Should you invest in classic 4x4s?

What to look for before investing in a classic 4×4

When production of the classic Land Rover Defender ended in January this year, there was renewed enthusiasm for this iconic 4×4, leading to an upsurge in sales for its second hand models and an increased interest in people looking to invest in classic 4x4s.

Interest in old school 4x4s however is not a completely new phenomenon. In fact, the value and prices of earlier versions of these vintage thoroughbreds have climbed steadily over the past decade.

This raises an interesting question; should fans and enthusiasts look at their 4×4 as just a much needed motor for their offroading adventures or can it be a great long term investment as a classic?

At Heritage Car Insurance, we believe that it can be, if drivers know what to look for. Here are some great tips when looking to invest in classic 4x4s.

Keep an eye out for up-and-coming classics

It is a well-known fact that the original Land Rovers Series I has been recognised as a classic in its own right, going as high as £30,000 in mint condition.

If this is a stretch to your budget, Land Rover models such as the 90, 110 and Defender from the 1980s onwards can also be great buys as you can get them for under £5,000. These models are still primarily seen as second-hand vehicles rather than vintage collectables. This however can change in the near future, making them a potentially excellent investment today.

Likewise, the Volvo’s venerable XC90 has only just been replaced by a new model this year, making the previous generation a great used buy and a potential future classic.

How to inspect your 4×4 (or pay a professional to do it)

From going for a test drive to getting down and dirty to look under the car, there are many things you should inspect before making your purchase. Nevertheless, if you are not confident that you can get the job done properly, it is best to pay for an independent inspection, either by the AA, RAC or in the case of purchasing a Defender (or its Series I to III predecessor), by a Land Rover specialist. It is also worth knowing that sellers will often agree to drop a car’s price by the equivalent inspection cost if you end up buying it.

You should also check the car’s paperwork carefully. For example, do the registration, engine and chassis numbers agree with the vehicle’s registration certificate (called the V5C)? This will give you a more accurate assessment of the value of the car as compared to its listing price.

Best time to make a killing

Given the 4×4’s indefatigable nature and indomitable spirit, it is often seen as the best vehicle to help drivers get through the harsh winter period. As a result, prices tend to increase significantly in late autumn, matching the increase in demand closer to the colder months.

Therefore, if you are looking at a 4×4 as a long term commitment as opposed to just using it to ride out the season, it is best to swim against the tide and pick up your 4×4 in the spring or summer, when they are more likely to be valued lower due to reduced interest.

Ultimately, as with any classic car investment, purchasing a 4×4 requires a clear understanding of your use and expectations of the vehicle, doing extensive research to appreciate market trends and the right value of your motor and of course a little bit of luck that what you are about to purchase could be worth a lot more in the future.

Once you understand this, you will be well on your way to make a killing with should you invest in classic 4x4s. For more information about insuring your 4×4, visit speak to our team by calling 0121 248 9229 or find out more here.