A demo car usually has been driven by a manager, salesperson or family member of the dealership owner or has been used as a service loaner but is still considered "new." Because these vehicles never changed ownership, they are still available for most new car leases and incentive plans. Leasing a demo car could save you extra money on a lease, but it also may have drawbacks.
Leasing a Demo (Demonstrator) Vehicle
Find a demo car that fits your needs. You can find advertisements on dealer's websites, in the Sunday paper or on the lot as a "like" new car or "demo" with a discounted price.
Ask about the warranty on the demo car. When a car is put into demo status the warranty of the vehicle begins from that date. So even though you are getting a vehicle for less than a comparable new one, the warranty length might be shorter because of the amount of time as a demo.
Check to make sure that the demo vehicle you are interested in leasing still qualifies for lease specials currently being offered by the manufacturer. Your salesperson might offer a large discount off the vehicle price to move it from the lot. However, if it does not qualify for special lease programs it might end up costing you more than a new car with a higher lease price.
Figure out if your demo lease will be covered completely by the warranty while you are leasing it. This is another hidden expense that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs if the vehicle runs out of warranty before the lease is up. If you find out that the remaining warranty will not be enough to cover the lease, ask to have an extended warranty put on the vehicle prior to agreeing to the lease.
Mark Ivanko is an experienced automotive and technical writer. He has been working in the automotive industry since 2005. He specializes in European automakers, but keeps his ear to the ground on anything and everything automotive. Ivanko attended New York University, where he got a bachelor's degree in mathematics.