Here's How Much The Banned Land Rover Defender Is Worth Today

The Defender is one of Land Rover's most recognizable vehicles. While you'd likely see celebrities and musicians driving Range Rovers around Miami, London, or Hollywood, the Defender is never far away from a dirt, mud or a stream that needs to be forded. The vehicle's boxy appearance is a carryover from the classic Land Rover Series II from the 1950s, an iconic vehicle in its own right. Much like the Mercedes G-Class (or "G-Wagen") and Hummer H2, the Defender from the early 1990s is essentially a luxurious version of a military vehicle.

In the United States, the Defender was a case of forbidden fruit. It was very sold domestically in the 1990s until regulators disallowed it over its severely-lacking safety features. Now, in 2023, the newest generation of the Defender and older models are reaching the age where they can be legally imported without the fear of the NHTSA and federal government breathing down your neck. With such an iconic car, prices tend to climb as the car gets older and harder to find. Does the Defender, with its rugged looks, continue that trend? 

Prices are rising

If you ever wanted a classic Land Rover Defender 110 with a Chevy V8 under the hood, you're in luck as long as you have cash to burn. Over the years, Bring a Trailer has hosted multiple auctions of Defenders. The most expensive example was a 1993 Defender powered by an LS3 V8 that was restored by Arkonik, a company that specializes in Defenders. That car sold for a wallet-busting $260,000 in 2021. For a stripped-down no-nonsense Defender, you are still going to pay a pretty penny. A nicely maintained and modified 1988 Defender went for $110,000 last year. If you aren't shopping for provenance and don't mind aesthetics, there are still deals to be had when shopping for one of these legends. A Spanish-built 1988 Land Rover sold for a relatively more reasonable $22,800 late last year. 

Defenders can occasionally break the bankvfor the absolute pinnacle of off-roading rigs with some American muscle to back it up. Given the brand's celebrity status and fanbase, it makes sense why prices are in the six-figure range. But if you just want a classic safari truck to cruise around the beach, there are definitely some options.