To CarMax and Back - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: To CarMax and Back

February 18, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet never sat parked in our garage for big stretches of time. It was one of the most popular vehicles we've had around here and deservedly so. That's great for us, but when it comes to selling the car, not so much.

I took the 911 to CarMax for an appraisal the other day, filled with confidence for the price it would fetch. After all, it's a Porsche 911. These things keep their value like a champ, right? But now it seems I might have drunk some Porsche owner's Kool-Aid, or should I say sparkling wine?

"I had three customers trade in their Porsches for Telsa Model S's this past weekend," said Carlos, the appraiser at CarMax. He remembered them all: a 911 Turbo, a Panamera and a Cayenne.

I told Carlos we already had a Model S, so he wasn't too far off in terms of owner preferences, I suppose. I asked him if cabriolets had more value than coupes. He said yes, but only slightly more. So far so good.

"This one may take me a bit longer," Carlos said. "If it was an Accord, I'd have an offer for you in 10 minutes." Porsches, with their plethora of options, apparently require more work.

I went over the numbers in my head while I waited. This car had an MSRP of $109,745. We paid $98,048 and it has an Edmunds trade-in TMV of $79,317.

Carlos wasn't kidding. It took at least 30 minutes until the sales rep came out to show me the offer on his computer screen. I was expecting a cool $80,000, but what I saw made my heart sink: $78,000.

Why so low? The right rear wheel was curbed and CarMax factored in the cost of repair. But the biggest culprit was the high miles. We drove nearly double what the average person would put on the car in a year and that took its toll on the depreciation curve.

I later called Porsche of Newport Beach, where we bought the car, to get a second opinion. "How much you looking to get for it?" the used-car manager asked.

I told him I wanted to get more than the $78,000 that CarMax offered me. He ran it up the chain of command and called back that evening. "We're going to pass on this one," he said. "Those miles are too high. You should take the CarMax offer."

Rather than do that, however, we're going to try our luck on AutoTrader. I'll be taking an ad out in a few days. Edmunds private party TMV is $82,740. I'm going to test the waters with an asking price of $83,000.

Wish me luck, or tell me I'm foolish for not taking the quick cash.

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 23,408 miles


  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Your heart sank because their offer was 1.66% lower than Edmunds' estimate? Heck I'd see that as a pretty nice margin of error.

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    Wow, $20k loss in a year. Fun. Of course, the question is, what type of buyer would buy a $80k Porsche from CarMax, especially since I presume that the warranty is 2/3rds used up. I wouldn't be surprised if there's $20k of repairs/maintenance needed over the next few years.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    My first though was that you should have just taken the money. However, a quick search of similar cars in the Santa Monica area shows that most are overpriced or ridiculously optioned, while there are just a few around your price range. Hopefully you can find someone who wants a nearly new car, albeit with higher than average miles, for a decent price. Honestly, with the way dealers are optioning these cars, I would ONLY factory order if I was in the market for a new 991. Large wheels, colored seats belts, interior in flavor of the month trim... Please. I'll take a manual, hardtop, with very few options. I am assuming that I'd buy the car to enjoy the drive though, not trying to impress people who don't even care.

  • Did u ever get the transmission issue looked at? It used to be smooth then became jerky at low speeds. The carmax offer is still about 20% depreciation, which is not bad given that after all this is a car not an investment. It's what happens when u buy a new car. Just wait to see how much Carmax will over u on the Vette. p.s. who curbed the rims? kinda shows that cars are not treated nicely by Edmunds.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    I hope it wasn't Cameron who curbed the rim! Yeah, that offer sounds fair. How did you come up with the 80K number? With all the option combos I can see that coming up with a number is a bit of a guessing game. Hopefully you find someone willing to give you what you want.

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    Fair offer given your mileage and the spec's. You should have taken the Carmax offer.

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    That offer really doesn't seem too bad as someone else mentioned percentage wise it's very close to the Edmunds trade-in value, it just may feel more painful because of the high dollar amount you're dealing with to begin with vs. a $20k car. Oh and not to mention those are auto journalist miles so I assume some of which are very much harder than what the average joe would do (although porsche guys do seem to at least like to track their cars) so maybe you guys were actually easier on the car than many other 1st owners would be.

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    This just reminded me though, the last autocross I went to there was a guy with a 911 that still had the carmax dealer transport tags on it, haha. Either a very poor move by carmax staff or a great way to kick off the ownership experience.

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Once again, the Edmunds TMV calculator needs some tweaking. You'll be back to CarMax.

  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    How much would it bring if it were disassembled and the parts sold on the black market in Asia or the Middle East?

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    The beauty of carmax is you can always go back. I recently purchased a car at carmax and they do sell fairly low mileage cars. I sold my previous car privately, it was a hassle but I got 2K more than carmax offered.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    That's 20% depreciation, and not far off your TMV... I don't know what the issue is?

  • diigii diigii Posts:

    How much does it cost to have the curbed rim repaired? If the cost is in $500 (because it's a Porsche), then the $1,500 difference should be acceptable for the higher mileage. But, you should try selling it to a Canadian buyer looking to export the car back to Canada. That's a heck of a good deal for us here.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    should have taken the offer its less than 2 percent if you sold it yourself not to mention uncle sam would just take most of that 3 thousand dollar difference anyways

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Post from August 28, 2013: "Is there anything worse than curbing a gleaming new wheel? In the grand scheme of things, yes, there are many. But confine the circumstances to driving and parking a valuable sports car and the wheel damage issue is always there. As you can see, it's not an issue with our 2013 Porsche 911. Despite the big 20-inch wheels and 30/35 series tires, it would be pretty hard to curb these wheels thanks to the shape of the sidewall. It sticks out far enough to protect even the most ham-fisted parking maneuvers and does so without looking the slightest bit awkward from afar. I always adjust my mirrors so I can see the rear wheels when I park on the curb to avoid any nicks, but it's nice to know there's some room for error." Apparently Edmunds possesses some one sufficiently ham-fisted enough to prevail over the tire's rim protectors. Congratulations, or something...

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Knowing those are journalist miles it's worth about $20k to me to break it up for spares. As a Brit comedian said many years ago, "One careful owner; the other 25 were bastards". :-)

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    It's the miles, boys. You took it in for the first service and they told you that you had no idea what your were doing and then you told them the mileage and they flipped out. People drive these things 3000 miles per year and keep them in their heated garages under a car cover. They don't drive them from Santa Monica to New York City and back and then everywhere in between. Take the money and run.

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Another car gone quiet. Any Autotrader bites, since CarMax was so awful with their 98% offer?

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