Transporters depreciation over time

We will look at how well VW Transporters hold their value over time and which models to look out for amongst the VW T4 models that are now going up in value!

do vw transporters hold their value

VW Transporters are one of the Europe’s most popular vans. They are renowned for their reliability, economic engines, and high build quality.

VW Transporter value increases in 2020 and 2021

The year 2020 and 2021 has had strange effects on the second hand VW campervan market. Many older Transporter models that are already converted have seen a sharp increase in their value!

Some of the older well converted VW T4’s with pop tops have added up to 30% to 40% overnight.

With Covid 19 restrictions on international travel along with reduced hotel availability. The UK population seems to have turned to Transporters as a great, safe way to take holidays.

The expectation is that 2021 will continue in this manor. What is your VW Transporter worth now!?

If you are looking to snap up a bargain, the best advice would be to buy early in the year as the expectation is that prices will rise further.

Buying new – VW Transporter T6 depreciation

As with all vehicles, the heaviest depreciation is suffered in the first few months of ownership. Some vehicles suffer a drop in value of up to 35% in the first year of ownership.

do ex demo transporter hold their value
This was bought ex Demo with 1.5k on the clock

The VW Transporter T6 is not protected from the initial hit to its value. In the first year, depending on mileage and condition you can expect to lose around 15% – 20%.

If this initial drop in value is a concern that you want to avoid, the best way to skip the bulk of it is to look at the preregistered models that are 6 months old and classed as old stock or alternatively look at ex demos that may have 2000 – 3000 miles on.

Do older VW Transporter T6’s hold their value?

After the first year, the VW T6 depreciation slows down dramatically. Factors such as mileage and condition start coming into play rather than just it’s age.

Used VW Transporters in the T6 range do hold their value well.

do older vw t6 transporters hold their value
A nice used VW T6 with pop top conversion

The older VW Transporter models have paved the way for being renowned for achieving high miles. You can frequently see 25 and 30 year old VW T4’s being driven with over 250k miles on the clock.

It is thanks to this reputation that has been built up over the 6 generations of Transporters that now holds the newer models values higher than other equivalent vehicles in its class (Transits, etc).

What specification VW Transporter holds its value the best?

The higher specification VW Transporter models hold their value better than the factory finished lower specifications. If you are buying a Transporter for its residual value then the following options will help you most at point of resale:

  • Factory Kombi models with the tailgate (The barndoor is way less popular for camper conversions)
  • Either a T30 or T32 specification
  • Highline trim
  • Either the 150bhp DSG auto or 4motion models
Best VW Transporter specification to buy for value retention
The VW Transporter tailgate models are significantly more desirable on the secondhand market.

If you need to get the panel van for business use, then make sure it is the highline specification with tailgate.

Optional extras that are over and above the Highline specification do not generally hold their value so are best avoided unless you can get them thrown in on an ex-demo or pre-registered deal.

At point of resale on panel vans, consider spending £500 or so getting carpet lining and side windows installed. This will usually add more value than the cost to install them.

Do VW Transporter T5’s hold their value

As with the older VW T6’s the value of the VW T5 is reflected by the level of trim, miles and condition. For a poor condition, well used panel van you can pick them up as low as £5k which is a whopping 84% less than the RRP when new.

A used VW T5 Caravelle

The VW T5 has been running since 2004, after the large initial first year value decrease (say 15%) this would then reflect an average depreciation of around £1.5k per year (if it were on a straight line basis) which is still incredibly low.

Some of the best condition 2004 models can still be seen selling for 8k and upwards and even more for those that are accessorised or converted examples.

Good condition VW T5 panel van trim sell at a premium due to the  buoyant secondhand campervan conversion market.

Is a VW Transporter a smart investment as a commercial vehicle?

The use of a VW Transporter T6 for commercial purposes is an extremely smart way of minimising loses on vehicle depreciation.

Despite the slightly higher price at the outside, the lower running costs and ultimate slower depreciation make them a sound choice.

vw transporter commercial

Many trades people (and fleet service businesses) in the UK, buy Transporters (ex-demo or pre-registered is usually preferred) on 3 or 4 year finance deals,

They then run them for commercial use over the term of the finance and then either carry out a cheap conversion to then sell it on for a good return or alternatively sell them on as panel vans which will still return a decent enough price.

They then use this lump sum as a down payment on new Transporters and repeat the cycle. This keeps the commercial vehicles fresh.

Are VW T4 going up in value

The VW T4 prices hit rock bottom around 2017 – 2018, You could pick up a knackered example for as low as 1k – 1.5k. Most of these MOT failures, and engine write offs have now been snapped up and broken down for parts.

The remaining T4’s (of which there are still plenty about!) are starting to creep up in value! So which model VW T4 Transporters hold their value best?

The more desirable 2.5TDI’s pack a bit more punch and sell for slightly higher than the 1.9 counter parts however the lower tuned 1.9 is renowned for having the more reliable motor in its low tuned state.

If you are thinking about buying a T4 I highly recommend you test drive a 1.9 and a 2.5, they are very different in terms of power. I have owned two 1.9’s and my most recent 2.5TDI and personally I couldn’t go back…

The 88bhp engine found in the 1.9TD isn’t suitable for everyone but does return better MPG and reliability.

are vw t4 going up in value
I paid £2,200 for my 2.5TDI in 2017 with 12 months MOT
VW T4 Transporter going up in value
It is converted inside

In 2020 when Covid hit, it escalated the demand for the “cheaper” Campervans in the UK as they offer a way of travelling without being reliant on hotels or campsites.

The value of converted (and partially converted) T4’s shot up alongside other similar style campervans such as the Mazda Bongo.

You can now expect to pay anywhere between 6k and 9k for a well converted, kitted out VW T4 with pop top, rock and roll bed and good service history.

The models around the 100k miles especially are becoming highly desirable.

I think it is safe to say that the VW T4’s are at the turning point to becoming an appreciating classic.

So which model VW Transporters hold their value the best?

If you are concerned about depreciation you are best off going for an older model. The VW T4’s will not depreciate any further (other than for miles or condition).

The VW T6’s will depreciate the quickest from the range however they do hold their value much better than other similar vans in the medium sized van class.

Ultimately however, if you plan on keeping your Transporter long term and keep up with the routine services, they all offer great value for money.

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