Are Land Rover Defenders a good investment?
We explore the pros and cons of buying the British classic.
The last one rolled off the production line in Solihull on January 31, 2016 but that hasn’t stopped demand for the Land Rover Defender. If anything, it has escalated its value and re-sale price as more and more people are snapping up the British icon as an investment.
Without a doubt the Defender has attracted a thriving aftermarket with specialist companies producing enhanced vehicles with prices up to £150,000 – a far cry from the original sale price of £450 when it was first produced in 1948.
And owners could even been looking at ‘potential profits running into thousands’ if they choose to sell, say experts.
Philip Nothard, a consumer expert at valuation specialists CAP Automotive, says: “Few cars fetch more than their original cost new, when demand seriously outstrips supply. But the Defender is a hugely popular and iconic vehicle that inspires a special kind of fan.
“Examples of the Defender in its run-out year will demand a premium as motorists try to grab their own piece of history.”
So is it worth investing now? We take a look at the pros and cons…
Experts say that if you buy your Defender at the right price/model/specification that their prices should hold up well in the future, because demand remains very strong, especially abroad and in Austria (where the cars are particularly pricey).
Dubbed the “ultimate off-roader” and thought of as the best 4x4 in the world, buying an iconic Defender is investing in a part of UK automobile history – with the Queen, Prince Harry and Charles and the Beckhams among fans.
As most of us know, one of its most impressive qualities is that it can be driven almost anywhere. Whether or not you take advantage of this is another matter, but it’s definitely reassuring to know that in heavy snowfall or flooding, you won’t get into trouble.
In terms of fuel economy, especially while going off-road, if you let the torque do the work it is amazingly efficient. Coupled with the Defender’s incredible suspension, you are onto a winner.
Indeed it is its astounding off-road ability, which makes it so popular to many. Although modern Land Rover products use complicated electronics to apportion drive to the wheels with the most grip, the Defender has a mechanical differential lock in the centre, which allows equal power to be directed to the front and rear axles. With a bit of momentum, this clever power distribution helps to overcome any loss of traction and gets you back on the road.
There is also no denying that the familiar wave or nod of approval when passing a fellow Defender driver is hugely enjoyable – a shared recognition that you are kindred spirits, a part of ‘the club’.
Design-wise, some have branded the Defender “old-fashioned”, but for fans that is actually part of the appeal! There’s nothing quite like them on the market as new Land Rover models all seem to look the same and are often devoid of character and personality.
There are no airs or graces in a Defender. Be prepared for a noisy (sometimes smelly) ride, a stiff clutch and tricky gear changes, and very little creature comforts. Tall people will also find their elbows knocking on the windows, as there is minimum space between the steering wheel and doors.
And the basic entry-level Defender is, well, pretty basic. Even a radio was an optional extra but the ruggedness does hold a certain charm to many. And modifying your vehicle has never been simpler. As specialist suppliers of Land Rover parts, we can help you transform your vehicle from basic to pure luxury! Head to the website if you want some inspiration for how to modify your vehicle and to find out which car parts you need.
Motorway driving is not always advised – mainly because you might run out of petrol between service stations! – and if you do, be prepared to stay in the slow lane with the noise of the engine driving out any chance of listening to music.
If you plan on driving your children around however, it’s worth nothing that Isofix child seat mounting will not work on a Defender. But depending on their age, a booster seat could be enough. Young children will need a non-Isofix child seat. Read more about the laws on child seats here.
As they are no longer in production, Defenders need a lot of TLC and parts will have to be maintained and updated regularly. But this shouldn’t be a problem for real Land Rover enthusiasts because their retro vehicle could eventually prove to be a nice nest egg for them in the future.
Again, we can help here with everything you need to keep your Defender on – and off – the road, and ticking over smoothly. Check out the website to browse car parts or give us a call to talk through your needs.
You need to login to submit a comment. Please click here to log in or register.