Porsche 911: Buy, Lease or Rent?

I'm not much of a car person. I consider even a Corolla a bit extravagant (and perish the thought that it should have a spoiler). Recently, just for the hell of it, I decided to rent a Porsche 911 for a few days. I'd previously driven BMWs here and there as a designated driver or rental upgrade, and wasn't expecting much of my Porsche experience beyond louder revs and lower seats.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself thoroughly enjoying my flashy new ride. The 911 is a simple car; I'm not even positive mine had cruise control. It was just so much fun zooming up and down highways and scrambling my guts round tight country corners. I reckon it's something I'd like to do on a regular basis.

The 911 seems to keeps its value well. Porsche also offers a "guaranteed future value" leasing programme - which may or may not be a rip-off. Or, of course, I could simply make do with forking over a grand every now again for a few days behind the wheel with the rental company. If I owned or leased the 911, we would have to either get rid of our existing family car (not a huge deal given I'm 15 minutes from work by public transport, plus both kids are now old enough for booster seats) or rent somewhere with enough garage space.

Has anyone here had any experience with Porsche's leasing programme? Any strong opinions one way or the other about the 911? Am I the only one to be smitten so after a few long drives?


  • +96

    Mid-life crisis? Thought process jumping from 'Corolla is extravagant' to 'I need a 911' is quite odd.

    It's a fantastic car but even better if you take it to track days. It's obviously not an economical undertaking so you'll need to calculate the pros and cons of each option for yourself.

    • +36

      Ha ha - I think you're spot on with the mid-life crisis quip!

      I've just never been a car person. I test-drove friends' Mercs and Monaros and whatnot, and never really got what the big deal was. Any box with wheels that got me from A to B was fine.

      Now that I'm circling on the half-century mark with a modest pile of cash to my name, I'm starting to see life less as a summit to be conquered and more as a long, delightful bucket list. I'm going part-time next year (month on, month off) to spend more time with my young kids and to do stuff that makes me happy. Lo and behold: one of those things happens to be driving a simple, fast sports car.

      In any case, the financials look pretty daunting. Unless Porsche's leasing programme is compelling, I'll likely stick with occasional rentals. I'd still like to hear people's opinions of the car and the perils, if any, of owning and leasing.

      • +21


        10 reasons you should. The 911 has been engineered over 57 years, it is a well tuned car.

        As for rent, lease, buy. You have to do the maths.

        • Thanks! Your Tumblr link didn't work so well, but I appreciate the others.

        • +6

          No.. you die once, you live everyday

          • +3

            @Archi: You live once too. You don't stop living for a split second as the clock hits midnight and start living again.

        • +3

          Where is Math Nerd these days….

      • +11

        Just rent it for a month. Maybe you'll get it out of your system.

        If not, you might be back to full time to work to service the new Porsche you are going to want to buy every year.

        • +4

          Great advice - thanks!

          I certainly don't want to end up dangling a financial albatross around my family's neck. Any decision about the car will be financially responsible.

        • ^this, I have a few friends that love Porsche, but they seem to spend more time in the shop getting repairs and service than on the road and the insurance premiums are insane. So make sure you calculate out the extra costs on top of the car as just like the jump in price from corolla to Porsche the parts/service/insurance will follow a similar trajectory.

          • @gromit: Are they older cars? From my personal experience, most modern Porsche models are extremely reliable and servicing costs are relatively reasonable. The extended warranty is exceptional value, and can be extended until the car is 14 years old and there's no KM limit either.

        • +1

          OP should go to the Broth….

      • Time to get a motorcycle!

  • +11


  • -3

    Consider a Telsa after taking a decent test drive

    • +1

      What's a Telsa?

      • +1

        It's a (Mod: removed trolling)

      • +41

        A Telsa is the new EV by Telstra. Unfortunately it is sim locked and over priced

        • +8

          And it works only sporadically if you're driving between Redfern and Strathfield

        • +3

          No band 28 or nfc and I'm not interested

    • +2

      Much worse reliability than Porsche. I wouldn't.


      • What would you recommend?

        • +1

          Depends on your budget. Lots of excellent sports cars to meet every budget, all with their pros and cons.

          I did a post recently on vehicle reliability. Tesla isn't in there but as per the above if the data was added they're around the bottom of the pack. Porsche has been very good since the mid-late 2010s.


          • +1


            Lots of excellent sports cars to meet every budget


            • +1

              @tryagain: Clapped out MX5 project car. Build it up over time.

              Edit: Cheapest I could find was $7k. Something like an 86 or MX5 track car from the WOVR?

