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sc650
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Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:04 am    Post subject: A cautionary tale when buying from an OPC Reply with quote

The reason I'm writing is to warn others of the poor experience that I've recently had from an OPC by giving you something to think about - I won't be naming the dealer in question as my money was returned in full but the whole experience was quite an eye opener.

I recently saw a beautiful (and very expensive) car for sale on Porche's approved used website.
It was just over a year old with low miles and was everything I was looking for.
I spoke to the dealer, put down a holding deposit then made the 240 mile round trip to view the car.
It was stunning.
I was told that it had been a Porsche management car and because of its high value would have in all likelihood only been driven by a Director or Dealer Principle. A part ex figure was agreed for my car and we shook hands on a deal.
There were a couple of items that needed doing on the vehicle and a collection date was set for around 3 weeks.
During the next few days I was browsing through this website, looking in the section relating to my new purchase, when completely by accident I came across a photo of (what I believed to be) the car at the Porsche Experience Centre in Silverstone.
As you can imagine I was somewhat horrified bearing in mind what I'd been told of its history.
More emails with the dealer confirmed my findings so I asked a number of questions:
How long had the car spent at Silverstone?
How much wear was there on the ceramic brakes?
How many launch control starts had it done?
Had the gear box oil been changed?

The car had in fact done all of its just under 4000 miles on the track.
The ceramic discs were 2/3 worn.
The car had done 361 launch control starts.
The gearbox oil hadn't been changed.

By now the beautiful car that I had imagined owning was somewhat tainted, especially as the OPC would not replace the discs (they were within Porsche tolerance) though they did offer to change the oil....!!

I'm well aware that these sports cars are designed to be driven hard but the wear and tear on bushes, bearings etc after a year on the track, let alone a potential £20k bill for brake parts in the future, was unacceptable to me when the car was being marketed at top money and the dealer had catagorically misled me about its history.

They say that every day is a learning day, my deposit was returned in full but I will never buy another car (even from a main dealer) without delving into its full history first.
 
  
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MisterCorn
Dijon


Joined: 08 Jan 2011
Posts: 7331
Location: Nottingham, England

2004 Porsche 996 Turbo

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a very unpleasant experience. I am suprised the brakes were not picked up on the inspection. In their defence though. You say that you were told....

'I was told that it had been a Porsche management car and because of its high value would have in all likelihood only been driven by a Director or Dealer Principle.'

Assuming this is true, it sounds like the person you spoke to didn't know the history, rather than flat out lied to you. They might well have not known the history of the car.

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Luddite
Nürburgring


Joined: 18 Dec 2018
Posts: 498
Location: Scotland


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch... seems that you dodged a bullet there.

It seems we all seem to want to believe the nice stories salesmen tell us, and that is when we are at our most vulnerable.. Question
 
  
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sc650
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Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The salesman knew the history ok, that was obvious by his response when he got caught out........
"that got past me and I must apologise for not stating this to you prior"

You are absolutely right about dodging a bullet - it would have been significantly worse to have found out after I'd bought it...!!
 
  
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Counter Of Beans
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 10 May 2018
Posts: 373
Location: Hampshire


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never bought from an OPC, but I add that main dealer franchises can be the worst of all worlds. I mean, we half expect dealers to lie through their teeth, don't we? Not all, of course, there are some good guys out there. But if anyone thinks that choosing through an official main dealer insulates them from lies, poor prep, and shoddy service, they are mistaken.
"All our cars pass through a ten billion step rigorous approval process" is just marketing puff.
And yet; you pay top money - worst of all worlds.

My experience with Range Rover and BMW main dealers tells me that those guys are quite capable of being thieves. They just have fancier showrooms in which to conduct their deceit.
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MaxA
Albert Park


Joined: 11 Oct 2015
Posts: 1671
Location: Helsinki


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say that the most important thing you can do is find a really good independent, and get a proper inspectioon (if possible). If not, start your preventative maintenance early, and replace all the fluids so you have a timeline.

It's not a massive disaster but I bought a car with the full 111-point OPC check etc and fairly shortly afterwards suffered some major brake fade. The brake fluid came out black ... it clearly hadn't been done for some time.

What was the saving? £100? Shortcuts, white lies, it's all to be expected. Dont know
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MJA911
Sepang


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 2847
Location: Berkshire

2012 Porsche 991 Carrera

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocking, I must be naive in thinking the cars used at PEC would not be offered for sale through the OPC network in the first place, but if they are, I'd have expected them to be identified as such and offered at a price to reflect their background! I guess the OPC position is they come with same 2 year warranty cover as anything else, but surely customers should be made aware without having to become a detective.

I've only bought once through OPC, my first 911 20 years ago.Im not particularly pro or anti-OPC, they vary just like independents do, but that buying experience wasn't great, still remember having to go back to them 3-4 times to get the wheel balancing sorted.

