Just updated an insurance valuation for a regular customer who owns a nice low mileage Porsche 996 Targa Tiptronic. While Porsche 996 models have not seen the huge jumps of the air-cooled classic 911 models, 996 prices have crept up steadily over the last five years and values are now well and truly trending upwards. This makes an annual update to valuations more important than ever.
Porsche 996 Buyers Guide/Buying Tips
From a driver’s point of view, there is not much wrong with 996s. The early 3.4-litre models cover the 0-60 dash in just over 5 seconds, but those engines were troublesome, so Porsche replaced the 3.4 with a 3.6-litre engine in 2001. This engine also has a number of weak points, but it is undeniably more powerful and ideally the one to go for when considering a 996.
In 2002, the cars had a bit of a facelift to distance the styling from the visually similar Boxster. This was another successful upgrade. With the bigger engine and the more handsome front end on offer, most buyers will now be looking for post-2002 3.6 litre models, thus keeping values higher for later examples. That is not to say that early cars don’t have their charms, just that market demand supports higher prices for later cars (i.e. the so-called Mk II 996).
A few years ago, I came very close to buying a 2003 996 Carrera and often wish I had gone for it. Driving the car was a great experience. The big difference from early 911 (pre-’89) to 996 is the physical size of the later car, the increased creature comforts offered by the more modern example and the sweeter manual shift in the 996.
Some decisions are a no-brainer on 996. I think you want a 3.6-litre and also a facelift car, so the next big decision after that when buying a 996 is whether to go for manual or tiptronic transmission. I like Tiptronic – it is fitted to my Cayenne S and works beautifully – and if you spend a lot of time driving then Tiptronic is great. But for a better resale market, manual transmission is the winner.
Here’s the thing. Tiptronic can be shifted like a manual and it is a wonderful Porsche-patented invention, but sticking a fluid-filled torque converter between the engine and gearbox does blunt the experience. It feels wonderfully smooth when Alpine touring with the mrs or carrying the kids around, but when you’re on your own and looking for fun, a manual gearbox will do it better.
Porsche 996 Manual vs Tiptronic Transmission prices
Porsche is not making any more 996s, so the supply of cars is limited. A Tiptronic-to-manual conversion is a hard thing to do (and ultimately not a great idea) so either you find what you like with a manual transmission, or you find it with Tiptronic. You will find it easier with Tip as those cars are in lower demand, and you will probably find it cheaper, too. So sometimes Tiptronic makes plenty of sense. Manual cars tend to have been driven harder and will show more wear. All of these things make a difference to value!
Anyone who tells you that the manual-to-tip price premium is a set number of a grand or two grand or five grand is talking from where the sun don’t shine. The price difference from manual transmission to Tiptronic in a Porsche 996 depends entirely on spec, condition, mileage and options. There is also the bodystyle to consider but that is another issue entirely.
A general indication on a £30k C2 Coupe in very good all-round condition and offered with sensible mileage is that Tiptronic should save circa £2k or so, but for some cars it could be twice that, for others it could be less. It really depends on what else the car has to offer and how many similar cars are available.
Contact us to discuss an agreed insurance valuation for your Porsche 996. Values cost just £35 and are accepted by all UK insurers. Our valuations are guaranteed independent, so no arguments later regarding conflict of opinions when your dealer or specialist values the car they sold you or look after for you!