Find the depreciation rate of your Jeep Wrangler in the graph below.
Every vehicle starts to depreciate, or lose value, the moment you purchase it. The Jeep Wrangler is no different. The greatest depreciation occurs in the first 12 months. After this drop in value over the first year, the Wrangler depreciates at a slower rate every year until it eventually evens out at the eight-year mark. Vehicles depreciate at different rates depending on the make and model. Knowing the Jeep Wrangler depreciation rate can help you understand the long-term value of the vehicle, as well as its total cost of ownership.
Keep in mind that just because the vehicle costs the least to own in the sweet spot we have outlined here, you still may not want to own the vehicle during these depreciation sweet spot years. Although vehicles depreciate less as they get older, they have more repairs. Duh right? However, keep in mind that repairs don’t just cost you money, they cost you time. Reliability is the difference between being able to make it to your destination on time or missing an opportunity because the car broke down.
Check out our article on the best and worst years of the Jeep Wrangler to see our reliability ratings for all years of the Wrangler between 2001-2021. We also cover MPG, safety ratings, and a number of other factors. We pulled data from Wranglers registered in our app and surveyed owners to get you data-backed answers on just how good or bad each year of the Wrangler is.
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Jeep Wrangler Depreciation
|Model Years||Mileage||Amount Depreciated||Residual Value Percentage||Resale Value|
The chart above conveys the approximate depreciation for a Jeep Wrangler. It is based on Kelley Blue Book data since 2001, assuming a vehicle in standard trim, a generic color such as black or white, and a mileage of 12,000 per year.
Keep in mind that the auto market was heavily affected in 2020 and beyond. Automakers selling new cars during the COVID pandemic raised prices which caused a spike in demand in the used car market as people tried to save money. Many automakers, however, did not drop prices after the pandemic, they kept them so they could make a larger profit.
This is why the most recent years of many vehicles have seemingly experienced less depreciation. Some, such as 2005 and 2010, may have even appreciated due to the heightened levels of inflation created.
Factors That Impact the Jeep Wrangler Depreciation Rate
With roots dating back to World War II, Jeep has a long history of creating durable vehicles with four-wheel-drive capability. Jeep has become well known for its sporty off-roaders, garnering a loyal following of outdoor enthusiasts. However, it usually trails behind other automakers for quality and reliability. While Jeep may not top the list of reliable car brands, it still enjoys immense popularity among its customer base. For this reason, used Wranglers may have good resale values simply because there’s a demand for them. Besides Jeep’s reputation, here are other factors that can affect the depreciation of your Wrangler.
The age of your Wrangler can be a big factor in its depreciation rate. Age refers to the vehicle’s model year, which denotes its generation and pricing. New model years tend to depreciate more quickly, especially after an automaker releases a new generation of the vehicle. In addition, every model year has slightly different features and safety technologies since car manufacturers tend to update their vehicles each year. Some model years may be better than others, and they usually have higher resale values as a result.
A vehicle’s body type can impact its depreciation rate. Body type, also known as body style, describes a vehicle based on its size and configuration. Common body styles include sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, convertibles, sports cars, station wagons, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and pickup trucks. As a general rule, SUVs and pickup trucks depreciate more slowly in the North American market, while small luxury cars have the fastest depreciation rates.
The Jeep Wrangler is a midsize SUV known for its off-roading capability. The Wrangler and other vehicles in its class usually have a slower depreciation rate than small cars, such as sedans and hatchbacks. If the demand for small cars grows, the Wrangler and similar SUVs may start to depreciate more quickly.
Like age and body type, mileage is another factor affecting a vehicle’s resale value. Usually, cars with higher mileage have greater wear and tear, and they may even need advanced repairs or maintenance. That’s why they usually have lower resale values than vehicles with fewer miles.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average person drives a little over 1,000 miles each month. For this reason, we base our models on 12,000 miles of driving per year. If you drive more miles than that each year, your Wrangler may depreciate more quickly. Conversely, driving fewer miles may help your Wrangler retain its value better.
