May 15, 2016
So, you’re looking to purchase a new car, but you need some advice on making the right choice? Here at Broadfields we know a thing or two about this classic SUV. Check out our 5 top tips for buying a Land Rover Defender.
1. Research your model
The Land Rover Defender has a long history, with multiple models and variations available on the market since its inception in 1990, so there’s certainly plenty of choice. If you’re finding the sheer variety of specifications a little overwhelming, it’s good to be armed with some basic knowledge about what all the different variations will mean for you. It will help to consider the following questions:
- Just a number? Despite multiple variations on a theme, the main choice you’ll have to make is between a Land Rover Defender 90 or a 110. The numbers refer to the size of the wheelbases, which make for different driving styles; as a general rule of thumb, the 90 is a better option for lots of off-road driving, whereas the 110 is more stable and better for towing.
- Petrol or diesel? You’re likely to find more diesel options than petrol, as diesel is generally considered better for off-road driving. Petrol engines may offer better acceleration and speed.
2. Match your lifestyle
Buying a Land Rover Defender is something that’s done by a really wide range of different people; some with large families and lots of stuff, others with a passion for off-roading, and still others who need a trusty workhorse to tow heavy loads. Whichever sounds like you, be assured there’s a Land Rover Defender to suit your lifestyle.
- For families, the five-door 110 Station Wagon is a good choice. There’s plenty of room for luggage in the back, and the family can clamber in through the back doors.
- For off-roading, choose a Land Rover Defender 90. Which version is up to you; newer versions may offer more comfort but an older model might be a better bargain for a dedicated off-road driver.
- For towing, choose a model with higher torque output, such as the 2007 version with a six-speed gear box.
3. Budget wisely
From vintage models from the 1990s, to the (last) new Defender models manufactured this year, there’s a Land Rover Defender for all budgets. Buying one second hand can be a bargain, with prices starting at around £3,500 – but be wary of false economies. Be prepared to spend a little more on a vehicle that has been well maintained, and factor in any upgrades or repairs that you might need to pay for on a cheaper model.
4. Handle with care
If you haven’t driven a Land Rover before, you’ll be well advised to take a test drive before committing to buying a Land Rover Defender. It’s a unique driving experience; designed for sturdiness over comfort, so you may need some time to get used to the way it handles. Try newer models and old to see what suits you best.
5. Check under the chassis
Second hand Land Rover Defenders are likely to have had an eventful life, with lots of bumps and exposure to the elements. So it’s vital to make sure any vehicle you view has been well maintained and looked after, and carry out some thorough checks before buying. Rust, worn gear boxes and faulty suspension are all things to look for. Consider paying an independent expert to check it over before you buy; they’ll know what to look for and could save you from an ill-advised purchase.
In addition to a physical check, before buying a Land Rover Defender you should also ensure it has all relevant paperwork and certificates so that you can check its service history.