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Old 02-20-2008, 08:23 AM   #1
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Question Assessing Damage in used 987 purchase?

There is a local 06 CS that is loaded up (PASM, Bi-Xenon, PCM, Sports Chrono, 19 inch Carrera Classics) being offered for sale at $42,900 by an independent dealer of mid-to-high line cars.

I'm going to look at it today but the car fax shows an accident in November with a report of "minor to moderate damage" to the left front I believe.

Any thoughts on how to determine the extent of the damage and whether or not it will have long-term effects (beyond resale issues)?

I would get a PPI but would also want a qualified inspection of the repair.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
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I would be inclined to call your insurance company and ask what sort of 'diminished value' someone who damaged your car would have to pay you. That should be reflected in the starting price of the car before you even begin to negotiate a lower price.
Personally, I would need a very very steep reduction to buy a car with enough damage that it had to paid through insurance. Around these parts some people would prefer to pay several thousand dollars in repairs then have their premiums go up and to keep it off the carfax record.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback.

The CarFax suggests this was an accident with a police report. I guess that could mean it did or did not go through insurance for repair.

The current ask price for the car is about 3K below Edmunds trade-value and about 7K below Edmunds retail.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:52 AM   #4
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Is the title "clean" or "salvage/rebuilt". That alone might explain the extent of damage.

I hit a deer with my Jetta last fall. To the naked eye, 1 hood, 1 fender, 1 bumper cap, 1 headlight, repaint areas.. well.. $3,000 later, it was repaired. I wouldn't have thought that much damage would have occured. My point is, it could have been a 5-7mph stop and go incident.. but fixing a Porsche won't be cheaper than a Jetta. Maybe you could track down the original police report to get an idea of what happened? Also, if the car is at a "highline" dealer, did the accident occur in their possession? Was the car bought at an auction? Maybe the titles been "washed".

Lots of questions imho. My guess is that if you wait 6mo, you could find a "non-stories" car for the same money
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryshomework
Thanks for the feedback.

The CarFax suggests this was an accident with a police report. I guess that could mean it did or did not go through insurance for repair.

The current ask price for the car is about 3K below Edmunds trade-value and about 7K below Edmunds retail.
The police report is meaningless. Someone scratched my bumper when the car was parrallel parked and I had to file a police report. The only way to know anything about the damage is an inspection by a qualified bodyshop as someone else has said already. Unless of course you can talk to the owner who had the car at the time of the accident. If it was an insurance claim they likely will have photos, body shop estimates, etc. too.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Be careful. This is the kind of thing that could follow you for the rest of the time you own the car, and haunt you if/when you try to re-sell it.

If the title is stamped salvage, you might want to avoid it completely. Salvage cars are tough to re-sell, unless they are at very steep discounts to retail value. Even if it is not a salvage car, most people that buy Porsche's are looking for a good quality car, not someone's cut-and-paste special. If you ever try to re-sell it, everyone else will do the same CarFax search you did, and find the same issues. I personally would never buy a car with accident history, there are just too may unknowns and risks - alignment problems, uneven fading/wearing of the paint, etc. So many paint jobs that are blended, where only part of the car is refinished, look good when it is relatively new, but fade at a different rate. If you are looking to spend around that price (low $40's), you would probably be better off buying an older Boxster without damage history.

Remember the old saying: "It is the stingy man who spends the most".
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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Larry, I am confussed. In your title you state a "987". But then you say it is an "06 CS", which I take to mean a Carrera S. Please set me straight. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:44 PM   #8
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bmuss, I think 'cs' is for Cayman S, which is a 987. I would not buy a car that has been in an accident. There are many nice 987 Boxsters and Caymans for sale at very reasonable prices right now. I think it would be worth the extra 5-10% premium for a car that has never been damaged.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drburton
bmuss, I think 'cs' is for Cayman S, which is a 987. I would not buy a car that has been in an accident. There are many nice 987 Boxsters and Caymans for sale at very reasonable prices right now. I think it would be worth the extra 5-10% premium for a car that has never been damaged.

duuhhh, you are very right! And even more right with your advice.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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I have to agree with the doc, it's not like the price is "give away". If you calculate the differential in payment for the modest savings you might decide to get another car never damaged. Having said all that, it really also depends on who fixed it, if you do buy it, make sure none of the wheels were bent, a tire shop spin balance before the sale.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:01 PM   #11
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The only real way to determine how badly the car was damaged it twofold.

You need a real pro to get under the car. This guy needs to understand unibody, suspensions AND be experienced in Boxsters. Why?

He needs to know what he is looking at and what to look for.

Since there cars are unibody, the damage is often not at all obvious. That is why a generic "mechanic" will not do.

Also, find someone who has a paint meter. You want to know exacly where this car was repainted so as to know where to look.

IMHO, I would simply move on and find a pristine Box.

There are plenty.

Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EE3racing
it really depends on who fixed it
+1 on that.

For every quality repair shop there are at least 5 hack shops. Some of the hack shops are pretty good at hiding their corner cutting. I also agree with Brucelee, have someone who knows what their looking at check it out. Extra investigating and precautions are in order.

