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Buying from a dealer or a private seller?


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What's everyone's view on whether to buy a 987 Gen1 2.7 from a dealer v a private seller?

I am currently looking first time and can see the pros and cons of both but what's everyone's experience?

I can see about a £2K difference in costs so is it justified?

Thanks

Adrian

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Depends how much the dealer honours their guarantee.  Some have done really well, others just wash their hands of problems. Or, depends on your own level of confidence in looking for problems before purchase / sorting them out after.

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8 hours ago, Adrian Major said:

What's everyone's view on whether to buy a 987 Gen1 2.7 from a dealer v a private seller?

I am currently looking first time and can see the pros and cons of both but what's everyone's experience?

I can see about a £2K difference in costs so is it justified?

Thanks

Adrian

Hi Adrian and welcome to the forum.

YMMV, it's down to the car and how well sorted it is in the main. Bear in mind these cars are up to 16 years old now, so some things will need to have been refreshed along the way e.g. bit of suspension which wear out, coolant pipes which corrode etc.

Buy from a Porsche dealer like Paragon (I bought my current car from them) and you should get a car which has been well sorted before it leaves the forecourt, the sticker price will reflect that. Whichever way you look at it you'll pay, either up front for a well sorted car or down the road when something needs doing.

Warranties from dealers are variable. Buying from a decent dealer should offer you a some sort of safety net when things go wrong, although again YMMW.

These cars can be reasonable to buy but expensive to maintain, regardless of who you buy from , buy on condition not mileage and look for evidence the common age-related things have been done.

If buying privately having a fund of 2/3k will help you cover some refresh work but wont necessarily cover the unexpected. As has been said also depends on how handy you are with spanners vs being prepared to have someone else fix the issues , at a cost.

 

When buying some things to consider, I know you didn't ask this but this would be the minimum of what I'd be checking and gives an idea of how areas where costs can add up if work needs doing. If not confident in checking these yourself then consider a pre-inspection report, especially if buying privately.

I wont go over the old IMS/RMS/Clutch ground - just feel comfortable with what has been done/not done/doesn't need to be done to the right car, for you.

Check the roof operation and that it sits correctly both sides(normally the roof elastic which is a cheap DIY fix). 

Check Windows go up/down with roof. Window regulators can get tired at this kind of age. If you hear rattling coming from the doors when driving that could be a few things including worn regulators.

Check the roof rear drains are clear, which you can see with the roof half-way up.  This is normally a clue as to how careful the owner is in looking after the car. Blocked drains can lead to water getting into the car under the seats, causing havoc with the electronics under the passenger seat.

Check the areas under the seats are dry and show no signs of water ingress (again re drains)

Evidence of coolant pipes including cross-overs having been done (about 1k to do that lot)

Inside of disk brakes - they like to corrode even though can look fine from the outside (tip always give the car an Italian tune-up after washing the wheels, helps prevent this)

Brake bleed nipples like to corrode on the callipers (you normally only find out at brake fluid change time)

If a Porsche original battery check the negative terminal for week and year stamp - will tell you how old it is. Anything over about 5 years be prepared to replace it.

Check what suspension parts have been replaced - lower coffin arms are a common requirement (check for rattle, rattle, rattle) when driving

General exhaust condition. The manifold bolts to rear boxes are a weak point, check to see if they have been replaced, originals are made from Camembert.

Check the aircon/climate control is working. Stone hits to the rads/condensers are not uncommon with the leaks they bring. Assuming UV dye in the system a UV torch (few quid from Amazon) will show any leaks.

If it has heated seats check they are in working order.

Check front end paint work for stone chips. Lots of these cars will have front end resprays as they pick up stone chips.

Service History (a guide not a guarantee car will be in great condition). Plugs, Serpentine belt and Brake fluid are all extras in Porsche servicing land - again ensure they have been done as needed.

Coil packs can crack with age and when they get hot in the wet and cause misfires.

Edited by iborguk
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I have recently bought a 31k 2008 plate 2.7 from a BMW main dealer - as it turns out they know nothing about selling used Porsche’s and the advice to buy from a well respected inde resonates with me!  If bought privately, get is inspected by a well respected inde...

I have been on a steep learning curve since my purchase, I am now definitely in the ‘history  not mileage’ camp.   

My car has needed a new cooling system (common for cars of that age) which BMW should have spotted. I am also going to give it new tyres all round - plenty of tread on the current ones, but found out they are 8 years old (advice from my tyre dealer who sorted out my Geometry which was needed as the subframes were dropped to change the coolant hoses). 

