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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I have been lurking on the forum for about two weeks by viewing all the very helpful threads and am almost decided to buy a used 987 as my first boxster. So I think it's time that I join this community and get some final opinions as I feel it might also be useful later for someone in similar situation:

About my motivation:
I have always been leasing new cars in the past. Due to my wife's job change recently, we are in the position of needing another car. However, me and my wife are planning to purchase our home in a few months and would like to avoid any hassle of applying a mortgage with a leasing obligation. So we started to look into used car market and thought: "Since I have always wanted to try a pure manual sports car, why don't I get a used Boxster." If I end up really liking it. I could keep it and if for some reason this type of car is not for me. then it would be cheaper to get out than buying or leasing a brand new one.

About my use case:
I will be using it as daily drive to work with of about 25 miles one way. Mostly highway with some traffic. I will never track the car.

About my budget:
I plan to spend about 20K for the price of the car with 18K going to the car price and 2K saved for anything comes up in the next few month. Additionally I plan to budget about 1K each year for regular maintenance. I also have more than 20K free money in case surprise repair comes up. If the repairs will be more then 20K I think I'll just call it a lost cause, sell/donate the car and go back to leasing.

About my skill level:
I have took my driving class in manual and have passed the driving test with one. That was in China and driving lessons and tests are much more complicated there. It involves a month of mandatory practice with the car and five tests including maneuvering the car inside a two door garage from one spot to the adjacent one, drive on rails without fall off, dodging holes on the ground, long distance drive back and forth for 300 miles and take two days and a night time driving test for half an hour. So I feel I have enough skill to handle a manual. On the other hand, since come to North America, I have been driving only automatics. I do drive in manual when I visit Europe every year with rentals and felt I need more practice on the art.

About my mechanical know how:
I am an Engineer and kind of knows what are all the component and can make sense of everything. But I have never been hands on with cars. I currently plan to find a reputable Porsche indy to do my PPI and also take all my maintenance and repair to there.

The above summarize all aspect I think relevant to the decision. I do apologize for it being a bit long. But I feel I am stepping into a lot of uncharted territories: first manual, first used car, first out of warranty car and most importantly, first Porsche! :D. My wife is very supportive, her attitude being: I don't know about cars, but we can afford it. So if you want, just go for it. This makes me feel I should think this through even more since there is no one to double check me.

Based on the above, I'm wondering if this friendly forum could give some pointers on if I am fully prepared to enter this domain and if any of my expectation need adjustment? I have been in love with Porsche since I was a child and have followed lots of car shows on TV during my youth yet I never thought I could end up owning one. So this feels like a dream coming true:) But if you feel that I'm not ready for the car please do let me know since I would hate to ruin one.

Thanks a lot for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I guess I forgot to mention that I test drove a few Boxsters at a few dealership to get a feel. And I absolutely love the drive. I do however, plan to purchase from a private owner with possession of the cars' full service record. So I did some search on the few sites and found following to be quite interesting:


1.https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/6105904897.html
This one has both the exterior and interior I like. It also seems to be on a sweet spot on the mileage and price. The owner said the tire and brakes have recently been changed. So I suppose I should change the spark plug since that's due according to maintenance schedule?

2.https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/6106025895.html
This one also feels okay since it's very similar to the above.

3.https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/684840922/overview/
This one is actually from a dealer and it is already at 100k miles. But the carfax actually have the full maintenance history of the car and it seems the owner did follow the maintenance schedule religiously. The only other issue is it's in another city 300 miles away from me. So I think I'll have to arrange a PPI, put down a deposit and fly there to drive back. It is also a 2009 with the new engine and interior, so I suppose that's a big plus.

I feel the first two is already kind of what I want. But do you think it's at a good price? I think it's significantly higher then what KBB says but studying the forum showed me that KBB for these cars are not accurate? Also would anyone think the 3rd option is worth anything because of it being 2009? Studying the forum also taught me that the mileage shouldn't be too low for these cars so perhaps the high mileage is okay?

Or would you think all three are no good and I should wait for a while for something better?

Thanks again for any suggestions.
 

