Porsche Cayman | Buyers Guide & Depreciation Analysis

Porsche Cayman | Buyers Guide & Depreciation Analysis

You guys want to know about pre-owned Caymans? Let’s talk about pre-owned Caymans. The Cayman is Porsches entry-level sports car with a more forgiving price tag then its bigger brother, the 911. According to some it’s even a better driving car due to its mid-engine layout compared to the rear engine mounting of the 911. So, today we’re going to take a look at the values of the entire Porsche Cayman lineup and figure out which model is the best bargain. As with my 911 video, I’ve compiled data from kelley blue book and NADA guides to compare cars with very similar options. I’ve done the mileage a little bit different this time. This chart outlines and mileage i’ve used for each year. These are the default recommendation mileage estimates by kelly blue book. Also, I want to show you guys the difference between the values estimated from NADA and kelly blue book. I’ve taken all the data from the Cayman S from both websites and graph them so you can easily see them. You can see a few areas where the data doesn’t agree but overall they’re pretty similar. The data I’ve used for this video is a simple average of everything collected from the two sites. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the cars. Let’s start at the top with the GT4. Only made in 2016, the current market value for the GT4 is about a hundred and seven thousand dollars.The press car that made its way around through most car reviews was priced at just under $105,000, but you can get one with the same options as the other ones were looking at for under 95,000. By looking at the chart, it appears that the cars appreciate in value, but we need to remember these cars were marked up significantly by the dealers. If you look on Porsches pre-owned search, you’ll see that most GT4s are going for about $110,000 to $125,000 dollars. I think these price hikes are representative of that initial dealer markup. Now, eventually I could see this car actually appreciating but the market needs to level out and adjust for those markups. So, the Cayman GT4 has a few more years of depreciation ahead of it. The GTS is the next car on the Cayman hierarchy. Only offered in 2015 2016, the GTS base price was eleven thousand dollars more than the Cayman S. However, the GTS came center with 20-inch wheels, sport chrono, PASM, sports exhaust and a ton of other cosmetic options. When the cars were new, if you compare the GTS with an S model that had the same build the GTS would only be about $2,400 dollars more than the Cayman S model. So, what does that mean for used shoppers? If you remember in the 911 video, options don’t hold their value. So since these features come standard on GTS, a Cayman S with the same build is going to depreciate a lot more than a GTS will. This is great news if you bought a GTS brand-new, but not so good if you’re looking for one on the used market. Now, let’s briefly touch on the 2012 Cayman R. The market has it priced a little too high at the moment. The car wasn’t that much of an improvement over the Cayman S at the time with just a little more power, a little less weight, different looks, and a sport-tuned suspension. The current market value has It listed $56,500, which is about $9,000 more than you’d pay for the same year cayman S with very similar options, or roughly the same price as a 2015 base Cayman. I really couldn’t see myself spending that much money on a 2012 Cayman R when I have a 2015 base Cayman for nearly the same price, even with the extra horsepower and bigger engine that Cayman R has. Now we’re down to the base and the cayman S. So, you may have noticed that there’s no data for 2013 model. That’s because Porsche didn’t make a 2013 Cayman in the US or at least I couldn’t find any evidence of it. Unlike the 911, you’ll notice that the depreciation curve of both the Cayman and Cayman S is relatively linear. The base model actually depreciates slightly more than the cayman s over the first two years but after that the s-model depreciates on average of 0.6% more per year over the next five years than the base model. As with the 911, you’ll see slight bumps in value during the 2009 refresh, but no real steep jump between the 987 and 981 models. I think we need to compare these curves to the 911 to see what’s going on here. Take a look here at the 911 Carrera in orange. This is where the depreciation curve flattens out and we found that sweet spot for value. In comparison, the 981 Caymans were released in 2014. The absence of a 2013 model has caused the curve to appear linear between generations. Now, I would bet if a 2013 981 Cayman existed, we’d see that same flattening of the curve as we do in the 911. Now when you really start to compare the 911 and the Cayman curves, two interesting trends start to emerge. The first is a huge initial depreciation of the 911. I don’t think the Cayman see the initial depreciation hit is the 911 because they’re such good cars at such a competitive price point. For just under $55,000, you can get a Porsche with a very similar interior and just a little bit less in performance than its hundred-thousand-dollar big brother, the 911. In that sense the Cayman really is a bargain. Especially if you compare it to other sports cars in the same price range. The second trend you notice is that at the end of the curve but 911 really flattens out and holds its value much more than the Cayman does. The Cayman just doesn’t have the pedigree and a cult-like following that the 911 does. The 911 has been around for over 50 years and has a history unlike most cars on the road. You’re going to see it holds value much more than the Cayman with some models even beginning to appreciate as they age. With all that said, we really didn’t find the sweet spot with any of the Caymans. That means that the newest car you can get for the amount that you want to spend is going to be your best value. Now, if you look really close to the chart you can see the curves flatten out just a little around 2010 and 2015. Technically, those are going to be your best years to buy, but it’s such a small flattening area that I don’t think it’s gonna make that big of a difference for you. Personally, I’d go for a 2014 certified pre-owned Cayman or Cayman S with as many options as my budget afforded. Now I wish I could have given you guys something a little bit more definitive, but the data just doesn’t show it. Overall stick with the Cayman or the Cayman S depending on what motor you want. Stay away from the R and hold off on the GTS and the GT4 for now. So that’s our rundown the Porsche Cayman If you like what you saw, gives a thumbs up or leave a comment below, and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button if you want to see more content in the future. Thanks!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Great video. I did a lot of research, shopped across the country and ended up picking up my '16 Cayman S with SPE, PDK and PASM for $64k with 6k miles. I think I got a fair deal.

