How to Determine a Demo Cars Value

January 27, 2012

Determining the value of demo cars requires some research, a willingness to negotiate the asking price, and most of all the ability to walk away from anything less than a good deal.

Step 1: Understanding What a Demo Car Is

Demo cars, often provided by auto makers to dealers, serve a variety of purposes. For instance, they might be used by a member of the dealership staff as their take home vehicle. It may be provided to customers as a loaner car when their personal vehicle is being serviced. It might be used as a test drive vehicle, or it could be the car that sits on the showroom floor. Regardless of its use, it will potentially have more wear and tear on it than a traditional new car. In addition, the manufacturer’s warranty begins on the in-service date and not the date the dealer sells the car. Therefore, the warranty may have been in effect for some time before the car is sold. Dealers will often time sell demo cars at what seem like substantial discounts when compared to a new car.

Step 2: How to Determine Price

While many new car dealers will have demo cars for sale, determining the price of them can be more difficult because there are not the same sorts of price guides for demos as there are for new and used cars. Online research is a good way of figuring out what similar used cars are going for and this information can then be used as a negotiating tool at the dealer. Factoring in the mileage, condition and age are just as important when buying a demo as they are when buying a used car. Deductions should be made for mileage. Some demos will already have thousands of miles on them. Wear and tear on the paint and interior should also be taken into account. A demo with low miles and in excellent condition will sell for more than a similarly equipped used car simply because it is still considered new. A car is considered new until it has been titled. However, as with most cars, the price can be negotiated down to a price that is fair to the buyer and dealer.

Step 3: Additional Information to Consider

Prior to any used car purchase it is prudent to request a vehicle history report. This will indicate if the car was ever in an accident, mileage at the time of delivery and the approximate in-service date. It is also a good idea to ask for the service records which will show what maintenance and repairs have been performed.

Demo cars can be a great way of getting a nearly new car at a reduced price. However, it is important to keep in mind that a demo car is used car and as such will not necessarily be in brand new condition. While dealers may advertise a demo at a reduced price, they still generally price them at a premium over a similarly equipped used car. With the proper research, finding a fairly priced demo car is not as difficult as it may first seem.

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