            • +1

              @tryagain: Yep, a track ready Hyundai XL.

            • @tryagain: Alfa Romeo 156/147/GT

      • +1

        I would take that with a pinch of salt for two reasons, I don't really equate paint from the factory as a reliability issue, it's more of a quality issue. Also OP is likely to compare to a model 3, which actually have a better rep than their other vehicles. With relatively no servicing or heading to the petrol station required, OP can spend more times enjoying his car

        • +1

          If you spend 5 minutes on Google you can find many examples of Tesla quality issues. I just used the nearest one to hand.

    • +2

      Only a 500kg difference between a Tesla and a 911. But sure, a 2 tonne electric car is comparable to anything right?

      • +7

        A tesla is awesome until the first hairpin.

        • +5

          YeAh buT iTs eLectRic

  • +4

    Porsches, as much as they are are probably one of the best luxury cars as far as resale value is concerned.

    Although if you're not much of a car person i don't know why Porsche would be on your watchlist, they're quite an enthusiast/brand oriented car.

    • +2

      They are and they arent.

      Even going back to the 80's the 911 was the choice of stockbrokers eg. the whole Gordon Gekko greed is good thing.

      A lot of these kinds of cars are bought by rich professionals. It used to be doctors loved Jaguar coupes.

      I agree with the OP… sometimes you drive a car that is just so good, so outside of your mundane Camry that it resets what you think is "acceptable".

      its a bad road to take if you cant afford it.

      • +3

        It used to be doctors loved Jaguar coupes.

        I know of doctors young and old and none have bought a Jag.

        Some have bought Porsche's though.

        • +1

          There's a f type at a western Sydney hospital with the plate NIPTUK

          I agree porsche is monumentally more popular though

      • +9

        Yes, you're dead right about that magical 'click' you feel when coming across a car - or painting, or girl - that simply feels so right

        I have OzBargain in my blood and dream in Groupon so I'm definitely not one for frivolous expenditure. I think another respondent's suggestion of a longer-term rental is probably the safest path to follow. It'll give me an idea of how truly practical the car is.

        • +3

          Your back might hurt long term…. and the trunk space is limited. Personally, I can’t justify spending 3x more compared to the US market. If the price was on par, I would definitely get it!

        • +1

          Just do what everyone else does and get an mx5. They are probably just as much fun, and while not as fast you really get to row through the gears. At least test drive one, it's a lot cheaper and will last forever

          • +1

            @Jackson: But then everyone knows your poor.

            MX-5's historically have poor resale value and mechanical issues. Maybe now it is better.

            • +1

              @serpserpserp: I would rephrase that as "everyone knows you are not filthy rich, but have enough money spend on car you bought purely for the enjoyment it gives you". After all compared to a Porsche he could afford to have this car alongside what he already has. Poor resale can be seen as a good thing when buying second hand.

              I haven't heard of any mechanical problems with mx5s at all, and I know a couple of people who have one, and the countless YouTube videos I have watched never mention anything, but I am interested to know because it's on my shortlist also

              • @Jackson: Yeah don't think there are many YouTube channels out there that look at low budget lux coupes and talk about their mechanical issues.

                This is 10-15 years ago. So probs a lot better now.

    • Although if you're not much of a car person i don't know why Porsche would be on your watchlist, they're quite an enthusiast/brand oriented car.

      They also happen to be one of the most reliable high end luxury car you can buy

  • +10

    The 911 is a simple car

    Which generation 911 was the rental? Anything after 997 isn't a simple car.

    • This. Unless you somehow rented an air-cooled, they aren't simple. Especially the new ones.

      • +5

        the 996 is especially simple and analog

        the 997 is getting into the digital age

        otherwise anything newer is for rich folks

        if you buy a 997 manual rwd n/a only model then i dont think it'll be that hard but make friends with a VAG mech that can do 911s and not fwd trash

        • +2

          Yep. 964 C2 manual is where it's at for me.

          991.2 GT3 Touring if money is not an issue. Manual or PDK - I can never decide.

          • @MS Paint: I specificially did not mention any aircooled cars as they are all stratosphere to the moon.

            I you can afford a classic 911sc or 3.2 or a 964 or a 993 then you really dont have a driver car at all but a museum piece that will appreciate as the years go by.

          • +2

            @MS Paint:

            Manual or PDK - I can never decide.

            Just buy both to be safe.

          • @MS Paint: Yep. The 964, maaaybeeee the 993, was the end of the dream for me. If it don't sound like the best, meanest, souped up lawnmower about to blow it's just not the same thing anymore and I'm no longer interested - it's just another car.

