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Demo Cars and The Salespeople Who Drive Them

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It would seem that some people just never get pulled over, and it’s often to the point that we’re left wondering if these people have perfected a magic cloaking device that leaves them unseen by the police monitoring the roads of the United States. We’ve all been in the situation where we are traveling at a high rate of speed, maybe ten to fifteen miles over the limit, keeping pace with the car in front of us, and we’re the ones that get popped by the police. We’re the ones who get the ticket.

This is no more evident than for those who carry a dealer plate on their vehicle. Whether these dealer plates are associated with a prospective buyer on a jaunty drive, testing what the vehicle can do, or they’re a dealership employee’s demo car, it would appear that these vehicles may get a certain pass from local law enforcement. The question is whether or not it’s merely the dealer tag, or if there is something else at work on the roads. Do dealer tags make the driver above the law? Do they have some special privilege that we regular Joe’s don’t know about?

Many dealership employees will spout the benefits of being in possession of a demo car, the dealer plate being one of them. I mean, who doesn’t want to drive a brand new car, usually one that is equipped with all of the desirable features, and virtually for free at that? Most of these employees don’t really care that the car can be sold out from under them at any moment and that they can’t get comfortable in the car because it isn’t technically theirs. However, it’s intimated that the dealer tag can make it all worthwhile.

This claim from dealership employees leads one to wonder if there is some sinister relationship going on between the police and dealer tagged vehicles. We’ve all been on a test drive, where the salesman grabs a magnetic dealer tag to make the vehicle legal to drive. However, in many states, that dealer tag isn’t only for test drive purchases. The salespeople that opt-in for the demo cars are assigned tags that point the car back to the dealer, allowing roadway officers to know that the car is owned by a dealership and is not someone’s personal, everyday vehicle.

Demo policies vary from dealership to dealership, and different states have different laws governing their employee’s demo vehicles. However, a lot of the dealerships allow their employees who drive demos to use dealer tags, and research has yet to show a person who’s been pulled over in a vehicle outfitted with such a tag. They can’t be above the law, right? That’s not fair, yet they seem to dodge detection from the police. The more savvy salespeople will deny such claims, but the secretive nature of the business makes normal people more than a little bit suspicious.

There are several possible reasons that cars showing dealer tags aren’t pulled over, as often, if at all. The first is that the officer assumes that the vehicle is on a test drive and the driver is seeing what the vehicle can do before committing to the purchase. The second is that drivers of demo vehicles are extra careful when it comes to their driving habits knowing that the car is the property of their employer, and therefore there is no reason for the car to have run-ins with the police. The final reason could be part of a higher conspiracy, that the police simply offer a pass to vehicles with dealer tags.

There are many arguments about whether or not dealer license plates make the driver of the vehicle above the law or at least not as susceptible as folks driving cars with state-issued personal plates. Obviously, not a lot of police officers or dealership employees are willing to offer an opinion on this topic, thus furthering the belief that they’re exempt from speeding tickets. Perhaps it has nothing to do with anything more than luck, but there could be something more conspiratorial happening here. If they’re not easily victims of radar’s watchful eye, where do we sign up?


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