Fans of the iconic Land Rover Defender who rushed to buy a piece of history are proving to have made a smart investment decision as prices soar.

Automotive valuation specialists cap say good examples are demanding a huge premium over new list price.

Commenting on the trend, John Watts, senior editor at Cap said: “We have already started to see an upward movement in trade values for Defender in general due to the anticipated demand and potential shortage following the cessation of production. Over the longer term we expect retail buyers to keep their vehicles longer because they know that finding a replacement will be nigh on impossible.

“Defender 90 versions are expected to be the highlight of the range since this model is closest to the original first production versions and Defender with a “premium” conversion will do exceptionally well.”

Cap say a three year old Defender 90 Hard Top with 30,000 miles was valued at £11600 average trade price last June, and now the equivalent aged model is £12300.

Dealers are demanding huge premiums for nearly new vehicles.

A Land Rover Defender 90 2.2d 3 dr, with 1,000 miles on the clock, which cost £17,000 + VAT new, is now listed on Autotrader at £30,000.

Land Rover dealer Ross Munro, from LR Motors in North Yorkshire said: “Nearly new or pre-registred models of Defender are selling for 20% beyond list price and we are seeing some owners asking more. And with 75% of Defenders ever built still on the road, they could prove to be a smart move for investors or enthusiasts.”

Defender has attracted a thriving aftermarket with specialist companies such as Twisted producing enhanced vehicles with prices up to £150,000.

Twisted say they have seen enquiries jump by 30%, with interest coming from business people and celebrities around the world.

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