Sales Debate: Is there such a thing as an entry-level Porsche 911?
For years, Porsche 911 fans have been spoiled with at least one low cost entry point into Neunelfer ownership. However, price rises and the subsequent age of the investor have gradually eroded the sub- £10,000 Porsche 911 market. First it was the 964 that shot up in value, then it was the turn of the SC.
Now, market trends appear to show that it’s the 996 Carrera’s turn for an upsurge. So does this mean that there is no longer such a thing as ‘the entry-level 911’? Has the enthusiast looking for their first taste of Zuffenhausen’s finest been priced out of the market?
“I think  3.4s are still fairly low priced, aren’t they?” Darren Street, Sales Manager at RSJ Sports Cars, points out. “If people can stretch into a 3.6 then it does get you a better car. But as an entry-level 911, for what they are now, which is around £10,000-£12,000, it’s a lot of car for the money.”
£10,000 seems a little on the low side even for the 3.4 market but Paul Stephens – head of his eponymous specialist and a strong 996 advocate – agrees. “My view is that the 996 is the entry-level 911. It’s possible to buy one for half the price of a new Golf GTI, isn’t it?”
“Okay, £10,000 isn’t the notional figure for one anymore (not for a nice one, anyway) but you can still buy one for under £20,000,” says Stephens. “At that point, I think it’s got to be termed an ‘entry-level 911’ today,” he continues.
Stephens also points out that the market isn’t necessarily the problem. It is people’s perceptions: “Entry level – for anything – is no longer £10,000. If you go and look in a normal dealership, what do you buy for £10,000?”
And while a 996 Carrera is more expensive than it once was, Stephens explains that it is still a “family hatchback entry-level” car.
But is the 996 a good entry-level choice though? “They had some issues but, again, it can be overhyped by the forums,” RSJ’s Street points out. And the market for them seems strong according to both experts. “I don’t think they are going to lose any more money,” explains Street.
“They’ve had a little move because everything has had a move,” Stephens adds. “The market is realigning itself.” The signs, therefore, all point to the 996 as the favoured entry into the 911 experience. You may just need to save a little bit harder than before…
For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.