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Hi Vampcc! Welcome to the club--I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in since I too have a Boxster, bought used, first Porsche, manual, etc. I actually work in the car industry (collision) so I had a few pointers going in. I saw you had saved some $$ for maintenance and stuff. My Boxster was 3 years old when I bought it. It had a CPO warranty which was very handy to have. The former owner (off lease) beat the crap out of my car. My CPO just ended this month but overall over the past 3 years I had it in for non-maintenance items around 5-6 times. Twice for the top. But, not knowing who owned it before me or having any service records, that CPO warranty was invaluable. I read that shift cables are a common thing to go out on 987's and true to reading, mine went out last Dec. A $1000-$2000 repair but that CPO--again saved me. With that being said, the cars that you listed above who you can meet the owners, I'd see if they have service records. If you buy your car from a dealer and they don't have service records, I might consider a warranty. You can buy them with a used car. However, they can get expensive. $3000+ depending on the length and company. If you go the dealer route, I'd see about negotiating that in. I pay around $150 for an oil change but you are all the way across the country from me so I'm sure it will vary. You might consider doing it yourself. Check out the Boxster register--lots of friendly Boxster folks there too. You can google that. But probably the most important thing I learned is to have a trustworthy shop to go to (besides the porsche dealer) I finally found a local shop that knows what they are doing. My car had 42k miles on it when I bought it, which was higher than I wanted but I don't drive the car like you plan so that was ok with me. I think KBB is a guideline. Have you tried truecar.com? If you plan to be in any slow traffic, I might re-consider the manual. Oh my goodness what a pain to keep shifting when in traffic!
Also, check how your car insurance rates might change. Remember, Porsches are performance cars and are meant to be driven. Mine hates short trips and backing out of the garage to park in the driveway so a highway commute sounds ideal to me.
I hope this helps some? I'm sure others might chime in as I'm sure others have other experiences. Good luck with your hunt and see you over at the Boxster register--
Snowlady
 

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Welcome! It sounds like you've done your homework and have a reasonable / logical approach to purchasing your Porsche. Since you have past experience with a manual, do not worry about having problems in the future. It's like riding a bike, once you learn it doesn't take long to become proficient at it again.

Both the local cars you listed have nice features and mileage. Bi-xenon headlights is a good option to have, along with heated seats. Since you don't plan to track your car (more in a min), Sport Chrono is not needed. I would opt for the Nav instead. So if I was voting, I'd go with the blue one.

If you have the desire to learn how to wrench on your car, there are many DIY articles available to help you. Changing your own oil is a simple one to start with and will save you $40-50 per change vs having someone else do it. There are many other jobs that you can work up to also. These are cars that are easy to work on, plus you get the satisfaction of doing the job yourself and saving some $$$.

If you do buy a Porsche, be sure to join your local PCA club. You will meet many nice and enthusiastic people. There will be numerous social events that will be fun to attend.

I will never track the car.
That's what we all say at the beginning of ownership. With several fun tracks in your area, don't go near them if you want to be true to your words. There are many track events sponsored by the Golden Gate region PCA. You might ask if they do parade laps at any of their events. That would give you the chance to take a few laps at a slow speed and give you a feel for driving a Porsche how it was meant to be driven. Just realize that parade laps are the gateway drug to DE participation.

Good luck with your Porsche pursuit. You will absolutely love owning one.
 

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Great idea. Do buy privately after a PPI. NEVER go to a dealer for work! $$$$$.

I'm a believer in after-market warranties and have them on a 2014 CS and a 2004 BMW M3. I pay about $125/month each. They are not great but I have them incase there is a major failure. If you don't have twisty roads, go automatic.

In valuing cars, there are many options, such as Edmunds and NADA, so use them, too.
 

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take your time with the shopping if you can - other than service history, Pre purchase inspection and condition, the preferred options can differ from car to car and you need to prioritise which you feel are important - some like PASM & Xenons, Seats are expensive/hard to retrofit.

you may also want to research the facelift 987.2 vs. pre facelift 987.1 and if the differences matter to you.

good luck!
 

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Good luck with your search. I'm sure you will find just the right car for you. Just take your time.

I was surprised by the extensive amount of driver training required in China. Much more than in the US. Makes me wonder if they require a similar training for bicycles and motor cycles. But it seems that many could use a refresher course.
:hilarious: Sorry - just good natured humor!


About my skill level:
I have took my driving class in manual and have passed the driving test with one. That was in China and driving lessons and tests are much more complicated there. It involves a month of mandatory practice with the car and five tests including maneuvering the car inside a two door garage from one spot to the adjacent one, drive on rails without fall off, dodging holes on the ground, long distance drive back and forth for 300 miles and take two days and a night time driving test for half an hour. So I feel I have enough skill to handle a manual. On the other hand, since come to North America, I have been driving only automatics. I do drive in manual when I visit Europe every year with rentals and felt I need more practice on the art.
 

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You probably already know this but just in case. The normal rule is buy the house $$$$ then buy the car $. Interest rates are determined by several factors not just your FICA score. Also the amount of money you have in the bank. On the other hand anyone who is breathing can get a car. Just a thought! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the good pointers and they were all extremely helpful!

Getting a manual in traffic is the only decision I couldn't justify rationally. But I really would love that experience in my life. And I feel that with the current trend of how good automatics are getting and the introduction of self driving functions, I might never get such an experience if I don't act soon. I think I'll just have to try it for a few month and change a car if it's really that intolerable.

