What is a Demo Car? | Everything You Need to Know
Buying a new vehicle is no child’s game, especially when the inflammation rates are high. You set your eyes on a nice baby, sleek, elegant, and all the creature comforts, with a punchy engine to drag the vehicle around. But the price tag isn’t always a pleasant surprise. And no one would like to compromise with a cheaper buy, with a lesser number of features or a base-line model car.
In places like India, it tough to pick a car, that’s worth every penny, and still doesn’t crash down your bank account. This is where hacks like buying a demo car come into action. But before we go down the lane, checking every do’s and don’ts about buying a demo car, we must educate ourselves. Also, try to differentiate between used cars and demo cars.
What does a ‘demo car’ actually mean?
When you enter a car showroom or a car dealership, all the vehicles behind the big glasses, are known as demo cars. These are usually used for display or even for test drives. Demo cars are usually under the ownership of the dealership and are handled by those people.
These demo cars are often meant for listing all standard and optional features across the available trims. A demo or “demonstration” car is usually a top-spec fully loaded with features. However, they are still important to the dealership, so why will they sell these vehicles in the first place?
How to get your hand at a demo car?
As we mentioned before, demo cars are owned by dealerships and they don’t sell off until certain circumstances. These include:
- The arrival of a new generation of the same vehicle
- The arrival of a new facelift or minor significant changes to the existing variant
- Especially in the case of premium car brands, dealerships are instructed to replace the Test Drive car with a new one at regular intervals (of around 3-6 months) despite having no changes to the existing model.
Thus these demo cars can suit the buyers who have their eyes on a car but aren’t attracted to the new generation or facelift and minor changes to the same variant. These demo cars are replaced by the dealership under the above-mentioned scenarios and are out for sale and a lesser price tag.
But often, demo cars are considered as used cars, as they are being trolled around by various test drivers. So getting a demo car in a condition as new, is a hard find, and one has to keep an eye for such situations.
Recommended - Vehicle Scrapping Policy
Demo car is a used car, right?
The first question that strikes the mind, isn’t a demo car, a used car. Yes, these are used for test drives, or even to highlight everything that car has on offer and to get the customer familiar with all the features and essentials the car has before their actual buy. So while getting into such type of deal, just walk through all the pros and cons of buying such demo cars.
- The major advantage in buying a demo car, straight from the dealership is that despite being a new car, it’s a serious discount to the price tag. The dealerships, just to set off these demo cars, once their lifetime and purpose are over, they sell them off to real-time customers.The biggest edge to the buyer is that the market value of the car remains intact, making it easy for the buyer to sell it off at great prices. But the second buyer/user takes a big hit in this scenario.
- These demo cars, though being droved around by various test drivers, are less driven than a used car. The same model would have more kilometers on the odometers in the secondhand market, in comparison to these demo cars.
- Remember when we said that demo cars are often top-spec to highlight all the features available in that variant or lower ones. This means you can buy a top-spec demo car at a much cheaper price than buying a new, fresh one. This saves money without compromising on choice or even on the best features of a car.
- Before these demo cars are handed over to buyers, they are refurbished. This means that the dealership goes through a lot of effort, to make the demo car look like a new one. This often counts as removing scratches that might damage the paint during test drives. Cleaning the car, checking all the essential fluids, and more. The buyer of a demo car is certainly being handed a new car, just at a lower price.
- Buying a second-hand car often misses out on the buyer from any warranty, but not in the case of a demo car. The dealership insures the car by providing an extended warranty to the customer. This can either be paid for or is provided complementary by the dealership based on the deal you get from them.
- These demo cars are often used as test-drive mules by potential customers. These hands are often rash with the vehicle, testing the vehicle’s limit, and the engine and other vehicles take the beating. While going for a demo car, the buyer doesn’t have any idea about the conditions of the mechanicals and internals. But often, these demo cars are in hands of dealership officials, which take good care of the car, to sell it off at any point in the future.
- Demo cars are driven around and have certain miles on the odometer, so it’s not a new car after all. So the buyers looking for a new car, won’t be satisfied with an attractive cheaper price tag, that comes at the expense of being driven for some thousand kilometers and by numerous drivers having distinct driving ethics.
- Though the dealership offer warranty coverage over these demo cars, these are shorter than usual. Demo cars are offered with an extended warranty and are comparatively shorter than the ones accompanying a new vehicle.
- In most cases, a demo car is still an old car. These are being sold-off or being replaced by new generation or facelift models with better and new features.
- Demo cars are limited to top-spec or a popular trim to a model, this means these have limited choice, or sometimes won’t match the specifications one might be looking for.
How much can one save on a Demo car?
The demo cars are best buys for people looking for top-spec, shiny, new cars but are a little short of the price tag amount. Or also for people who are looking for some discounts in these cases. There are no fixed numbers on how much savings or discounts you can be assured from buying a demo car, as these depend on various factors like segment or the price range that the car falls under.
Generally, when it comes to premium segment cars, there’s a significant price gap between a demo car and a new car. But in the economical price range, these differences are comparatively smaller, yet substantial for the target audience.
These savings and discounts can range more in case the demo car has been driven for a bigger number of kilometers or depending on the condition despite the refurbishing. And the dealerships are looking to get rid of such demo cars and just lookout for a good deal, so there is always room for negotiations.
If a buyer is smart enough, they can save more by throwing figures lower than the dealership’s listed price, which still has a good profit margin.
In the case of premium cars, the price for a demo car could be Rs.5-7 Lakhs cheaper than a car straight off the factory line. This difference could come down to Rs.1.5 to 3 Lakhs, in case of slightly less premium or an economy car.
What to look-out for while buying a demo car?
Always remember the fact that all demo cars are still used cars, and they are being driven by different hands with different driving ethics. While some might be gentle to the powertrain, some smash the pedals to have a knowledge of performance extremes.
Also that these cars are being used and parked in dealerships or some parking nearby. The officials can also manage to pull some non-ethical things on these demo cars. So here’s a checklist to buying a demo car:
- Check the engine conditions, listen to the abnormality in engine sounds
- Checking the underneath for any damages
- Chassis bents or repairs scrutiny
- Bodypainting, scratches, dents, and other things on the exterior surfaces
- Look for electronic system’s working like indicators, even air-conditioning, audio system, controls on the steering
- Stains on the interior fabrics
- Fits and functioning of the plastic bits
Walking around the demo car for a regular check could save you from investing in a scratched new car. Even though dealerships get the car refurbished into a new piece, small things can be missed out by them, costing the buyer money on repairs.
In the end, going for a new, undriven car is a better choice, if the price difference isn’t substantial on the expense of shorter warranty, period and big figures on the odometer. But often these demo cars are worth the saving remedy, as they are top-spec, mean completely loaded with features and at a lower price tag. For such a condition, few more kilometers on the odometer shouldn’t be worrisome.
To find such demo car deals, one has to be in contact to the dealership, as they are often reserved to special acquaintances to the dealer and some special occasions like a better profit deal.