Working out the costs for the plan and historical comparisons with Hartech and Non Hartech running costs

This Lifetime maintenance plan came about because we had noticed that - having very carefully selected a car to buy in the first place (and having discarded many others offered to us) and then having carried out such a thorough refurbishment, it then was quite inexpensive to run, regardless of how many years we looked after it or however many miles it covered. Furthermore, if we eventually bought it back (or more likely part exchanged it for an upgrade), it was still much less expensive to prepare for sale again and incredibly reliable.

Although we had been claiming these advantages of a Hartech car for many years, we thought that we could reflect this confidence by providing a low cost maintenance plan for our customers that will beat our opposition and absolutely prove to everyone the quality of our cars - because if we got the scheme wrong it would cost us a fortune.

So we analysed the figures for a range of typical "Hartech Cars" and non-Hartech cars (often bought from other Porsche specialists) to establish the difference and work out the costs.

We had to look at all invoices and work out the split of labour and parts for every entry and remove items like "buying a child seat" or "buying 17" wheels" - which were not relevant and would distort the "Maintenance plan" analysis.

We only intended this exercise to enable us to cost out our new scheme, but the results surprised even ourselves and supported all our arguments about Hartech supplied cars, the basic original quality of the product and the benefits of good preparation and the planned maintenance- provided.

We recorded the running costs (parts and labour) including the service costs, on a spreadsheet chart for each successive month of ownership (or records) and then let the computer work out the cost for each customer for each successive month, divided by the mileage covered to work out the progressive monthly cost of ownership per thousand miles covered. Then all the totals for Hartech and non Hartech cars were added up and divided back by the number of entries each month to create the Average cost per thousand miles per month owned - shown on the following graph 1

Graph 1 example for 944, 8 valve cars.

Since ALL Hartech cars have been fully serviced and repaired (where necessary) before sale, (the costs of which do not then come into these running costs) it is not surprising that the initial costs/month are very low. It is also not surprising that - since most non-Hartech cars that have just been bought need a full service and extensive repairs, that - they are expensive.

What is surprising though is that even after 5 years of ownership, the Hartech car on average still costs only one third to keep running of the cumulative cost of a non-Hartech car. This is a clear tribute to the more careful and professional original choice of car and the very thorough preparation that has been undertaken. It also perhaps reflects that customers with non Hartech cars do not always have everything repaired at once (or early on) often putting up with small problems that eventually need fixing at greater expense later (and it is less expensive to do all the jobs at one time - as we do with our own cars).

This graph also allows the difference in costs to be worked out for a given period and mileage. e.g. A 944 owned for 2.5 years and covering 10,000 miles/year would cost on average £3,025 more if it was a non-Hartech car (plus the costs of hpi checks, painting, wheel refurbishing, tyres etc totalling £4000 to £5000 saved with a Hartech car, which will probably be worth more, be easier to sell and command a higher price). This enables a comparison of the original purchase price of a non-Hartech car and the corresponding value for money to be calculated.

Graph 2 is a similar comparison but after removing the initial cost of the first services from the non-Hartech cars, to compare the running costs thereafter. This shows that non-Hartech cars still cost more to run, justifying some of the increased charges for the scheme. Although these costs are still 250% more than for the Hartech car, we think that some of this is due to customers leaving recommended repairs too long and them costing more eventually.

Since non-Hartech cars will have to have ALL the recommendations followed (or some excluded) before they are accepted on the HLMP, the starting point will be better than our statistics have reflected in the past.

Graph 2

Average cost/K miles/months owned

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Each successive month of ow nership

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A similar exercise was conducted for all the other models listed. We also used cumulative averages since the individual records varied considerably and would lead to spiky graphs that would be difficult to read. Cumulative averages gradually smooth out results and show a trend, either rising or falling, that is easily recognisable. The following graph 3 shows that that a Hartech car has much the same running cost/1000 miles regardless of it's age being anywhere between 9 and 22 years old and the huge difference for a non-Hartech car.

This is both a testament to how thoroughly we prepare our cars and of the quality of the original manufacture, that once properly overhauled, serviced and repaired, the mileage has little influence upon overall running costs.

It is also fair to point out that the non-Hartech cars included some that were really bad and therefore inevitably needed a lot more sorting out and still cost more as the lack of care and attention in the past gradually caused more and more components to fail early.

Graph 3

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