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Porsche 911

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  • Firstly, Hi all. Being a newbie to the forum, I thought I'd add some thoughts and ask some questions - please no shouting as I've already got a headache!

    I'm looking to buy/lease my first ever 911. I've owned a Boxster a few years back and really enjoyed the experience but it wasn't practical for me due to kids. Looking at a 911 cab now (At least the kids will have to sit upright for once rather than slouching as they always do - ask a parent!).

    I've been offered $5K off MSRP by a local dealer and £6K off by another (out of state) for a C2S Cab OR a C4S cab (don't ask who yet - I'll tel AFTER the deal's done). However, I reckon I can squeeze them a little more! I guess these are good deals from what I read here.

    I have a few questions:
    Firstly, why buy when you can lease? Given the expected future maintenance costs, isn't it better to lease and simply changes after 3/4 years? Depreciation will be the major factor in both cases - so what's the difference? If you're gonna be down by about $40K in 3 years on an average $100K car in both scenarios, then why not simply change after 3 years - what's the point in buying potential future headaches (I've already got one of those!). I know a Doc around here who always leases his P cars. Is this just a personal thing or is there some financial logic behind it?

    Secondly, I know everyone has their own thoughts on 2 vs 4 (and Regular vs S) but if one lives in a snow state, isn't it possible to drive both types (2 and 4's) equally easily in snow IF equipped with all-season tires? And, is it possible to drive year round on all-season tires - saves the hassle of changing (obviously no track time is intended)? Might even get better wear out of them as compared to the summer ones...

    Finally (sorry for the newbie long post), has anyone optioned a two-tone leather interior eg black/sand etc and if so, what's it like?

    That's it! Hope to hear from you P car nuts out there.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    On the lease vs. buy, you need to do the economic analysis yourself - including tax implications. Porsche, unlike other manufacturers, is not giving away free money to help sell their products. Therefore, the "roughly" $5,000 down and $1,400 per month lease payment I was quoted for a 2006 Cab S would have worked out to $70,000 over a 4 year lease. I expect to take a hit on depreciation, but not that much! Perhaps I was high-balled on the actual lease payments, but there was another purely subjective psychological factor at work for me. I could afford to pay cash at the time of purchase and write it off as a one time "splurge". But writing a check for $1,400 every month for the next 4 years would have been far more pin pricks than I wanted to impose on myself. So, rather than try to negotiate money factors and the like on a car to be ordered, I cut a fairly big discount on a 2005 Cab S in stock.

    On the 2 vs 4 in the snow, this question has been debated a lot in the past. But my opinion is that - given that I own my car and don't lease it - I'm not going to subject it to winter driving through snow and muck, period. I didn't want to do that with my $32k Honda S2000 (which I traded at over 70% of it's original price after 2.5 years), so I'm sure not going to do it with a car that costs 3 times as much. And, from a practical standpoint, the 911 has very low ground clearance. The "S" version 1/2" less. So even putting on snow or all season tires on a winter set of rims isn't going to get you through much of a snowfall without making a mess of your undercarraige and front end. And driving year round on all seasons - which must be hard to find in the C2S 19" 295/30 size - is compromising the cars handling and performance all 12 months. Porsche does have a solution, it's called a Cayenne. Mine is a third car.

    P.S. Right you are about the kids. Mine's posture has improved noticably after about 1,000 miles in the back of the 911 over the past 8 weeks. Total odometer as of last night 3,255.
  • (1) I think buying is still better than leasing (which I thoought about) if you hold the car more than 3-4 years. My wife additionally told me that if I didn't have the cash upfront for a car like this, then forget it.
    (2) I thought about the C2 versus C4 issue for a long time. It's not the all wheel traction that is the issue in the winter--it's the ground clearance. Anything more than 4 inches of snow, forget it--the car simply could get stuck. That doesn't even factor in the raod salt, etc. Given the $15-20K difference between the C2 and the C4, it made more sense to have the C2 for March/April to November where I live, and drive a 2001 Audi S4 for the winter (an absolute high performance tank that you could pick up for 15-20K)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Given the $15-20K difference between the C2 and the C4"

    Say what?? The difference in MSRP is "only" $5,700-$5,800 to go from the "2" to the "4". And, in the non-"S" models, the 4 gives you upgraded rear wheels and tires (265 to 295 series, with wider rims) that would be worth a few hundred dollars by themselves.

