Sales debate - is there a market for Category C and D Porsche 911s?

Sales debate - is there a market for Category C and D Porsche 911s?

Adverts that mention Cat C or Cat D are referring to Category Markers, issued after a vehicle has an insurance claim.

When a car is damaged, the insurer decides if it’s worth repairing or not. If it isn’t repaired, the owner is paid out, the car is written off and the insurer applies a Category marker to it. Previously, they were Cat C and Cat D, but these were replaced in 2017 with S and N. The markers start at Cat A: severe damage that makes the vehicle beyond repair, but neither can parts can be salvaged. Cat B (Break) is severe damage where the car can’t be repaired, but parts may be salvaged. Then there’s Cat C (now S) where damage may be repaired, but is deemed uneconomic by the insurer. Cat D (now N) refers to vehicles that are structurally undamaged, but may require safety-critical parts to be repaired.

What’s the market for a 911 with either of the latter two markers? “A Category marker is triggered by a repair cost being around 50 per cent of the value of the car,” explains Philip Raby, of Philip Raby Specialist Cars. “So a £100,000 911 could have an accident at two months old, be repaired, then resold without you ever knowing. The same accident five years later – when the same 911 may be worth £30,000 – might mean the car is written off as a Cat S or N.” He also points out that insurers often write off water-damaged 996 Cabriolets purely for cost, so not all markers are accident-related.

A Category marker typically means a 20-25 per cent saving on any 911, thinks Philip, who also believes they needn’t be something to shy away from. “I’m a big fan of Cat cars,” he says. Indeed, Philip has a Cat C 997 GT3 RS in stock, pointing out for a track car you could make a saving and use it, which for some is the point. “I’m happy to stock them – and they do sell – but you need to do your checks, particularly on things like panel fit,” he advises. For the pure collector market, where the very best cars are cherished, it’s a different story, says Jonathan Aucott of Avantgarde Classics. “With collector cars, provenance is second only to condition,” Jonathan says. “A category marker is too big a hit on provenance for us to buy for stock.” That’s typical for that end of the market, where it’s all about the best examples of cars that are cosseted. There is demand for Cat S- and N-marked 911s, then. Yet it falls away the further up the market you go.

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