2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: To CarMax and Back
February 18, 2014
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