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What does ex demo car mean and is it worth buying one?
Car Ownership

What does ex demo car mean and is it worth buying one?

Used cars and new cars have a variety of pros and cons, and where financing a used car on a PCP deal might be a good idea for one person, leasing a brand new one might be a better idea for someone else. Like Goldilocks ...
Neil Thomason
September 2021
What does ex demo car mean and is it worth buying one?

Used cars and new cars have a variety of pros and cons, and where financing a used car on a PCP deal might be a good idea for one person, leasing a brand new one might be a better idea for someone else.

Like Goldilocks finding the porridge that’s just right, the option that always seems to hit the sweet spot for both used and new car buyers is ex-demonstrator vehicles. 

Hippo Motor Group ex demo car

What is an ex demo car

Ex-demonstrator, or ex demo cars, are typically what manufacturers will have used on their fleet to demonstrate new model launches to the press. They are also likely to have been used by dealerships as display models or test drivers to entice people into buying directly from them. Some ex-demo cars might even be courtesy cars used at dealerships for customers to use.

As they’re nearly new, with only a few thousand miles on the odometer if that, they will have been primarily used for showing the model off at its best. An ex demo car will have been well looked after aesthetically and by having been put through its paces by a host of short-term drives, the engine is likely to be broken in and be performing at its optimum. 

When the time comes, manufacturers and dealers will want to get rid of these models for reasons as varied as needing space on the showroom and not wanting older models on the forecourt to the lifecycle for the demonstrator model finishing.

Pros and cons of buying an ex demo car

Pros of buying an ex demo car

  • As-new condition

Because the dealership or manufacturer will want to show the model off at its best, an ex demo car will be in excellent condition both under the bonnet and in the cabin. As touched on above, it’s likely the car will also have a relatively low mileage and the engine will be working at its optimum as a result.

  • Likely to be a high-spec model

Ex demo cars will have been used to show the best possible version of the model. This means it will likely have a lot of tech and features which don’t come as standard

  • Likely to be in warranty

With warranties running anywhere from three to seven years, or to certain mileage, any ex demo car is likely to still be covered by the manufacturer warranty when purchased. This offers additional cost savings if there are any issues.

Cons of buying an ex demo car

  • Lack of choice

While we have a wide range of choice on the Hippo Motor Group family of websites, and can offer a car for everyone,  when it comes to ex demo cars your pool of choice is going to be very small and quite specific – that extends from the colour of the car to the transmission.

  • Mileage

You can look at this as a negative or you can look at it as a positive, but the fact is ex demo cars will have a certain amount of mileage on them and it’s safe to say they’ll have been put through their paces by test drives.

  • You won’t be the first registered owner

This isn’t likely to be a deal-breaker, but even though the ex demo car won’t have been ‘owned’ by anyone, the dealership will have to have listed themselves as the owner. This will potential impact any future sale value of the vehicle

When’s the best time to buy an ex demo car?

It helps to know the lifecycle of a vehicle to decide when is the best time to buy an ex demo car. After launch, models tend to undergo a bit of a refresh after a couple of years of being on sale in order to keep up with competitors from a technological, efficiency and design perspective

This is likely to be your best opportunity to get a good deal on an ex demo car as dealerships and manufacturers will want to replace the outgoing models with the new ones. This means there’s likely to be more ex demo stock available too.

Where’s the best place to buy an ex demo car?

If you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of buying an ex demo car and think it hits the sweet spot of new car ownership, we can help.

Many of the used cars on our website are either ex demo or pre-registered, talk to our team today to find out what our current stock list is.