I want to touch on some key takeaways from my Cayenne purchase. While I only owned that car for about 6 months, I did learn a ton from the whole process. It was my first time buying used, buying from a private seller, buying long distance, first luxury car, first German car, first rare car, first private sale, and first long distance sale.
First off, research is going to be much harder than it would be if you were looking for an automatic. That's, unfortunately, a given at this point. Scour the internet, youtube, and podcasts. You're going to have to look at images of every car - you can't trust a listing that's labeled as manual transmission.
Second, take everything you hear or read with a grain of salt. Many Porsche enthusiasts hated on the base v6 Cayenne because the upgraded autos came with a v8, and the automatic transmission is "better," but the truth is that 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque is more than enough for a daily driver, and people that don't have a strong preference for manuals are generally going to call the auto the better transmission.
Third, open your search up. If you're planning to buy new - though if you want an SUV, that's not really an option anymore - it's at least worth looking around at what you can get in the used car market for the same or less money. If you've always had Japanese cars, don't pidgeon-hole yourself to Japanese cars just because it's what you know. You might be missing out on some really fun driving experiences.
Fourth, if you're going used, I recommend learning everything you can about that car. Look at all the different generations and the problems specific to each generation, in order to help zero in, and know what to look for. There are Facebook groups for specific car owners and online forums with years worth of data. For example, Porsche has rennlist.com and Volkswagen has vwvortex.com. For those cars in particular, service history is very important documentation to request before agreeing to a deal.
Fifth, a long distance deal is a very realistic option. I opened up my search nationwide after not being able to find the car I wanted nearby, and while it's not as easy as an in-person deal, it's not as daunting as it may initially seem. Check forums and Facebook for a reputable shop that can do a pre-purchase inspection. If the seller refuses one, that's a huge red flag. And if you don't have much trust in the person you're buying from, there are third parties that can facilitate the transaction and hold the money until things are finalize. And car transporters are easily accessible.
Sixth, I found dealing with private parties, for both buying and selling, to be a much more enjoyable process. While I'm sure there are plenty of honest people working at used car dealerships, their jobs are to sell cars, and they are going to be more skilled at selling you a car, even it's not 100% what you want. A private party is likely to be just as nervous as you are, and to be more straightforward. And dealers have tools they use that tell them what a car is worth, and they're likely to give you a lower price for your car than a private buyer, especially for something that's more of an enthusaist car, and especially something with a manual transmission.
Seventh, selling a car is a pain. I thought I could sell the car in no time, since it was pretty rare, but it took me about 4 months to sell it, despite interest from all over the country, and even one person in Canada. But you have to be realistic about the price, and you have to be extremely patient.
Comment below with the resources you use when you're searching for a new car, or looking for specific information for your car.
Want to know what even came in stick? Check out the search on the homepage. But the data is incomplete. As more people use the system, it will get more comprehensive, so post your fleet to help out the next guy, or just to show off your cars!
I'm happy to share specifics, for anyone that's interested. I'm in no way an expert at this point, but I'm happy to share what I know. You can leave a comment below or fill out a contact form.
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