Well done in getting recourse OP, hope it hasn't put you off the marque.
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Swampy
Monza


Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Posts: 192
Location: N/W London


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, deff a close shave i would say, i don't think that I would be happy with buying a car that had been thrashed around a track for 4000 miles and 360 launch's.... Surprised
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mikeluke
Kyalami


Joined: 03 Jun 2014
Posts: 1975
Location: Hampshire


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understand that you don't want to 'name and shame' but a few more hints regarding the car would be useful - any prospective buyers on the forum would then know what to steer well clear of!
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sc650
Newbie


Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No its not put me off the marque, I'll just be even more careful when I buy.

I was also naive in thinking that the OPC would play a straight bat and your comment about the 2 year warranty is exactly what they kept saying to me except, as we know, it doesn't cover wear and tear / consumables.

As I said at the beginning - this thread was just to give others the chance to ask the right questions.
 
  
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CarraraWhite
Barcelona


Joined: 06 Apr 2008
Posts: 1291
Location: England

2011 Porsche 991 Carrera

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: A cautionary tale when buying from an OPC Reply with quote

sc650 wrote:
The reason I'm writing is to warn others of the poor experience that I've recently had from an OPC by giving you something to think about - I won't be naming the dealer in question as my money was returned in full but the whole experience was quite an eye opener.

I recently saw a beautiful (and very expensive) car for sale on Porche's approved used website.
It was just over a year old with low miles and was everything I was looking for.
I spoke to the dealer, put down a holding deposit then made the 240 mile round trip to view the car.
It was stunning.
I was told that it had been a Porsche management car and because of its high value would have in all likelihood only been driven by a Director or Dealer Principle. A part ex figure was agreed for my car and we shook hands on a deal.
There were a couple of items that needed doing on the vehicle and a collection date was set for around 3 weeks.
During the next few days I was browsing through this website, looking in the section relating to my new purchase, when completely by accident I came across a photo of (what I believed to be) the car at the Porsche Experience Centre in Silverstone.
As you can imagine I was somewhat horrified bearing in mind what I'd been told of its history.
More emails with the dealer confirmed my findings so I asked a number of questions:
How long had the car spent at Silverstone?
How much wear was there on the ceramic brakes?
How many launch control starts had it done?
Had the gear box oil been changed?

The car had in fact done all of its just under 4000 miles on the track.
The ceramic discs were 2/3 worn.
The car had done 361 launch control starts.
The gearbox oil hadn't been changed.

By now the beautiful car that I had imagined owning was somewhat tainted, especially as the OPC would not replace the discs (they were within Porsche tolerance) though they did offer to change the oil....!!

I'm well aware that these sports cars are designed to be driven hard but the wear and tear on bushes, bearings etc after a year on the track, let alone a potential £20k bill for brake parts in the future, was unacceptable to me when the car was being marketed at top money and the dealer had catagorically misled me about its history.

They say that every day is a learning day, my deposit was returned in full but I will never buy another car (even from a main dealer) without delving into its full history first.


My brother in law had the exact same experience via OPC Silverstone, he was interested in one of their cars and was given a sob story about it being a Porsche Director car, only for a colleague at his work shared a picture of him driving the same car at the Silverstone Experience that had suffered a wheel hub failure a few months earlier! The DP at Silverstone got involved and wasn't at all a nice person to deal with, just dismissed the car's usage of being ragged all day as not a problem due to their level of prep in getting the car for sale.

How many other porsche experience centre cars are have passed on over the years as careful owner cars PC
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Norfolk & Idea
Albert Park


Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Posts: 1584
Location: South Yorkshire


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done a couple of PEC days and due to the high calibre/spec of the cars, I've asked the instructors what happens to them when they're shifted on.... They all end up in OPC showrooms. Eeek! Except the GTxx stuff apparently, they keep the GT's as they run GT days and quite often people request a GT model of a certain vintage.

I read somewhere that all the cars there are initially registered in Reading OPC. Not sure if this 100% gen but since my own was first registered in Reading I had a dig. Turns out mine spent the first six months of it's life as a demo at Porsche Mayfair, London.
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squelch
Montreal


Joined: 05 Jun 2016
Posts: 508
Location: Bucks


PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By law, dealers must disclose if a car offered for sale is ex-rental and I'd expect the Experience cars to effectively fall into the same category. Unless Porsche correct these deceitful sales, it's only a matter of time until someone will successfully litigate. Last year Pendragon was fined £134k for failing to tell a customer that the car they bought was ex-rental (it was a repeat offence).

"AA Approved" means nothing, yet people lap it up! I recently bought a car at auction with a sticker in the windscreen showing "AA Passed Vehicle Inspection" less than 30 miles ago, so why's it now in the auction? - Alarm Bell #1. Although suspicious, I bid accordingly and it came for the right price. When I got the paperwork I saw the V5 had been filled in and the "new" owner's info subsequently Tippexed out but I could read that it was sold two weeks prior. Clearly the car had been rejected for some reason and the dealer then entered it into the auction - Alarm Bell #2. Upon driving the car, the suspension was knocking terribly with every bump in the road. Investigation showed that the front top mount was a) the wrong one for the car and b) fitted 180 degrees out of correct orientation. And this was sold as an "AA Approved" car!!?!?! (I have now fixed it and it drives perfectly.)

