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BobCat

Noob Questions

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Hiya all

 

I'm a noob - perhaps an unrealistic one - with a bunch of questions I hope you can answer for me. Truth be told, I didn't think I'd be looking at a Cayman when I first started my car search last week as even though I love them, I always assumed they were way out of my grasp, and perhaps that is where they will be after your answers. 

 

I have a modest income and was looking at used Ford Mustangs, BMW 4-series and Mercedes SLCs in the £20,000-£25,000 range when CarGurus decided to show me a lush-looking 2015 Cayman for £27,000 with 30k on the clock and got me thinking. Questions below (along with some rambling for context)

 

About me:
1) Currently driving a 2006 VW Golf 1.4S
2) Not a speed freak so a base model automatic will do just fine
3) I want to balance looks and performance with ride quality. Remember, I'm driving a VW Golf so hardly living in Lexus-land. That said, it's a helluva lot nicer than my friend's Merc A200 which emphasises every pothole on the road. 

 

With that out of the way, here are my questions. Feel free to shoot my dreams down - this is why I am here.

 

a) Can I get nice ride quality from a Cayman? I know it won't deliver GT comfort but at the same time, I don't want a boy-racer stiff, firm ride.

 

b) My main issue is running costs - can I get a general idea of maintenance and parts?

 

c) I've heard of German car specialists offering cheaper maintenance and parts than main dealers  - is this true or a false economy? And does the same hold true for these parts supermarkets that stock perfect replicas of car panels and exhausts at a much cheaper cost than original manufacturers? If so, can I get an idea of cost comparisons?

 

d) With BMW and VW, I don't fear high mileage as both eat 200k for breakfast, can the same be said for Caymans? If so, I can look beyond my 30k comfort zone and open myself up to more affordable cars.

 

e) If maintenance is high cost then how old and cheap can I go whilst avoiding trips to the mechanic? Is a 2007, £10,000 987 with 75k on the clock going to be all-but as reliable and enjoyable as a 2014 £27,000 model with 29k miles?

 

f) Looking at trade-only cars, I'm seeing 2012/13 and 2016 models in the same mileage and sticker price range (£28,000) and it appears that that's a steep price for the former so does that imply a better car than the latter (in order to command such a price) or is that just the variance of Caymans and that the newer car would be a better bet?

 

g) As 2012 and 2016  Caymans are the same generation, would it make sense - on my limited budget - to go for an older, cheaper car?

 

h) Finally, despite many <40k miles, 981s in the £24,000-£28,000 range, are they cheap for what's on offer - implying iffy quality and that decent cars of that age and mileage are much more expensive?

 

 

Examples I am intrigued by:

 

2015 - 35k - £27,950

https://tinyurl.com/shgtzbn


 

2015 - 30k - £28,950

https://tinyurl.com/tsbeyz9
 

 

2015 - 43k miles - £27,995

https://tinyurl.com/u8n6c2t
 

 

2015 - 32k - £27,891
https://tinyurl.com/vx9eb76


 

2015 - 30k - 28,990
https://tinyurl.com/tsbeyz9
 

 

2013 - 44k miles - £24, 989

https://tinyurl.com/vw7ra8r


 

2013 - 30k - £27,995
https://tinyurl.com/tjmrgdg
 

 

2015 - 61k - £24, 950
https://tinyurl.com/rmjztn4
 

 

2015 - 46k - £25,500

https://tinyurl.com/vlt2v8k



Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

 

Edited by BobCat

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8 hours ago, BobCat said:

Hiya all

 

I'm a noob - perhaps an unrealistic one - with a bunch of questions I hope you can answer for me. Truth be told, I didn't think I'd be looking at a Cayman when I first started my car search last week as even though I love them, I always assumed they were way out of my grasp, and perhaps that is where they will be after your answers. 

 

I have a modest income and was looking at used Ford Mustangs, BMW 4-series and Mercedes SLCs in the £20,000-£25,000 range when CarGurus decided to show me a lush-looking 2015 Cayman for £27,000 with 30k on the clock and got me thinking. Questions below (along with some rambling for context)

 

About me:
1) Currently driving a 2006 VW Golf 1.4S
2) Not a speed freak so a base model automatic will do just fine
3) I want to balance looks and performance with ride quality. Remember, I'm driving a VW Golf so hardly living in Lexus-land. That said, it's a helluva lot nicer than my friend's Merc A200 which emphasises every pothole on the road. 

 

With that out of the way, here are my questions. Feel free to shoot my dreams down - this is why I am here.

 

a) Can I get nice ride quality from a Cayman? I know it won't deliver GT comfort but at the same time, I don't want a boy-racer stiff, firm ride.

