Why is the Land Rover Defender so Expensive?

A Land Rover Defender has been on the market for a long time. There were almost 2.5 million Land Rovers sold from 1948 until 2016.

The prices were steep already when Defenders were in production, but “the world’s most versatile vehicle” was worth every penny to those who appreciated them.

Why Are Landrover Defenders So Expensive?

A Land Rover Defender is expensive due to its rarity, uniqueness, and capability. It is one of the rare wonders of the automotive market. The price for a Land Rover Defender is also high because of its name. People are known to pay high costs to have an item from the desired brand, which is true for Defenders.

The prices of new Defenders during years of their production were already on par with the “fancy” new vehicles. Rather steep for the clunky, non-aerodynamic, heavy SUV. 

During their glory days, Defenders produced outside the U.S. (even before 1992) covered many uses, from farm vehicles with PTO, fire trucks and ambulances, to army trucks. They got a big name amongst motorists, and the popularity and “brand” drove the prices up.

Despite being produced worldwide for years beforehand, Defenders were sold in America only for a few years between 1992 and 1997. Only 500 Defenders with 110 wheelbases sold in America and 25 in Canada in 1992 and 1993. Each with an individual number. Defender 90 followed suit between 1993 and 1995 and in 1997 until they could no longer meet American safety requirements.

After the production of the original Defender worldwide stopped in 2016, this vehicle gained more popularity. On top of that, the rarity of the original NAS (North American Specifications) made Defenders desired vehicles. To import a Defender (or Series) into America, the vehicle needs to meet many requirements. The engine and chassis need to be original and in relatively good condition. Finding that in the worldwide automotive market is a challenge, which is another reason why Defender prices are high.

Defenders, and Series I, II, and III before them, were not comfortable vehicles with padded seats designed for long-distance driving or many modern features. They were also not the fastest but certainly most qualified for the farm and off-road work.

Each of Defenders, including all Series, was basically hand-built. The sturdiness of those vehicles is famous. Those chassis-based vehicles could go for hundreds of thousands of miles when taken care of properly. The simplicity of their build allowed the owners for quick repairs, even on the side of the road, without the need for special tools. 

Those facts are still true today, and any Defender, well-kept, running, and ready for import, would fetch a high price on the market.

Is a Land Rover Defender a Good Investment?

A Land Rover Defender is an excellent investment

Despite the whole car market based on the rule that every new car depreciate almost 20% within the first year of ownership and 10% each year after that, Defenders seem to omit this rule altogether.

When we bought our 1999 Defender 110 a few years back, we were not very surprised by the high prices on the market. We were expecting them. By now, a vehicle in the same state (rusted but semi-driving) would not be available at the same price we paid.

A well-kept Defender, or even Series, is almost like a piece of art or collectible item. It doesn’t matter whether it is a NAS specs Defender, Wolf, Fire and Ice, or regular Defender 90 Station Wagon. They are all good investments, and the rarest the built, the more money it can fetch on the market. 

Do Land Rover Defenders Hold Their Value?

The answer to this question is more complicated than a simple yes or no. The thing about Defenders is that they don’t depreciate, not even the old banged-up and rusty one. 

It is one of the phenomenons of the automotive market. Like any vintage, out-of-production vehicle, Defender can hold its value for many years, and more often than not, for the best-kept ones, the prices may increase.

Are Defenders Going Up in Value?

Yes, the value of the Land Rover Defender goes up every year

People want what’s rare or almost unavailable. Now Defenders are mostly rebuilt to suit the modern comfort and renovated to high standards. There are no more original Defenders in production, and many of the ones driving still on the roads deteriorate beyond repair. It makes the marked low on supply, but the demand grows every year. 

The value of the Land Rover Defender grows because the supply and demand are tipped off balance, and each vehicle in good condition is rarest than the previous one. It makes the prices go higher every year, and surprisingly, even the less fortunate Defenders with severe damage, rust, or missing parts are more expensive than many other SUV brands in good shape.

Final Thoughts

Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle. It was in production for 68 years, making history as the most versatile SUV on the market. 

The prices for this brand of vehicles were steep from the beginning, but after the production of the original Defender stopped, prices skyrocketed.

Even though not fancy or comfortable, the famous Defender is so expensive because it’s rare and one of a kind. Land Rover made a name for themselves, and now that name drives the demand on the market.

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