a fee, it'll sell your car for you. New- and used-car seller David R. McGeorge specializes in upscale brands such as Mercedes-Benz.

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