Why Are Rovers So Cheap?

If you’ve had your eye on the used car market for a while, you might have noticed that Rovers tend to be really cheap. That’s right, rover-style cars manufactured by British Leyland, Land Rover Ltd., and Jaguar Land Rover tend to have really low resale value despite a having a high initial price. 

Most auto experts and enthusiasts generally don’t recommend buying a rover used—or buying a rover at all if you can help it. Though these vehicles are trendy and push a rugged image, they aren’t the best thing to buy if you’re looking for a reliable vehicle with good value for the money.

If you’ve been wondering why you shouldn’t buy a used rover, stay tuned! In this article we’ll be going over why used rovers tend to be so cheap, including common problems, maintenance costs, and more.

Rover Brand Overview

Before we get into all the reasons why rovers are so cheap, let’s take a look at the brand and its history. The brand, which you may know from its popular vehicles such as the Land Rover Range Rover and the Land Rover Discovery, has a bit of a complicated history, as it has changed hands many times. The company started out in 1948 as The Rover Company, and then changed names and management to the Leyland Motor Corporation in 1967 and British Leyland in 1968. From 1978 to 2012 the company was known as Land Rover Ltd., at which point it merged with Jaguar Cars to become Jaguar Land Rover, which remains its name today.

The Land Rover website advertises itself as selling “premium 4×4 vehicles and luxury SUVs,” and there are currently seven models of vehicles up for sale:

  • The Range Rover Evoque – starting at $43,300
  • The Range Rover Velar – starting at $56,900
  • The Range Rover Sport – starting at $69,500
  • The Range Rover – starting at $92,000
  • The Discovery Sport – starting at $41,900
  • The Discovery – starting at $53,900
  • The Defender – starting at $47,700

As you can see, the starting prices for these Rover vehicles fresh off the lot isn’t cheap. However, many people refer to these cars as a bad purchasing decision, and this is reflected in the vehicles’ depreciation and resale value. Many people seem to love their Range Rovers for the aesthetics and reputation, but this may all be a façade. Up next, we’ll be talking about common problems with rovers that may be contributing to this high depreciation rate.

Why Are Rovers So Cheap— Common Problems with Rovers

Constant repairs and maintenance

One of the main reasons it is often so cheap to buy a used Land Rover is because these cars are notorious for having problems. Even if you’re looking at a relatively new rover, it’s very possible that the vehicle could be hiding some pretty serious mechanical problems. The Land Rover Discovery is known for having a variety of common issues, including leaking head gaskets, throttle body coolant leakage, a broken rear cargo hatch, oil leaks, and failed air springs. Not only are many of these problems potential dangers on the road, but they’ll also tank the resale value of your vehicle if you come across one of them.

Taking a look at the Land Rover Evoque, the common problems are even more apparent. There have been more than ten recalls on the Range Rover Evoque since it was introduced in 2011, and over 50% of owners reported experiencing problems with their vehicle in a 2019 survey. It seems that Land Rover branded vehicles receive low-reliability ratings across the board, indicating that their popularity is more about looks than the actual quality of the cars.

Low Reliability

It is well known that land rovers are cheap due to their very low-reliability ratings.

Take a look at the Land Rover Discovery with these common issues:

  • ​​crank-shaft seizures
  • air suspension failures
  • electronic park brake failures 
  • transmission issues
  • Electronic/infotainment malfunctions

This could be due to its ongoing changes in production and management, creating an unstable working environment for land rover to really take off and cement itself as a automobile powerhouse.

Exponential devaluation

All cars depreciate after being purchased from the lot but after 10 years, you lose over 85% of your initial value if you purchased a brand new land rover.

This is extreme since most cars usually have a price floor that they will hover around but land rovers continue to plummet.

At this point, it would be wise to just cut your losses and drive a more reliable car despite seeing how cheap land rovers can be.

Not great daily driver and commuter

In its newest model of land rover discovery, its mpg is:

  1. 19 mpg in city
  2. 23 mpg in highway

Considering how many issues can come up for just average (or sub-average) mpg ranking, this translates very poorly for a daily driver and commuter.

Great daily drivers are robust and rarely break down with decent or excellent mpg rates, which is the opposite of a cheap land rover.  ​​

Maintenance Costs and Upkeep

Another factor in the pricing of rovers in the maintenance costs and upkeep. When you buy a vehicle, the price tag on the actual car is just the beginning. Buyers need to take into consideration things like fuel economy (how many miles per gallon a car can run) and maintenance costs before making a decision about whether they can afford a car. Often with used vehicles, a low price tag can suggest that the car is expensive or difficult to maintain.

Looking at Land Rover maintenance costs on RepairPal, it’s easy to see why so many are eager to get someone to take their rover off their hands. Land Rover SUVs are listed as having an average yearly maintenance cost of $1,174. This is astronomically higher than the average maintenance for other popular SUVs. For example, the Toyota RAV4 has an average maintenance cost of only $429. While it might be tempting to snag a cheap, used Land Rover for what seems like a great deal, be sure to take these hefty upkeep costs into account before making the final purchase.

Why are Rovers so Inexpensive?

Despite the hefty price tag on new Land Rovers, it is pretty common to come across a cheap used rover if you’re on the market for a used vehicle. When Gear Patrol took a look at the used market, they were able to find five used Land Rovers listed for less than $7,000. One of the vehicles, a 2006 Land Rover Range Rover Sport, was listed at only $4,800, which is an insane price for even a used car! What they don’t mention, though, is that you’ll probably have to spend just as much money to keep it running for the next few years.

Though Land Rovers have a luxurious reputation as being an expensive, rugged vehicle, they also have a reputation for being unreliable. For many, Land Rovers can become a financial albatross that they can’t wait to get rid of—hence the cheap listings on the used car market. Most auto experts would advise against buying a Land Rover or Range Rover at all due to their poor reliability ratings, but you should definitely steer clear of cheap listings like these, no matter how tempting!

Wrapping it Up

To wrap things up, it isn’t a lucky coincidence if you’ve noticed cheap Range Rovers and Land Rovers on the used car market. Vehicles manufactured under the Land Rover brand by the Jaguar Land Rover company tend to have extremely high depreciation rates, and buyers should take caution when considering them.

These depreciation rates are so high due to a combination of poor reliability and high maintenance costs, which make these vehicles too difficult for the average owner to maintain. If you have a lot of money to burn or want a Range Rover just for the looks, go for it! Otherwise, there are many more practical SUVs to take a look at, such as the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Outback. 

Be sure to stay updated on the latest car trends as well—

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