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Ex-demo cars: Should you buy one?

January 31, 2022 by

Ex-demo cars are a great way to get behind the wheel of a nearly-new car at a price lower than the original list price.

Should you consider one as your next car? This guide explains.

What is an ex-demo car?

An ex-demo car is a car previously used by a dealership for test drives and display purposes.

As a result, they tend to have been driven often and by many people. They’ll probably only have a few thousand miles on the clock by the time they’re listed for sale, though.

Ex-demo cars are usually loaded with tech to show off features to potential customers. Add these optional extras to a brand-new car and you’d end up paying significantly more than for a comparable ex-demo car.

Benefits of buying an ex-demo car

  • You’ll have a significant discount on buying an equivalent new model
  • Demo cars are usually kitted-out with loads of features to show off to customers
  • It’ll have likely been well looked after, with any damage or mechanical issues sorted as soon as they cropped up.

Drawbacks of buying an ex-demo car

  • Though still essentially new, ex-demo cars will have been exposed to some wear and tear.
  • The car’s warranty will have started from the date of registration, which could be potentially months before you purchase it. This will leave you with a shorter warranty compared with a brand-new model.
  • Although ex-demo cars are typically well-kept, you should still be wary of excessive wear as a result of the variety of drivers. It’s worth asking for a record of work undertaken by the dealership if it’s not already present

Should I buy an ex-demo car?

An ex-demo car can prove a great way to get behind the wheel of a nearly-new car at a much lower cost than buying an equivalent brand-new model.

That said, you won’t be the first owner and, unlike pre-registered cars, ex-demo cars will have been used.

You should also be wary of the car’s warranty. This starts the day a car is registered, so you’ll have a shorter period of coverage compared with buying the car new. However, you could take out an extended car warranty to cover the cost of diagnosis, labour, and parts should anything go wrong with your car beyond the original manufacturer warranty period.

carwow has partnered with MotorEasy who provide extended car warranty to give you financial peace of mind when buying a used, ex-demo car. Simply enter your reg plate and some details about your car to get an instant quote, and enjoy a special 11% discount on the cost.

Reasons to buy an ex-demo car:

  • You’re happy to pay a bit less for a lightly-used car.
  • You’re happy to have a higher-mileage, higher-spec model at the same cost as a lower-spec new model.

Reasons to avoid an ex-demo car:

  • You want a brand-new car with no more than delivery mileage
  • You want a full warranty period from the day the car was registered
  • You want to specify a new car to your choosing

FAQs: Ex-demo cars

Why are ex-demo cars sold?

Once a demo car has served its purpose, dealers will usually sell them at a discounted price to make way for new models.

Where can I buy an ex-demo car?

Most new car dealerships in the UK will have ex-demo cars for sale. You can check the latest nearly-new cars available through carwow.

When is the best time to buy an ex-demo car?

The best time to buy an ex-demo car is when an updated version of that particular model is set to be released. Dealers will want to sell the old car to make way for a new demonstrator.