The 928.org.uk Porsche 928 buyers guide - find us on the web
The Sunday Times published a buyers Guide to the 928 GTS on 7th November 2004. but its almost two years out of date now. Treat pricing in it with extreme caution.There really has never been a better time to buy a 928. Read this buyers guide to find out invaluable information
Join the 928uk mail list and take your time to choose the right one. But get on with it and act now and get yours in time for the next 928uk meeting!
I talk to a lot of potential buyers in person and by email. Most people today are not reliant on the 928 as their main car (unlike me) so they are spending a lot of time finding the right car for them. This is a good thing because its really important to have one you can live with in terms of colour inside and out and manual vs auto and then the rest of the spec. But its more important to buy one which has the basis to be a good car to keep and to build up to be what you want it to be. Its no good buying the right colour but neglected car unless you have deep pockets. All 928s are getting on a bit now so there are very few perfect cars.
There are many good cars though and when looking you should expect to see evidence of reasonable history of attention to upkeep as well as an ongoing list of things to attend to. These are the signs of a well maintained car. Its a question of keeping on top of things rather than thinking that you'll never need to spend a penny on the car. I personally budget for servicing and tyres plus one major project per year. That way I will get to things in a planned way. I am over budget this year but still happy. It beats having a rep mobile and given the huge depreciation costs of new cars I think the maintenance costs of 928's compare very favourably.
People always ask me about prices. The truth is that bad cars are priced high and good cars are priced low. Think about it for a moment. All 928s have depreciated as far as they can due to false images Ed Straker, unpopularity and expense. In fact if you look at a 928 today it is undated. Only the wider panel fit and heavy wood construction interior door panels give away older design and production techniques. Many have been neglected by owners who couldn't really commit to the planned maintenance idea. A 928 at any price is a terrific price/performance equation if it doesn't cost you the earth to run. If it costs an extra 5k in year one then that's not so good.
What to pay for a Porsche 928 in the UK..Anything under GBP 2000 for a basket case, BBP 3,000-4500 for a tidy early car, 5000 for a really good late S2, 5700-9000 for an early 87 or 88 pre-digital dashboard S4, 8000-10000 for a GT or post 89 S4 (digital dash arrived in model year 1989), and 12000-16500 for a GTS (12000 for uncertainty and 16500 for fpsh S model year (N or even P reg) with low miles and/or a factory new engine with no oil problems). There is deliberate overlap here because condition is king. A good GT is worth more than a smoky GTS. Caution though. Traders value 928's at a lot less. In mid 2005 a LHD GTS went for 6500 GBP in the UK!
Porsche 928 prices in the UK - updated May 2006Prices were stable over 2004. Prices rose for some models or stayed put in 2005. In 2006 prices are holding 2005 levels but only for cars in super condition with few faults. Early S4's are dropping quite a lot more sharply with numerous bargains between 6 and 8K in the Pre 1989 model year non-digital dash S4's. GT models are stable cheap GT's from 7995 have been seen but likely price is about 9000 GBP. Earlier cars are more variable in price. 928's and 928 S models are bargains or basket cases depending on your point of view. S2's are selling well but its hard to get more than GBP 4000 for an S2 no matter how special the car.
GTS values seem to be closing on on GT's and have suffered from inter-galactic depreciation. GTS's can be found from 9000 to 16500. Dealers are sticking out for more for what they imagine are really special cars but any prices about 16500 are not realistic prices and the dealer may have had the car in stock for years. These dealers are wrong and I simply cant see a 928 making over 17000 no matter what it is. If you are looking at one and its priced higher remember it will sit on the dealer shelves for ever and the only way is down. It may seem special to the dealers but comparative car prices (Range Rover V8 Westminster, BMW 850, Aston Martin DB7, Ferrari 456GT) wont allow any 928 - even a GTS to have a premium so dont fall for this.
Rarities like the SE continue to be extremely hard to value (I've heard of sales for 6500 and double that in 2005 amd in 2006 two have sold through the site for high prices reflecting condition and rarity). Overall I think the price band for the SE is between 12000 and 13000. Theres a black one in London with one owner since new with under 30k miles so who knows what that would be worth (he's not selling it - I tried!). Caution though - even though these cars are the equivalent of the RS models in 911 land they dont seem to hold value in the same way and may only have value to members of our community so are likely to remain uncertain going forward. Its especially important to get the right insurance for them - so that they dont get valued as an S4 and written off all to easily.
Unlike the buyers guide in the Sunday Times I would not recommend mileage as a good indication of value. 928s need regular use and without it gremlins creep in. A fully maintained or recomissioned high mileage car with regular detailed planned maintenance program is a better proposition than a low mileage car that will need to be recomissioned (think disks, pads, pumps, fluids, fuel pipes, other pipes, all belts, ac, heater matrix, battery, alarm, tyres all of which is a couple of thousand at least). Recomissioning is not for the faint hearted but if youre buying a car to rebuild make sure this is taken into account in the purchase price.
Used Porsche 928 Buying ChecklistThe following checklist represents in large part all the items that an informed buyer should check on any car they are considering buying. Some of these items will be less important to you than others, but knowing what needs replacing or repairing will put you in a stronger bargaining position if you are interested in the car.
