Earlier this week, I was hired to complete a pre-purchase valuation for a Porsche Boxster S (987 S). Research turned up some interesting data. The car in question was a very high spec car finished in nice colours, but with higher than average mileage.
A look at the other cars on the market showed that, while the asking price was at the very top of the scale for cars being sold privately, the mileage was in the top 30% of all cars available. The seller had added a sizeable premium for spec items that the average Boxster buyer simply would not value as highly. My advice to the prospective buyer was to keep his powder dry and watch for bargains turning up towards the back end of the year.
Porsche Market Trends 2019
Anyone selling their car at the minute must remember that the car market has been hard work through 2019. Current new car registration figures show a very small lift in September over last year, but the month is down over 27% versus the peak in 2016. The market is not at full speed, reflecting the wider economic picture. The prevailing lack of consumer confidence has a knock-on effect on the used car market.
Sports cars are non-essential purchases and their prices are more subject to external market forces than most other sectors. While 4x4s can get a bit of a lift in winter regardless of the economic picture, and vans get a bit of a lift around Christmas when deliveries are at their peak, sports cars peak when the weather is good and are a fairly low priority for most people through the rest of the year. Not everyone, just most people.
Sell your used Porsche Boxster
My client on this valuation had just sold his previous Boxster: a 2007 2.7 987 with 105k miles. “I sold my 2.7 for £7500: full asking price. I made it stand out, though: painted the bumper, put new tyres on, cleaned it properly. It was a 245hp manual model with a few nice extras, OPC and specialist history. I had it for 5 years and put 30k on it. Paid £10k when I bought it. Possibly the best value sports car ever!”
While all this sounds great, the devil is in the detail. The sale was not easy, as the buyer was the only person who actually came to view the car. The seller had loads of timewasters and dreamers, offering £4-5k or to pay the car off monthly.
A quick look on Autotrader for 2007 Porsche Boxsters with circa 100k miles shows 32 cars with prices running from £7,500 to £17,000. The highest price is an outlier with 11k miles, with the next lowest at just under £15k. The spread of private sales runs from £7.5k for a 99k-mile Tip to just under £12k for a 42k-mile manual.
Retail asking prices for 2007 Porsche Boxster 987 2.7 manuals with 40-44k miles hover around the £11,850 mark, so assuming condition is more or less identical, how likely is a savvy buyer to pay the same price for a private car as a dealer is asking for a car with finance available and a warranty included? When condition is identical, the chances are slim.
The Porsche and BMW classifieds are full of private sellers asking strong money for average cars with the assertion that “if it doesn’t sell, I will keep it over winter and sell it next year” or words to that effect. In this market, with book drops every month and very little likelihood of a bounce over winter, people need to take their first profit.
Many private sellers are going to have to try harder if they want their cars to sell. If they are really not bothered about selling, take their ‘meh’ cars off the market. Low supply of good examples is the best way to help the price of their car over time. If you do want to sell, get with the programme!
(Values correct at October 2019)
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