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Owners of demo cars, was the discount worth it?

Edge

Member
Mar 7, 2019
43
14
Waterloo
I'm working with my dealer on the best options on M3 inventories and one of the avenues I've asked to explore is demo vehicles given that they're still technically brand new and come with a discount.

While the discount is great, it also means a much higher likelihood of dings, scratches, dents, and general wear thanks to thousands of people touching the car (assuming showroom car, which is one of my options). It could also be a test drive vehicle, which equally means it could be beat up, but likely in generally better condition. Either way, there's a reason these cars are discounted.

This brings me back to my main question, is the discount worth it at the end of the day? Should I just pay the $3-4k extra for brand new, not have to worry about warranty issues (I was warned they may be more hesitant to repair pain issues and scratches for demo cars), etc? Curious how others felt about their decision to buy (or not buy) in this situation and if they'd make the same decision now.
 
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GWord

Member
Aug 18, 2016
570
863
Houston, TX
My wife and I are on our third demo car. They have been fine. Each one has had a blemish or two, commensurate with their use before hand, and the most severe items like a deep scratch or road rash wheels were repaired or completely replaced by Tesla for us when asked. Compared to the one Model S factory order that I have owned, there really isn't anything materially different about the experience unless you want a concours level car.
 

TypeRx

Member
Jan 15, 2020
443
277
Orange County, CA
I'm working with my dealer on the best options on M3 inventories and one of the avenues I've asked to explore is demo vehicles given that they're still technically brand new and come with a discount.

While the discount is great, it also means a much higher likelihood of dings, scratches, dents, and general wear thanks to thousands of people touching the car (assuming showroom car, which is one of my options). It could also be a test drive vehicle, which equally means it could be beat up, but likely in generally better condition. Either way, there's a reason these cars are discounted.

This brings me back to my main question, is the discount worth it at the end of the day? Should I just pay the $3-4k extra for brand new, not have to worry about warranty issues (I was warned they may be more hesitant to repair pain issues and scratches for demo cars), etc? Curious how others felt about their decision to buy (or not buy) in this situation and if they'd make the same decision now.

100% worth it to me, but only YOU can judge what is right for you.

I am a massive stickler about interior and exterior "cleanliness" when it comes to my cars. For me, $3000+ is a reasonable discount to start considering a demo car, but it better be basically brand new at that point (e.g. <300 miles). In my case, I found one that fit that criteria and was simply rolling the dice on whether or not it would arrive with any wear/tear. Keep in mind you can return the car within 7 days/100 miles if you are unhappy for any reason. But, i didn't move forward with the transaction because I found something different.

In the end, I found a car that has 1600 miles on it but the discount was so good I couldn't pass it up. I came to learn more about the car (it was an engineering car, not a showroom or test drive vehicle) through a connection at Tesla. I moved forward but was nervous at delivery. In the end, the interior/exterior were in fabulous shape...basically brand new. The tires had reasonable wear, but nowhere near enough to turn me off. I would 100% do it all over again. I feel bad now for the folks that pay full price (including myself since I did it on my 2020 Model X).

So, my recommendation is to figure out what it is worth to you and stick to that. What is the minimum discount you would consider and what is the max mileage you would consider.
 

Purgatory

Member
Mar 2, 2020
10
12
Torrance CA
So far so good for me, granted covid-related restrictions started shortly after I got mine so I haven't driven nearly as much as I would have otherwise. Didn't have to calibrate autopilot or wait a couple weeks for up to date software like one does when it's fresh from the factory. No noticeable dings/scratches, no operational issues. I was leery about getting a demo car at first (ultimately pulled the trigger bc my previous car's lease was up within 2 weeks and I still had no VIN for the order I placed 2 months prior), but now I would do it again. Jan 2020 build purchased in March with 960 miles on it.
 
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Covidius

Member
Apr 26, 2020
25
28
Las Vegas
Is there any technique for viewing actual photos of a demo car, or any vehicle on a telsa lot that isn't in your home town? I asked about one over chat and they said someone would contact me but no one ever did. Just a few emailed photos would be nice for explaining what kind of condition a demo is in.
 

