Buying A Used Car That's Almost Like New

Isaiah Chambers

Car buyers who want a vehicle that's almost like new at a good price should consider purchasing a demonstration or "demo" car. These are vehicles which have been driven by dealership personnel or used for test drives. In some cases, purchasing a demo car allows you to buy a car with very low mileage for a good price. This article examines some of the key points to remember when considering a demo car. 


Demo cars are not officially considered used vehicles because they have never been registered with the state. They are not really new either, however, because they have been driven to some extent. The amount of mileage on a demo car can vary, with several hundred to several thousand miles on the odometer being normal, according to Consumer Reports.

Wear and Tear

Because demo cars have been driven by others, they are more likely to have wear and tear on them than new cars. For example, the tight quarters on car dealership lots may increase the likelihood of a demo car getting dings and scratches. Check carefully for this type of minor damage. Ask the car dealer who drove the car and for what purpose. Request any maintenance records on the car as well. 


When negotiating the price of a demo car with a dealer, make certain you know the current value of a new model. This gives you a starting point for the negotiations. The CarGurus Blog recommends taking off $3,000 the list price and 15 cents per mile if the car is less than six months old. If the car is more than six months old, the site advises taking 20 percent off the manufacturer suggested retail price. Also, always ask whether any current rebates or incentives apply to the vehicle. 


Another key point is checking the warranty on the demo car. A car's warranty may begin when the dealer begins to use the car, not when the vehicle is sold. In this case, your warranty might cover a shorter period than normal. Always ask the dealer when the warranty period started. 

Demo cars lie somewhere in between a new auto and a used vehicle. Their unique position in the automobile marketplace makes it possible for some buyers to get a car that has seen minimal use for an excellent price. If you think that this type of vehicle will suit your needs, visit a car dealer like Tischer Auto for more information.