A Buyer’s Guide to Getting a Used Porsche

Used Porsche

You don’t have to have a small fortune tucked away in the bank to fulfill your dream of owning a Porsche – not if you choose to go the used route. What a pre-owned Porsche lacks in that new car smell and box-fresh interior, it more than makes up for in an attainable price point. But while a used Porsche might be more affordable than a new one, make no mistake. It’s still a Porsche and it’s still expensive enough to warrant careful consideration. This isn’t a purchase you can afford to go into with one eye shut. Unless you want to land yourself with a major regret, take the time to find out exactly what you need to know and do before handing over your hard-earned cash.

Used Vs New

Before you get any further into the process, take a moment to consider whether going the used route is really the right choice for you. Believe it or not, there’s a lot more to consider than a low asking price. Unless you’re in the habit of changing your car every year or so, this is a decision that you’re going to be living with for quite a few years. Considering all the various factors involved is crucial if you don’t want to make a costly mistake. The first thing every buyer should do? Crunch the numbers. Weighing up every possible cost involved is the only way to decide whether buying a used car is really going to save you quite as much money in the long run as you think. Some of the things to consider include:

  • Insurance: Insurance providers may charge a higher premium for used cars.
  • Repairs and maintenance: Parts for older models can be harder and more expensive to source than those for current models. Ongoing maintenance needs are also likely to be higher.

Know Your Models

If you’ve crunched the numbers and decided that a used Porsche is the right choice for you, it’s time to give yourself a crash course in the Porsche back catalog. One of the beauties of going the used route is that you’ll have access to far more models than you would by buying new. Getting to know each model by discovering the potential pitfalls and capabilities is crucial. Don’t forget to consider your family situation and requirements when it comes to picking a model: a two-door convertible might be your dream, but your wife and kids might be less happy with the arrangement.

As per gearpatrol.com, the A-Z of Porsche models to familiarize yourself with include:

Cayenne

Cayenne

The Cayenne is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV.

Current and Past Models

  • Cayenne Turbo
  • Cayenne E-Hybrid
  • Cayenne GTS
  • Cayenne S
  • Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid
  • Cayenne

Available Engines

  • Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8
  • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6
  • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 hybrid
  • Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 hybrid
  • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6

Styles

  • SUV Coupe
  • SUV

718 Cayman

718 Cayman

The 718 Cayman is a two-door, two-seater, mid-engined coupe. As Porsche’s entry-level sports car, it offers crisp handling and superb driver engagement. On the flip side, it has a slightly boring interior and cramped cabin space.

Current and Past Models

  • 718 Cayman
  • 718 Cayman GTS 4.0
  • 718 Cayman S
  • 718 Cayman GT4
  • 718 Cayman

Available Engines

  • Turbocharged 2.5-liter
  • 4.0-liter boxer-six
  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter

Styles

Coupe

Taycan

Taycan

The Taycan is Porsche’s first foray into electric vehicle territory. Fast, clean, and with an acceleration that’s going to knock you for six, it’s a powerful car that sets a new standard for EVs.

Current and Past Models

• Taycan Turbo S
• Taycan Turbo
• Taycan 4S

Available Engines

  • Dual AC

Styles

  • Sedan

718 Boxster

718 Boxster

The Boxster has been one of Porsche’s most popular models ever since it debuted in 1997. A nimble sports car with great drivability and exhilarating top speeds, the only downsides are a lack of cargo space and a slightly dreary cabin.

Current and Past Models

  • 718 Boxster S
  • 718 Boxster
  • 718 Boxster T
  • 718 Spyder
  • 718 Boxster GTS 4.0

Available Engines

  • Turbocharged 2.5-liter
  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter
  • 4.0-liter

Styles

  • Convertible

Panamera

Panamera

Reliable and comfortable, the Porsche Panamera delivers well-balanced handling, a plush interior, and athletic performance. Positioned somewhere between a sports car and a sports sedan, it’s a good choice for drivers that want a daily driver that’s still capable of pulling off a racecar-like performance when necessary.

Current and Past Models

  • Panamera
  • Panamera 4
  • Panamera 4S E-Hybrid
  • Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
  • Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
  • Panamera GTS
  • Panamera 4S
  • Panamera Turbo S

Available Engines

  • Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8
  • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 hybrid
  • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6

Styles

  • Long-wheelbase sedan
  • Station wagon
  • Sedan

Macan

Macan

The Macan is one of Porsche’s best sellers. It’s an entry compact crossover with strong turbocharged engines, a comfortable cabin, and plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

Current and Past Models

  • Macan
  • Macan Turbo
  • Macan GTS
  • Macan S

Available Engines

  • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
  • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6

Styles

  • SUV

911

911

The 911 is one of Porsche’s most iconic models. A two-door, two-plus-two seat, rear-engine sports car, it delivers precision handling and a first-class driving experience.

Current and Past Models

  • Carrera S / Carrera 4S / Carrera 4
  • Carrera Cabriolet S / Carrera Cabriolet 4S /Carrera Cabriolet 4
  • Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition / Targa 4S / Targa 4
  • Turbo S / Turbo
  • Turbo S Cabriolet / Turbo Cabriolet

Available Engines

  • Twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter
  • Twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter

Styles

  • Coupe
  • Targa
  • Convertible

Research the Average Retail Value

Just because a car falls into the ‘used’ status doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a great deal – not if you’re not careful, in any case. Regardless of where you end up buying your used Porsche, always be sure to research the average market value in the first instance. This is the only way you can be sure you won’t be paying over the odds. Plug the details of your preferred model into a service like Kelly Blue Book(www.kbb.com/new-cars/?hpnav=true), Edmundswww.edmunds.com/appraisal/ or NADA (www.nadaguides.com/CARS) to get a good indication of what other people are paying across the country. You can then use this average as a negotiating tool to ensure you get the best deal possible. However, be savvy – if a dealership is offering a car that comes in way below the average retail price, ask yourself why.