JBailey895

Member
Nov 7, 2019
198
76
Carlsbad, CA
I bought a 3DP+ demo just under 2k miles for about $3.2k off. Had a few scratches on inside of frunk, and a big scratch on the front bumper. I told them I would refuse the care based on the bumper condition, and they replaced the entire bumper right there. Very happy with the car, and the previous miles were immediately forgotten.
 

Pa5001

Member
Apr 14, 2020
33
21
US
I took a Model 3 LR AWD discounted just shy of 2k with 300 miles. I had the same reservations that there may be little issues I would find, but you do have the option of rejecting the delivery. In my case my decision was based heavily on the discount getting me under the 50k which would then give me a state rebate, and ultimately a $4500 discount.

When I picked it up I was very happy with the condition of the car. It was manufactured less than two months prior and it honestly appeared completely brand new. Only after bringing it to a detailer to ceramic coat were a few tiny issues found (besides paint quality issues, thinness, etc) that he pointed out. We were able to locate two very tiny dings, that could have been from rocks I kicked up in the 800 miles I have put on it.

So for me 2k discount for 300 miles, probably worth it, but qualifying for a state rebate and ultimately $4500 less, definitely worth it. (I won't get into the state rebate issues I am having)
 

SilverString

Member
Mar 29, 2020
256
142
Bee Cave, Texas
About a year ago I got my 3/19 manufactured pre-raven MS 100D LR as a demo with HW3 pre-installed and 16 miles on it. I also got a $3750 tax credit and an $11k discount so I think is was the best available deal at the time. Seemed the same as a brand new car to me.
 
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ScoGold

Member
Mar 30, 2020
59
32
Boston, MA
Chiming in on this, I placed a deposit and plan on picking up my M3 in two weeks. That being said if I wanted to get a demo car, would they assign that to my reservation/order or do I need to cancel the original order to pick the demo car?

I tried reaching out to my Tesla guy but a lot of them are furloughed.
 

TypeRx

Member
Jan 15, 2020
443
277
Orange County, CA
Chiming in on this, I placed a deposit and plan on picking up my M3 in two weeks. That being said if I wanted to get a demo car, would they assign that to my reservation/order or do I need to cancel the original order to pick the demo car?

I tried reaching out to my Tesla guy but a lot of them are furloughed.

I can speak from direct experience since I placed a deposit for a "custom" build and then switched to a demo while my car was being transported. In fact, I switched twice (one through my SA and one by myself).

You paid $100 for the "custom" build as deposit. That is non-refundable but Tesla will transfer it towards the demo if you do things properly.
  • You need to identify a demo you want but will need to move very quickly. This is where the process can break down and suck.
    • There isn't much time in between now and delivery (2 weeks) -- will you even find a demo you want?
  • After identifying the demo you want, your SA needs to 'match' you with the VIN of the demo. They will then move you off of the custom build and it will move back into Tesla's New Inventory. If your SA is furloughed I would try to go directly to the folks in Fremont via chat. The problem is lost time, so you should look into this in advance.
  • If you find a demo you REALLY want and absolutely want to secure it, put another $100 deposit on it as if you are purchasing another car. The reason to do this is because reasonably discounted demos usually disappear very quickly from the Tesla site. The time it takes to coordinate the sale through your SA might mean missing the opportunity altogether.
  • After putting your deposit, tell your SA or Tesla Fremont what you did. They will then cancel your custom order. Note, you will likely lose your original deposit. But if you are saving thousands on the demo, who cares.
Like I mentioned earlier in the thread and in others, I had a new order at full price. As it was being transported from Fremont to SoCal, I found a demo (myself) that was $3300 off with 160 miles -- same build options as my custom order. I took a picture of it from the Tesla website and texted/emailed my SA and she was able to transfer me to it. So, my deposit moved as well. But then 2 days before delivery of that demo, I found another (again by myself) that was >$11,500 cheaper than my original custom order. I knew it wouldn't last so I put the deposit on it as soon as I saw it and then had my SA cancel my original order (lost that $100). It was a bit more complicated because I had already paid in advance for that car (touchless delivery...paid the car in full the day prior) so Tesla held a lot of my money for a period of time. Luckily I got it all back <10 days after canceling.
 
