Porsche to many is the ultimate luxury sports car. Known for style and great performance, from the iconic 911 to the spacious Cayenne SUV. But when buying a used Porsche there are lots to consider first before we make that leap.
A Porsche requires regular maintenance and Porsche maintenance is expensive. However, Porsche cars are reliable and once maintained are as reliable as any other brand. A well-maintained Porsche at the right price is an excellent used car choice.
Buying any used car is not for the faint-hearted. You need to know what problems you should be looking for and if buying a used Porsche be prepared for the extra cost that will involve year on year. In this article, we’ll look at cost and maintenance and known issues to be aware of.
Cost of A Used Porsche
This can be a bit of a blanket question as there are many different elements to consider. These include Model – Age of Car – Service History. There are many different models of Porsche available from the Iconic 911 to the Boxster to the ever-popular Cayenne. The cost of each is different but the buyer of each is also a very different cross-section.
A 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera could set you back $80k, but 2010 is half that price at $40k. That’s a lot of money for a used car, but many will have low mileage and be very well cared for. Considering a new Carrera will set you back upwards of $150k. A 911 is for a particular buyer, someone who appreciates style and performance but who has gone past the muscle car stage.
A Boxster for the same year, 2015, is approximately $60k, and 2010 about $30k. The Boxster has been in manufacture for the last 20 years and there’s a lot of components and parts shared with the 911. So plenty of availability for parts. Again the Boxster has genuine style but to me, it always struck me as more of a female car. That is purely my opinion though.
And then we come to the Cayenne. An amazing leap for Porsche in 2003. Porsche enthusiasts complained in their droves at the time that Porsche was destroying the brand.
But on the contrary. SUVs were becoming ever more popular and Porsche had great foresight in designing the Cayenne. It is now their most popular model, outselling the 911, Boxster and Cayman combined year on year.
So how much will a Cayenne set you back? 2015 will cost from $30k. They changed the model in 2011 and again another facelift in 2019. Be mindful of this when choosing as it may affect resale or indeed the cost price. A 2011 Cayenne ranges in price from $18k to $25. This can depend on specification and mileage.
The Cayenne is definitely the Soccer Mom car. Good space inside for everyone, comfortable and good space in the trunk for everyone’s gear. There are some Cayenne Service history items you need to watch out for, but we’ll discuss them in more detail further in the article.
In recent years Porsche has been busy, they’ve introduced three new models the Panamera, the Macan, and the Taycan. In addition, there’s a Hybrid model of each available.
Cost of Maintaining Your Porsche
No matter which Porsche model you are interested in, your maintenance costs are going to be higher than an average car. A Porsche is a luxury car and has all the maintenance price tags that go with it.
Porsche requires a service every 10,000miles or once a year whichever comes first. A minor service includes Oil Change and an inspection will be approximately $300 -$400, while a more in-depth service can run to $1000. One of the spendy maintenance jobs on a Porsche is brakes. They are specific to your model, front and rear brake change can cost a whopping $1500. Yea, I know, WOW right?
One major point to be mindful and cautious about when buying a used Porsche – some models have PCCB (Performance Ceramic Composite Brakes). PCCB is a higher specification brake system and does last up to 100,000 miles but check the service history before buying a car with them, a new set can cost as much as $10-14k. Yes, you did read that correctly!
Porsche runs on high-performance synthetic oils. They need up to 10 liters per change and a liter can cost $10. Porsche recommends an oil change every 10,000 miles but if you live in a hot climate i.e. the Southern States, every 5000 miles is recommended as the synthetic oil breaks down more quickly in hotter climates.
Tires are the other consumables that need to be considered. There’s not much point in having a high-performance, great handling car running on cheap rubber, even if it’s a used car. Tires make a massive difference to how a car handles, its comfort, road noise, gas mileage, and the list goes on.
Tire choice shouldn’t be overlooked, it’s your car’s only contact with the road, and wouldn’t we want that contact to be the very best it can be? Good tires are a must then.
And good tires can cost from $200 – $350 per tire. This depends on make and size however high-performance tires can cost up to $500 each.
Some Cayenne models have 21” rims. These are extraordinarily difficult tires to source and very expensive when you do. I advise you to steer clear of these particular models.
