Why are used Porsches so cheap?

Porsche is considered to be one of the leading brands when it comes to sports cars, but Porsche also offers a few more ‘’regular’’ luxury models like the Panamera or the Macan and Cayenne SUVs. But not all Porsches are made equal, and the value disparity between some comparable models is rather huge.

Older air-cooled 911s are soaring up in value in recent years because of the air-cooled engine which is widely considered as the peak Porsche engine. Most newer water-cooled 911s do not fare all that well except a few limited-edition models from the GT/R family.

First-gen Boxster/Cayman models are also fairly cheap nowadays, the same goes for older Cayenne and Panamera models. This is mostly because the production numbers of these cars are miles higher compared to any 911 model.

The Macan/Taycan models are both fairly new, but in a few years, both of these models might also depreciate heavily, mostly depending on the production numbers.

Air-cooled 911s

Air-cooled 911s are incredibly popular, and lots of Porsche purists consider these as the bread and butter of the entire Porsche lineup. These 911 models enjoy a cult status following between senior Porsche enthusiasts, and the supply of older air-cooled 911s simply can’t match the demand.

Production numbers, timeless design, low maintenance, great dynamics, and driving experience are some of the reasons why these Porsches have sky-rocketed in value in recent years. An Air-cooled 911 is the most sought-after classic in the entire car community, not just between different Porsche models.

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The love for air-cooled 911s was most apparent with the release of the Porsche 911 996 in 1998. The 996 completely redesigned the looks and the mechanics of the 911, the air-cooled engines have been swapped for a more conventional water-cooled engine, and the 996 is now the cheapest 911 model which can be bought for as low as $15k.

Water-cooled 911s

As mentioned previously 1998 was the year when Porsche made the transition towards water-cooled engines in 911 models. The first model was the 996, and now the 996 is considered as one of the worst 911 models in history because of the engine, the design, and especially the ‘’boiled-egg’’ headlights.

But the 997 generation was one of the most commercially successful Porsche 911 models of all time even without an air-cooled engine. Used 997s can now be bought for about $20-30k for an entry-level used model. These prices are still fairly low considering the original market placement of the 911.

The 991 generation 911 is still a fairly modern car to experience any significant loss of value. 991s, especially the 991.2 facelifted version offer a bunch of modern technology, but the transition towards forced induction engines is certainly not going to fare well in the long term.

But limited editions of any Porsche 911 generations like the GT3, GT3RS, GT2, GT2RS, 911R models, or the GT3 Tourings are holding steady on the second-hand market. 911R models are even appreciating because they offer the lowest production numbers between the aforementioned limited-edition 911s.

Porsche Cayenne, Macan, Panamera

All three of these models are primarily luxury vehicles. And all expensive luxury vehicles depreciate the most. It’s not just a Porsche thing because 10-25-year-old Bentley, Maybach, Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, and even Rolls Royce models experience as much as 90% of depreciation.

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Timeless luxury is hard to come by because lots of luxury cars are driven by modern technology, and all fancy technology can do after a few years is to further date the car. All the modern screen and lightning technologies that define a modern luxury car will eventually become last-gen technology, which means that the value of such cars is going downhill.

Another reason why most luxury Porsche models lose a ton of value after a few years is that the production numbers of these units are a lot larger compared to other sportier Porsche models. For a spot of context, in 2013 Porsche produced around 34k 911 models and as much as 80k Cayenne models.

And after a while, the demand for Cayenne models simply evaporates whenever there is a new Cayenne model. The same thing goes for the Panamera, the Macan is still fairly new, but the same effect is likely going to plague the Macan in a few years.

FAQ Section


Are the cheaper Porsche models bad cars?

Not necessarily, the 996 generation 911 is a fairly competent sports car, especially for the price. In the realms of 911 models, the 996 is definitely a black sheep, but compared to similarly priced competitors, the 996 is a bargain. It’s all about the perspective, the 996 is somewhat of a servant in heaven, but a king in hell.

Older Porsche Cayenne and Panamera models are also far off being bad in any way, they are actually also fairly superior in their respectful price category. But the price itself only tells half of the story because the maintenance costs for these models are still as high as they were when these cars were new.

Is the air-cooled 911 market ever going to stop appreciating?

Some market experts believe that the air-cooled 911 market has reached somewhat of a plateau in recent years after decades of constant price increases. This is probably not because people have suddenly realized that the air-cooled 911s are not as good, but probably because the prices have already reached the stratosphere.

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A reputable insurance company named Hagerty has stated a few years ago that the air-cooled 911 market bubble is coming to a state of slow deflation. The reasoning behind this can not be determined exactly, but many experts believe that it’s probably because of a large amount of ‘’not so perfectly kept’’ air-cooled 911s being sold for less money than usual.

What Porsche models are sure to keep appreciated in the coming years?

Now, this a question which can not be answered entirely correctly, especially because the market can sway in both direction because of many unforeseen and mostly unfortunate events. But the general rule of thumb is – An older air-cooled limited edition 911, such as a 911R or a 911 RS in pristine condition is never going to stop rising.

Furthermore, the Carrera GT holds a special place in many enthusiast’s hearts because of the audibly delightful V10 engine, timeless looks, and limited production numbers. Besides, only a few Porsche models are mentioned as frequently as the Carrera GT, so it’s rather safe to say the Carrera GT is only going up.

Why are used Porsches so cheap

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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