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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

Has anyone purchased a Mazda6 that was listed as both "New & Certified Pre-Owned" on a dealers website? I called and they explained it's a vehicle they drove at the dealership and that it has 4300 miles. Doing a little research tells me this is what would be known as a demo car. How would this car be classified in terms of pricing it (used, new, CPO, etc.)? The model I am looking at specifically is a 2016 Mazda6 GT listed at $25,999. Are there any questions other than standard used car questions I should ask in this situation? One thing that concerns me is how the vehicle was driven (tests drives, manager/employee commutes). Any info you all can provide would be great. Thanks!
 

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It's technically new because it's untitled, but physically it's used. I would shop it accordingly.

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They used to call it a demo because it sounded better than used. Same thing. Now that they have CPO, they'll just call a demo unit a CPO. Still just a used car. Demo cars are usually for dealer events (such as if they display the car at a show), for general manager's use, Salesperson of the Month of even a loaner car. You should be fine with just the standard used car questions. Make sure you check NADA or KBB first, they tend to inflate those CPO prices.
 

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I'm wondering when a new car is no longer considered "new"? Is it 100 miles? Mine was test driven quite a bit, it had 80 miles.

I saw a Ford Fusion that had 200 miles and considered new.

More your opinion, technically it's still considered new.

I had an Impala that only had 5 miles when I bought.
 

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I'm wondering when a new car is no longer considered "new"? Is it 100 miles? Mine was test driven quite a bit, it had 80 miles.

I saw a Ford Fusion that had 200 miles and considered new.

More your opinion, technically it's still considered new.

I had an Impala that only had 5 miles when I bought.
In black and white, it's used the moment you sign the paperwork and put your rear end in that seat.

Dealers can get away with "new" on vehicles that were only used for testing because no paperwork was signed for those miles and therefore doesn't have an owner history.

OP, Treat it like a used car, and even more, treat it like a slightly abused used car - test drivers aren't (typically) going easy on a car they're looking to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input everyone! A little update on the situation. The first time I spoke to the dealership I also gave them a rough figure that I was looking to spend no more than $24000 OTD. He called me back this morning and informed me that they would do $25,500 OTD and it's listed at $24,999. I will be getting back to them with all of my questions since the dealership is a little over an hour away. I found this list regarding "demo vehicles" covering what I should be looking out for. Let me know if any of you have any other insight.

* Don’t confuse a “program car” for a demo. Program cars have already been titled and are used by the manufacturer for everything from press vehicles to “brass hats” – those driven by higher-level employees. These vehicles can have as many as 10,000 miles or more.
* Be sure to verify the history of the vehicle with the salesperson the same as you would a used car. Request a vehicle history report and, before buying, have it inspected by an ASE Certified Master Mechanic and a body repair specialist to be sure there is no hidden damage.
* Check the in-service to be sure it will start when you take delivery, otherwise you could lose out on months of warranty coverage if the in-service date coincides when it was placed in demo service.
* Although there is no policy for compensating for the number of miles already on the vehicle, in 2014 the IRS uses 23.4 cents per mile driven to calculate the cost of using a vehicle for medical or moving purposes – so deduct at least 20.0 to 25.0 cents for each mile driven (in most cases, the more expensive the car, the higher the per mile deduction should be, since, generally, the more expensive a vehicle is, the greater its depreciation will be).
* Be sure the vehicle hasn’t been titled. If it has, it’s a used car.
* If the vehicle is new, in addition to the lower price due to mileage, it should also qualify for any manufacturer new car rebates and incentives.
 

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Excellent points, all valid.

I'll add that if it was demo'd to a salesman, then it needs a good going over since a lot of salesmen drive like, well, you know. Did some time in the biz, so that's first hand knowledge.

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Again, while legally it's a new car because it was never titled in fact it's a used car and that will be obvious to anyone looking at the title because the "when titled" mileage on the original transfer will show the mileage the stealer put on it.

Odometer disclosures are required on all transfers everywhere I've ever lived in the US, so there's no "hiding" that it was used before being titled. Irrespective of the legal status of the car from a depreciation standpoint as soon as a butt sits in the seat for other than a checkride the car is used.

One thing I've always insisted on when buying a car from a dealer (new or "demo") is a signed statement from them that no damage was sustained and repaired prior to or during the dealer's possession of same. If they won't sign that (a one-sentence pen-written addition to their sales agreement they initial is sufficient) then RUN, do not walk away from any such "deal." In most states there is no law requiring disclosure of such "dealer repairs" (e.g. transportation damage, etc) and it can be quite extensive. Damage is damage and if discovered later it WILL impact value, and unless the impact is directly and dollar-for-dollar taken off the price you don't want the car. Dealers will try to tell you that they "can't" make changes to their sales agreements or sign such a thing. That's a lie; there is no law anywhere that bars a dealer from stating in a legally-enforceable manner that there has been no repaired damage to a vehicle they are selling and such a claim is laughable on its face.

