The VW camper van has been an iconic vehicle since the 1950s. Who hasn’t seen one on the TV, in movies or in the flesh, so to speak?
The question is, are VW campers a good investment? The easiest way to answer that is to compare a similar age and size, but different make of camper van with the VW. You’ll find 99 times out of 100 the VW will cost you more. That’s because they don’t depreciate like other makes.
Good news if you already have one, but not quite so good if you’re looking to buy one. If you’re lucky enough to be able to buy a VW camper and you find one in excellent condition, that’s available to buy, then don’t hesitate.
Be prepared to protect your investment, though. If you do, then you’ll find it will be worth considerably more in a few years’ time. And remember, the fantastic holidays you are about to embark on.
Before You Buy A VW Camper Van
How much is your budget? That’s the major thing here. There’s no such thing as a cheap VW camper. If you buy new, you could even fork out upwards of £70,000, for a special edition. Not a small price to pay.
The older VW campers have some idiosyncrasies all of their own, so repairs are not so easy to handle. You’ll probably need more than a passing resemblance to a mechanic if you want to save money on running repairs. You might give some thought to engine size.
A family of four loaded up with your belongings will give a small engine some headaches and if you intend to travel up any mountains, well, you can pretty much forget it.
Unless you’re a mechanic or at least mechanically minded, I would advise always taking an expert with you when viewing a VW camper, especially if it’s a few years old.
Do Some Years and Models of VW Campers Hold Their Value Better?
It’s normal, nostalgia will reduce the depreciation of most VW campers, along with lavishing love and attention on the camper.
Key Factors That Determine A VW Camper Value
- Popularity – as mentioned, nostalgia has a lot to do with one maintaining its value, if the model you own happens to be in demand it will not depreciate as fast as some other. If it’s well maintained that will also drive demand.
- Features – the more features incorporated into your van, the better. If it increases the comfort and convenience of a prospective new buyer, they will pay more. For example, it might not suit buyers to have a manual change on the van, automatic transmission might be a better solution.
- Age – generally age goes against getting a good price for any vehicle, but if it’s vintage or of nostalgic value to a buyer that can make a difference. When they build newer and more modern versions, they’re usually accompanied with up-to-date features, such as Bluetooth, GPS navigators, etc. Buyers are more inclined to look at that situation.
- Condition – If any vehicle is beautifully maintained and cared for, it will always help the price. One thing you won’t be able to avoid is the mileage. If you use your camper every year and cover thousands of miles then, of course, it will have high mileage. The only way to negate this is to take care of your van meticulously. High mileage doesn’t signify there will be something wrong with the engine if it’s maintained correctly.
Buying A VW Camper For Investment? Look At These Models
Taking into account all the factors from above, these models hold their value better than most.
- VW Transporter Type 2 – Probably one of the most iconic VW camper models, the ever-popular bus from the 1950s and 60s. Because of their age, they require constant attention and upkeep.
- VW T5 – this model began production in 2003, making it a far more updated version of the camper. Seriously good campervan.
- VW California Camper – the California camper has very low depreciation. Known as the California Volkswagen Motorhome they introduced it in 1988.
Are Some VW Camper Van Models More Valuable?
There’s been a bit of a resurgence in recent years because of the increase in all things outdoors. So that being said, it has helped the VW camper get back some of its lustre.
Two models stand out as the most valuable in the long line of VW campers.
- Type 2 Transporter – this is the vehicle most easily recognizable from movies and TV shows. Hugely popular in the 60s. Of course, the technology we expect as standard on new vehicles today wasn’t available 60 years ago. So the camper is short on those kinds of refinements. But for all that, it has plenty of room inside for sleeping arrangements.
- VW California – not available in the USA, which is strange, but available in the UK and Europe. The van has become very popular, has more up-to-date features, but still maintains that nostalgic feel.
It maintains its value tremendously well, between 70-75% of its purchase price even after 3 years. It will comfortably sleep up to 4 adults and is brilliant if you want to take it for family holidays.
Tips To Keep Your VW Campervan As An Investment
Some of these quick tips are going to be obvious to most people, but it’s worth being reminded from time to time.
Do Not Overload
Volkswagen themselves undertook the research that found up to 50% of drivers overload their vehicles. It’s unsafe, will increase running costs and will more than likely increase the cost of maintenance and repairs.
Take Care Of The Paintwork
We’ve all parked in a supermarket car park and come back to the car to find it dinged by some inconsiderate idiot. It’s frustrating and beyond annoying because now you either stump up the cost of repairs or lose some precious no claims bonus. What can you do? But even allowing for this, you must take care of the paintwork.
Any rust or damage will knock down the price, and more than it would have cost you to put right any damage.
Keep Up With The Services
Get its serviced on-time and every time. Use a genuine Volkswagen garage to get your services done. It’s worth it. Because any potential buyer will want to see the service book.
Don’t Forget The Interior
It’s one thing to take care of the outside, but don’t forget the interior. Don’t you just hate stained seats? There’s nothing worse. And so will any buyer you have lined up. Accidents happen. Get yourself a set of removable, washable seat covers to protect the originals.