SHOULD I BUY AN EX-DEMO CAR?
A practically brand new car with up to 50% off the original list price... what’s up with that?
It sounds like one of those deals that are suspiciously good, but there really isn’t a catch with ex-demonstrator cars: they have so little mileage on the clock that they might as well be straight out of the factory, but as they have been driven, they come with a deep discount to the sale price.
Ex-Demo Car Savings: The Low Down
How big a discount are we talking?
For instance, at the time of writing (it won’t be here for long) we’ve got a Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 SRi CDTi VX-Line Auto at only £18,999, which is a cool £12,739 off the RRP. Given that it has less than 7,000 miles on the clock and is in pristine condition, that’s not a discount to be sniffed at.
So the sheer amount of cash to be saved is usually the number one reason people turn to ex-demo cars for a good deal, but it’s certainly not the only benefit.
Quite often, ex-demo cars come with a bucket load of equipment and are usually of the highest specification on the books - after all, their main job was to tempt people into buying, so it’s only natural that they’re dressed to impress. Having all the trimmings will also make it easier for you to sell the car on at a later date, too.
There’s also some conventional wisdom in buying a car that has been around the block a few times. There’s some evidence to suggest that a decent bit of revving early in its life does a new engine the world of good, and ex-demos generally get a proper workout in a controlled environment (the dealer will drive the car for a couple of miles to warm the engine up before the prospective customer hops in the driving seat for some non-heavy, supervised driving).
In addition, 99% of any manufacturing kinks will have been spotted and fixed by the time it goes up for sale as demonstration model.
Any Disadvantages to Buying an Ex-Demo Car?
In a general sense, there’s only one thing to keep in mind - unlike buying new, you won’t technically be the first owner as far as the log book is concerned (the same goes for buying a pre-registered vehicle).
However, this is mitigated by the immense savings on offer for what is, practically speaking, a brand new car. A few other things to keep in mind...
Ex-Demonstrator Cars: The Do’s and Definitely Don’ts
Do make sure the car offers a significant saving off list price. A few hundred quid between a new car and an identical ex-demo model probably isn’t worth the slight downside of being listed as the second owner, but if you’re saving multiple thousands, you’re onto a winner.
Don’t expect any wacky options. If you have your heart set on a salmon pink vehicle with a chrome grill and tinted windows, you’re not likely to have much luck searching through ex-demo listings.
By their very nature, these cars are already built and ready to go - the plus side is that you can drive it away immediately, but you may not have as many colour and specification options as if you were buying brand new.
Do inspect it, inside and out.Yes, it may have been used for test drives, but unless Colin McCrae borrowed it for an afternoon you should expect it within a few shades of ‘as-new’ condition. The mileage should similarly reflect that it has never strayed too far beyond the dealership - aim for sub-10,000 miles, but don’t necessarily rule out those that have higher mileages (unless the dealer can’t explain why this is!)
Don’t hesitate if you see something you like. As you can imagine, a car which is close to half the original price despite being practically new isn’t going to stick around for long. If you’re giving it the eye, someone else probably is too… and they might not be so hesitant.
Do ask about the servicing/warranty situation. A car with absolutely no aftersales cover is good cause to be nervous, so be sure to find out exactly where you stand on the slim chance there is a problem (in our case, we offer 2 years free servicing as standard for ultimate peace of mind!)
When it comes to ex-demo car purchases, reports of buyer’s remorse are exceptionally rare (and usually come as the result of taking a risk on a thrashed-out motor). In all other cases, ex-demo buyers find themselves saving a considerable sum of money on a vehicle that doesn’t skip a beat for the duration of its long, happy life.
Got further questions about purchasing an ex-demonstration car? Don’t hesitate to speak to your local Eden Motor Group dealership. Otherwise, let’s show you some of those outrageously good savings we’ve been talking about…