Insurance rate has always been a mysterious thing to me. I called my provider and asked for what the premium would be had I purchased a used Honda Civic, Jeep Compass or Porsche Boxster that I was considering to get with my usage pattern. And Porsche is the cheaper then the other two for around $50. So I would actually save on premium to get a Boxster!

I will for sure to join the PCA and meet even more friendly ppl:) And it is definitely a good idea to try a parade round and I'll keep that in my wish list :D

As of the warranties, I consulted today and they seems to be around $2500 dollars. I'm okay with transferring the risk this way. But my concern is that almost all of those try their best to play around with words so that important things are not covered. I'd hate to pay for it and find it to be not covering a lot of things later. Does anyone have a recommended provider?

My experience in driving in China is that everyone is a master in vehicle handling while having questionable ability to identify the right of ways. So used to the defensive driving skill employed in U.S. I find I constantly get pushed to the side of the road :(

As for the home fund, giving by how expensive housing market is in SF right now. I think we are talking about house $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ with car $ :( That's actually one of the reason I'm budgeting it at $20k as that should have negligible effect on one's ability to buy a house around here :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have also been spending all day test driving different cars. What I found really disappointing is that all private sells I found on craigslist is actually small dealers. They seems to feel that by doing it this way they can attract ppl like me who want to get it from an owner!

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/6105904897.html is really nice and it is actually the first car I found that still has both the transparent wind deflector and mesh wind breaker! The dealer tells me they usually gets stolen while in auction... However, it was already sold to someone in Oregon and will fly down next week to pick it up. The dealer said if I pay today I could have it. But I feel it would be wrong to rob someone's car so declined.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/6106025895.html has really low mileage and the shift is very crispy. I didn't know before driving this one that the car would actually be so nice to shift. However, it looks very abused. The front tire side wall actually has a very deep cave(not a scratch, but a cave!) The driver side mirror is not holding on the suction cup in the housing. The GPS system shows error when I try to select it and I was told that's because the navigation disc was stolen along with wind breaker and deflector. There's also no sound from the radio and I was told that's likely a fuse. Given by the poor condition, the dealer is still standing very firm on the price due to one owner and low mileage. I'm wondering what would be everyone's opinion on a car like this. The mechanic does feel like superb due to the low mileage, and what is broken seems to be all fixable. But I'm just deeply concerned on hidden damage due to the obvious abuse.

I randomly run into this one today Cars for Sale: Used 2006 Porsche Boxster for sale in San Jose, CA 95129: Convertible Details - 450133123 - Autotrader. I never planned to buy it going in. But the car actually drives quite nicely and a very reasonable price. I think the only issue is the roof has been cut open by some thief. The exterior cover has been replaced with a brand new one and looks really nice. But the interior cover has only been stitched together. Does anyone have experience on if that affect sound prove of the car?

Again any input is greatly appreciated!
 

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https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/6105904897.html is really nice and it is actually the first car I found that still has both the transparent wind deflector and mesh wind breaker! The dealer tells me they usually gets stolen while in auction... However, it was already sold to someone in Oregon and will fly down next week to pick it up. The dealer said if I pay today I could have it. But I feel it would be wrong to rob someone's car so declined.
What this dealer was telling you was that he had no ethics. It probably was a ploy to get an immediate sale at full price. Run away.

BTW, you can't tell what kind of condition the car is in just by driving. A visual inspection and test drive is just a start. You need to see maintenance records. Probably pull a CarFax report. If it looks good, then get it inspected by a Porsche mechanic. Otherwise you'll just inherit someone else's expensive problem.

I'd steer clear of those corner used-car lots. They are the worst as far as slimey used car salesmen. And there's a reason why those cars are there. They were refused by reputable car dealers. That might be OK for plain old basic transportation. But there's likely something wrong with a semi-exotic that ends up there.
 

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I randomly run into this one today Cars for Sale: Used 2006 Porsche Boxster for sale in San Jose, CA 95129: Convertible Details - 450133123 - Autotrader. I never planned to buy it going in. But the car actually drives quite nicely and a very reasonable price. I think the only issue is the roof has been cut open by some thief. The exterior cover has been replaced with a brand new one and looks really nice. But the interior cover has only been stitched together. Does anyone have experience on if that affect sound prove of the car?
The Carfax looks a bit sketchy on this one. The last owner had it from Apr to Nov and the penultimate owner only had it for 6 mo. 2-seater convertibles are lifestyle vehicles and maybe the owners found out 2 seats were not enough, but that seems a bit odd. The HVAC controls have the typical wear on them, but there are others out there in better condition with lower miles.

Take this one for example:
Cars for Sale: Used 2005 Porsche Boxster for sale in Capitola, CA 95010: Convertible Details - 453238278 - Autotrader

Yes, it's at a dealer but Carfax says 1 owner so you may be able to contact the original owner. It has had a bit of maintenance work done to it recently too (brakes, etc). Think it would be better than the multi-owner 96K mi one.
 

