When looking to buy a used vehicle, there’s lots of information available. But what about ex-demo cars? What are they? Are they worth it? And should you buy an ex-demo car? These are good questions, so sit back and let us tell you everything you need to know on the subject.

We’ll discuss what is an ex-demo car and what the term ex-demo means. We’ll go over pros and cons and the best time to purchase such vehicles. And we’ll also tell you outright whether ex-demo cars are worth buying (short answer: yes!)

What does “ex demo” car mean?

What is an ex-demo car and what does ex-demo mean? Simply put, it refers to vehicles that have been used as a showcase by the dealership for demonstrations and test drives. Also known as ex-display models, ex-demonstration cars usually have a few thousand miles on their clock, which means they’re typically sold at discounted prices compared to the same model but new. That’s because ex-demo cars are essentially nearly-new, having been test driven by customers or dealers.

Why are ex-demonstrator cars sold?

Ex-demonstrator cars are predominantly sold for two reasons. Firstly, because dealerships want to have the latest models on display, swapping out the old ex-demo car for a new one. And secondly, because they may need to make room on the forecourt. It’s one of the reasons why ex-display vehicles come at discounted prices.

Are ex-demo cars worth buying?

So, are ex-demo cars a good buy? Well, like any vehicle you’ll purchase – whether brand new, used, or nearly new – there’ll always be a number of pros and cons to consider. And we’ll get to those in just a moment, right after we answer this initial question: are ex-demo cars worth buying?

In one word, absolutely! Ex-demo cars can be a great way to get your hands on a newer model at a fraction of the usual cost – usually with thousands of pounds off the starting price compared to brand new. And that’s before you’ve had to do any haggling to negotiate a better car price.

Just remember, as the vehicle is considered nearly new and may have been test driven on public roads, you’ll still want to follow the usual checks that you would when buying a used car. That means doing a vehicle inspection and a car history check to build a clear picture of its past. Basically, you want to check it over to make sure it’s not been damaged whilst being driven.

Pros of buying an ex-demo car

Ex-demonstrator cars for sale come with a lot of pros that are certainly enticing to car buyers. These typically include:

  • A discounted sale price compared to the same model when new – this is because the ex-demo car is considered nearly new, having been on display, test driven, and registered as being owned by the dealership
  • Lower mileage compared to other used models of a similar age –the ex-demonstrator vehicle may clock up some miles whilst being test driven, but it’ll spend most of its time on display not on the road
  • Being kept in the best condition – as a showcase vehicle, dealerships usually put a lot of care into their display models to ensure they look and perform their best at all times in order to entice buyers
  • High-spec models – again, as former display vehicles, ex-demo cars tend to be of a high trim level, with the best features, packages, and optional extras applied to showcase the make and model at its best


It’s also possible that there’ll be a good amount of time left on the car’s warranty too. Plus, the ex-demo vehicle – being nearly new – should have undergone some car depreciation already. This means it could be better value for money than if bought new.

Cons of buying an ex-demo car?

Whilst there are certainly big pros for purchasing an ex-display vehicle, ex-demo cars for sale also have a few cons you should consider. Such potential cons include:

  • Limited choice – you’ll probably have to choose from a smaller range of vehicles and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to pick and choose the exact car, colour, and specs to your requirements or preferences
  • You won’t be the first legal owner – the ex-demo car will be registered as being owned by the dealership
  • Mileage – likely to have been test driven by customers, it’ll probably have some miles on the clock and that can be a potential issue for some buyers, especially those used to new vehicles
  • More legwork – whilst you’re sure to find a wide choice of used or new cars at various dealerships – whether a Nissan Leaf or a Peugeot 3008 – you’ll likely have to look around more for ex-display vehicles, particularly if you’re after specific makes and models, such as Audi ex demo cars for sale or ex-demo cars from Mercedes

Is it safe to buy an ex-demonstrator electric car?

Buying an ex-demo electric vehicle (EV) is just as safe as purchasing an ex-demonstrator petrol or diesel car. All of the pros and cons of ex-display cars that we’ve discussed so far all apply to EVs too. Which means an ex-demo electric vehicle will likely have been kept in its best condition. Again, you still want to do some vehicle inspection checks to make sure it hasn’t been dinged or damaged whilst being test driven.

Nonetheless, buying an ex-demonstrator car can be a great way to transition to electric motoring. It gives you the opportunity to buy a recent EV model at a discounted price – a particularly handy point considering EVs tend to cost a little more upfront than their fossil fuel counterparts.

When is the best time to buy an ex-demo car?

The best time to find ex-demo cars for sale – particularly for negotiating the best deal – is usually when new models are soon to be released or a facelifted model is soon to launch. That’s because when there are new releases, dealerships typically try to sell the older ex-demonstrator vehicles to replace them with the new ones.

Why? That way, they can showcase the latest cars in an attempt to woo buyers. So, if you find out there’s a newer model due out soon, that’s the best time to head to the dealership and ask about their current display cars.

Ex-demo cars are the showcase vehicles formerly on display in dealerships to attract buyers. They’re typically kept in the best condition, have high specs, and low mileage being predominantly driven for test drives. Naturally, ex-demo cars are definitely worth buying. Like nearly new, they can be great value for money.