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Value of Land Rover Defenders to Soar

Posted on January 14, 2016

Value of Land Rover Defenders to Soar

From the red carpet to royal palaces, the Land Rover Defender has led a life of prestige. Alas, this is to be no more as the last Defender rolled off the production line on January 29, 2015 after seven decades, and all brand new models have already been purchased.

Used by everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Winston Churchill and James Bond, from tourists in safari, farmers and the army, the vehicle had a sterling reputation for being durable and reliable and its demise truly marks the end of an era in the history of British automobile.

Despite its loyal fan base, the days of the Defender had been numbered for several years. Its popularity as an on-road vehicle had faded in favour of more elegant 4×4 models, and it had gradually been rendered obsolete by technical and legislative changes. Its side-facing back seats, for example, were banned in the EU in 2007 when safety standards were tightened, and it was also about to fail with European fuel consumption regulations.

The Defender encountered similar obstacles in the US where a federal joint task force was created to curb imports of ‘illegal’ vehicles; the Defender being one of the main targets. It is, in the best cases, very difficult to import into the US a vehicle manufactured in the last 25 years as it needs to comply with stringent safety and engine regulations, and the Defender seemed to embody everything that that agency was created to deal with. As a consequence, a number of raids were conducted and dozens of this legendary vehicle impounded, to the complete bemusement of their owners.

In the face of those global restrictions and despite strong feelings from the vehicle’s supporters, Jaguar, the company that owns Land Rover, decided to stop producing the iconic vehicle and announced an investment of NZ$2billion to build a plant in Slovakia, Eastern Europe, which will produce 300,000 ‘new style’ Defenders.

The new incarnation of the 4×4 is not expected to launch before 2018, and it remains to be seen whether it will satisfy aficionados as the new model is said to leave behind its utilitarian look to be re-invented as a family-friendly leisure vehicle.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, at least for existing owners of Defenders, as it is estimated that their value will go up by thousands of pounds now that they have become a rare item.

British car valuation specialist CAP Automotive has been monitoring such examples and recorded an increase of 5 to 25% above new price list in the sales price of used Land Rover Defenders, which is not a bad return at all, whether you bought yours out of love or as an investment.

If you are considering purchasing a Land Rover Defender and importing it into New Zealand, even for personal use, do remember that it will have to comply with road regulations here too. If you are unsure, contact McCullough on +64 9 303 0075 and we will guide you through the process.

From the red carpet to royal palaces, the Land Rover Defender has led a life of prestige. Alas, this is to be no more as the last Defender rolled off the production line on January 29, 2015 after seven decades, and all brand new models have already been purchased.

Used by everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Winston Churchill and James Bond, from tourists in safari, farmers and the army, the vehicle had a sterling reputation for being durable and reliable and its demise truly marks the end of an era in the history of British automobile.

Despite its loyal fan base, the days of the Defender had been numbered for several years. Its popularity as an on-road vehicle had faded in favour of more elegant 4×4 models, and it had gradually been rendered obsolete by technical and legislative changes. Its side-facing back seats, for example, were banned in the EU in 2007 when safety standards were tightened, and it was also about to fail with European fuel consumption regulations.

The Defender encountered similar obstacles in the US where a federal joint task force was created to curb imports of ‘illegal’ vehicles; the Defender being one of the main targets. It is, in the best cases, very difficult to import into the US a vehicle manufactured in the last 25 years as it needs to comply with stringent safety and engine regulations, and the Defender seemed to embody everything that that agency was created to deal with. As a consequence, a number of raids were conducted and dozens of this legendary vehicle impounded, to the complete bemusement of their owners.

In the face of those global restrictions and despite strong feelings from the vehicle’s supporters, Jaguar, the company that owns Land Rover, decided to stop producing the iconic vehicle and announced an investment of NZ$2billion to build a plant in Slovakia, Eastern Europe, which will produce 300,000 ‘new style’ Defenders.

The new incarnation of the 4×4 is not expected to launch before 2018, and it remains to be seen whether it will satisfy aficionados as the new model is said to leave behind its utilitarian look to be re-invented as a family-friendly leisure vehicle.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, at least for existing owners of Defenders, as it is estimated that their value will go up by thousands of pounds now that they have become a rare item.

British car valuation specialist CAP Automotive has been monitoring such examples and recorded an increase of 5 to 25% above new price list in the sales price of used Land Rover Defenders, which is not a bad return at all, whether you bought yours out of love or as an investment.

If you are considering purchasing a Land Rover Defender and importing it into New Zealand, even for personal use, do remember that it will have to comply with road regulations here too. If you are unsure, contact McCullough on +64 9 303 0075 and we will guide you through the process.


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