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Porsche buying tips


This isn’t intended as a technical guide to buying a good used Porsche. We’ve been doing it for more than 20 years during which time we’ve sold nearly £100 million pounds worth of Stuttgart’s finest and we are still learning, every day really is a school day. If we tell you 10 things to look for there may be an 11th reason not to buy a particular car and sometimes it takes an extremely fine eye to spot. We also use specialist diagnostic equipment which allows us to see beyond the immediately obvious. There is however some general advice and it’s that which we want to cover.

Service History

A good service history is critical for a number of reasons. It shows the car has been maintained to a high standard but it also helps shed light on the provenance of the vehicle. Without service history it would be easy to falsify milage for instance. When looking through a service history don’t worry what happened decades ago, if the car had new brake discs in 1995 they are unlikely to be still be on the car now. But if specific jobs are due or have fallen due recently have they been done? Spark plugs, brake fluid, polyrib (serpentine) belt and so on will all have a potential cost associated.

Mechanical condition

This should be considered in conjunction with the service history. Just because the service history shows brake discs and pads were changed relatively recently don’t assume they are still in good condition. Look at the actual vehicle. For us mechanical appraisal is easy, we do it several times a day and as already discussed we aren’t trying to create a technical check list but don’t forget to look at the car as well as the paperwork. Buying a specialist car takes specialised skills. There is no shame in holding your hand up and using experts. We have had some very difficult conversations over the years with people who thought they knew best but ended up buying trouble.

Provenance

Is the car actually the car it says it is. Porsches are high value items so there is a strong incentive for those of less honest character. There are some online checks you can carry out surrounding V5 registration documents, MOT certificates and so on but use common sense as well. If someone is supposed to have owned a car for 5 years it would seem odd if they struggled to answer basic questions. Are all the physical markings such as chassis or VIN numbers in the right places. As marque specialists we know to within fine tolerances what everything should look like.

Document checks

We have been members of HPI for more than 25 years and check all cars across their database as a matter of course before purchasing. It’s worth mentioning that not all consumer data check services cover outstanding finance on vehicles.

Accident damage

Whilst you can easily change worn tyres or a leaking oil seal, badly repaired accident damage can never be corrected. We don’t mind corrective paintwork to cover stone chips or minor altercations providing they have been carried out to a high standard but we are looking for original metal panels. Once a car has been damaged there is little you can do to make things good again.

Ownership

A Porsche isn’t something which is bought new then run until it falls apart. People change cars to experience the latest innovation or to discover new models. Even within one range there are a number of choices. The GT cars in particular are owned by enthusiasts always keen to broaden their horizons. The average ownership for a Porsche is probably around 18 months.

Price

It’s funny, people looking to buy cars search what’s out there starting from the cheapest upwards, people looking to sell cars start at the most expansive working downwards. Particularly as cars get older there is a a huge variation in condition and you can't rectify a bad car for anything like the monetary saving over a prime example. Some cars advertised have been there since the dawn of time and will never sell. Again, for us it’s easy because we have an intimate knowledge of what sells and what doesn’t. We don’t just track our own sales we look across many platforms and combined with our understanding of relevant condition feel able to make fairly accurate predictions.

Specific options

Particularly as cars get older there is a huge variation in terms of condition. You need to buy the best example you can find but if you throw in limitations that won’t happen. Searching for a particular colour car with specific options means you vastly limit the pool of cars from which to make a selection. We wouldn’t suggest compromising to the extent of a bright Pink car with a vibrant yellow interior but try to bring as many cars as possible into scope. It will result in a better car for potentially less money.

We hope you’ve found that useful. It isn’t intended as an exhaustive list but more a catalyst for future discussions. If you want to chat through any aspect of buying or selling a Porsche please don’t hesitate to get in touch either by email or phone.


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