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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.

Representative Example of Credit

We expect more than 51% of our customers to achieve this rate.

Loan Amount Total Cost of Credit Representative APR 60 Monthly Payments Deposit Amount Loan Term Total Amount Payable
£7,500 £3831 19.1% APR £188.85 £0 60 Months £11,331

All offers are subject to change at any time, you must be 18 or over and finance is subject to status, vehicle availability and terms and conditions apply. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance companies, a commission may be received. Failure to maintain payments may result in termination of your agreement and the vehicle being returned, this could affect your credit rating and make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. All prices correct at time of publication.

We purchase a wide variety of vehicles from all over the country to ensure the best quality and value for our customers, all of our cars go through a thorough inspection process and if they do not meet our standards we do not sell them. We endeavour to inform our customers (where possible) the provenance of the vehicle they are buying and as such we will always inform you if the vehicle has previously been either an ex fleet or hire car. Should your vehicle be an ex hire/fleet car please do not be concerned as we would never value this vehicle differently when you come to part exchange it and there is no difference to the CAP valuation either.

You should try and estimate the distance you will travel as accurately as possible to try and avoid excess mileage charges at the end of your contract.

All pictures and/or photos and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily the vehicle on offer. All offers are subject to change at any time and are subject to finance approval and vehicle availability. All prices correct at time of publication. E & OE.

Hippo Vehicle Solutions t/a Hippo Motor Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 658076. We are a Credit Broker not a Lender and can introduce you to a limited number of lenders. Subject to status and to UK residents only (excl. the Channel Islands). Individuals must be 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. We typically receive a fixed commission calculated by reference to the vehicle model, product or amount you borrow, for introducing you to a lender but this does not affect the interest charged on the agreement, all of which are set by the lender. Images for illustrative purposes only. Hippo Vehicle Solutions t/a Hippo Motor Finance is an Appointed Representative of AutoProtect (MBI) Limited for insurance distribution purposes. AutoProtect (MBI) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Its firm reference number is 312143. You can check this at

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