Dealer demos can be a reasonable deal provided the depreciation represented by their use is reflected in the price. It frequently isn't, however, and when it's not IMHO you're far better off having a "zero mile" (under 20) vehicle where every mile put on it is one that you drove and thus know the history of. This all assumes you intend to drive said car until the wheels fall off or similar; there's no economic argument, ever, for buying a new car except for the explicit purpose of knowing the operational history of the vehicle since new and thus exerting some level of control over operating and maintenance costs several years down the road.
 

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Thanks for the input everyone! A little update on the situation. The first time I spoke to the dealership I also gave them a rough figure that I was looking to spend no more than $24000 OTD. He called me back this morning and informed me that they would do $25,500 OTD and it's listed at $24,999. I will be getting back to them with all of my questions since the dealership is a little over an hour away. I found this list regarding "demo vehicles" covering what I should be looking out for. Let me know if any of you have any other insight.

* Don’t confuse a “program car” for a demo. Program cars have already been titled and are used by the manufacturer for everything from press vehicles to “brass hats” – those driven by higher-level employees. These vehicles can have as many as 10,000 miles or more.
* Be sure to verify the history of the vehicle with the salesperson the same as you would a used car. Request a vehicle history report and, before buying, have it inspected by an ASE Certified Master Mechanic and a body repair specialist to be sure there is no hidden damage.
* Check the in-service to be sure it will start when you take delivery, otherwise you could lose out on months of warranty coverage if the in-service date coincides when it was placed in demo service.
* Although there is no policy for compensating for the number of miles already on the vehicle, in 2014 the IRS uses 23.4 cents per mile driven to calculate the cost of using a vehicle for medical or moving purposes – so deduct at least 20.0 to 25.0 cents for each mile driven (in most cases, the more expensive the car, the higher the per mile deduction should be, since, generally, the more expensive a vehicle is, the greater its depreciation will be).
* Be sure the vehicle hasn’t been titled. If it has, it’s a used car.
* If the vehicle is new, in addition to the lower price due to mileage, it should also qualify for any manufacturer new car rebates and incentives.
Just look it over closely for acceptable wear and tear. It could have been a loaner car as all Mazda dealers are required to have them for their service customers.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just got off the phone and got some more info on the car

  • The vehicle is titled to the dealership
  • He said it is a CPO vehicle that they call refer to as a "chase" car. Can anyone tell me more about chase cars? I'm going to email him back asking more specific questions on its exact use.
  • The in-service date is Sept 2, 2016 so that time will be taken off the warranty along with the ~3500 miles. However, they have extended the powertrain warranty to 7 years/100,000 from 5 year/60,000
  • No damage or repairs
  • They can provided a vehicle report
To me this all sounds good on paper and a little too good to be true for the price I was offered. Someone slap some sense into me...Still need to go and check it out personally for myself.
 

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I would emphisize it is still a "USED" vehicle and go with a 24,500$ number OTD as your budget was 24K$ to start and you'll give 500 more but that is all.....and stick to it, if there first comeback was 25,5k$ they will go lower. Go to the dealership as that will show you are truly ready to buy. You might have to walk but you probably wont get far before your phone will ring agreeing to your deal. Thats just what I would do if it were me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would emphisize it is still a "USED" vehicle and go with a 24,500$ number OTD as your budget was 24K$ to start and you'll give 500 more but that is all.....and stick to it, if there first comeback was 25,5k$ they will go lower. Go to the dealership as that will show you are truly ready to buy. You might have to walk but you probably wont get far before your phone will ring agreeing to your deal. Thats just what I would do if it were me.
Completely agree with you! The first time I contacted this dealership saying that I was looking for a 2016 Touring + Tech or a Grand Touring for $24,000 OTD he told me that the cheapest they have right now was a 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring for $24,999. He called me the next day saying they could do it for $25,500 OTD. I'm thinking I could talk them down a little more as well.
 