 

b) My main issue is running costs - can I get a general idea of maintenance and parts?

 

c) I've heard of German car specialists offering cheaper maintenance and parts than main dealers  - is this true or a false economy? And does the same hold true for these parts supermarkets that stock perfect replicas of car panels and exhausts at a much cheaper cost than original manufacturers? If so, can I get an idea of cost comparisons?

 

d) With BMW and VW, I don't fear high mileage as both eat 200k for breakfast, can the same be said for Caymans? If so, I can look beyond my 30k comfort zone and open myself up to more affordable cars.

 

e) If maintenance is high cost then how old and cheap can I go whilst avoiding trips to the mechanic? Is a 2007, £10,000 987 with 75k on the clock going to be all-but as reliable and enjoyable as a 2014 £27,000 model with 29k miles?

 

f) Looking at trade-only cars, I'm seeing 2012/13 and 2016 models in the same mileage and sticker price range (£28,000) and it appears that that's a steep price for the former so does that imply a better car than the latter (in order to command such a price) or is that just the variance of Caymans and that the newer car would be a better bet?

 

g) As 2012 and 2016  Caymans are the same generation, would it make sense - on my limited budget - to go for an older, cheaper car?

 

h) Finally, despite many <40k miles, 981s in the £24,000-£28,000 range, are they cheap for what's on offer - implying iffy quality and that decent cars of that age and mileage are much more expensive?

 

 

Examples I am intrigued by:

 

2015 - 35k - £27,950

https://tinyurl.com/shgtzbn


 

2015 - 30k - £28,950

https://tinyurl.com/tsbeyz9
 

 

2015 - 43k miles - £27,995

https://tinyurl.com/u8n6c2t
 

 

2015 - 32k - £27,891
https://tinyurl.com/vx9eb76


 

2015 - 30k - 28,990
https://tinyurl.com/tsbeyz9
 

 

2013 - 44k miles - £24, 989

https://tinyurl.com/vw7ra8r


 

2013 - 30k - £27,995
https://tinyurl.com/tjmrgdg
 

 

2015 - 61k - £24, 950
https://tinyurl.com/rmjztn4
 

 

2015 - 46k - £25,500

https://tinyurl.com/vlt2v8k



Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

 

Hi BC, here's my view:

 

a) Ride quality is down to wheel size and suspension type.  The 20" rims look nice but I would not have them without Porshce Active Suspension Management (PASM) option which has two modes and in Normal setting is softer than cars with standard (non-PASM) suspension.  My 981 has 20" wheels and PASM and rides significantly better than my C Class estate on optional 19" rims.  If you want the best ride quality, go for the standard 18" rims (only available on a 2.7) and PASM.  My 981 ride quality is significantly better than my previous 2006 Cayman with 18" rims and PASM.

 

b) These cars are not cheap to own long term compared with mass market cars.  A Minor service with a couple of age related extra items on my 981 at my local Official Porsche Centre (OPC) last year cost £775.  A good independent would have been about £500.  The Major service (every 4 years) in Sept 17 cost the previous owner £1200 at his OPC.  If you are DIY capable (I am but chose this time to keep the OPC service history going for resale benefit) then you can substantially cut the costs.  I could do the Major for about £200 with OEM quality parts.  I have a Durametric diagnostic cable which is essential for DIY fault diagnosis, switching off service indicators etc and costs about £300.  My previous 2006 Cayman S cost me about £3500 in parts over about 6 years and 30K miles on a DIY basis but that included some significant parts replacements such as clutch and flywheel, coolant pipes, aircon condensers, tyre pressure monitoring sensors, suspension partial replacement, brakes, etc..  As another comparison, my first Boxster back in 2009 was a six year old basic 986 model 2.7 which I bought from the original owner who had done 115k miles in it and always used our local OPC for all servicing and repairs.  He gave me a stack of OPC invoices totalling almost £14K (which excluded tyres) but as you'd expect with that degree of maintenance, the car was in most respects like new despite the miles.  

 

c) There are some very good (I'd argue some are even better than OPC) Porsche independent specialists around.  Expect to pay between £50 and £85/hour (plus VAT) for these, compared with about £130/hr at your local OPC.  I have been using OEM quality parts mainly from Euro Car Parts (or their usually cheaper internet - only sister company carparts4less) for over 20 years without any issues.  As an example, a set of OEM quality front discs and pads from CP4L for my 981 Cayman S would today cost me £243 delivered.  I'd guess an OPC would charge probably £800 or so to supply and fit.  You shouldn't need an exhaust on a 981 for a good few years as they are made of stainless steel and last a long time.  

