What is an ex-demonstrator car?

Heard about friends and family getting a great deal on an ex-demonstrator car? The savings can be tempting but what is an ex-demo car, are they really good value for money, and should you choose nearly new for your next car?

Written by James Mills
Written by James Mills
Main image

Could nearly new be for you? Ex-demo vehicles can be a great solution for people looking for a middle ground between used cars and a brand-new model.

Typically, ex-demo cars will have been barely driven; many have been on display in a showroom or only driven on test drives. And they can be a lot more affordable than box-fresh models.

Tempted? Before you start your search, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering choosing an ex-demonstrator car.

What is an ex-demo car?

It’s important to remember that choosing an ex-demo car isn’t the same as buying a new unregistered car. That means you won’t be the first owner or the only person listed in the official V5 logbook supplied by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Your pre-registered, ex-demo car might have been used as a display model in a dealer’s showroom, so it will likely have had a few bums on seats before you. It could also have been taken on test drives by potential buyers, driven to marketing events, or used by dealership staff. Mileages vary but expect the car to have anything from a few hundred to several thousand miles on the clock.

What is the condition of ex-demo cars?

As a few people will have already tried your ex-demo car for size, you might find some cosmetic imperfections. If the blemishes bother you, the dealership might be willing to work with you to get them fixed before you finalise the purchase. But if not, you might want to use them as a tool in your negotiation…

How much money could you save on an ex-demo car?

The savings you can find on an ex-demo car depend on the model, the dealership, the mileage, and the wear and tear on the car. Savings can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds. However, you could find deals up to 50% off the listed price.

You might be surprised at just how many dealerships have areas online dedicated to selling ex-demonstrator cars. Whether you’re looking for an ex-demo Audi, Mercedes, VW, or Range Rover, you could find a great deal. And with dealers more likely to use high-spec cars for demos, you might find you’re able to afford a model with all the mod-cons.

Can you still haggle on the price?

There’s always room for negotiation when buying a car – even an ex-demo! As with any negotiation, don’t be afraid to shop around, know your max figure, and walk away if you’re not happy with the deal on offer. Even if you don’t get a discount on the price, you might be able to negotiate perks like complimentary servicing.

Looking to finance an ex-demo car? Get a no-obligation quote. Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 27.4%.

Written by James Mills
James Mills

* The UK's number one online car finance broker by unique users to the website. Based on Hitwise data – 1,746,657 to CarFinance 247 vs. 666,020 for nearest competitor. January to December 2019.

96% of our customers recommend us: † Based on feedback left on independent review site Reviewcentre. May 2019.

CarFinance 247 is a trading name of CarFinance 247 Limited, a credit broker and insurance intermediary, and 247 Money Group Limited (247 Money), a lender. Both companies are part of the 247 group of companies.

CarFinance 247 is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under reference number: 653019. Registered office: Universal Square, Devonshire Street North, Manchester, M12 6JH. Registered in England. Company registration no. 06035525. Data Protection Registration Number Z1897658.

247 Money is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: Universal Square, Devonshire Street North, Manchester, M12 6JH. Registered in England. Company registration no. 10989530. Data Protection Registration Number ZA456831.

All finance is subject to status and income. Written quotations on request. CarFinance 247 can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers, including 247Money, based upon your credit rating and will receive commission for such introductions.

† We do not charge a fee for arranging the finance, however some of our lenders may charge a fee. Your account manager can provide more information on this

This site uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience. By continuing to use the site you are consenting for cookies to be used. Further information on cookies and how you can disable them is available on our cookie policy.