The dealer that entered the car has over 400 cars in stock so how any buyer can think they've all been AA inspected is daft - they'd need an AA inspector employed full time to do it. To achieve "AA Inspected" status the dealer just has to sign up to say that they carry out certain, very basic checks on their cars - and that's it!

Sorry for the rant there, but it staggers me that people think they will get a better car, better price and better after sales care from places with big fancy showrooms.
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wasz
Sepang


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2998


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not just Porsche.

In 2010 I spent a happy afternoon bouncing assorted brand new Corsa / Astra VXRs over the kerbs at Anglesey on a promo day. Use of the handbrake to get sideways was encouraged!

I did the same at an invitational Alfa Romeo day at Croft, although their cars weren't as fast or as good.

These cars went into showrooms as "ex demo" cars, on their fourth set of tyres in a couple of thousand miles.

Personally I never completely trust anyone selling a used car, get anything inspected and be satisfied in what you are buying. Especially true of salesman, they likely have no idea of the history, and will make up any plausible sounding story - another reason to buy privately.
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Last edited by wasz on Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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911UK
Porsche Community
Porsche Community


Joined: 15 May 2002
Posts: 10297
Location: 911UK

1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

remember this ex. Experience Manual 997.2 Turbo
http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?p=1317914#1317914

Desert Dragon wrote:
Spoke to BCA about this today. Porsche GB are the vendor. It was a Porsche experience car at silverstone which I have previously driven as mentioned before. Think engine and gearbox may both be gone as its probably been mishifted. Also a lot of electrical faults so may need new wiring loom and new ECU as damp has managed to creep in from somewhere whilst being stored. Mileage not warranted either which I find strange for a Porsche GB car but maybe its electrical faults have manifested themselves all the way to its intrsument cluster and engine ECU. You'd have to be a very very brave person to buy it - I'm popping up to the sale as intrigued to see what she goes for Grin


that the post experience centre owner punted on

C2.1GTS.2 wrote:
Seen this thread & felt as though i had to join in order to put you all on the right track as so to speak.
You will be amazed at what these cars make in auction, especially BCA as they are the masters of marketing rubbish & getting top dollar for their blue chip PLC vendors.
This car in question will belong to VWFS, Volkswagen Financial Services, not Porsche GB.
It will of been through at least another pair of hands since it was being driven around Silverstone, the last owner had it financed up with Porsche Finance (VWFS) & for whatever reason has stopped paying for it.
To me it has all the hallmarks of a repossession, badly used, 1 key, no history etc.
Perhaps the owner stopped paying for it as has major issues, & was not cost effective to repair.
Or worst case he had no money to repair it, & pay the payments as well.

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sc650
Newbie


Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone looking at this thread has a concern about a car they are looking at, they can PM me with the details I’ll happily share what I know.
But all they need to do is ask the dealer - the salesmen are sharks but I don’t think they would be stupid enough to lie to your face, especially if you ask for confirmation in writing/email.
 
  
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Zingari
Brands Hatch
Brands Hatch


Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 13077
Location: Cheshire

1993 Porsche 964 Anniversary

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminds me when I was about to do the dough on a GT4 at a Non-OPC dealership on SoR. Asking the question whether it had seen any track use given it was comfort spec "I can't say for sure Sir, but I don't think so as it was used for Euro commutes given its 21k miles"

OK, so I get 'my man' to take a look. Two bald rear tyres, fronts marginally more than Kojak, heavy clutch (indicative of needing a replacement), gravel rash INSIDE alloy wheels and enough stone chips that could only be replicated by following a gritter for 1000 miles Rolling Eyes
My Colini Stick was already twitching when I was informed he was selling it as he'd bought a Caterham with track support Surprised

I offered £10k less than asking 3 months ago. Tumble Weed
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ddg911
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Joined: 08 May 2017
Posts: 5



PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sc650 wrote:
The salesman knew the history ok, that was obvious by his response when he got caught out........
"that got past me and I must apologise for not stating this to you prior"

You are absolutely right about dodging a bullet - it would have been significantly worse to have found out after I'd bought it...!!


Had you bought the car, I think they would have just dismissed it, as the car was within the standards of their used car programme

dodging a bullet and then some
 
  
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M&MD&D
Trainee


Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 64



PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why oh why are they so clueless .......
 
  
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qwerty911
Trainee


Joined: 19 Feb 2018
Posts: 50
Location: (North)West Coast of Scotland


PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I bought my Porsche Approved 997.2 from an OPC, it was only by sheer accident, that at collection I noted that the brake fluid service was almost due. The OPCs initial response was that it was still within PA spec so was not done as part of the sale (it had 2 weeks remaining before it wouldn’t be!). I pushed and said I wanted it changed. Off they went and came back with “good and bad news” The brake fluid had in fact been changed but the book not stamped. But even though the book had been stamped for a major service, just done, the car had not been serviced! Had I never skimmed thru the service book, only because they gave it to me while waiting, I wouldn’t have known for another 2yrs. Lucky I saved myself that argument.
 
  
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