What’s your classic VW (really) worth?

All older cars, VWs included, have enjoyed a boom period recently with prices escalating out of all recognition. Triumphs, classic Fords, iconic BMWs – they’ve all massively gone up in price in the last few years. And we daren’t even touch on the thorny issue of Porsche 911 values. But the question is, is a rise in selling prices good or bad for the owners of these vehicles?

Split window bus values have been subject to the most dramatic increases of all over the years. A vehicle bought 25 years ago for a pittance or swapped between mates in exchange for ‘a drink’ might now be worth the thick end of £30k. But has that ruined it for owners? Perhaps it means it’s now become just too precious for the family weekend away, or too ‘nickable’ to be left in the firm’s car park during the day. Worst still, with such a lofty price tag around its neck – can they justify keeping it at all?

split bus

Some argue that the real enthusiast is being forced to sell and a new type of owner attracted more by image than mechanical ingenuity is emerging. As they become the must have ‘toy’ for the former TV soap star or celebrity chef will we see our beloved classic VWs occupying the sought after Mayfair parking places where the Silver Shadow and glittering Merc once stood? And forget the hope of seeing such vehicles at shows, they’ll all be in lock-ups or in private collections.

And it’s not just the value of old air-cooled VWs that’s under debate. If you’re the proud owner of a Mk2 Polo, would you prefer that they still sold for £100, or are you pleased that even scruffy ones are now being advertised for £1500? Is the seller having a laugh, or is it about time we valued our own cars more to allow prices to rise higher? Is it the fact that it’s a Volkswagen – the people’s car – that’s at the root of the problem? After all, you wouldn’t get a Porsche owner moaning if someone offered them £50k for a tired 911 that they only paid £15k for 10 years ago.

If prices go up, will it mean more of those fast disappearing ‘80s/90s VWs will start being preserved? Rising values here you could argue is a good thing.


Fortunately rare doesn’t always mean expensive. An early Polo Breadvan in poverty spec with auto transmission might be like rocking horse poo, but it will probably never make as much money as a nice Mk1 Golf GTI. Is that a good or bad thing we wonder? Likewise, will Passat B2 values eventually shoot through the roof? After all, they are a rarer sight than Oak Green Mk2 GTis? With cars like this which might only appeal to a small niche of enthusiasts, we suspect there will always be a ceiling on values.

What do you think?


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage

4 responses to: What’s your classic VW (really) worth?

  1. I’m thinking of buying a completely restored 1966 Vw panel van paying 20k is it value for money advise would be much appreciated thanks Andy.

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