What used Porsche 911 coupe will I get for my budget?
Prices for early 997s dip under the £20,000 mark, meaning you can buy one for less than most new hot hatches cost. Whether or not you should, however, depends very much on the car in question, because at this end of the market you can expect high mileages and potentially patchy service history. For this kind of money you’ll also see cars advertised with new engines. If this is the case ensure the work has been carried out by a reputable Porsche specialist (there are plenty of Porsche 911 forums online that will help identify which ones are good).
In terms of value for money, Carrera models are generally cheaper than their more powerful S equivalents, and 911s with four-wheel drive and/or automatic gearboxes tend to carry a premium, too. As such, while you can pick up a 50,000-mile rear-wheel drive Carrera manual for £27,000, to buy the same car as a four-wheel-drive auto would be closer to £30,000.
Gen 2 911s cost from about £34,000 on account of being that much newer and also fitted with the better engine and, if applicable, dual-clutch gearbox.
Approved used cars carry a premium (a late Carrera S from a main dealer with less than 40,000 miles on the clock will still fetch upwards of £50,000) but come with a two-year manufacturer-backed warranty, so don’t rule them out.
How much does it cost to run a Porsche 911 coupe?
Running costs are always directly linked to how you drive, and the 911 is a particularly fine example of that. Do lots of motorway miles and these sports cars will return an impressive 30mpg and can make a set of tyres last around 20,000 miles. Start to enjoy the performance on your favourite country road, however, and that figure can fall to less than 20mpg quite quickly, while at the same time you’ll chew through tyres.
Road tax comes in at between £300 and a little over £500 per year depending what engine and gearbox you choose, and due to the car’s value and its high performance don’t expect insurance to be cheap.
You can save a lot on maintenance simply by finding a good Porsche specialist rather than getting the car maintained in the official dealer network. Even then, though, a service is going to be more than £400, and with service intervals running to two years and 20,000 miles it is likely that extras will need doing, too. Changing the brake fluid, for example, is £120, new heat shields for the catalytic converters can add £250 and so on it goes until you’re quite quickly facing a four-figure bill.
Clutches tend to last about 50,000 miles, so if you’re looking at a car approaching that mileage (or indeed one that’s exceeded it, but is still on the original clutch) budget £500 to replace it. Where the 911 claws back ground is that it is very resistant to depreciation, so if you factor in that you’ll get a good chunk of your money back when the time comes to sell the high running costs become much easier to stomach.