But if its had a quality repair done, there's no reason you shouldn't consider this car. C'mon, stuff happens (a piece of space junk is going to land on someone next month). Maybe the PO had it fixed back to factory specs but just wouldn't ever drive a car that's been in an accident. That doesn't mean the car should be sent to the crusher. But the purchase price needs to be lower than what you listed.

If you buy it and keep it for many years and drive it lots of miles, the fact that is was in an accident will be less of an issue when it comes time for you to sell or trade it. I don't mean that it's totally washed clean, I mean that it proves the car was repaired properly and didn't cause you any problems. However, if you buy it and quickly find it's junk, you'll never be able to sell it. That would be way too suspicious to any sane prospective buyer. At that point you might as well start parting it out and eat your losses.

My Dad and I rebuilt wrecked cars when I was a kid 30+ years ago. I always drove nice cars that were a couple years old and very low mileage. I made money on the first 4 cars I owned. Pretty good for high school and college kid, but it was all possible because we repaired damaged cars. However, cars have changed, the methods to fix them have changed, and the materials have changed. The one constant is 1 good shop to every 5 bad shops.

Caveat emptor.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:36 PM   #13
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These are all good points.




Quote:
Originally Posted by husker boxster
+1 on that.

For every quality repair shop there are at least 5 hack shops. Some of the hack shops are pretty good at hiding their corner cutting. I also agree with Brucelee, have someone who knows what their looking at check it out. Extra investigating and precautions are in order.

But if its had a quality repair done, there's no reason you shouldn't consider this car. C'mon, stuff happens (a piece of space junk is going to land on someone next month). Maybe the PO had it fixed back to factory specs but just wouldn't ever drive a car that's been in an accident. That doesn't mean the car should be sent to the crusher. But the purchase price needs to be lower than what you listed.

If you buy it and keep it for many years and drive it lots of miles, the fact that is was in an accident will be less of an issue when it comes time for you to sell or trade it. I don't mean that it's totally washed clean, I mean that it proves the car was repaired properly and didn't cause you any problems. However, if you buy it and quickly find it's junk, you'll never be able to sell it. That would be way too suspicious to any sane prospective buyer. At that point you might as well start parting it out and eat your losses.

My Dad and I rebuilt wrecked cars when I was a kid 30+ years ago. I always drove nice cars that were a couple years old and very low mileage. I made money on the first 4 cars I owned. Pretty good for high school and college kid, but it was all possible because we repaired damaged cars. However, cars have changed, the methods to fix them have changed, and the materials have changed. The one constant is 1 good shop to every 5 bad shops.

Caveat emptor.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #14
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Some updated info:

Looked at the car today - here's what I know or was told.

Title is clean
Dealer is a wholesaler - bought it from a local VW dealer that took it on trade
Dealer claims about accident - fender bender that resulted in bumper replacement/repaint and blend with fender.

Prior to purchase I would:

get PPI
get qualified body shop inspect body repair and inspect suspension/frame to verify it was was only body work.
contact original owner (local) to verify accident.

I know how this stuff impacts resale - my neighbor backed into my 325i - needed to replace the rear door and paint across 2 body panels (door and rear fender). As a result, it could not be certified by BMW which hit about 1500 on the trade value even though the repair was excellent. On the otherhand, the car was fine and no one would ever know without an honest owner.

The discount is very good on this car compared to inventory within a 250 mile radius. Ask price is 43K - sticker was 73. Most similarly equipped I've seen are upper 40s - low 50s.

I probably won't buy it due to color. But if it truly was just a bumper replacement, that wouldn't stop me.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:01 PM   #15
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A police report is public information. Does car fax show the date of the accident? Maybe you can go to the police department if local and buy a copy of the report.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:15 PM   #16
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If you can

see if you can find the repair paperwork that lists the work done and the parts replaced.

My '01 Boxster was hit in the rear by a car at perhaps 10MPH. A picture taken after the accident shows no damage you can detect. The initial repair estimate was 3k$. There was no metal body part damaged or painted, all in the bumper, bumper supports and muffler tail pipes.

Now this might show up the same way the one you are looking at does.

Or it could be like my '99 whose front hit the rear of a truck and they stopped counting the repairs at $26k and totaled it. That car may have gone somewhere to be rebuilt, the title cured and sold and might well have been a fine car for someone. Or it might have been parted out. Who knows.


So if you can find out who did the work or perhaps who owned the car. Otherwise, for $3k, why take the risk.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #17
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At this point for me, a discussion with the owner and the original dealer that took the trade is a must.

The price difference is about 6-8K comparing to comparably equipped models. That in and of itself makes me skeptical.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryshomework
At this point for me, a discussion with the owner and the original dealer that took the trade is a must.

The price difference is about 6-8K comparing to comparably equipped models. That in and of itself makes me skeptical.
You are on the right track! Discussing the car with the owner tells you a lot about it in addition to the damage Q. Age, driving style, is he a maintenance nut?, etc., etc. I personally think are important factors. It also gives you peace of mind to know a car's history. You may have mentioned below, but does it have documented maint. history? The owner can shed light on that as well. If the owner had an accident you can bet he can probably tell you exactly how much it cost, what was replaced, etc. as I don't think you would forget those details on a Porsche and it is a good bet he has the invoices or can send you to the body shop who may have them. Sooo nice to see the actual documents (kind of like seeing the 30k maint. invoices rather than just the little stamp in the maint. book).
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