How to buy a dealer demo car

Written by shanan miller
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How to buy a dealer demo car
A dealer demo is usually driven by a dealer representative. (keys to the new car image by Jake Hellbach from

A dealer demo, or demonstration car, is driven by a dealer representative, although it is usually not registered. Technically, the demo vehicle is still considered new, although you will lose out on some of the manufacturer's original warranty.

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Demo cars are often sold at a reduced price in addition to rebates and incentives. Ask the dealership what demo models are available for sale (they are all for sale) and inquire about miles. Ask what kind of discounts are available to you. Try to choose a demo with a lot of miles for a better discount. Ensure that the discounts include a reduction off of the manufacturer's suggested retail price, or window sticker, in addition to any current discounts from the manufacturer.


Demo models are usually retired at the end of the model year. For this reason, rebates and incentives are the greatest, although options are very limited. In addition to your discount, you still show up as the first owner of the car, which helps with resale values down the road. Make sure that the vehicle has not been registered, otherwise you should be paying a used car price if you are going to be the second owner.


Ask for a Carfax before purchasing a demo. Even dealer representatives crash cars, and when that happens, the vehicle is fixed for resale. In addition, do not confuse a demo vehicle with a loaner car. A loaner car is usually issued to numerous customers while a car is in for service. Another assumption is that dealers maintain the vehicle. Check the oil, brakes and tires to determine whether or not the vehicle has been maintained. Ask to see vehicle maintenance records, which the dealership should be able to produce from their system. Compare the maintenance history to the recommended schedule and ask to have necessary maintenance work completed before you purchase the vehicle.

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