    I agree with your conclusion about the snow limitations, even with a C4. But the price difference could support a 1995 Nissan Maxima, not a 2001 S4. Perhaps you were mistakenly comparing a C2 to a C4S, which adds the $10,000 "S" upgrade?
  • I've also thought about going with the C2S cab and buying a cheapo car/truck for the winter months. But having to spend out more cash for another motor (even if only a darn Hyundai), because the $100K car won't cut it in the snow, really hurts!
    Sometimes I just think I should get an M3 or similar and put the $40-50K saved into a Mutual Fund!

    The biggest problem, as you say, is the ground clearance on the 997s. I know I could lease a cheapo truck cheaply for the cost of snow tires and wheels (nearly anyway) but does it make sense from any perspective?

    Also, any more news on deals going around at this time?
  • Habitat,

    I should have mentioned is that I'm being quoted $1606 exl tax for a 3 year lease , 0 down, 12K per year mileage.

    Out of that, the lease payment amount to just under $17K whilst Depreciation amounts to about $41K. All exl tax.

    By anyone standards that's a big hit on Depreciation. However, my argument was that, this figure is going to figure in both types of financial deals(buy orlease). There's no getting around this. Of course, the biggest hit vis a vis Depreciation is during the first 3 years. If you iuntend to keep the car longer (5/6/7 years) then it makes perfect sense to buy. However, for a 3 year period, I don't see the financial sense in buying over leasing.
    I wonder how much the finance charge would be for having to borrow $100K (unless you have cash in which case I wonder what the Opportunity cost of this amount would be)?
  • naifnaif Posts: 14
    Took delivery two weeks ago of a 997 Cab, Slate Grey, Sand Beige, black top and mats--there's just enough brown in the slate to harmonize with the sand very nicely, it turns out. (This despite the sales manager's opinion that I was throwing money away" on the slate because "side by side, you can't tell it from the Seal Gray." Whether his aesthetic sense is worse than his salesmanship has yet to be established.)

    The car is meeting my expectations in every way, unlike the dealer. When he delivered it, no manual was supplied for the PCM system. My salesman told me it was probably because they had changed the equipment for the 2006 and didn't have one yet. I called him several times for instructions I couldn't figure out--the fourth time I told him it was hard to believe there was no manual for all that complication and he opined that porsche was being cheap, and since I didn't order the Nav system I didn't get a PCM manual. Then he found that he happened to have one in his desk, and FedExed it to me. What do you all think is an appropriate response? (Beyond the scores I gave JD Power when they called for feedback.)

    Second: any advice on snowtires? This will be my everyday car in Boston.

    Third: Regarding washing the thing, an hour on the web will convince you that you and your car should move to a monastery where you will divide your time between buying specialized car care products and applying them to your obsession. The manual clearly advises not to take your cabriolet top through automatic car washes, though my salesman was not concerned about it. What's a reasonable balance for a car I'm likely to keep for ten years?

    Thanks.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree with your methodology, it's just that the numbers I would plug in are a little different.

    I'm not sure how long I will keep the car - but for purposes of a direct comparison to your lease, let's say 3 years. My car stickered for $102.8k. I got a $10k discount - thanks in part to being able to write a check on the spot. I'm guessing that in three years, it will be worth $60k+/- ($43k under the MSRP, but only $33k under what I spent). Now, if you want to add an opportunity cost to my loss of use of $93k over the next 3 years, I would figure it at 4% per year. That's the after tax cost for me to borrow $100k on a home mortgage (have ample equity in my home). Compounded, that's 12.5% or about $11,700.

    So, by my figures, I would estimate that my car will cost me roughly $33k in actual cash costs and $12k in theoretical "opportunity" costs for a total of $45k over three years.

    You would be spending $57,816 over three years in cold hard cash. With an opportunity cost of another $3,500, using my 4% applied against each monthly payment (although try doing that with a home equity loan). That makes your total over $61,000.

    I could be wrong about my resale value, and perhaps it will only be worth $50k in three years (but 50% depreciation from MSRP in that time would be unprecedented for a 911). But even then, I'm only at $55k total cost, still $6k less than the lease would have been.

    Bottom line is that everyone must do what they feel comfortable with. I was fortunate to have the ability to pay cash and not have it feel too painful. Now every month I'm getting the return on my investment (i.e. fun) without having to write a big check. But I can't fault others for looking at it differently, depending upon their circumstances.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    First: I would think an appropriate response would be for you to call or write the Sales Manager (cc the GM) and describe the situation(s) you were subjected to and ask them if this is consistent with their standards. It certainly isn't what I would expect from a Porsche dealership.