All that said, love the car, and have no regrets!  Good luck buying yours.

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7 minutes ago, Beancounter said:

I have recently bought a 31k 2008 plate 2.7 from a BMW main dealer - as it turns out they know nothing about selling used Porsche’s and the advice to buy from a well respected inde resonates with me!  If bought privately, get is inspected by a well respected inde...

I have been on a steep learning curve since my purchase, I am now definitely in the ‘history  not mileage’ camp.   

My car has needed a new cooling system (common for cars of that age) which BMW should have spotted. I am also going to give it new tyres all round - plenty of tread on the current ones, but found out they are 8 years old (advice from my tyre dealer who sorted out my Geometry which was needed as the subframes were dropped to change the coolant hoses). 

All that said, love the car, and have no regrets!  Good luck buying yours.

Glad to hear you sorted out the coolant pipes and are now enjoying the car.

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11 minutes ago, Beancounter said:

I am also going to give it new tyres all round - plenty of tread on the current ones, but found out they are 8 years old 

I'd be having strong words with the selling dealer, putting a car out of the door with 8 year old tyres is bordering on criminal.

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Bought an X5 4.4 from a dealer once, some 4 months later the auto transmission broke (very common, well known design weakness of the outer case where a spring wears through on E53 models. as I found out later). Went to a nearby dealer initially who quoted £8k for the transmission. The car cost £6.5k - go figure. Going back to the dealer I bought it from, they refused to take any responsibility and did not want to know whatsoever. Had the transmission reconditioned by someone in SE London who specialises in this kind of work, cost me £2200.-

Now, I'm the last person to say all dealers are the same. I know there are great dealerships who honour client commitment and have built a good reputation. However similar to any insurance company you may use, you usually only find out how good they really are when it comes to claiming damages.

If you say there's a £2k difference for similar cars as advertised by a dealer and a private person- 1) you could try haggling the dealer down (they know they are more expensive and may be inclined to drop the price a bit, particularly if you are not part-exchanging). 2) you could go with the cheaper private seller, and check if you could buy a maintenance guarantee for the difference (be sure to read and understand the contract and in particular what is covered and what is excluded).

Personally I prefer buying from a private seller. They know their car, at least most do. Use your good judgement as to whether they come across as honest and open, or whether you feel they try to conceal problems - if the latter, walk away (fast).

I've seen posts on Porsche forums where people had issues with their cars and the dealers' response was impeccable. If you can, check out a dealer's reputation (Google reviews can help as can forums such as this, just search for the dealership's name and see if they come up).

PPI (pre-purchase inspection) sounds like a really good idea, however I'm not sure how practical this is; I've never done it, as with distance from the car it becomes increasingly difficult to organise etc.

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I would usually prefer to buy private than from a dealer unless it's a franchise dealer.

My reasoning for this is that warranties are usually pretty poor from dealers unless you're paying a premium and the dealer has manufacturer backing, conversely if you buy from the owner then you can get a feel for their knowledge, enthusiasm and ability to financially maintain a premium marque. 

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I’ve bought 2 Boxsters privately and a 911 from a OPC. 

Touching wood obviously, the two Boxsters have been solid bar a random age related issue (gear cables). The 911 was back at the OPC within a week because it rattled like a swarm of angry bees was in it. I then sold it a year later at a significant loss privately and the buyer had a replacement engine put in it on extended Porsche warranty. 

Iborgk’s list is a good one but there’s plenty of things that are not easily seen which could still catch you out. 
I’d say It’s a bit of a lottery buying a second hand car. Buy privately and the ticket is cheaper?

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9 minutes ago, nixster said:

I’ve bought 2 Boxsters privately and a 911 from a OPC. 

Touching wood obviously, the two Boxsters have been solid bar a random age related issue (gear cables). The 911 was back at the OPC within a week because it rattled like a swarm of angry bees was in it. I then sold it a year later at a significant loss privately and the buyer had a replacement engine put in it on extended Porsche warranty. 

Iborgk’s list is a good one but there’s plenty of things that are not easily seen which could still catch you out. 
I’d say It’s a bit of a lottery buying a second hand car. Buy privately and the ticket is cheaper?

Gear cables 😬 Yeah my list is just my own view of what I think about now , certainly no expert here and I'm trying to learn all the time about these brilliant cars.

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As others have said, I prefer to buy privately. Bear in mind that a given car sold by a dealer will have been purchased from a private individual before being re-sold by the dealer at a mark-up to cover their premises, salary, website costs etc. The price increment you pay (£2k) is nothing to do with the car, it simply covers their costs and profit. 