Shop aroundWe would strongly recommend that if you have doubts about any of the mechanical aspects of a particular car, that you walk away from the car. Contrary to what many dealers will tell you, the 928 is not a particularly rare car, with up to 8 cars appearing for sale on the web site each week, so there is no reason to compromise on condition.
Drive more than oneIf you are considering buying a 928, we suggest that you drive as many 928s as you can which will give you an opportunity both to compare the different models, and to find out what a good 928 looks and drives like. One current owner drove five in one day and it quickly became apparent that two were good, one was so-so and two were bad. The two bad ones had been patched up and looked great from both the outside and inside, but driving soon showed their real condition.
Meet other 928 owners and check out their carsWe would also be delighted if you wished to come to one of our 928 meets during your search for your 928, which will give you the ideal opportunity to see and talk to the owners of a wide range of 928 models in an informal setting. Join the mail list too and someone near you will probably take you for a spin in a similar car to what you are looking for.
Colour and valueIn the end your choice should come down to interior and exterior colour, manual or automatic transmission and value for money, not just condition. Remember you will have to look at it on the drive for years so dont get something you cant stand the colour of. That includes the interior. If you can’t afford a GTS look got a good S4, or start looking for a good S2 rather than get a bad S4. The engineering of the 928 makes them one of the best sports tourers available, but also means that they need regular and timely maintenance to keep them in good condition, both before you buy the car and after. Remember, the 928 cost £20,000 in 1978 and £72,000 in its final year of production, and all the models have servicing costs appropriate to those high prices. (around £1000 for a full service at a main dealer) The Porsche 928 was from its very beginning a precision-engineered car that could more than double the UK legal speed limit at a time when many standard road cars couldn’t reach 100 mph, and that performance depends on the precise functioning of all the components. You wouldn't expect to be able to run a Ferrari on Fiesta money so why would you therefore expect to run a 928, which is just as much of a performance car, any cheaper, simply because it’s relatively cheap to buy? That said, if you buy a good one, you should not have any surprise bills for a long time. See the Running and Servicing sections for more details on costs and maintenance schedules.
Independent checkWhen you have found your ideal 928, then we strongly recommend that you take the car to a 928 specialist for a pre-purchase check. If there is no 928 specialist close to where you live, then all of the official Porsche dealers and many of the independent Porsche garages offer pre-purchase inspections, which will give you a further insight into the condition of your prospective purchase. Also, ask the specialist to give you a costing of all the remedial work they find during the inspection, which will give you a good idea of some of the costs involved in restoring and maintaining your purchase in full working condition. Its about two hundred quid, and then you will have a list of all your projects for the next year. Dont expect any 928 to be perfect. Check with the mailing list whether problems found are common and easy to fix or nasty and expensive. For example dont worry about worn disks and pads. Do worry about broken air conditioning if you care. Remember an OPC inspection will tell you what you need to do to put the car to showroom condition. Dont be put off by this and do remember the cars arent new anymore. If its basically a good car the inspection serves as a great list of projects to do over time. Dont be put off by paint if its been done right unless its unexplainable and extensive. Stone chips are common and parking bumps mean most 928's have had bumper and many have had door paint.
HPIThe checklist below is intended to provide you with a tool for finding and informing yourself about your target cars, and is not intended to replace a specialist mechanic’s review of the car on a ramp with the proper tools. In addition, this would be a good time to do an HPI check which will cost around £40 to see if the car has outstanding finance on it, has been written off by an insurance company, or is reported stolen. Dont worry about plate changes on the HPI check. Most 928s have had many different number plates in their lifetimes.
PrecautionsIf you buy from an enthusiast, chances are the car will have been well looked after, and you will have the comfort of a stack of service bills to know what has and has not been done to the car. When buying a car privately, it is a good idea to assess the owner. Have an informal friendly chat with the seller (or with the last owner of record if buying from a dealer), to discover what type of person they are. Also take the opportunity to meet them at their house, if possible; if the house looks well maintained, then usually they would look after their cars as well. Never buy from someone who will only meet you in a service station or a layby, or who can only be contacted on a mobile telephone number.
Porsche 928 Specification - Things to check during initial phone conversationNot an exhaustive list :-)
- Body colour
- Paintwork and panel fit - every panel
- Vin number matches docs - check for signs of tampering
- Engine number matches docs - if its absent walk away
- Interior colour(s) and material
- Does it have an MOT and service history
- Service history - all bills or service book stamps only FPSH or independent?
- Number of owners and who
- Length of current ownership
- Reason for sale
- Central locking working
- Air conditioning – working? really working not just gassed for
- Electric windows – working?
- Electric mirrors – working?
- Electric seats – working?
- Electric lumbar – working?
- Electric heated seats – working?
- Correct type of wheels. All identical? Check part numbers carefully!
- Original or replacement wheels? Spacers? (Wider rear track)
- Correct tyres?
- Toolkit complete, spanners and drivers, towing eye, jack, hazard triangle, compressor, spare, plastic gloves and bag for dirty wheel
- Luggage cover
- Sunroof motor working - expensive
- Engine bay all correct? Anything obviously missing?
- Recent steam cleaning? Why?
- Pas reservoir leaks? (Big ZF labelled bottle to the right)
- Engine oil on undertray? (Sump Gasket)
- Coolant in V of engine (leaks)
- Any spares or extras such as service manuals
- Check the list of option codes in the service book or on the sticker in the boot (look them up on this web site)
- Price, warranty, agreement to inspection by a third party