Living with a 993
Owning a 993 can be very rewarding, and give you a very cheap to own car – with next to zero depreciation. Of course, everything depends on what you do with it, and how you use it.
Do you want a low mileage ‘garage queen’ that will just appreciate in value – or do you want to actually drive it?
For me, it was about finding the middle ground. I wanted a car to use, but didn’t want another Porsche 911 that just depreciated (I had a ‘996 previously). I wanted a 993, but If I’d bought a low mileage 993 S for example – yes, it would have appreciated a lot, but I wouldn’t have been able to drive it anything like as much. I purposefully went for a car approaching 100k miles (mine was at 89k) – as this appears to be the point where values were greatly adjusted. I found I could buy cheaper and also not be concerned about adding miles as it was already approaching the sweet spot. The main thing here is I was driving it instead of just looking at it!
Can you really drive one every day to commute to work, and then enjoy it the weekends too?
Yes you can – but should you?
Well, that depends on what you want from your 993.
When I bought mine, it was to replace my daily driver Mercedes SLK, so I began by driving a 60 mile round trip every work day, then just a few miles at the weekend.
I soon realised that this was the wrong way round. I should be having the fun drives at the weekend in the Porsche, and the boring commute to work could be done in any old car. I now leave the 993 parked up during the week and commute to work in a TDi, and the first thing I noticed was the mileage stopped rocketing. The 993 is now reserved for weekend drives out in the country, or nights out when we go for a nice meal – and every drive is a special occasion!Another thing to consider is your type of journey…..
My commute is mainly motorway – but with plenty of stop/start jams. This is not a great experience in an air-cooled Porsche (constantly watching that oil temp gauge!)
You might have a daily commute that is just through a city centre. Again, same as above – not great.
You might have a commute which is from a rural house through some great country roads. Then this is what the Porsche is made for!
How much do they cost to run?
Not a lot – until you start spending money on them. Let me explain…….
Tax – £225
OK – it’s more than the TDi (£23), but less than a Range Rover and it hardly breaks the bank.
Insurance – £345
It’s over 20 years old, so a classic. Agreed value of 45k too!
By comparison, the TDi is £295
Servicing – £275 or £395
I use Performance Porsche, a reputable indie. There are more expensive options, but even OPC is cheap.
By comparison, the TDi is £199 or £299 at a VW main dealer
Maintenance – Consumables:
Tyres – Continental Sport Contact N2, £110 front & £150 rear
Battery – Bosch S5 for £100 with 5 years guaranteeOh yes – I said ‘until you start spending money on them’ didn’t I?
Well, I could have continued to just drive mine all the time, and I know it wouldn’t have cost me any more than the usual consumables. However, I decided to change the windscreen, which meant doing the scuttles, then the ‘A’ post, then the re-spray.
None of this needed doing – but sometimes it is just a labour of love.
Are they reliable?
Yes – unless you don’t use them. I’ll explain……..
I drove my car all the time for 2 years and nothing broke. The tyres wore out, and I needed a battery as the old one was 7 years old. Servicing is easy and cheap.
However, I have heard of people that have these cars and hardly use them – or store them over winter, and they do have problems with things like oil leaks, worn seals and bushes. As with anything, rubber will perish, harden and crack if not used and kept subtle.
These cars need to be driven…..
Do you need to garage them?
Need to? No – but you should…..
If in good shape, they can stand out in the sun and rain forever – just keep it washed and polished. However, if you have old seals (sunroof, doors etc.), or blocked sunroof drains – then you will have problems.
Although, if your car was garaged all the time you wouldn’t know you had a problem because it wouldn’t leak!
Personally, mine stays out most of the time I’m using it, and is away in the garage during the week or when we’re on holiday. I have never SORN’d mine, or taken it off the road for winter. Although it was in the garage at Ninemeister right through winter 2016/2017 having the full re-spray, but this doesn’t count does it?So – How do I look after mine to keep it protected?
Whenever I use the car, dead bugs are removed from the front and mirrors after every drive, using GTechniq ‘Bug Remover’
The car is washed every week – even if I don’t use it.
The was process is as follows – every time:
1. Pre-wash using ‘Auto Finesse Avalanche’ Snow Foam
2. Spray wheels with ‘Meguiar’s wheel cleaner’ solution
3. Rest for 10 minutes, then rinse off with clean water
4. Wash the car using a clean Microfibre wash mitt in warm water with ‘G-Wash’ shampoo, and a second bucket with fresh water to rinse the mitt (using grit guards in both buckets)
5. Rinse with clean water
6. Dry with large microfibre drying towels
7. Polish glass using ‘Auto Glym Fast Glass’
8. Polish exhaust tips using ‘Autosol’ metal polish
Every 3 months the whole body is treated to a coat of wax. The wax I am using now is from Japan – “Soft99 Kiwami”. This Extreme gloss wax is the newest Soft99 wax which combines high glossy polymer and Carnauba wax, and strikes a good balance between decent durability as well as a transparent glossy finish.
The only problem now is that after spending so much on the re-spray, I might just choose to SORN it from October to March going forwards, and tuck away from the road salt….