A vehicle’s overall condition includes both its mechanics and its physical appearance. A car in good condition will have less noticeable wear and tear, which often makes it worth more. You can keep your Wrangler in good condition by following the recommended maintenance schedule. If you perform routine maintenance and avoid other major damage, you can potentially improve its resale value.
It’s important to note that it won’t always be worth spending the money to maintain a vehicle. If repairs to the car cost more than what it’s worth, it may be time to sell the vehicle. After all, you don’t want to continue spending money on a car when you won’t see an equal return on its resale value.
Even a vehicle’s color can have an impact on its depreciation and value. A recent study by iSeeCars found that some colors depreciate at a slower rate than others. Specifically, colors such as yellow, beige, green, and orange depreciate the slowest. Vehicles in those colors may retain their value better because there’s a lower supply of them on the market. On the other end of the color spectrum, vehicles in black, brown, and gold have the highest depreciation rates, possibly because they’re more common. With this in mind, you may consider getting a Wrangler in a color that depreciates more slowly.
Other Costs of Jeep Wrangler Ownership
It’s important to think about the depreciation rate when purchasing a vehicle, but there are other costs to consider. Here are some other ownership costs for a Jeep Wrangler.
You must insure a vehicle before you can drive it legally, so make sure to factor in this cost when budgeting for a new car. While your own driving habits and history can affect the rates you get, the vehicle you drive can also make a difference. Typically, vehicles with advanced safety features and good ratings have lower insurance costs, because companies consider them to be less of a risk than other cars on the road.
The Jeep Wrangler costs slightly less to insure than other vehicles. On average, it costs $122 per month to insure a Wrangler, compared with $147 per month for the average of all cars. Your insurance rates can also vary based on where you live. For example, the Wrangler is one of the cheapest cars to insure in California.
Throughout your ownership, you’ll also have to maintain your Jeep Wrangler. This maintenance includes oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine services to keep the vehicle in good condition. It costs $623 per year, on average, to maintain a Wrangler. That’s less than the average maintenance cost for all vehicles, which is $694 per year.
When purchasing a Jeep Wrangler, it’s worth researching which model years have higher maintenance costs. Some model years have issues that may cost you more on maintenance and repairs. You can use our graph to compare the maintenance costs for different Wrangler model years. Specifically, these model years have low reliability and may cost more to maintain:
The Best Model Year To Buy a Jeep Wrangler
Based on factors including price and reliability (but not depreciation), our choice for the best Jeep Wrangler model years to buy are the 2003-2004, 2006, 2010, 2012-2016, 2017, and 2019-2021, but check out our article on the best and worst years of the Wrangler to get the whole story.
Accounting for depreciation, we recommend purchasing a 2003, 2004, or 2006 Jeep Wrangler. These model years not only have excellent reliability scores but also are within the depreciation sweet spot.
Buying a Jeep Wrangler New vs. Used
|Years Since Purchased||Depreciated Value||With Inflation|
When deciding whether to buy a new or used Jeep Wrangler, you should consider the depreciation rate. After three years of ownership, a 2020 Wrangler has depreciated by about $10,239.31. Today, its value is $23,899 or $34,138.31, accounting for inflation. In comparison, a brand-new Jeep Wrangler will depreciate by about $9,396 over the same three-year period. At that time, it will be worth $21,924 or $25,753, adjusted for inflation.
You can see that both the new and used Wrangler depreciate by about the same amount, but when you purchase the used one, you let someone else experience that steep loss in value over the first few years. By the time you purchase the vehicle, the greatest depreciation has already occurred. Do your research to find used models with the lowest depreciation costs. You can use resources such as Kelley Blue Book to estimate the value of a used Wrangler. In addition, keep other ownership costs in mind, such as maintenance and insurance, when shopping for a used vehicle.
The data we’ve highlighted in this article applies to a Jeep Wrangler in a base trim with standard options. If you purchase a higher trim or a model with advanced options, it may retain a higher value. Of course, many factors can impact the resale value of your Wrangler, including its overall condition and whether you sell it privately or trade it in to a dealer. Some factors, such as the COVID-era chip shortage, are completely beyond your control, but they can still affect the price you get when you sell your Wrangler.
