What is a Demo Tire?

Have you ever come across a “demo tire” and wondered what it means? Demo tires, although not common, can come up for sale cheaper than identical tires which are brand new.

In this article, we will discuss what is a demo tire, explore the difference between them and a new tire and whether you should consider buying them for your vehicle.

What is a Demo Tire?

A demo tire, short for demonstration tire, is a tire that has been mounted and driven on for a few miles at most before being taken off again. This may be for quality testing by the manufacturer or for transporting brand new vehicles from factory to the show room.

Tire manufacturers also take tires to use for promotional and display purposes at trade shows or car shows. After this, these tires are then sold on as demo tires.

Unlike regular tires that are put into storage and sold immediately for use on vehicles, demo tires serve a different function altogether. These tires are used to showcase the features, capabilities, and aesthetics of a particular tire model or brand.

Purpose and Characteristics of Demo Tires

Demo tires are meant to be identical to the model of tire that is or will be on sale to the general public.

One of the primary objectives of a demo tire for a manufacturer is to announce or showcase a new tire model at trade shows and car shows. This allow manufacturers to highlight the unique selling points of a tire model to road users and potential customers, creating a lasting impact and generating interest in their latest tire offerings.

By allowing trade show attendees and car show visitors to experience the demo tire’s performance firsthand, manufacturers can effectively demonstrate its advantages. This allows people who are looking to purchase a particular tire the chance to have a closer look at the tire and see the features firsthand.

Recent trends in the tire industry has seen manufacturers design appealing sidewalls designs on tires to make them standout from the competition. This includes the likes of Michelin and Continental who are competing in the high end of the market with enthusiasts and owners of show cars.

This is different from prototype tires, which are pre-production versions of tires that are developed during the tire design and testing phase. These tires are not for public sale and are often produced in limited quantities.

Encountering Demo Tires

If you are an automotive enthusiast, attending events like auto shows, tire expos, or dealer showcases will likely provide you with an opportunity to encounter demo tires. During these events, tire manufacturers and retailers often set up stands, allowing visitors to explore and interact with their products.

You will find demo tires mounted on display stands, vehicles, or even have the chance to participate in test drives to get a firsthand experience of their performance.

It is worth noting that demo tires on display are not usually available for purchase. Their purpose is to provide a glimpse into the capabilities and features of a particular tire model.

If you are interested in purchasing a specific tire model that you encounter as a demo tire, you can typically find the production version of the tire available for purchase at authorized retailers or online platforms.

Can you buy Demo Tires?

Yes it is possible to buy demo tires. However they do not often come up for sale as there are only a very small number of tires used as demo tires.

Millions of drivers purchase new tires each year and everyone is looking for a good deal on tires and buying part worn or demo tires is the easiest way to save money when needing to replace your old worn out tires.

Is it a good idea to buy Demo Tires?

Demo tires are no different to other used tires and are usually a good idea as compared to other used tire, they are minimally used and can be up to 10% cheaper than a brand new tire.

As long a tire is free of any damage, is less than 6 years old and has the required amount of tread, they should be suitable to fit to your vehicle.

When purchasing a barely used or demo tire, we always recommend making sure it is as new as possible. A tire that is 5 years old is likely going to need replacing within a year or 2 as aged tires suffer from hardened rubber, reducing their performance.

Always make sure to check the size of your wheel and the tire to ensure that the tire will fit your vehicle. Also consider whether the tire will be suitable to for the conditions that you will be driving in.

Do Demo tires come with warranty?

Yes, Demo tires come with the same manufacturing guarantee that a new tire would come with. It is worth checking this with the individual tire retailer.

Second hand retailers may not have information on this if the tire is not supplied from the original manufacturer.


While demo tires may not be as common or widely available, they play a crucial role in the automotive industry. They serve as powerful marketing tools, allowing potential customers to experience and evaluate the performance and visual appeal of a tire before making a purchase decision.

So, the next time you attend an automotive event or exhibition, keep an eye out for the latest tire releases and announcements. Not only will you be able to get hands on and see the tire in person, you will learn valuable insights into their performance and features, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect tire for your vehicle.

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