Something I enjoy doing is browsing classified adverts – the Internet makes this so easy. Go to Autotrader.co.uk and enter ‘Porsche’ and ‘911’ and start dreaming of your dream garage.
You can set parameters, too, which is an interesting exercise. I’ve just searched on 996s for under £15,000 and a handful of cars came up, the cheapest being just over £13,000. Now, to me that’s just mad – I can remember the 996 being a brand-new and, for me, unattainable car. Now, 11 years on, it’s almost too attainable!
Trouble is, it’s all too easy to get excited about these apparent bargains and then be totally deflated when you go and see one. My experience with rock-bottom priced 996s has always been disappointing. The cars have been scruffy and felt, well, tired to drive. They failed to excite me in a way a 911 should and I felt no desire to buy one.
Also, most of the cheapest 996s are Tiptronics, which are less sought after. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a Tip if that’s what you’re after but, for me, it makes the cars even less exciting.
They also tend to be high mileage –I’ve seen one with 140,000 on the clock. Nothing wrong with that if the car has been well maintained but, sadly, 996s don’t seem to wear well and the high mileage just contributes to the tiredness.
So what’s the answer? Well, I’ve not driven every super-cheap 996 out there and there could well be some delights out there. Just make sure you buy carefully and get the car checked out in advance.
Alternatively, wait until you can afford to spend, say, £16,000 which will open up your options to some decent early 996s. Or, why not look for a 964, SC or 3.2 Carrera? All of which you can find for comfortable less than £15,000.
Now, if you’ve bought a good 996 for under £15,000 and can prove me wrong, I’d love to hear from you!