A lot of classic Porsche owners renew their insurance at this time of year, to coincide with MOTing the car and taxing it for the summer season. It’s no surprise that I’m currently getting a lot of emails about insurance valuations and a few more about personal pre-purchase inspections, to get the best idea possible of condition and value.
Some insurers will insist on knowing the valuer has inspected the car before giving an opinion. Check your insurer’s policy here: it’s one reason people sometimes use their servicing garage for valuations. Only problem with that is insurers usually insist the valuer is independent of the car, with no commercial links to its history.
I’m in the UK Midlands but valuations can still involve hundreds of miles, so I treat them almost as full pre-purchase inspections. I always advise that pre-purchase inspections are carried out at a Porsche specialist service centre, where an experienced technician can get a car on a lift in the dry and have a good poke around.
Specialist sellers sometimes get funny about letting another mechanic under their cars, and that’s usually when I get a call to go take a look. I report on general condition, have a drive and decide whether I think the overall purchase makes sense.
One inspection last year on a grey Porsche 964 was a good example of why to inspect before purchase. The seller’s premises did not inspire confidence, the car was in an unloved state and even broke down on the test drive! When I had to get out and push it away from a set of traffic lights, the guy who accompanied me stayed sitting in it.
Inside the car was soaking wet: it really was not nice. At the end of the drive, the seller asked what I thought. I asked about a much nicer car that was parked nearby. They were asking silly money for that, so I got straight on the phone to my Spanish-based client.
I’ve got over twenty five years in the motor trade, have written dozens of buyers’ guides based on my trade buying past and have a lot of experience looking at Porsche. Drop me an email if you need help with values, or a quick inspection to sense check a purchase. Do try to get a specialist Porsche garage to PPI your prospective purchases – most will do this for under £200.