  2. I just bought a 2007 Porsche Cayman for 12.5k. Should give you some ideas. 85k miles, but it's been well taken care of. I got solid deal.

  3. Subbed! Great video. Maybe some info on production numbers of the various options would be useful also. For me, my guess is that the Cayman's day is actually yet to come. Even 944's have gone up in value in recent years and they were over produced, unloved by Porsche purists, and under-valued, built to compete with the growing budget Japanese sports car market. Given the world press adore the Cayman, I'd argue that the same future HAS to await it. In the short term, I'd expect prices to keep falling. In the long term when the poor examples have all been scrapped, I'd expect the well kept, or restored cars to be collectible. In my lifetime? Perhaps. Unlike the 924, 944, 928, and 986, the Cayman is undeniably, not only a Porsche, but a baby 911.

  4. I like the video, very factual. One constructive criticism, don't use bounced light only as your main light in your room. It makes your eyes look dead. You need a softbox or something in front of you to add a catchlight. Also, if you can color balance your lights to daylight the windows behind you wouldn't be so blue.

  5. Do you think that 2012 being the last of the naturally aspirated flat six would make a difference? What’s your opinion of the Cayman S black edition that has all the options you can buy with power of the R and only 500 made, less than any other black edition?

  6. Awesome analysis. I would like to make another point on this and that, the second box on your last graph shows that the 2009 and 2010; cayman and cayman s are 15000 to 20000$ less with no IMS, RMS issues and much better value for someone who wants to buy and hold. Just bought mine 2009 S for under 35000$ under 30000 miles.

  7. I've been seeing some GTS Caymans dip under 65k recently, albeit they do have around 20-30k mileage. Any thoughts on a follow up thoughts? I'm really just in love with the GTS but can't stand the thought of it depreciating out the door immediately.

  8. If the next GT4 has a naturally aspirated engine, the 2016 GT4 values will soften. If the new one is turbo, the GT4 prices will start climbing. Rapidly.

  9. This video is hilarious! Chart after chart of data (some of which is informative) but the punch line at 6:00 there’s no sweet spot in a ‘buyers guide’ video – come on!! Then to say buy the cheapest car for your own budget – genius 😂😂 a savvy 11 year old could’ve told anybody that!!

  10. Great job with plotting the cayman.

    Could you possible do a comparison between the 4 Generations of Volkswagen’s R series. MK4 R32, MKV R32, MKVI Golf R and MKVII Golf R!!

  11. He briefly mentioned how the options can effect price and as a buyer you should be aware that Cayman’s, like most Porsches, come in three basic flavors.
    1. I want one but can’t afford it, what can I get with the least amount of options, “The Stripper”.
    2. I want to blow my friends away at Starbucks, what can we load the car up with, “The Poser”.
    3. OMG, this drives really well, what does the factory offer to enhance that, “The Driver”.
    To avoid getting a Cayman that really doesn’t fit your style or to max out your buying dollar, use a VIN decoder that shows what options were installed at the factory. As an example, 1st gen (2006-2008) Cayman S were about $60K with no options. You can find fully optioned Caymans above $90K, though most well equipped cars will come in between the high $60K to the high $70K. Remember these prices are for the car when it was new.
    And now the bad news, no matter what a Cayman cost new, $60K or $90k, on the used market they all seemed to be priced the same. So now you know why some Caymans seem so much sweeter than others.

  12. I suspect you'll find that the big drop in price from 09 to 08 for Cayman is also shared by the Boxster and is due to the IMS issue. I believe the 09 cars were the first model year to get the new engine design that does away with the IMS.