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3.https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/684840922/overview/
This one is actually from a dealer and it is already at 100k miles. But the carfax actually have the full maintenance history of the car and it seems the owner did follow the maintenance schedule religiously. The only other issue is it's in another city 300 miles away from me. So I think I'll have to arrange a PPI, put down a deposit and fly there to drive back. It is also a 2009 with the new engine and interior, so I suppose that's a big plus.
Hi, I've seen this one. It is in only okay condition. They were not willing to do PPI. They did accept offer for $14k but then decided not to honor it. They make claims of doing service work which increase the price but they fail to disclose what is done. Apparently all they did was their "multi point" inspection and replace battery. This caused initial price of $15,687 to soar to $18,899. Very dishonest practices. Also needs some service work which could be very expensive. About $2000 or more of work needed. If you can get it for $14k then it might be worth considering. But you have to negotiate price in person since they will do anything to get you onto lot then state a much different price. This car has sat on their lot for 6 months so maybe they get desperate and honor original price.
 

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Most of the time their are no bargains when buying a Porsche, sometimes a good deal but you might have to wait until the right one comes up, wait for the right one you will be money ahead.
 

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You sound like a good guy and rational too,

I would like to make a couple of suggestions that come from my experience. I've had many, many "used" sports cars while usually owning a new or newer everyday car, the same as many here I suspect.

First, it makes sense to go further out than your immediate area to look for the car.

Second, unlike some here, I would not be afraid to buy the car from a dealer. But it is important to distinguish between a regular new-used car dealer who may have taken a Porsche in on a trade and one of those small, single lot dealers that sell anything used. I would be happy to look at and bargain with my local Ford dealer or Mazda dealer for that car they put on the little pedestal in front, because I know pretty much how much they paid for it, they can let me get a PPI if I want. You can find cars like that on Car Gurus every day if you are willing to go a little further out to get them.

That's how I purchased my 4th Porsche, a 2007 Boxster S, from a Buick dealer who took it in on a trade for a new car for a local guy. It was listed for 85 days, no one locally wanted to buy it, and I got it a week before they were going to send it to an auction. I offered them a price mid way between wholesale and retail, and got a beautiful, clean car that my independent shop thought was just great.

Since you are already self financed, if you come through a door of a legitimate dealer, you will be treated well.

Third, I would not look on Craigslist, that's not a place you're likely to get a decent car. As I said, Car Gurus is good, and a feature I like is that they do list how many days a car has been listed with them. If you know how to navigate it, Autotrader is decent too.

Fourth, as to warranty, I do the math and always come out that it's not worth it unless I go crazy and want to get something like a Land Rover-- which I don't. Porsches are well built and the Boxster is unlikely to suffer any truly expensive damage except for the very small risk of the engine IMS issue. Yes other things can happen, but an aftermarket warranty is a pain to work with. For $4K you can maintain a Boxster for years. Financially, by buying a 987, you are already at a stage where the first owner or owners have watched a lot of depreciation. My '07 listed at about $60K, and I got it for $22.5K. So will yours. In a few years, you will sell it for $20K to the next guy. Isn't life great?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi worldiver

I was just told by the salesman and he said that's what he believe will be. He could be totally wrong so please don't take my word for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi, I've seen this one. It is in only okay condition. They were not willing to do PPI. They did accept offer for $14k but then decided not to honor it. They make claims of doing service work which increase the price but they fail to disclose what is done. Apparently all they did was their "multi point" inspection and replace battery. This caused initial price of $15,687 to soar to $18,899. Very dishonest practices. Also needs some service work which could be very expensive. About $2000 or more of work needed. If you can get it for $14k then it might be worth considering. But you have to negotiate price in person since they will do anything to get you onto lot then state a much different price. This car has sat on their lot for 6 months so maybe they get desperate and honor original price.
Thanks so much for letting me know. You just saved me a round trip airfare!.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It appears that two of the three vehicle I looked last week are sold. The market does seem to be quite efficient.

I'm wondering what is everyone's opinion on this one? It looks like the price/mileage/option is at around what I wanted. But the carfax report shows that it was originally sold to a BMW dealer in Sacramento and two weeks later is for sale on a Mitsubishi lot in San Francisco. I wonder if that's normal or is it a sign that something's not good for that car and the BMW dealer just auctioned it out?

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/699460284/overview/
 

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I've been following this thread and your plight to find a Boxster. I always look for little signs in the sales ad that tell me something about the seller. For example, in this last ad you posted from cars.com, it lists the color as cobalt blue. That car may be blue, but not cobalt blue. For me, that would be a sign that the dealer isn't paying attention. If they can't get the color right (which should be easy enough to get from the VIN), what else are they missing?
 
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