What are ex-demonstrators?

Ex-demos? Nearly new cars? Pre-reg? What does it all mean?

Ex-Demonstrators: nearly new cars that have previously been registered to the dealership and used to demonstrate that model to customers. After around three months these cars then need to be sold to make room for the latest models and offer significant savings off the recommended on the road price. Save time and money and get yourself an ex-demo.

Even if you’re set on ordering a brand new car from the factory, ask your dealer if they have an ex-demonstrators available as you might be able to get a great deal. Dealers usually want to shift ex-demos quickly to make room for new stock and to keep their fleet of demonstrators fresh. With this in mind you may be able to either save money on the new car you were looking for originally or get a lot more for the same amount of money.

The only real downside to owning an ex-demonstrator is they will come with more miles on the clock than say a pre-reg car and much more than standard delivery miles on a brand new car. Also you need to remember other people would have driven the car although this usually isn’t a problem. Generally ex-demos are fantastic value and are well-looked after by dealers, so take a look at the pros and cons and see if an ex-demo could be right for you.

The pros of ex-demonstrator cars

Otherwise known as ‘nearly new cars’ due to only a few months old, ex-demos are usually only a few months old. Dealers can’t sell a demonstrator until it’s over 90 days old and not all dealers will immediately put it up for sale, but unlike used cars that may be one or two years old, an ex-demonstrator could still be on a new registration.

Otherwise known as ‘nearly new cars’ due to only a few months old, ex-demos are usually only a few months old. Dealers can’t sell a demonstrator until it’s over 90 days old and not all dealers will immediately put it up for sale, but unlike used cars that may be one or two years old, an ex-demonstrator could still be on a new registration.

Savings can be significant, it’s not uncommon for cars to have thousands of pounds off the list price, in fact we recently saw a BMW 530d M Sport that was £52,275 new now down to £34,950 saving you an incredible £17,325 off the regular on the road price. Small cars benefit just as well and you could find yourself walking away with more car for less money.

If you don’t mind the thought that other people have test driven the car and that you won’t be able to choose the colour or add options like you would if you were to order from the factory, these cars usually come with a brilliant specification. The dealers want to show off as many optional extras on the car so potential customers might end up adding them to their order, so not only will you be paying less than a brand new car, but you’ll also be receiving a very generous specification at the same time.

The cons of ex-demonstrator cars

There are a few downsides to buying an ex-demonstrator that you need to be aware of. Firstly the car’s main role at the dealership was to demonstrate that particular model, so expect the drivers before you to have pressed and fiddled with every possible control and to have maybe even taken the car to its limits. While dealers obviously won’t let potential customers drive dangerously, it’s worth bearing in mind that particularly on performance models, some drivers may have wanted to see what the car could do.

Also remember that with that many drivers taking the car for a spin that some may not have driven it very well. It can be a daunting experience taking an unfamiliar car out on a test drive with a stranger in the passenger seat so this could lead to the odd rough gear change early on in the car’s life. Don’t expect this to be too much of an issue as demonstrators are very well looked after by the dealer, but just remember you won’t be the first person driving it.

With this in mind these cars usually have more miles on the clock than you would expect with a new car. Mileage will still be low, but it’s not uncommon for an ex-demo to have clocked up one to two thousand miles in a fairly short amount of time.

Look very closely at the condition of the car for any scuffs or scratches. The car should be pristine but because of their nature they may have been on the forecourt all this time, parked near a main road where gravel or grit could damage the paintwork or under a tree where sap could also damage the paint. The cars are usually always being cleaned so watch out for any swirly paintwork being caused by the wrong brushes. If you do find anything however, use it as a bargaining chip to bring the price down even further!

Should I buy an ex-demonstrator?

Most definitely. The potential savings along with the impressive standard specification make for a car that is too good to say no to. Nearly new cars are always popular and for good reason and as long as you inspect the car properly you could walk away with some significant savings.

Our final top tip: make sure the car you’re buying is the one you want. It’s easy to settle for a car based on value, but if you wanted a blue car are you happy to settle for a white one? Also make sure you’re happy with that exact model; sometimes ex-demos are moved on to make room for the face lifted or new version of that car meaning another bargain to be had but could potentially put your new investment a whole generation behind.

Overall, ex-demonstrators are a great option and worth considering. Nearly every dealership will have some sort of ex-demonstrators available and you could be driving with a lot more car on your driveway and much more money still in your bank.

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Disclaimer: This page is intended to provide information only, it is not, and should not be taken to be advice or an offer of credit. The information is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page and manufacturers or dealerships may vary the products or specifications of the products they offer. For full terms and conditions contact the relevant manufacturer or your local dealer. Imagery is a visual representation and may not represent the exact products. Please ensure you can afford the monthly payments before signing any contractual agreement. You will not own the vehicle until all payments have been made. Any finance or offers mentioned are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn by the manufacturer or dealer at any time.t

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