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Buying a Demo Car – Some Pros and Cons

Sep 22, 2021 | Insights

Buying a car can be one of the bigger financial purchases of your life. It can be wise to look for a brand-new car for a much cheaper price where possible. You could get the best value for your buck, by choosing the right demonstrator car, at the right time.

This blog may help you choose the right demo car in Australia, give you some tips for buying a demo car and highlight key things to look out for.

What is a Demo model car?

A “Demo car” or a “Demonstrator vehicle” is often used by a dealership for test driving for potential buyers. There is also a chance that the brand executives and the sales team may use the demo vehicle for promotional or personal use, as they are often encouraged to get the feel of the car to know what they are selling.

The car in turn may have accumulated some kilometres on the odometer.

How many kilometres should a demo vehicle have run?

Most demonstrator cars will generally have negligible kilometres on the odometer, as it may have only served as a display car.In Australia, a demonstrator car with less than 5,000 km on the odometer is generally considered acceptable. Some may argue that the demo car is a used vehicle – usually in mint condition still under warranty. But demo cars can sometimes see you receive a discount of up to $3,000 – $4,000 off the original price of the car, depending on what demo car you are buying and where you are buying it from.

Is it worth buying a demo car?

This age-old question does not have a clear answer. But choosing the right demo car at the right time can sometimes benefit you and can possibly save you money. Although it may not feel as fresh as an unwrapped vehicle, it generally has very few kilometres on the odometer and has most likely been well maintained by a dealer.

This can make some demo cars a bargain – considering their excellent maintenance. If you aim to save some money and buy a car in near new condition, this option might just help you find the bargain you are looking for.

Can you get a flexible car loan if you have bad credit?

If you are considering applying for a loan for your demo car, you can get in touch with Finance One to find out how we may be able to help with finance solutions. Call one of our friendly team today to discuss your options

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When is a demo vehicle for sale?

If a brand-new model of a vehicle is launched, dealers will most likely want to shuffle the demo cars to make space for the new models. Two to three months after the launch can usually be a good time to look into buying a demo car for sale.

So how do you know if a demo car is right for you?

We hope our list of Pros and Cons of what might be involved with looking to buy a demo car, can help you make an informed decision.


Cheaper Price
Demo cars are often cheaper than a brand-new version of the same model. You can usually get a great deal by negotiating with the dealer for the best price they can offer you for the demo car.

In Top Condition
In most cases, demo cars are kept in excellent and near-new condition. A dealer is unlikely to display a vehicle with any visible damage. The cars are generally well maintained to help entice prospective buyers, which means, you’re essentially buying a near brand new car close to the price of a used one, likely to be maintained with utmost care and condition.

Drive away
One of the advantages of buying a demo car can be that they’re usually ready to be taken home. There’s generally no wait for your vehicle to arrive from the supplier. As soon as it’s paid for, you could drive your demo car away from the dealers.

More for Less
Dealers may use a demo car model with advanced features or accessories available for the model, which would otherwise be missing in the basic model. If you are lucky, you could drive away with advanced features or new accessories such as leather seats, sunroof, or any other accessory added to the vehicle for a reduced price.

Again, these advanced features can be used to entice prospective buyers to buy the brand-new version of that model and get the appropriate extras. You may find yourself getting a demo car with advanced features and accessories but for the price of the basic model or potentially even less!



Higher mileage
Many prospective drivers may have taken the demo car for a test drive. As such, the odometer will record every kilometre covered by these drivers. Considering an average Australian car generally travels approximately 15,000 kilometres a year, you may have to decide whether buying a demo car with kilometres already on the odometer is the best option for you.

Less variety
Dealers may only have one demo car for a particular make and model. Unlike with a brand-new car where you can generally choose the colour and extra features that you want, you may have to settle for the colour and features of the available demo car. This may also include the fuel type, you may have to weigh the benefits to find the best option for you.

Near-new/used condition
Given its a demo car, many prospective buyers may have driven the vehicle to test it and get a feel for it. Keep in mind the car may have experienced a few bad drivers in the past. It’s advisable to get a routine check done for its engines, brakes, tyres, and any other parts that your mechanic recommends, before you go ahead and buy it. Make sure you seek independent professional advice on the vehicle before signing any contracts.


In summary

A couple of things you may like to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to check you have a satisfactory warranty on your car;
  • Do your research on the car, its make, and check that the price you are being offered is fair and reasonable;
  • Always try to negotiate with the dealer, as they most likely want to move the car off their lot as fast as possible; and
  • Sleep on it – you are not expected to make the decision right on the spot, so take some time to seek independent advice and weigh the pros and cons of buying the demo car before you make a decision.

Let’s make it happen!

Disclaimer: The information above is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information relates to your particular circumstances. We do not accept responsibility for any loss arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information.

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Makala Elliott

Makala is the Marketing Manager at Finance One. She has worked in the Finance and Lending industry for over 10 years, gathering a wealth of experience. She is passionate about helping Australians get back on track with their finances by passing on her knowledge.

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