When is a new car not a new car? - Run-flat
At the end of March I ordered a new Mazda RX8 R3 from the local Mazda dealership after taking a test drive. The dealer took all the details and completed an order form. He said that it would take about ten days to source the car (that there would be one in the correct colour at another dealership) and get it checked over.

A week or so after placing the order I recieved the V5 in the post which prompted me to phone the dealership to enquire how things were going. The car was in and they were doing the pre-road checks. A few days later I collected my first new car.

Due to problems with the gearbox\clutch, yesterday I ended up going back to the dealership to have a mechanic carry out a test drive. During the drive he let it slip that my car was in fact their showroom car, later to be their demonstrator (the one I had test driven). This was further confirmed by another staff member.

Now, to me that means that the car wasn't new, despite having only 70 miles on the clock (it was explained away as being driven up from a local(ish) compound). The salesman encouraged me to rev the engine up to the limiter on the test drive, which makes me wonder how many other potential customers did the same.

I'm waiting to hear back from the dealership as apparently everyone who is someone has been unavailable to comment. Am I being pedantic or should I have expected a new car, or is a demonstrator counted as a new car?

First time poster, long time lurker. Please be gentle with me.
When is a new car not a new car? - retgwte
solicitor and trading standards asap on this one

When is a new car not a new car? - the swiss tony
Demos should be registered to the dealership..... Id be interested to know what part of the country your in, please dont name the dealership as this site has a 'no name-no shame' policy...
When is a new car not a new car? - daveyjp
Is it the case that demos will only be registered if they have a reg plate?

I drove an Insight with 250 miles on the clock, but the car wasn't registered and the salesman forgot to put the trade plates on - he realised 100m down the road!

I'd be suspicious about a car which is built in Japan being available so quickly - it's been lying around somewhere. Look around the car for tell tales of date stamps to see when it was actually built.
When is a new car not a new car? - Run-flat
Already been in touch with trading standards and got a ref number. They said it would be best to avoid solicitors and go for either a discount or a new replacement.

The demo was on trade plates. I'm in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

All communication with the dealership led me to believe that they were getting a new car in. Just a bit miffed that I've been taken for a mug (feeling like a mug at the moment).
When is a new car not a new car? - Altea Ego
If you are the first registered keeper its a new car no matter how many miles it has on the clock (70 miles is New) A show room car is a new car provided it hasnt been registered to someone else.

If you are not then its not new (even if it has only 70 miles on the clock)

Edited by Altea Ego on 07/05/2009 at 22:19

When is a new car not a new car? - the swiss tony
AE you have it spot on there.
that said... unreged cars should only be used in a demo as a last resort, ie there is no similar specced vehicles available - engine, transmission and suspension being the important things - interior trimming can be shown in a static car.
what I cant understand, is why there wasnt a proper RX8 demo available, they are often run by the sales manager or DP....
When is a new car not a new car? - Run-flat
I would've been happy to wait for them to get a new car in (as they said they were) rather than have the demo. There's only one spec of RX8 these days, you just get to choose from six colours.

According to the mechanic, they've only ever had the one RX8 R3 in. They currently don't have an RX8 demonstrator as they haven't replaced the one they gave me.

How does being the registered owner relate to how new a car is? I know 'new' cars have usually been sitting in a field for several months, however in my mind this is different from having been driven around on the roads. I deliberately held off ordering until the cold weather had finished to avoid the road salt for another year.

I'm concerned that the dealership led me to believe that the car was one that had been ordered for me throughout. If they had said "we'll be selling you the demonstrator" I would have said no.
When is a new car not a new car? - Altea Ego
> How does being the registered owner relate to how new a car is?

Because thats the legal definition of a new car. Not how many miles its done, how many have driven it, how many have sat in it, how long its been in a field, or how many people have run their sticky finger sover it.

You can even sell a damaged/ repaired car as "new"

When is a new car not a new car? - Mick Snutz
Look at it this way. If it was 'brand new' and had been sat in a field, you'd be the one finding all the niggles and faults.

The fact its been driven a few times in various styles by other potential customers is good for a car. So long as there are no stone chips or scratches, it smells like a new car, it looks like a new car and has the mileage of a new car, then it must be a new car.
When is a new car not a new car? - Run-flat
No stone chips, though it was covered in tiny orange rust spots (as if it had been close to someone cutting steel). Got most of them off.

If it drove like a new car I wouldn't be as upset. When I change gear 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th it sounds like a bag of spanners have been dropped and it feels very rough. The dealership say that it's meant to be notchy and to continue to run it for another three months to see if it gets better! Finding out is was the ex demo was the icing on the cake.

Okay, so it's a new car. If that's the general consensus I'll shut up about it.
When is a new car not a new car? - bathtub tom
I've every sympathy for the OP, in his shoes I'd be very upset because I'd been misled.

With the 'bag of spanners' gearbox topping the icing, I'd have very little confidence in the honesty and integrity of the dealership.

When is a new car not a new car? - Altea Ego
But dont forgoe you rights as a buyer tho. If you think its not right keep hastling them to get if fixed. Dont forget tho the RX8 is a very different beast to most cars. It does not like short cold runs and check that oil every tankfull of petrol.
When is a new car not a new car? - J500ANT
My memory tells me there is a legal definition of what a new car is - ie in terms of miles, repairs etc. But sadly Google fails me. I think a letter to Auto Express might be in order for the OP.
When is a new car not a new car? - Run-flat
Yes, it is a very different beast. I did my research before buying and knew about the oil (and fuel) thirst and cold shut-downs. Though it's not much worse on fuel than my previous car - an Omega 2.0 GLS.

The mechanic winced when he felt the gear change and agreed that it wasn't my imagination. They didn't want to keep it there and then but said they'd phone me to arrange taking it in yesterday. When they didn't get back to me I telephoned them today and that's when they said that they wouldn't be doing anything with it as it is meant to be a 'notchy' gearbox and to run it in for another three months. I don't expect it to last another three months at this rate!

I'm a member of an RX8 owners club and have posted the gearbox problem on their forum. It looks like it's just my car that's got the issue at the moment.

Edited by Run-flat on 08/05/2009 at 00:09

When is a new car not a new car? - SpamCan61 {P}
To make extra sure I'd another garage with an RX-8 demonstrator and see if that's notchy as well - assuming you can find one with fairly low miles without scouring the entire country :-/.
When is a new car not a new car? - Run-flat
It's not 'notchy'. I could live with 'notchy'. This complains at going into gear by grinding it's teeth and making loud 'cluncking' noises. When it does this I imagine rotating metal tooth gears at different speeds clashing together with all the subsequent wear. You can feel it back through the gearstick. It didn't do this on the test drive.

I'm in an RX8 owners club and have asked anyone there if they are having similar problems. Two or three have got back to me to say that they are problem free.

Ask Honest John

Value my car