While none of the following line items should cause you to walk away from a prospective purchase all on their own, they are things to keep in mind when looking to purchase a “new to you” Porsche. Every car and seller has their own story and most of them are legitimate. These are just things to be aware of when considering the purchase of a used Porsche (or any car for that matter).
- Limited or no service history: While a good PPI can uncover most of the potential problems or fixes a car may need, they are not bullet proof. In addition, service history gives you a good idea as to how well the car was cared for over its life and if certain maintenance items were deferred (not done). Not to mention a full-service history and documentation will greatly add to the resale value of certain cars as they continue to age.
- It's too good to be true: You’ve done your research and you know that the used 993 C4S you are looking for should cost between $50,000 and $60,000 but you just found a one-owner car with low-miles and complete records for less than half of market price. I’m not saying this couldn’t be the deal of the century, just remember not everyone is honest.
- Used car dealers: Not all dealers are created equal. There are many excellent private Porsche dealers. Companies that have been around for years and have an excellent reputation (i.e. Richard Sloan, TruSpeed, Willhoit, Premier, Weissach Autohaus, Holt, etc.) are always good sources for used, well cared for Porsches. However, it seems there are just as many other dealers with bad, if not horrible reputations, when it comes to selling Porsches. Remember, there are lots of resources available to check other people’s experience with a certain dealer. Use them! Do a search on Rennlist or Pelican Parts on any dealer you are thinking of working with. You may be very surprised at what you find.
- Private sellers: Are they forthcoming with information? Do they seem to know the history of the vehicle well? Do they seem trustworthy on the phone? Are they happy to go through details? With a private seller it is much more difficult to vet them out and sometimes you just have to trust you instincts. If you don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling from the person you are dealing with I suggest you walk away. Finding the right seller is one of the most important steps in finding the right Porsche.
- You found it on craigslist: I say this mostly as a joke. Craigslist is a great resource and you can find some nice cars and accessories. However, craigslist is also home to some of the worst scams known to car buyers. Buyer beware!
Porsche Buyers' Guides Available on the Internet
Another great option is to look at one of the many Porsche Buyer’s Guides available on the internet. In my opinion, one of the best and most frequently recommended is Adrian Crawford’s Porsche Secrets Revealed series. Available on-line in an e-book format, it is comprehensive with great details and photos and very inexpensive given the amount of knowledge that Adrian shares.
If you have other items that you think should be on this list, please let me know!