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25k OTD for a 2016 GT with 3500 miles and an extended warranty is a steal if everything else lines up ( no damages,signs of wear and tear etc). I paid ~$30k for the same model, so you are getting a good 18% discount on a lightly used car. Ofcourse, dealers are stealers, so use your best judgement.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
25k OTD for a 2016 GT with 3500 miles and an extended warranty is a steal if everything else lines up ( no damages,signs of wear and tear etc). I paid ~$30k for the same model, so you are getting a good 18% discount on a lightly used car. Ofcourse, dealers are stealers, so use your best judgement.
My thoughts as well. Need to make a trip to the dealership this week if I can to check it out in person. Was told that it did not sustain damage/get repaired and that it was used for transport but not test drives.
 

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You know they didnt pay them squat for that vehicle when whomever owned it traded it in. If it was 32K i bet they didnt give him 22 for it. If you get it for 25K you will be doing good, if you want to go that high. Dont be overly excited about it, they smell blood when they see someone is excited about the car in question. Act like you really dont want the GT and that you were mostly looking for a Touring with the premium package to save $$ and dont need all the extra GT stuff. Act like you can take it or leave it and would rather save the $$. Let us know how it works out for you. Good luck bro, im doing the same act in a couple weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You know they didnt pay them squat for that vehicle when whomever owned it traded it in. If it was 32K i bet they didnt give him 22 for it. If you get it for 25K you will be doing good, if you want to go that high. Dont be overly excited about it, they smell blood when they see someone is excited about the car in question. Act like you really dont want the GT and that you were mostly looking for a Touring with the premium package to save $$ and dont need all the extra GT stuff. Act like you can take it or leave it and would rather save the $$. Let us know how it works out for you. Good luck bro, im doing the same act in a couple weeks.
Well the dealership told me this is a "chase" vehicle. For example, if I bought a car online and the dealership drove it to me they would have someone follow them in a "chase" vehicle to get back to the dealership. The only people that drove it are older employees. Went to check it out for the first time today and every thing appears to check out! Tried not to show excitement as best as I could.

So now I have to ask to responsible question...what other vehicles could I get for $25,500 OTD or less that are actually worth considering? I know it's odd to ask that on a Mazda forum haha but any opinions are welcome!
 

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Well the dealership told me this is a "chase" vehicle. For example, if I bought a car online and the dealership drove it to me they would have someone follow them in a "chase" vehicle to get back to the dealership. The only people that drove it are older employees. Went to check it out for the first time today and every thing appears to check out! Tried not to show excitement as best as I could.

So now I have to ask to responsible question...what other vehicles could I get for $25,500 OTD or less that are actually worth considering? I know it's odd to ask that on a Mazda forum haha but any opinions are welcome!
"What other vehicles could I get for $25,500 OTD or less that are actually worth considering?"

Really subjective. You can get a brand new GTI, Focus ST,Civic Si if it is performance and handling you are after. You can get a gently used Audi A4, BMW 320/328, Merc C300/CLA ,Lexus IS/ES 350 if luxury is what you desire.

If its a new econo-box sedan that you are looking for in the same category, then the car that most Mazda6 owners cross-shop is the Accord. Give the new Elantra Sport a try, i've heard nothing but good things about it.

I still think 25k$ OTD for a 2016 Mazda6 GT with 3000 miles is a good deal, but do your homework and walk into the stealership fully knowing they are out there to screw you one way or another.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
"What other vehicles could I get for $25,500 OTD or less that are actually worth considering?"

Really subjective. You can get a brand new GTI, Focus ST,Civic Si if it is performance and handling you are after. You can get a gently used Audi A4, BMW 320/328, Merc C300/CLA ,Lexus IS/ES 350 if luxury is what you desire.

If its a new econo-box sedan that you are looking for in the same category, then the car that most Mazda6 owners cross-shop is the Accord. Give the new Elantra Sport a try, i've heard nothing but good things about it.

I still think 25k$ OTD for a 2016 Mazda6 GT with 3000 miles is a good deal, but do your homework and walk into the stealership fully knowing they are out there to screw you one way or another.
Fair point, part of me is saying to just by some $5000-$10,000 high milage car that is known for being reliable while the other part wants me to just go for the Mazda6. To be more specific I'm looking for a 4-door car that has some more modern features, is reliable, and looks good. I'm 26 so I would like for the vehicle to last me at least 7+ years. The mazda6 has the curves of a sports car that I haven't seen in any other model. So much so that I can still confuse it for a higher end sports car. I'm not looking for luxury because of maintenance costs.
 

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Test drive the new Civic Si 4 door , Elantra Sport and Mazda 6 base model and take a call. If there's one advise any car guy will give you is that there are no bad cars anymore. Every manufacturer spends obscene amount of money in developing new cars, so it is all relative and down to individual taste and need. Goodluck.
 
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