            • +6

              @afoveht: Bought my 964 for $50k about 8 years ago .. sold for $50k a few years later .. now $130K .. best car ever

    • +2

      It was a 997.2 cabriolet with as few frills as possible. I was honestly surprised the windows didn't need to be wound.

      I really appreciated the lack of knobs and dials and screens. But I never looked under the bonnet - and I imagine that if I did, it would be an expensive proposition.

  • +2

    It's been a fair while since I drove one but getting rid of the family car? The 911 is really a 2 seater, even kids don't really fit in the back seat so if you're thinking of it as the only car for the family it's a terrible idea IMO. Keep the family car and buy an old fun car. It won't be as quick but that just means you'll keep your licence longer. Plenty of older cars can give you that raw feeling that modern cars lack.

    • Thanks. That's sound advice. And I agree that holding on to one's licence could be a challenge with a Porsche sitting in the garage.

  • +1

    Only Porsche's I have experience with is like https://www.mrtoys.com.au/981_porsche#//n-36 and the kids liked them.

  • +1

    Get the Porsche Carrera GT! I reckon that wouldn't look too out of place for someone your age….

    • +4

      Would there be room at the back for the dialysis machine after I sell my kidneys?

      It does look lovely, though. I'll grant you that.

      • +1

        Good you like the looks as it's left hand drive only so looking at it will be about all you can do!

    • RIP Paul Walker

      There was a CGT on car sales recently. About $1.8m if I recall.

    • +4

      Boxter with the 2.7 with the $#ittronic

      3.2 manual or don't bother

      • -1

        Yep, both those gearbox and motor were a miserable combination, just crap.

  • +1

    Lot of coupes out there, even some obscure ones like the alphine A110 which is just a tuned golf R engine in a Renault body.
    Best to look around.

    • +1

      Just signed up for a test drive - thanks!

      • +3

        I'd look at a Lotus if you want the best drive. Unparalleled drive, loved by everyone, and maintenance is practical, only some parts are costly. That said, I love driving a Porsche too, its just…. it doesn't compare to a real chassis.

        • +4

          Agreed on all of the above. Furthermore, the Elise is actually the world's slowest depreciating performance car…


          No rear seats unless you get an Evora…but then the rear seats in your 911 will only be usable w/ the kids for the next couple of years anyway./

          • +1

            @Valjew: You don't want seats behind you. That space is needed for motor/s. Adding a seat means weight has to go further away and we just don't want to the handling impact of that. Kids can ride 1 at a time if they are lucky. Should be more than good enough as no car goes as well with more humans than necessary on board!

            • @resisting the urge: Right but I'm referring to the OPs initial post which mentioned getting rid of the family car, and "kids". A 2-seater may not be practical if they must have a vehicle which can carry both kids at the same time.

              Unless the OP is a track nut (which it doesn't sound as-if they are) the Evora is probably a better fit for them anyway; they'll never exploit the full potential of an Exige or Elise Cup on the street.

              • +1

                @Valjew: Hmm. But what if Lotus still offer a rear mounted rack to tie picnic hampers or suitcases on the rear… surely room for consideration, at least!

      • 911 they are great and tend to hold value decently I say go for it

    • +1

      Definitely worth looking around. In my opinion though best to steer well clear of anything Renault.

      Renault uses Nissan engines, not Volkswagen. The engine in the alpine is basically a nissan MR engine.

      Having said that, dont buy a renault thinking it'll be good because of the nissan engine. I had a RenaultSport and it was a horrible experience. Car had a lot of issues for its age firstly, but to seal the deal Renault's customer service is terrible in Australia. Definitely not a premium brand experience, heck I get better and faster service from Toyota. Further, there's barely any documentation on the cars. Good luck working on one yourself, and most mechanics aren't interested either.

      • Thanks for the heads-up! At least I'll enjoy the test drive.

        • +2

          Yes have fun! Your positive attitude is awesome

  • +3

    According to The Rock: 'Never buy a depreciating asset. If it drives, flies, floats, or (profanity), lease it!'

    • +1

      A close second to that is tax deduct it (if you can legally).

    • Never buy a depreciating asset.

      I get the sentiment, but by that reasoning you basically shouldn't buy anything, except land and maybe food. I think it's better to never to buy a high maintenance asset.

  • +4

    I drove an ageing 3.2 Carrera for quite a few years and it was fabulous. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Oh, and I was a school teacher.

    It helps if you can find a specialist garage to maintain it for you. Don’t go near main dealerships!

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