  13. Very good and unique video on pricing. What I have seen is that the GT4 is VERY unique in that in its second year, its second USED year, it actually sold higher than sticker. That is rare for any car. The 2016 Cayman GT4 will remain a very collectible car down the road. There is no GT4 under $95,000 with low mileage. They were not marked up, the demand was there. The GT4 is not depreciating as I see it, it is actually climbing as the most limited, manual only, GT3 front end, Carrera S engined, Cayman ever made. Options DO HOLD VALUE (Carbon Fiber Seats, Ceramics, Synchro) all matter on resale. The GT4 is not going down my friend, it is only going up. With 2500 or less, many crashed or totaled on tracks, there are maybe 2000 with under 10,000 miles and maybe 1000 with under 5,000 miles.

  14. I'm not sure how you can compare a Cayman R to a 2015 base Cayman. I think you're treating these as 'regular' cars for street use. If you track or autocross, there's a massive difference between an R and a 2015 base.

  15. Good analysis, but a big factor of why there is no flattening out is because of the introduction of the PDK gearbox and new engine in 2009, which eliminated the (low) IMS failure risk and provided a far superior gearbox interface. So models from 2009 onwards have a disproportionate increase in value that cannot fairly be represented on a graph against the older models.

  16. Weird how you didn't get the 981 in the US until 2014, especially being a huge market. I'm in the uk and have the first 981 base (2013) I bought it March 2018 from a main dealership for £29000 with a 2 year Porsche and road side assistance warranty. People in the UK are still selling them for more than that private so I got a bargain. I think I could possible sell mine after a year for the same money

  17. I know this is easier said than done and a bit off topic but here goes. Get a 356 Speedster, an M471 Carrera RS and a 959. Problem solved. Porsche collection complete. And of course, their values are going nowhere but up. Add 993 turbo S if you like: As a dessert. I can do without a dessert though. More than happy with the main course.

  18. I have been price shopping 14's and 15's and appreciate your input. I am leaning toward the 15's due to the warranty and definitely a CPO. Thanks

  19. Man that was amazing advice! I really want a 2015 GTS but just out of my price range !When do you see them selling in the 55k range?I am going to take your advice and hold out a bit. If you were going to buy a 911 between the years 2005-2008 which would it be and what would be a fair price ? I have seen some great deals on them with 35k miles! I really thought about just getting a 05-08 carrera that just has some good options. My kids want me to get the 911 so they all can enjoy the car to! LOL! But seriously any advice would be great! Thx Shane

  20. Fucking awesome! This guy must be a realtor, his calculations are just like a realtors. I just today traded my '85 Porsche 928S2 5 speed for a '14 Cayman S with very few options. I gave Porsche of West Broward my 928 + $32k, which works out to $42k for this Cayman S.

  21. Bravo. Amazing work. Can you do the same for mercedes sl models? Or with the ferrari F430, 458 and 488?
    Thanks in advance

  22. Great video and very informative. Ive been researching Porsche because im planning to get my 1st one in yr 2020. while i havent really decided which one to get within my budget, it seems if i go the Cayman S route it will be at least a 2009. Although my original goal was a 997.2 Carrera but if im spending that kind of money on a Porsche, im leaning towards the more newer and exotic 981 Cayman in Red. i like that the 911 are 4 seaters but i feel a Cayman will be more of a daily driver car than the 911s. If u guys are in my shoes, which car would u guys chose and why?

  23. Looking at used Caymans is frustrating since it's hard to tell what suspension it has just from the photos… Could be the base suspension, PASM, or PASM Sport and they all look the same. That's one reason to get the GTS…you're guaranteed it will have the most desirable options!

  24. Excellent video. A little over a year ago I was looking for my first Porsche, and was thinking Cayman S over the 911. I found a fully loaded 2014 Cayman S with only 7500 miles, but with a $55k ask it was out of my price range, plus there were other cars I wanted to look at. I ended up buying a very nice two-owner 2009 997.2 6MT Carrera coupe with only 35k miles and am very happy with it. Still like the look and features of the 981 Cayman S though.

  25. Excellent video! Just picked up a 14 Cayman CPO with 24k miles. Had it detailed for about 700 and it looks like new! Look forward to more videos

  26. Hey JP & Co., you lost me from the get go…the Cayman is NOT the entry level Porsche, it's the Boxter !!! From that inaccurate point your comments are irrelevant.

  27. I am torn! I currently have a Panamera 4 am looking at adding a Cayman. I am looking at either a 3 or 4 year old Cayman. Do I go S or base? What I mean is it worth the difference?

  28. That was really precise and informative. But I think the topic may be worth revisiting, now that the 718s have a 4-cylinder motor and the 981 probably has the potential to build a cult-like following as the last 6-cylinder cayman (pretty much like the air cooled 993).

  29. dude this video and your others have so much quality and structure that its crazy. great job. getting a 2015 cayman s soon, thanks for the suggestion

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