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Demonstrator car buying guide and checklist

Looking to get behind the wheel of a demo car? Find out how to score a bargain without getting blind-sided.

Updated

Purchasing a car is big a decision, so you want to be prepared before you start the car-buying process. If you've decided to pick up a bargain and purchase a demo car, this guide will take you through everything you need to know to help you purchase with confidence.

What is a demonstrator vehicle?

This is a vehicle that salesmen and executives use at dealerships. They aren't only used for test drives, but can be used to boost awareness of a new model, increase traffic at a dealership or just move old stock. These cars are new-model vehicles that usually come with all the bells and whistles from top-range models, and because they aren't technically "new", you can save on your purchase.

Finding a demo car

While the dealership is the first place you'd turn to find a demonstrator vehicle, you can also search for these on car-buying websites such as carsales.com.au. Comparing prices before you buy can give you some bargaining power to negotiate the price. You can check prices on sites such as RedBook and The Motor Report for new and used vehicles to get an idea of current market prices.

Types of demonstrator vehicles

You might hear advertisements on the radio or TV blaring demonstrator deals, but before running out to pick one up, make sure you understand what you're buying:

  • Runout models.
    These are discounted models that need to be cleared out before new stock arrives. Kilometres are usually below 10,000km but can come with discounts for the amount they've travelled.
  • Dealer demonstrators.
    Cars in this category can be offered as loaners to customers and they are usually the newest models to help promote them. These can also be cars that customers returned and repaired at the dealership or even cars that have been from cancelled customer orders.
  • Factory demonstrators.
    Vehicles used at events, promotions, for sponsorships or at companies with company car plans with high turnovers or press fleets can send these vehicles back to the dealership to sell for a bargain price.

Tips for making your purchase

  • When you're at the dealership, find out how old the car is. Find out how often the car was used and if there is any paperwork available to see the activity of it use.
  • Check when it was registered and who the first registered owner was.
  • If the car has a decent number of kilometres driven on it, ask who has been driving it and what its primary use was.
  • Ask what differentiates the new car from the demo version.
  • Check the kilometres – if it's over 500km, ask about its history.

If you know how much you want to spend - you could get pre-approval for finance here >

How to inspect the vehicle

Demonstrator vehicles are relatively new, but they all differ on age and kilometres driven. Inspecting the vehicle for any signs of wear and tear is important prior to making your purchase.

  • The engine should start easily and shouldn't make any noise.
  • Check the quality of the tyres.
  • Ask if the vehicle if the vehicle has been in any accidents.
  • Check the battery life.
  • Make sure there are no scratches and check the paint quality.
  • Check the lights, radio, windscreen wipers and all other systems function properly.

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How much do you save with a demo vehicle?

This differentiates from purchase to purchase. The main saving comes from the fact that the car isn't "new", so cannot be sold as such. Also, you will be given many of the extras that come with top-of-the-line vehicles as they need to show them to customers on test-drives. If you aren't happy with the price, ask yourself if you really need all of the extras that are being thrown in with the car.

You should also look at the new vehicle sticker price of the model you are purchasing and see how much you are saving with the demo vehicle.

Demonstrator vehicles can be a great option that can help you save. If you're interested in purchasing a used vehicle, you can take a look at our car buying guide by following the link below.

How-to guide and checklist for your used car purchase

Comparison of car loans you can apply for

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From 4.67% (fixed)
5.22%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Note: Settle the loan before 30 November 2020 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel voucher. Terms & conditions apply.
IMB Secured Personal Loan
6.45% (fixed)
6.8%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.45% p.a.
Benefit from this competitive rate by securing the loan with a vehicle up to 6 years old. Use this flexible loan for any purpose.
CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79% (fixed)
7.16%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$265 ($175 Establishment Fee + $90 Security Administration Fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
Greater Bank New Car Loan
From 5.49% (fixed)
5.87%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$275
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.49% p.a.
Apply for this loan to finance a brand new car or demonstrator vehicle and find out if you've been approved in 24 hours.
IMB New Car Loan
5.45% (fixed)
5.8%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.45% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.05% (fixed)
5.63%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$700
$8.25
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 4.45% (fixed)
5%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$350
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.45% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

RateSetter Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
5.44%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$399 (from $249 to $799)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a RateSetter Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan
4.89% (fixed)
5.16%
$25,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.89% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
Jump Payments Car Loans
From 4.47% (fixed)
5.28%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.47% p.a. and comparison rate from 5.28% p.a.
Borrow between $5,000 and $250,000. Get access to customised finance options.
Greater Bank Secured Personal Loan
From 6.49% (fixed)
6.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$275
$0
You’ll receive a comparison rate of 6.88% p.a. on funding from $5,000 - $100,000.
Loans are available on terms of up to 7 years and asset security is required. Get approved in as little as 24 hours.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p. a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
7.7%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Picture: Shutterstock

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Car Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for IMB New Car Loan
IMB New Car Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.45% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.

Logo for Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"

You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.89% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.

Logo for RACV New Car Loans
RACV New Car Loans

You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.

Logo for Stratton Finance New Car Loan
Stratton Finance New Car Loan

You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.

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