‘Should I buy a Porsche Boxster with storm damage?’

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader wondering if a deal is too good to be true.

The 718 Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster. –Porsche

Q. I recently saw a 2015 Porsche Boxster at a really, really good price. When I inquired about it and asked why it was priced so low, the salesman told me the car had storm damage and a salvage title. This would be a third car in our family and a mid-life crisis kind of car. Would you buy it?

A. The problem is that “storm damage” can mean just about anything. If it were just dents from a hailstorm and they were properly repaired, then it’s hardly a problem. My concern is storm damage may mean the car was involved in a flood. If this is the case, then unless it was thoroughly repaired, you’ll be faced with mold and mildew issues, corroded connections, and ongoing electrical problems. Years back I knew someone who purchased a Porsche 911 with a similar history, and he chased electrical gremlins for the entire time he owned the car. The other issue is the salvage title will follow the car forever. It will certainly affect the value when you decide to sell it. I would only buy this car if I had it thoroughly inspected, and with the awareness that it will be a poor investment.


John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.