    Second: You've probably seen my previous posts about snowtires not raising the ground clearance. If you really must use the car year round in Boston, call the Tire Rack for their recommendations. They are experts and professional (more so than your dealer, so it seems).

    Third: Your salesman is an idiot. I was advised to stay away from automatic car washes by my Honda sales manager when I bought a $32k Honda S2000. I didn't ask for a detailed chemical analysis, but accepted that car wash soap is not good for a canvas top. Nothing but clean water ever hit my Honda's top, and it looked perfect after 2.5 years. I have no intention of moving to a monestary, but I've never taken any of my cars to an automatic car wash. I have a bucket, soft sponge and hose handy. It takes me 20 minutes to wash and dry the 911. Add another 90 minutes to wax it with Maguires Professional. That's the beauty of a small car with a soft top.

    Congratulations on your new car. Haven't seen Slate Grey in person, but it sounds very nice. I'm at 3,400 miles in 8 1/2 weeks in case you are the competitive type. ;)
  • naifnaif Posts: 14
    Thanks for your thoughts, Habitat1. Even if I were competitive, it would be hopeless--I do only about 10k/year. Looking forward to the right half of the tach, but for now just happy to have the top down today in Boston--who'd have guessed?

    I did the same yesterday--20 minutes to wash, 90 to wax. How often would you go before the next wax, assuming daily driving?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm about a once a quarter waxer, corresponding to the seasons. Probably more than necessary, since the Maguires lasts pretty long, but it gives me a chance to do a careful once over.
  • After all these doom and gloom stories about driving new 997s through the salt and snow, I had to get my 2 cents in. I conveniently timed my 2K mile beakin period to end on a crystal clear day on Hwy 1 between San Simeon and Monterey. An unbelievable experience in an amazing car. I would highly recommend this to all at some point in your lives. I finally saw the dipstick registering down and am wondering, after yrs of owning American pushrod V8s, if it is really ok to 'work' the engine frequently between 5000-7200 rpm. If so, any suggestions on where to buy the OW synthetic oil online? Thanks.
    Jim K
  • bonn1bonn1 Posts: 5
    I'm new to this whole 911 arena - I was looking to buy a c4 cab in the next month or so but had a couple of questions for the experts! Being a female I have been wary of my car buying experience since its obvious I dont have a lot of knowledge. since I was going to order a car with the specs i wanted, should I be expected to pay the mrsp on one or should there be some negotiation - i expected not since it is a porsche? also I was told by on salesman that the whole leather interior wears much faster despite regular detailing and really isn't worth it - anybody had any experience in this area?
    appreciate any advice!!
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Yesterday I saw a dude showing off his new 911 convertible to a friend in my neighborhood. As he shut the front trunk he told his friend that the Porsche crest is specially reinforced or something, and that is should always be used to close the trunk. I had never heard that before. Is it true?
  • I was told the same thing, by the person that I bought my '84 911 from back in 1990...

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    Not too many left this year. It was 74 here in the mountains of western North Carolina, 2 off the record. Top down day! Had my C4 Cab for 3 days now.
    I didn't know that about the Porsche crest on the hood.
  • naifnaif Posts: 14
    My 1987 944 had a leather interior, and it went through a car wash with the windows open once and never showed a thing. I had it for 13 years, neglected it (I guess with the car wash you could say "abused") and it was fine. So I just bought full leather in my 2006 C2 Cab. And, reading the Porsche boards, I've never seen a complaint about the durability of the leather interiors.
  • Agree with your figures on the whole except for the fact that thery're skewed by the huge discount that you received! Taking that out (or at least reducing to the $5/6K generally available at this time), your figures generally equal out.

    Like you say its a matter of preference and especially whether you want a new car every 3 years or you want to keep it for many years. Personally, I fall within the former bracket.

    I'd rather change befoe the warranty runs out and change to a newer model without the hassle of having to sell.
  • bonn1bonn1 Posts: 5
    thanks for that info - I just loved the cocoa leather but wasn't sure that I wanted the whole interior covered in it especially if it was going to be high maintenance. the other question I had was about spacers on the back wheels of the c4 - the salesman pointed out the aesthetic value of the spacers bringing the wheels flush with the fender but I don't know if this affects the performance of the car. anybody had spacers put in on their cars or know much about them and if they're worth the $500?
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