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What is a demo vehicle?

What is a demo vehicle?

Our team has been in the car business for quite some time, and every now and then we'll say something that seems like pretty normal lingo to us, but leaves the customer doing this:



Well, we'd like to try to help iron out the confusion! This the time of year where we generally see a lot of vehicles marked on special with the word "demo" in the description. Well, what the heck does that mean? Our New Vehicle Sales Manager Warren Cairns helped us out with these facts.

What is a demo vehicle?

If you've spent all that time online reading about the car you're thinking of purchasing, you probably want to take it for a spin before you commit to buying it. Very simply, a demo is a new vehicle that has never been registered that we use to take customers on test drives. Demos are also used as courtesy cars in our Service department for customers who we need to keep their vehicle for a long period of time in the day or overnight.

At Wheaton Honda, we also allow our sales team to drive these demo vehicles on a regular basis so that they can effectively answer questions that customers may have about how they handle different types of drives or accommodate different kinds of activities. Can it fit two sets of golf clubs in the trunk of an Accord? What about four kids and all of the gear for their respective activities in a Pilot? Can I fit a set of skis in the back of my CR-V? Have you ever taken a Fit on a road trip? Our vehicles are tried and true, and we want to be able to help you find the best vehicle to fit your lifestyle and we've found that the best way to help get this information for the customer is to find out firsthand.


How many of your cars are demo vehicles?

We generally choose a couple vehicles from each model line for that particular model year. It won't be all of the Civics or all of the Ridgelines - we want to be able to have the ability to let customers test drive all of them!


How many kilometres are on a demo vehicle? Does it affect my warranty?

This will vary depending on the demo vehicle, and the number of kilometres on that particular unit is clearly listed in their brochures online, as well as on the vehicles themselves. Some vehicles see a few more test drives than others, but we will ground any demo by 10,000km at the very most. The kilometres on these vehicles does affect Honda's standard new vehicle warranty (5 years/100,000kms) in different capacities, depending on the type of demo that it is.

  • If we have the vehicle marked by Honda Canada as a demo that we use on the majority of test drives, the 5 year timer begins when it is registered with them, and the kilometres will count toward the 100,000km total.
  • If the vehicle was not marked by Honda Canada but has been used as a demo in some capacity (if someone wanted to test drive a specific trim of a vehicle that we didn't have a demo for), then the 5 year timer remains untouched until it is purchased, but the kilometres will still count toward the 100,000km total.


What is the benefit to buying a demo?

If it affects my warranty, why would a demo be the way to go instead of buying a lightly used vehicle? Here's the three big reasons:

1. Demo vehicles are offered at a lower price than other new vehicles to make up for the additional kilometres.

The amount discounted is relative to the price of the vehicle and the number of kilometres, but it can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars off the retail price of the same vehicle brand new. Remember when we told you how to get the lowest payments on your vehicle? The number one point is to negotiate the best price, and demos are priced lower than other new vehicles.

2. We have the full service and detail history of the vehicle, which is not always available for every used vehicle.

These are the cars that we show to customers on a daily basis - if we rely on them to help sell cars, you can bet that we put every effort in to make sure that it's running smoothly, has been perfectly cleaned and detailed. Even the most minuscule funny noises or little blemishes on these cars is taken care of at first sight or sound. Our Used Vehicle department does a great job of this as well, but we know who drove that car on what day and where - that kind of information doesn't show up on a CarProof.

3. There are far more options available for leasing or financing a new vehicle than a used vehicle.

Demos are still new vehicles because they have never been registered to someone, and new vehicles have different programs available than used. The crazy-low finance rates advertised on television for new vehicles still apply to a demo, and used vehicles can be a completely different ball game depending on the car.

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If you're the kind of person who would only consider buying a used car (probably because of the price, and because you don't mind not being the first person in the driver's seat of that vehicle), then a demo is a great option to get the best of both worlds.

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