South Africans are ditching new cars for demo models

TransUnion’s latest vehicle report shows that more than a third (35%) of used vehicles sold in South Africa are less than two years old, with 10% being demo models.

According to TransUnion, the move towards used vehicles shows the effects of prolonged pressure on consumers in the country.

TransUnion’s report shows the used-to-new vehicle ratio declined to 2.13 from 2.09 in the previous quarter, which means that 2.13 used vehicles were financed for every new vehicle financed.

Jeff Osborne of Gumtree Auto, said that South Africans are starting to favour vehicles which have been used by dealerships for test drives, as they carry the perception of ‘good value’ as a new second-hand car.

However, he warned that buyers should take several factors into consideration when buying one.

Below he outlined his tips for buying a demo model in South Africa:

  • View demos as premium second-hand vehicles rather than cheap new ones as you negotiate the price which should be around 10-15% off the list price, depending on the vehicle;
  • Check the vehicle’s history. Some demo models run up more km’s than others. How long has it been on the shop floor? Has it been used by staff or as a temporary replacement vehicle as well as by test drivers? Get the answers in writing;
  • Demos are usually well maintained as showpieces but be very thorough in checking bodywork. Ask if there have been any scrapes or repairs. Again get the all-clear in writing;
  • Demo vehicles are often high spec to impress would-be buyers. You may not need all the top end gear and therefore may be overpaying if they’re priced into the cost. Negotiate on this point;
  • A demo model has run some time and some kilometres off the warranty clock. Price that accordingly.

Read: Here’s how much South Africans are spending on a new car

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South Africans are ditching new cars for demo models