Keep in mind, there are large economic factors at play here too and the sale of new cars has caused shifts in the used market too. There is a stark difference in the cost of vehicles due to car manufacturers seeking higher profit margins after COVID as detailed by CNN and posted by CBS channel 58:
“… (T)he auto industry saw sky-high profits even as sales plummeted. Domestic manufacturers of cars and car parts saw a profit of $32 billion through the third quarter of 2022 (the latest data available) — their largest profit since 2016. Car dealerships also reported record-breaking profits through Q3, according to auto-retail advisers Haig Partners.
That’s because pandemic-era pent-up consumer demand remained strong as supply shifted, allowing automakers to increase their prices and their profit margins. Cars and trucks were sold nearly as soon as they hit dealership lots, and the average price paid for a vehicle in December soared to a near-record high of $46,382, according to J.D. Power.
Data from the Labor Department’s November Consumer Price Index shows American consumers are paying about 20% more for cars than they were in 2019.
The trend could continue into next year — research website Edmunds expects new-car sales to hit 14.8 million in 2023, a marginal increase from last year but well below pre-pandemic levels.
The auto industry has entered a new era: Less choice, higher prices and larger profit margins. So far it seems to be working for them.”
This shift by car companies to create higher profit margins by taking advantage of the heavily-reported-on chip shortage panic of COVID has had rebounding effects upon the value of used cars.
Be aware that newer years (the latest 3-4 model years) may be inflated in price because of this and depending on how big this problem is for the model you are considering – it may even be inflating the price of the older model years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Depreciation
Generally, Jeep Wranglers hold their value fairly well compared with other vehicles on the market. The resale value of a Wrangler can depend on many factors, including its age, mileage, condition, and even color. In addition, it can make a difference where and how you choose to sell your Wrangler.
For example, if you own a 2021 black Jeep Wrangler in the base trim with standard equipment, you can get $26,577 if you trade it in to a dealer. However, you can sell the same vehicle privately and make $29,316, according to Kelley Blue Book data.
When purchasing a used Wrangler, the best model years to buy are 2003-2004, 2006, 2010, 2012-2016, 2017, and 2019-2021. These model years have many advantages, including good reliability scores, impressive powertrains, and lower maintenance costs. Among these model years, the 2003, 2004, and 2006 Wranglers all fall within the depreciation sweet spot, making them an excellent value.
There are also some model years you’re better off avoiding when buying a used Wrangler. In particular, we recommend avoiding these model years:
These model years have issues that make them worse than others, including low reliability and safety scores, poor fuel economy, and high service costs.
Though odometer readings are not the only factor at play when determining high mileage for a vehicle, it’s a good place to start. Looking over 20 years of Wrangler data, we can see that 200,000 miles would definitely be a high-water mark.
Across those data points, the average Wrangler shows 119,000 miles on the odometer, and only the 2000 model year hits 200,000. In 2003 and 2004, this figure averaged about 175,000 miles, while most other years have far lower mileage. But in a show of the famous Jeep customer loyalty, 25% of owners think their Jeep will hit 200,000 miles versus just 4% who don’t.
To avoid the most depreciation, purchase a Jeep Wrangler model between 2002-2007. That’s the depreciation sweet spot for the Wrangler. Make sure you buy a 2007 Wrangler to get at least five years in this sweet spot.
(2023.) Jeep. Consumer Reports. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/jeep/
(2023.) The Jeep Brand: The Story of the Legend. Jeep. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2023, from https://www.jeep.com/history.html
(2022.) Average Annual Miles Per Driver by Age Group. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2023, from https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm
(2023.) The Best and Worst Car Colors for Resale Value. iSeeCars. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2023, from https://www.iseecars.com/car-color-study
(2023.) Jeep Wrangler Insurance Cost. The Zebra. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2023, from https://www.thezebra.com/auto-insurance/vehicles/jeep/wrangler/
(2023.) What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance? The Zebra. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2023, from https://www.thezebra.com/auto-insurance/how-to-shop/average-auto-insurance/
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