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ScoGold

Member
Mar 30, 2020
59
32
Boston, MA
Other than going to Check Inventory on the website, there’s no other way to look up dealer demo cars, is there? I have never found any Used Model 3s in New England. I have been texting with a SA that said he can find me one (I’m waiting until I know I need to start driving again so I don’t have a car sitting around) but they come and go fast.

It would be great if this could be easily searched.
 

Pa5001

Member
Apr 14, 2020
33
21
US
Other than going to Check Inventory on the website, there’s no other way to look up dealer demo cars, is there? I have never found any Used Model 3s in New England. I have been texting with a SA that said he can find me one (I’m waiting until I know I need to start driving again so I don’t have a car sitting around) but they come and go fast.

It would be great if this could be easily searched.

I got a lot of leads with a good SA in Mass for demo Model 3's. Every time he sent me one it was not listed on the Tesla Website. They have access to inventory that is not listed on Tesla's site for whatever reason. PM me if you would like his contact info.
 
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GWord

Member
Aug 18, 2016
570
863
Houston, TX
Other than going to Check Inventory on the website, there’s no other way to look up dealer demo cars, is there? I have never found any Used Model 3s in New England. I have been texting with a SA that said he can find me one (I’m waiting until I know I need to start driving again so I don’t have a car sitting around) but they come and go fast.

It would be great if this could be easily searched.

They are harder to search now. You generally need an SA to search for you since the data is not publicly available any more. Not all SA are particularly adept at searching for demos in my experience. Since there can be a lot of cars to choose from, I have found it easiest to call the SA on the phone and just have them talk to me about the results they are seeing on the screen live rather than email.
 
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Edge

Member
Mar 7, 2019
43
14
Waterloo
I appreciate the replies. In my case, I'm being offered a white on white LR AWD for $3k off with only 150km on it. Build date Feb 2020. Guess it was used as a test drive car a few times before everything closed.

Debating it as my ideal would be blue/white and I'd rather take delivery in July as my lease doesn't end until then, but at it seems Tesla won't be getting any new inventory any time soon, this could be my best option.
 

GWord

Member
Aug 18, 2016
570
863
Houston, TX
I appreciate the replies. In my case, I'm being offered a white on white LR AWD for $3k off with only 150km on it. Build date Feb 2020. Guess it was used as a test drive car a few times before everything closed.

Debating it as my ideal would be blue/white and I'd rather take delivery in July as my lease doesn't end until then, but at it seems Tesla won't be getting any new inventory any time soon, this could be my best option.

Well, if you are set on blue you could always vinyl wrap it and still take advantage of the demo opportunity.
 

EV-CPO

Vendor
Jan 3, 2018
996
1,249
https://ev-cpo.com
They are harder to search now. You generally need an SA to search for you. Sites like EV-CPO.com used to scrape demo inventory but not any more.

Excuse me, but this is not accurate. What you intended to say is that for now, Tesla is not currently listing demo cars for sale on their own Tesla.com website. EV-CPO captures everything that Tesla lists publicly, and once demo cars are listed again, EV-CPO will pick them up immediately.
 
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RiknChar

Member
Feb 28, 2020
71
54
Omaha NE
I'm happy I bought a Demo Model S LR in March. I got nearly $6k off, and the car had 600 miles. It had a build date of 12/19, so slightly dated, but it was in nearly perfect shape except for some curb rash under the front fascia. That almost made me say no, but in the end, I'm glad I took this one. It's blue exterior, white interior (one of my favorite color choices). It can't be updated to a LR+ (wrong battery series), but with 370+ miles of range will do just fine for my needs. I added FSD after I bought it, and am overall very happy with the car (though I wish I could drive it more!).
 
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GWord

Member
Aug 18, 2016
570
863
Houston, TX
Excuse me, but this is not accurate. What you intended to say is that for now, ....

I said exactly what I intended to and it was 100% accurate: websites like yours no longer aggregate demo inventory. This seemed germane to the original question around ways to search inventory without the need to have an SA. I even thought about adding some long winded explanation around it all being linked back to Tesla's own public facing inventory system but decided that no one probably gives a s***. I edited my original post to remove your website's name specifically since you seem overly sensitive about it. Ironically, my choice to include your site was done because I find your hard work there has produced an excellent resource and a brilliant solution to the regional limitations and search constraints on Tesla.com. I use it all the time.
 

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