 

d) The original 2006-2009 987 "gen 1" Cayman S 3.4 engines (engine type M97) are known to have a major potential flaw - cylinder bore scoring.  Only a fairly small percentage (5-10% currently - guesstimate) but will probably increase with age so maybe not great for big mileages.  Having said that, I'm sure there are such cars out there still going strong with 150k miles.  The 9A1 engine type was introduced for the 2009 model year 987 "gen 2" cars and the 981 models use this engine design, which has proved to be much more reliable.  I'd personally go with a 987 gen 2 or 981 for high mileage life expectancy but the rest of the car will still need money spending on it at much lower mileage.  From around 50-60k miles, I'd be expecting (and have been through this on my previous Boxsters and Caymans) to be replacing the clutch (if manual), suspension components, coolant pipes (987 cars), window regulators, aircon condensers, wheel bearings, exhaust clamps, in addition to the usual wear out items like brakes.  I must admit they have all seemed a bit more fragile than my family cars such as my Audi A6 which I took from 30K to about 120K miles with very little needed.  But be aware that even the 981 can occasionally catch you out with eye watering bills.  The PDK (semi-automatic) gearbox, whilst very reliable, is not completely unknown to go pop and replacement (internal faults are apparently not repairable!) out of warranty is in the region of £7-8K.  

 

e)  Partly covered above but I would say that the £10K / 75K mile 2006 car is probably needing a fair bit of money spent on it to bring it back to a good standard but this is not always the case.  I recently was involved in the purchase by a good friend of mine of my old 2006 3.4 S which I had previously sold to another member on here.  The car was in the same £ / miles ballpark as your example.  It is probably the highest spec 987 you will ever find and is in excellent shape for its age and miles, having been looked after just as well by the chap who bought it from me.  But despite all that, there's no getting away from the fact that it is now a 14 year old car and there will be more issues than on a 30K miles 6 year old 981.  Another thing to bear in mind regarding the older gen 1 987 cars (2005-2009) is that most (including the 2.7 engine ones) are in the highest road tax bracket and will cost around £550/year to tax.  My old car was first registered just before the March 23rd 2006 date when the tax bandings changed and so was is "only" around £325 to tax. 

 

f)  I don't think that the age of 981 cars makes much difference to price; it's more down to mileage and spec (and of course condition and history).  These are quite spec sensitive and so you really do need to get to know what's what to work out whether the price advertised is fair or not.  As a generalisation, I think the 2.7 cars have fewer options and this helps keep the resale price down.  The new price of Porsche options is eye watering - my old 2006 car had about £16k of options and my 981 has even more, so you can see how say Porsche Communications Management (sat nav basically) as a £2K+ option when new can have an impact on the 2nd hand price.

 

g)  As above, I personally would buy on condition, spec and miles before worring about age, when considering a 981.  Having said that, the 2013 model years (first year of production) didn't have DAB radio as an option, otherwise I think there is virtually no difference in build standard and available options when comparing early and late cars of the same type (base/S/GTS).

 

h)  Very difficult to answer.  You just have to look at each car on it's merits.  There are always relative bargains to be had but you need to know what you're looking for (and consider buying privately if you want the best bargains - I did with my 981 and no regrets from that point of view).  I haven't had a chance to look at your specific examples, will try to do that later.

 

All the best, Porsches are great cars and I hope the above doesn't put you off!

 

 

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Welcome to the OC BobCat.  My brief answer is I don’t think you’ll be disappointed and given you’re looking for 987 Gen2 Or possibly 981 cars then you’ll find reliability is in the same league as any other German car.  
 

Woodhouse has provided an exceptional answer, well done that man! 👍🏻

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Something to consider is total cost of ownership i.e. include depreciation. As the 987 is getting on a little now (and arguably the 981) then any steep early depreciation has long gone. I bought my 10 Reg Gen2 S for 30k in September 2016 and it's still worth over 20k. Other than coil packs, it's only need service items such as brakes, tyres, etc, so I reckon that cost per mile is actually quite reasonable. It's certainly cheaper to run overall than my wife's BMW 120i, but not because that was unreliable, it was because that was on a 3 year PCP deal (5k deposit and 36 payments at £280 a month NOT including servicing and tyres).

 

When I was in the market, I worked out which models I liked, then set my budget and bought the best I could afford. I put £150 a month aside for maintenance which has covered everything it has needed and what's left has given me a healthy 4-figure war-chest for the big ticket items that are bound to come my way at some point.

 

Good luck!

 

Cheers,

Bryan

Edited by briggy

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Everything they said! You're well equipped with intel now, my only suggestion is get out there and test drive as many as you can get your hands on, different engines, models, option specs etc, help calibrate what works for you and what doesn't.

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