I initially started out with grand ideas of tracking down how many Land Rover Defenders are remaining in existence, but digging deeper I realised that it may not be as straight forward as that....
The UK has more Defenders than any other country; approximately 35% of all Defenders every built have been registered in the UK. I say "have been", because vehicles are being imported to the UK all the time, as well as being exported regularly or entering private hands from military cast vehicles. Defining how many "UK" Defenders there are (or were) is quite hard because of this and also because some vehicles were sold through an foreign dealership in a foreign specification to a UK citizen who first registered it in the UK. Therefore it cannot be told how many "UK" vehicles because measure do you use and which point in history?
Also defining the meaning of "on the road", or "how many left" depends on how the data is collected and what it is telling us, as these two concepts are not analogous. "How many left" might mean those vehicles that are still in generally complete condition, albeit scattered to the winds of the British Isles. This will never be known, as whilst there are records of a vehicle having existed at some point, unless verified as being scrapped, or recently put through an MOT, an absence of data does not mean it is gone forever.
How many are "on the road" is an easier concept to decipher and that is the metric that this page uses. That in itself is a rather nebulous term, because whether a vehicle is on or off the road depends on the intention of the owner. So we must reverse engineer the owner's intention from the data we have. There is an assumption that if a vehicle has a valid MOT and is taxed, then it is "on the road". The moment it fails an MOT, is it "off the road"? Well, we might say that if the owner wants to keep it on the road, they will try to get a passed MOT within 14 days, whereby they can have a free re-test. If the vehicle goes beyond this then we can assume there are bigger problems and the vehicle is not "on the road". That isn't to say it won't ever come back on the road, but as the data collected here changes weekly, it would be valid to categorise it as such and put it back "on the road" if it passes an MOT in future.
The data on Defenders can be considered more or less complete, as a census of the population. The Ninety/One Ten data is more sparse, as they are older and are less likely to have graced a modern system with its data. As such, the data here is based on known vehicles, but the real number of these registered in the 80s will be a lot higher.
(Since there is a high confidence that all UK-registered Defenders have been identified)
How many left from those 159,778 Defenders in January 2023?284 Unknown 28 Scrapped 9,241 Exported 59,666 Off the road 90,559 On the road
How many left from those 41,524 Ninety/One Tens in January 2023?156 Unknown 8 Scrapped 5,357 Exported 26,206 Off the road 9,797 On the road
Data updated weekly