Oct 28 2019

Demonstrator vehicles, commonly referred to as “demo vehicles,” are different from used and pre-owned vehicles. Typically, a demo vehicle will have anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 miles recorded on the odometer at the time of purchase. The miles aren’t the result of prior owners. Rather, they indicate that a vehicle has been transported, test driven, or, in some cases, utilized by an employee. This is a very common practice in the automobile industry. Owners and managers are commonly granted use of vehicles from the lot. These vehicles are still sold, but since they’re no longer technically “new,” they are designated as demo vehicles, resulting in a slight price adjustment to reflect their usage. 

But there’s good news for drivers that have purchased demo vehicles — the Texas Lemon Law applies to demo vehicles that are still covered by their express warranty. If you’ve purchased a demo vehicle that you now believe to be defective, save your repair invoices and consult an attorney that handles lemon law cases in Texas.

Are Demo Vehicles a Safe Purchase?

We can’t reinforce this point enough: demo vehicles are not used vehicles. Although they have been driven before, they aren’t considered “used” because they were never sold. This means that, in addition to having rights under the Texas Lemon Law statute, they also qualify for rebates, special financing, and, of course, the original manufacturer’s warranty. If you have any reservations about purchasing a demo vehicle, relax, you’re actually being given the opportunity to purchase a new vehicle at a great price with all of the same protections a non-demo version of the same vehicle would enjoy. However, demo vehicles aren’t right for every driver, and you should always consider the following before finalizing your decision:

  • Warranty: Demo vehicles are covered by their original manufacturer warranty, but you’ll have to factor in the miles already logged on the odometer to get a clearer picture of how much protection your warranty truly offers.
  • Wear and Tear: You would expect the wear and tear on a demo vehicle to be relatively minor. After all, anyone driving the car will most likely be an employee or someone supervised by an employee, so how bad could it be? You’d be surprised! If the vehicle was loaned to a customer whose car was being serviced for an extended period of time (perhaps another lemon?!), and the driver was irresponsible or didn’t care for the vehicle, it could have resulted in extra wear and tear. If you notice something that troubles you, bring it up to the dealer, there’s probably some wiggle room for the price if you do a little light haggling. Remember, wear and tear isn’t covered by the Texas Lemon Law statute, so don’t expect any relief for things like scratched leather or a missing radio dial.

Consult a Texas Lemon Law Attorney

Under the Texas Lemon Law, demo vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s express warranty qualify for potential relief if the owner can prove that they have met the legal requirement for repair attempts. In other words, if the driver can provide evidence (i.e., repair invoices) showing that the vehicle has required repairs for the same issue four times within the first two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first) of ownership, the Texas Lemon Law rules stipulate that the vehicle may qualify for a repurchase, a brand new replacement vehicle, or monetary compensation.

If you would like to speak with an attorney that handles lemon law cases in Texas, please submit our free case evaluation form today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.