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Old 06-02-2011, 10:30 AM   #1
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Advice Needed on 03 Boxster Purchase

I'm looking at buying a 2003 boxster with 32K miles. I'm concerned that there were 6 previous owners & no detail service records. Wondering if I should look elsewhere because of this -- I would appreciate any suggestions here-- thanks.

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Old 06-02-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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Unless all 6 owners happened to be backrupt I'd walk away from that car...

But if you still want to take the gamble at least do a PPI, no one but an experienced mechanic can advise you to buy or not to buy otherwise.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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Six owners is a bit many, but many Porsche's are third or fourth cars and tend to be bought and sold on a whim rather than need. Its very common for any used Porsche to have 2-4 owners.

The lack of service records alone shouldn't be a deal breaker. Lots of well maintained cars don't have service records. A well maintained car in great condition with service records will get top dollar whereas a car in great condition without service records will be slightly less valuable. Adjust your price offer accordingly.

To mitigate the missing service records, most new owners in this situation assume that the last significant service was not done and they take that amount off of the asking price. For example, you would assume that the 30K service wasn't done and take that cost off the price and then have it done as soon as you buy the car. This gives you some peace of mind and a clear starting point on maintanence. Just call a few local shops and ask for the price of a 30K service to find the amount.

The most important thing to do is to get a Pre-Purchase Inspection at a local Porsche shop or a dealer. I know its a pain in the rear to arrange and execute but take the time and do it anyway. This can save you thousands of dollars! The shop will know what to look for as they check the car over end-to-end. This will give you a good idea about the mechanical condition of the car and what repairs are needed. Be sure that the PPI includes reading the engine computer to see if any fault codes are stored (which might be there even if the Check Engine Light (CEL) isn't on). Expect to pay $150-$300 for this service. This is the best investment you can make so you know what you're getting into.

As you may have read, there are no cheap Porsche's. Repairs and parts can be somewhat costlly depending on where you're coming from. Rememeber you're buying an 8-yr old car so plan to have some money in reserve when you buy it. $1,500-$2,000 should be sufficient. Oil changes are $100, new tires will run $700-$900, a new starter is $400 DIY or $750 at a shop, etc. You get the idea. Its not abnormal to spend $1,500 in the first year of ownership to get the maintenance caught up and fix a few things that need fixing.

On the plus side, if you buy a Boxster you'll completely fall in love with the car and have a smile on your face every time you drive it.
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Last edited by thstone; 06-02-2011 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
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thstone summed it all up.
I think as long as the car pass the PPI, it should be fine. The only uncertain thing would be IMS (with all the buzz about engine failure even with small failure rate) and just get it replaced when you need clutch work.

It also seems that boxsters love to ear tires (especially rear ones).

I don't use mine as DD but it seems like the boxster is pretty reliable but not as cheap to run as my Toyotas (which literally needs nothing other than oil and gas) and way more fun to drive than any other cars I ever owned.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Boxsters are a niche vehicles; especially because they're convertibles . And, they don't always appeal to just enthusiasts or Porschephiles, but rather their ownership can often be traced back to buyer impulse, mid-life crises and whimsical spending on the part of the average car buyer . And, in many cases, either financial difficulties or wavering interest often leads to the quick turn-over of these vehicles . For example, I was the 3rd owner of my boxster with only 6k on the odometer . Granted I was able to ascertain all of the vehicle's records and history before I purchased it . Nevertheless, on the face of it, despite the fact that the vehicle was in pristine condition, it had already had two previous owners within a relatively short period of time . In any case, my advice would be to not let the number of previous owners deter you from purchasing a boxster that you like provided that a thorough PPI has been conducted .
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:06 AM   #6
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I purchased my 00 S before I did a whole lot of research on the car. My bank said it it had been owned by several car lots but only 2 people I think. The guy I bought it off of gave me some service record stuff, but I can't even remember where I put it now.

When I bought it, it had 31K on it and now I have have roughly 53K and have had zero problems besides a check engine light. Car runs and drives perfect. I have no complaints after 1.5 years of owning it. Maybe I got lucky (knock on wood) but it seems if you check the car over decent before you buy it, and do the maintenance, then they seem to be pretty reliable cars.

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