Where to Buy a Used Porsche

Once you’ve decided on what model you want, it’s time to start scouring the market. As stuttcars.com notes, used buyers have three main options: the Official Porsche Centers (OPC), third party dealers, and private sellers. Each option comes with its own list of pros and cons. Weighing those up is a crucial part in deciding which avenue to take.

Official Porsche Centers

Used Porsche 1

When you buy from an Official Porsche Center, you’re going to get more peace of mind than you would elsewhere. In most cases, you’ll benefit from a warranty and in all cases, you’ll get the same level of service as you could expect when buying new. Authorized dealerships have a reputation to protect, not to mention a hotline to the manufacturer. It’s unlikely they’re going to risk irking the powers-that-be by engaging in any shoddy or underhand practices. On the flip side, you can’t guarantee that the car you’re getting isn’t still a doozy if it comes with an unknown history. You’re also going to get stung with a bigger bill than you’d get elsewhere.

Third-Party Sellers

Third-party sellers will generally only accept cars into their stock that they know they can pass on with confidence. If they know a car has a shady history, they’re unlikely to take it into stock. Find a good third-party dealership, and you’re likely to find a great variety of mid to high-end cars with attractive price points. The problem is that absolutely none of this is guaranteed. For every good seller, there’s a shady one. If you don’t do your research into their reputation, there’s always the risk of getting ripped off in a major way.

Private Sellers

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, private sellers are likely to offer the best deal. On the flip side, this is the riskiest option. You’re not going to get a warranty and you’re not going to have too much recourse if anything goes wrong. None of this is to say that you can’t find a great deal and a very respectable seller in the private market. It simply means you need to step very carefully if you don’t want to make a very expensive mistake. If you do choose to buy from a private seller, always be sure to run a title search on the vehicle via the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to make sure the seller is the true owner.

Inspect the Vehicle

Used Porsche 2

Once you’ve identified a likely-looking model, arrange an inspection. First off, inspect it yourself (if you know anyone with a good grounding in mechanics, you might want to bring them along for the ride). Inspect the exterior thoroughly, taking careful note of any dents, dings, or scrapes. Cosmetic flaws can usually be rectified simply and easily enough, but they should still be flagged -if for no other reason than as a negotiating tool. Inspect the interior just as carefully. Take note of any signs of neglect, any strange smells, and any stains or rips. Ultimately, this is a used car and some small signs of wear and tear are to be expected. However, if it seems like the previous owner hasn’t bothered to keep the cabin clean, take it as a warning sign.

If you notice any major issues with the car during the inspection, and if you anticipate that the cost of repair is going to exceed any savings you make on the initial outlay, walk away. If the car passes your test, you can move to the second stage of inspection: the Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI). A PPI involves a thorough inspection by a Porsche expert. It’s intended to identify any mechanical problems that might not be obvious during a cursory inspection. A Porsche expert will know exactly what kind of faults a particular model may be susceptible to and will be able to highlight any problems. Unless you’re a mechanic, don’t skip this step. It’s going to be vital in guiding you to an informed decision.

Take a Test Drive

Regardless of how attractive the price and how good a shape the car is in, it’s going to mean nothing if you don’t enjoy driving it. Ultimately, you’re dealing with a Porsche, so you’re not going to find the driving experience a strain. But it still pays to take a test drive to ensure you feel comfortable behind the wheel. As you drive, take note of how comfortable you find the seating, how much leg and headroom you have, and how easy you find the controls to operate. Test out all the functions and features – if any buttons seem clunky or any features don’t work as they should, take a note of them so you can raise it with the dealership. A good dealer should ensure that any issues, no matter how minor, are resolved prior to sale.

Check the Mileage and Service History of the Car

When it comes to classic Porsches, neither the number of previous owners nor the mileage is as important as the condition of the car. In fact, lower mileage cars can actually come with more risk factors: if the mileage marker for a service isn’t hit, it’s more likely to be missed. As a result, some low mileage cars could be hiding a score of issues and plenty of wear and tear. Check the service history to see when items such as tires, fluids, brakes, and oil seals were last checked. Brake fluid should be flushed every two to three years, while spark plugs should be changed every ten years regardless of mileage. If the seller can’t provide you with the necessary servicing history or seems reluctant to disclose certain information, speak with your feet. While you’re in the mood for checking records, do as JBR Capital recommends and conduct an online HPI to check for mileage discrepancies and signs of accident damage.

Final Thoughts

Used Porsche 3

Buying a used car is a great way of fulfilling your dream of driving a Porsche without having to blow a hole in the bank. But make no mistake – this is still a huge investment and it’s certainly not one you can afford to take lightly. Unless you want to make one of the costliest mistakes of your life, research, research, and then research a little bit more. By the time you hand over your money, you should know everything there is to know about the model, the car, the costs (both current and future), and the dealer. It may be laborious, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

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