Some 1.2m historic vehicles are registered with the DVLA, with around 9.8m people registering an interest in these 40+ year vehicles, according to the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. For some, it’s a hobby, something fun to do. For others, it’s about owning a little piece of history or the thrill of restoring a vintage vehicle to its former glory.
Whatever the reason for owning a classic car or a classic Land Rover, at some point, everyone wonders about how much their investment is worth and how to increase its value.
If you’ve ever wondered how to increase the value of your classic Land Rover Defender, then take a look at some of our helpful hints.
Regular Maintenance and Care
The possibility of converting your Land Rover to electric will depend much on the condition of your Defender, and play a big role in its worth. There’s little value in owning a super-rare, vintage car if it’s damaged, rusty or in dire need of repair. Undertaking regular maintenance keeps your car in pristine condition and helps you catch any niggling problems before they escalate.
Caring for your car includes all the normal maintenance tasks like changing the oil and checking the fluids, as well as big-ticket items where you might need specialist help, like engine work. Not only will your Land Rover run smoothly, but it’ll also command those coveted classic Land Rover values.
Authenticity and Originality
Repairs and replacements are par for the course with older cars, and its part of the joy of a restoration project.
Keep in mind that collectors are detail-oriented and many will expect to see a certificate of authenticity, so it’s worth acquiring one. Collectors will also rapidly lose interest in any car whose part numbers are mismatched. Aim to replace parts like-for-like with either New Old Stock (NOS) components that were made in the same era, or second-hand parts designed for your make and model. These parts may be harder to source, but be patient. The effort (and expense) will be worth it in the long run.
Range Rover Classics restored with original or authentic parts tend to be more valuable than customised cars. The only exception to the rule is the occasional mod con that improves performance or safety, such as a Land Rover electric conversion that adds an electric battery to an electric classic Land Rover for a 21st-century twist.
Professional Appraisal and Valuation
To understand your car’s worth, you need to get a professional appraisal, even if you’re not planning to sell any time soon. Factors such as your car’s make and model, condition, age, and history are used to calculate an accurate estimate of its value.
An up-to-date appraisal informs you of current market preferences. Insurers may also require a professional valuation before they agree to provide coverage.
Upgrades and Improvements
Often, it’s advisable to steer clear of personalised touches for a classic Landy. To keep its value, the car needs to be as close to the original as possible. Even so, there are times when an upgrade or two have boosted classic Land Rover series car values.
The most common improvement is to switch out damaged tyres, which ensures the car is roadworthy and improves the aesthetic. In a similar vein, undertaking an electric car conversion can add significant value. With an electric battery, the driving experience becomes smoother and maintenance easier.
Whatever upgrades you choose to make, they should complement the vehicle’s overall look and feel.
Restoring a heritage car to its former splendour can be a labour of love, but it can also significantly increase its value.
If you’re undertaking the restoration yourself, do it authentically. Use original parts where possible, keeping copies of the accompanying documentation.
If you’re planning to undertake functional upgrades like a Defender electric conversion alongside your restoration project, take care that the exterior of your vehicle maintains its vintage vibe. Electric Car Converts specialise in classic Land Rover Defender and Land Rover Series Conversions and can advise how to proceed while maintaining or increasing the car’s value.
Market Research and Trends
Like all collectables markets, value is largely determined by market sentiment, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with current trends.
The rarity factor plays a huge role in a Land Rover’s perceived worth. Simple economics tells us that the more restricted the supply, the higher the price tag, as in the case of the sole surviving Rolls Royce 15 HP.
However, rarity isn’t the only factor at work. In recent years, there’s been a generational shift in collectors, which is reflected in preferences for classic cars from the 80s and 90s, as well as increased demand for classic Japanese sports cars.
The best way to stay on top of the latest trends is to read classic car news sites and magazines, or by attending auctions and antique car shows.
Attention to Detail
A lot of a classic car’s value is in the little details, which can sometimes be overlooked. Sure, it’s the shiny paint job that catches the eye, but if a collector looks beyond the surface and discovers finicky imperfections, they can be put off.
Little things like neglecting to repair the rubber seals around the windows or door, or a damaged interior vinyl, call into question whether you’ve meticulously cared for your car. After all, if there are issues with the visible accents, what might be found under the hood?
Proper Storage and Protection
Classic car owners often do not intend to drive their cars frequently or for long distances, which means they spend a lot of time in storage.
How you store your car will affect its condition and lifespan. It’s not simply a matter of parking it somewhere and throwing a cover over the top. If you’re aiming to preserve your car’s value, then ideally the car should be stored indoors and protected from extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
A heated garage is a great option for keeping your car in tip-top condition, but at the very least, you’ll need somewhere that’s dry, covered, and well-ventilated. Temperature controls and dehumidifiers are also extremely helpful to maintain optimum storage conditions.
Here at Electric Car Converts, we suggest converting your classic car to electric. Switching to electric will substantially reduce the number moving parts that need to be maintained and make storage less cumbersome.
Increase Your Classic Landy’s Value With Us
So, there you have it. Whether you own a vintage treasure or a restomod with an electric battery, apply our suggestions on how to increase the value of a classic car and keep your car in its best possible condition.
Reviewed by Barnaby Birkbeck, Founder & Head Electrical Engineer, in 2023.