Insurance of a Used Porsche
Insurance costs are going to be high. A Porsche is a luxury car and depending on the model can also be seen as a sports car. To insure a 911, the average cost is $2200 per year. This is about $700 – $800 more than the average car. The age of the driver is also a factor. This price is for a 30-40-year-old. A younger driver in their early twenties can expect to pay $7500.
A Cayenne is slightly less to insure at around $1900 per year. This is probably related to the demographic of the driver (Soccer Mom) compared to the 911 driver.
The Boxster comes in at the lowest rate, just under $1500. This could be down to the large availability of parts and auto shops available to repair them. They’re not as specialized as the 911 and are still very much in production. An older model Porsche will ironically cost less to insure.
It’s also a good idea to shop around. Some insurers can be up to $500 cheaper than others. Location, age of driver, previous claims – all contribute to the cost of your insurance. This is the case for all drivers, not just Porsche drivers.
5 Common Porsche Problems
1 Suspension Issues
All cars acquire problems as they age. Some cars have problems because of the way they’re designed. Porsche is a little like this. The weight of a Porsche lends itself to suspension problems which as time goes by can become very expensive problems. Bushings can start to leak and certainly need to be checked in a Service history before considering a purchase.
In a test drive listen for unusual clunking noises while traveling over bumps and check for any leaks behind the wheels. Ideally, it would be best to put your prospective purchase up on an auto ramp to get a better view. But when buying a used car this is not always possible.
Like a lot of car brands in recent years, Porsche has had recalls. Some of these have been serious safety issues, such as the Intermediate Shaft Bearing failure for example. This is an engine failure if left untreated. Although it was a recall, in reality only about 5% of 2005 models actually failed. Best to check that this recall has been completed if buying a model from this time period.
3 Engine Faults
The main issue with engine faults is the availability of a small handheld engine code reader. All the engine faults can be turned out in a moment. So what you think is a fantastic buy is actually a complete lemon. There is a quick workaround though. Emissions Systems Monitors need 5-6 drive cycles to recalibrate. If your emissions are reading ‘not ready’ on the dash panel, then the codes have recently been cleared and are probably a good indication to walk away from the deal.
4 Coolant Issues
In the mid-2000, Porsche used a coolant system in the Cayenne that ran beneath the manifold from front to back. Unfortunately, someone in their wisdom thought making these pipes from plastic would be a good choice of material. It wasn’t! The plastic couldn’t cope with the heat and the coolant system leaked in dramatic style producing masses amounts of steam and in some cases complete engine failure.
It would be good to note if this job has been completed in the service history. There is an update kit available that changes the plastic to metal but it’s a labor-intensive repair and can cost a considerable amount to fix.
5 Interior Climate Control
We all like to be warm and if it’s hot outside we certainly enjoy the luxury of AC. We expect it to be available in a luxury car. However, in some Porsche models, especially the Cayenne, the fan system has a tendency to fail over time. The option of more than one speed may not be available or only available intermittently.
Sometimes when out for a test drive we don’t play with all the bells and whistles and climate control can be overlooked. It’s only a heater /AC unit I hear you say! But all repairs and replacements to this unit need to be done through the interior panels. Removing interior panels is a labor-intensive business and car interiors panels once removed and refitted commonly make irritating noises for the rest of their lives, just in my experience.
In conclusion, choosing a particular used Porsche model requires a ton of research. There isn’t anything about the aftersales that’s inexpensive and so you’ll need to be prepared to pay some pricy maintenance costs. That said, the cars are reliable and once maintained are as reliable as any other brand.
The Iconic 911 is a stunning brilliant car behind the wheel, if you like driving you’ll just love the handling. Style-wise I’m a big fan, they’re just so sleek, they’re unique. While not the most practical Porsche, A 911 is still very useable, it makes a great everyday car, just not for the school run.
For that, you’ll need the Cayenne, a practical and capable SUV, big enough to take on the busy schedule of any multi-tasker and look cool with it.
Would I buy Porsche? O, yes, please!
Buying advice – Before buying a used Porsche, always run a VIN check for Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuild, Title washing, and Vin cloning. There are plenty in the business, it only costs a few dollars but could save you thousands. I’ve used VinAudit (links to VinAudit.com) several times and found them reliable and fast.
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