If you are thinking of buying a Porsche over 3 to 5 years old, or arranging a service or repairs, then you are probably concerned to make sure that the source that you choose from will be fair and trustworthy and provide reliable and affordable services (in an industry with a very poor reputation). We understand your anxiety and have prepared this guide to help you make an informed choice.
It is very important to understand that a used Porsche is quite different to any similar Sports car and this fact contributes greatly to the widespread corruption and disappointment that is commonplace. Understanding these differences and the market is your best protection and this guide is designed to help you.
(1) A Porsche is designed as a Sports Car and not by a mass producer who uses standard parts - tuned up - or small manufacturers who have to buy in standard equipment, that was originally mass-produced for cost reasons. The quality of Porsche's engineering and the resulting performance exceeds that of most competitors.
(2) Instead of using light gauge metals and flimsy interiors to reduce weight and gain performance, the engines are so powerful that they outperform their opposition despite their solid galvanised bodies and strong, well-made, long lasting, interiors.
(3) The resulting all round quality of used examples is so much better than other sports cars of similar age and mileage, that comparatively poor examples of Porsche's will look and drive so well anyway that the uninitiated can often be fooled into paying a lot for a poor example.
(4) Many other sports cars deteriorate so much with age that the choices are often between a rough, tired, rusty example, for £2K, a refurbished example for £12K and a rebuilt as new example for £50K - a total difference of £48K for cars where even the inexperienced buyer can easily recognise the difference. By comparison a Porsche is so much better quality that the price difference may only be £3k between a poor and an excellent example and there will be no very rusty ones nor any that need to be completely refurbished as new either. This makes the condition of the car being bought, much more important but equally much more difficult to assess.
(5) Because the original Porsche engineering is of such high quality, and so sophisticated, the cost of parts and labour for repairs will however be significantly higher, so although the quality may always be generally good by comparison with other cars - this makes it not only more difficult to spot the difference between good and poor examples, but also much more expensive if you get it wrong. Because of this the only advice generally given by others is to obtain a "low mileage example with full service history" - the implication being that this will guarantee a good car - which it absolutely does not. This guide will explain in more detail, why the advice of so many others can be completely flawed and misleading and how it also enables many sellers to pass off poor cars for high prices to unsuspecting buyers. Briefly it is because:-
a. The very quality that enables high mileage's to be covered reliably also can easily disguise a "clocked" car to anyone other than an expert.
b. Service histories are frequently forged or when they are true, fail to warn of impending expensive repairs that even such high quality and reliable cars, as these still need from time to time.
So - unlike most Sports cars - these facts make it very difficult indeed to judge the value of a Porsche against, (a) it's mileage, (b) it's history, (c) it's age and (d) it's condition. All this provides the scope for all the bad practices that riddle the used Porsche market.
As our business has grown to include newer cars, we have found that our Hartech operation has proven just as important and valuable for models from 3 to 5 years old, as well. These have frequently reached a point where a thorough and detailed inspection reveals the beginning of problems that are best nipped in the bud but will then benefit the car for many years thereafter. For any Porsche over that age, your choice could therefore make the difference between owning and enjoying a superb Sports Car that fulfils all your desires economically and a very disappointing one resulting in disillusionment with the product or the industry with possibly huge costs incurred. The need for help in the Porsche market is therefore probably more necessary than for almost any similar alternative and the consequences more crucial.
This Guide, will make down to earth and practical comments on the most important aspects associated with Porsche ownership, the differences in the models and the types of businesses servicing their needs. It also explains in detail the special services provided by Hartech for comparison and how this protects the interests of its customers.
We have tried to make it as reader friendly as possible, but it is a large document in which we may re-emphasise or repeat some points again where they are extremely important, where we have found that customers continually make the same mistakes, despite previous warnings, or where they are crucial to explain another point. We believe that we need to be this thorough to achieve our objectives and to make sure that readers, who skip some sections, still receive the full impact of a relevant point or warning.
We believe that IF every Porsche owner has a good experience then that will ultimately help our future and if anyone has a bad experience, then that can harm our future - even if we had no involvement whatsoever in either situation. So we try our best to help everyone to have a good experience, regardless of them being or becoming a customer of ours or not, providing, printing and posting this guide at our cost, and making it available free of charge on the Internet, regardless of the outcome resulting in any direct income for ourselves or not.
We do not discredit our opposition by name (although such an exercise would often not prove difficult) but instead concentrate all our energies into what we can do for our customers, treating everyone with the same respect regardless of their budget, the age or value of their car or the likely outcome, providing a positive and friendly environment - with no sales pressure - to bring affordable Porsche ownership to as many prospective customers as possible.
