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How buying an ex-demo car could save you money

Ex-demo cars are a great way to buy a nearly new car at a discounted price.

Image: Shutterstock/Lemusique

BUYING AN EX-demonstrator car can be a great way of driving away a nearly new car at a heavily discounted price.

Ex-demo cars are new cars that have been registered to a garage so that the car can be used for potential buyers to test drive. As these cars are show cars, much like show homes, they are usually very well kitted out with optional extras and a high spec.

Garages generally need to hold on to these cars for a certain amount of time, around three months or so, in order to get a discount from the manufacturer for registering and using a car as a demonstrator. When this time is up, the car is then sold on as an ex-demo car.

The car is then priced accordingly to make it attractive to buyers compared to a brand new version. So you could be looking at up to €4,000 off the price of a new model. As an example, on DoneDeal at the time of writing there is an ex-demo 171 Ford Focus with 9,000km on the clock for €22,950 and the GRP for a brand new version is €27,540. That’s a saving of €4,590 or nearly 17 per cent.

The discount will reflect the fact that the car has already had one previous owner – the garage – and that it has racked up some mileage – anywhere from 300km to around 10,000km. The higher the mileage the greater the discount should be.

The car will probably have a few marks on the interior, mostly on the seats and around the doors and possibly a scrape or two on the paintwork or maybe a scuffed alloy. If you do find any marks you can always request the garage to touch them up or try and polish out any scuffs. Again, these should be reflected in the price and you can use any noticeable marks to help get a good deal. However, these ex-demo cars are usually very clean and well looked after as they are there to help drive sales. As with all nearly new cars, if you are thinking of buying just inspect it very closely.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a manufacturer’s warranty begins when the car is first registered. So if an ex-demo car is six months old it is six months into its warranty and again, the price should reflect this. Another bargaining tool for you.

As long as you are vigilant and examine an ex-demo car as you would any used car and as long as you don’t mind not being the first registered owner, an ex-demo car is a great way to get a nearly-new well-specced car at a good price.

READ: Review – Nissan updates the Qashqai but is it enough to keep up with its rivals?

READ: 6 SUVs you can drive away for under €500 a month on PCP >

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