A dealer may stand behind the car if there is a problem post-purchase but horror stories abound by the thousand. And most dealers provide their warranty by means of a warranty company, who are well known to be completely useless. The £2k you save on the purchase will go a long way towards rectifying any problems if you have any. 

Also, a more importantly, there is an old addage that 'nice people drive nice cars'. Getting to meet the previous owner tells you almost as much about the car as the car itself. A car sold by a neanderthal from the dodgy end of town who struggles to string together a coherent sentence and whose front garden is littered with old sofas is highly unlikely to be a nice example. A car sold by someone who is well-dressed, lives in a nice house, whose kids are well-behaved and polite is likely to be a much better bet. You don't get to see these things when buying from a dealer. Throw in the fact that older Porsches appeal to a 'aspirational' crowd and you have all the more reason to be careful. 

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1 hour ago, zcacogp said:

A car sold by a neanderthal from the dodgy end of town who struggles to string together a coherent sentence and whose front garden is littered with old sofas is highly unlikely to be a nice example.

And just imagine the kind of guy who has to sell the car in order to even afford the sofa...

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Who needs car knowledge, a viewing of the car or an independent inspection when you can simply make a judgement based on the owner and their children?

It appears Katie Hopkins is on the forum.

 

Edited by Scubaregs
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On 5/4/2021 at 10:16 AM, Scubaregs said:

Who needs car knowledge, a viewing of the car or an independent inspection when you can simply make a judgement based on the owner and their children?

It appears Katie Hopkins is on the forum.

 

Ooh, good link ScubaRegs - thanks! I've not seen that before. 

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On 5/4/2021 at 10:16 AM, Scubaregs said:

Who needs car knowledge, a viewing of the car or an independent inspection when you can simply make a judgement based on the owner and their children?

It appears Katie Hopkins is on the forum.

 

Totally lost the thread of this thread, but spent 10 mins watching a clip which is total gold....

Personal experience, I've had little protection from dealers, my 987.1 had a manifold and stud issue that was masked with mastic and not picked up in a PPI.  That being said, no regrets on the purchase and as someone else has stated, you need a little warchest and you cannot expect a diamond when you buy a 15+ year old car. 

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Hi

In truth both purchase routes can be problematic. As has been said dealers and warranties vary hugely, private sellers can range from genuine to total scammers. I have bought Porsches from both. Most recent purchase 987.2 2.9L 2010 32K manual bought privately, I paid about £250 more than I wanted but it was the car for me being ultra fussy on condition.

The law has changed now and is called 'Consumer Rights Act' and buying used cars from dealers and privately (bit less) does now offer some comeback if you get sold a pup. A misrepresentation in details or an obvious fault a reasonable person would have known about is a comeback. 

You can have a Pre purchase inspection done about £250 and they will provide you with a report - can sometimes help with a bit of price negotiation as well.

There are some really good buying guide books - The 'Essential Buyers Guide for 987 Boxster and Cayman' by Adrian Streather is well worth it for about £10 on fleabay. It has a checklist to help with purchases and full of useful info common issues etc.

The lists earlier in this thread are really helpful - print them off take them with you and take your time checking them all and ticking them off.

If going the private route a seller should know the car if they have been interested in it and will have receipts for work and know if the coolant pipes or coffin arms have been changed instead of looking at you blankly.

Trust your gut instinct which ever route you take and walk away if there is any doubt it is the one for you.

You can post a link, pics and description on here of any you are interested in and people should assist. Better seeing a car in the flesh though re bodywork.

You are right in that a garage will put a premium on the cars price they sell, not because it is any better but because they have wages to pay and premises to pay for. On the plus side if you spot things that need doing before agreeing to buy they may include them as part of the deal.

If you haven't already done so make some enquiries on both. Have your checklist to ask question on the phone you will be surprised how many get crossed off before you even grab your keys to go and have a look!

eg - how long owned, why selling, service history, last service when and by whom, receipts for previous work, accident damage, bodywork and paintwork, leaks rain water oil etc, aircon work (no it doesn't just need a re-gas!), coolant pipes, suspension components, matching N rated tyres, discs and pads, roof all good, seats and interior all good.

If the above is ok may be worth the petrol to have a look. 

One of the most common failures is impatience.

I hope you find the car you want, you may have to be flexible on a few things like colours, interiors and your wish list but stick to your must haves.

I wanted (not must haves) BOSE and PCM3 but did not get it but everything else was above my expectations so I bought mine.

All the best 

Glen

 

 

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