The high quality and performance of the cars, makes buying one a very exciting experience, but encourages many to make impulsive choices that they later regret. Similarly the high profile involved enables many to be lured by flashy advertising or cheap prices, without proper comparison first. We are quite different. We will explain all about the cars, ownership, costs, prices, issues, choices and suitability, both good and bad. We will warn you about corruption, to protect you from the many foul practices and numerous bad cars that are widely available. When you are armed with that knowledge we will explain in detail what we can offer to help you, content that if you do turn to us you should have an enjoyable "Porsche" experience and if you don't, we should at least have helped you to avoid a bad choice elsewhere.
When you compare our services with those of other Porsche specialists, you will find many making claims to carry out extensive pre-sales preparation or just claiming to be "the best" (without quantifying how or why), making it very difficult for you to decide upon the merits of these claims when you will not yet have experienced the outcome. We are different because we provide detailed proof of the advantages in running cost-savings and the reliability of a "Hartech Porsche" and back this up by offering a very low cost "Lifetime Maintenance Plan" (paid monthly by standing order), to cover the full costs of annual Mot's & services and the labour for almost all repairs, for as long as you own the car (including normal wear and tear items) and regardless of the mileage's you may eventually clock up. (E.g. typically from around £8/week for a 944 lux or around £9-£11/week for a 944 S2 or 993 - both @ 6000 miles/year - see page 46). This must be the first time that a Motor Trader has backed up their claims with such a positive provision that would cost them dear if their claims were exaggerated, or untrue.
The customer ultimately pays for a businesses costs. Although some competitors provide expensive showrooms and smart administrative staff, (that will ultimately be added to the cost of their cars or services), this extra comfort is only experienced at their premises, for an hour or two at most - whereas the quality of the car that you buy or the work done on your car, influences your enjoyment (and your pocket) for possibly many years. We therefore put our main efforts into the quality of our engineering facilities, our training, our workmanship, our cars, our record systems and our services, with a lower emphasis upon our premises, advertising and decor. Our efficient computerised management and customer records system, well equipped and spacious workshop (with no frills or unproductive staff) and modest advertising have achieved the lowest possible overheads and the best possible value for money with many new customers and car sales resulting from recommendations and referrals.
Many modern garage businesses, have high overheads and poor quality fitters - often resulting in even worse standards, and each job is strictly target timed, forcing constraints on fitters which would not suit the age and complexity of an older Porsche. We have provided a resource - more in the mould of the traditional garage -with staff trained as engineers who can identify problems and rectify them within a framework that gives them time (with no fixed or target times ever imposed) and excellent facilities to ensure the highest quality standards ideally suited to the needs of older Porsche's.
Where we differ from the traditional garage is in the highly efficient computerised management and records systems employed that enable us to operate efficiently with few non productive staff while keeping excellent records that back up the planned maintenance work that preserves our customers cars so well and economically.
We have one of the largest and busiest workshops in the North of England whereas many of our Sales competitors have little or no workshop facilities (although some have admittedly introduced them recently to try to counter our success) but they have huge advertising budgets. By contrast, our extensive workshop experience greatly assists us to select and prepare cars to the highest standards and to look after them effectively thereafter. So if flashy showrooms, large adverts and exaggerated claims do not impress you and the quality of the work, cars, customer service and affordable costs are your prime concern, then you will probably be very happy and comfortable with Hartech Automotive and already be "our kind of customer".
In order to work out a fair cost for our revolutionary Lifetime Maintenance Plan, we have analysed the records going back 6 years to compare the typical running costs of Hartech Porsche's with the many non-Hartech Porsche's that we look after (see page 49) and these results prove absolutely that the benefits of buying a Hartech Porsche are not only the reassurance that it has been researched and is genuine, is straight and in exceptional condition, the pleasure from owning and driving a superb example, the friendly and straight forward help you receive in looking after your car and the enhanced enjoyment resulting, but there are also huge financial savings overall.
Having consolidated this in our Lifetime Maintenance Plan, we believe that we are unique in providing exceptional older Porsches in superb condition, with unrivalled support services and our extremely high customer retention rate results from this and the quality of our work and our total commitment to after sales service.
Our aim is to provide the BEST POSSIBLE TOTAL CUSTOMER CARE PACKAGE available for the "older" PORSCHE models.
In time we may expand this aim to also embrace new or nearly new Porsche cars or we may decide to consolidate our previous success by continuing with our previously successful formula. Whatever we decide, we will never increase our cost base so that it excludes work on older Porsche's whatever their problems.
Our continued growth and success results from just how well we supply the market with it's needs, providing the best and most affordable services for discerning customers everywhere. How do we do this?
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