6 Tips to Avoid Demo Cars Sale Scams

January 27, 2012

When looking into a demo car sale, you want to be wary of scams. These ex-demonstrator cars were used by the dealer for test drives and tend to be used for about 3 months before they are sold. You can find some excellent deals on these, but you need to be careful of demo car scams.

  1. Used or New: Demo cars are technically "used," but are sometimes listed as new. A demo car is not actually new, even though it has low mileage, because it has been driven. Many demo cars have a high mileage. This demo car can also be a car that was sold but then returned, normally when financing was not available. You should always negotiate this car as used, and don't let the dealer have you pay new car prices.
  2. Written Documentation: Do not take anything for granted. The dealer may promise you many things and you should get all of them in writing. If something is promised and it's not put in writing, nothing can be done if the dealer doesn't follow through. Make sure all repair promises or services offered are included in writing.
  3. The Extras: Most demo cars will have all the possible extras included. Many dealers will try to inflate the price because of these extras. You should take all the information and determine the market value of the car. Just because it has extras does not mean you should pay the same price as a new car with all the extras.
  4. Obtain the History of the Car: To ensure that the car is truly a demo car, it should not have been registered and should not have any type of history. Obtain the VIN number or other identification numbers and look up the history of the car. This will show if the car has been a short term lease or it it was bought and then returned. There are many tracing services that can provide you with the history of the car.
  5. Beware of Online Sales: Many dealers offer car sales online, and you could easily fall victim to a rip off car sale online. If you are purchasing the car online, never pay through an escrow service, as this is the first sign of a scam. Your car may never arrive, but they will take your money. Always research everything carefully.
  6. The Warranty: Most cars will be offered with a warranty, but make sure you know the terms. You are not required to purchase a demo car warranty from the dealer. You can get a normal or extended warranty, which are only offered for a specific time period or mileage. With demo cars, the dealer may offer a warranty that may be close to expiring. Warranties are offered from many places, and you have the option to shop around for one. Never let the dealer pressure you into buying the warranty.
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