Find the depreciation rate of your Volkswagen Jetta in the graph below.
All vehicles depreciate, or lose value, beginning at the time of purchase, and the same goes for the Volkswagen Jetta. Usually, the most depreciation occurs in the first year after buying the vehicle. After the first year, a Jetta will depreciate at a slower rate until it reaches the six-year mark. Each vehicle depreciates at a different rate than others. Knowing the Volkswagen Jetta depreciation rate can help you understand the value and total costs of owning one.
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 Volkswagen Jetta to see our reliability ratings for all years of the Jetta between 2001-2021. We also cover MPG, safety ratings, and a number of other factors. We pulled data from Jettas registered in our app and surveyed owners to get you data-backed answers on just how good or bad each year of the Jetta is.
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Volkswagen Jetta Depreciation
|Model Years||Mileage||Amount Depreciated||Residual Value Percentage||Resale Value|
This chart shows the approximate depreciation for a Volkswagen Jetta. It’s based on Kelley Blue Book data since 2001, assuming a Jetta 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 2004, 2005, 2010, and 2013, may have even appreciated due to the heightened levels of inflation created.
Factors That Impact the Volkswagen Jetta Depreciation Rate
Volkswagen, more commonly known as VW, makes a lineup of cars, SUVs, and compact vehicles. The German automaker brands itself as unconventional and fun, known for past models such as the Beetle and the VW Bus. While it’s believed to be a quality brand, Volkswagen usually falls below other car brands in terms of dependability. This reputation for sub-par reliability can lead VW vehicles to depreciate at a faster rate than comparable cars. Volkswagen’s reputation aside, here are other factors that can impact the depreciation of your Jetta.
The age of your Jetta can be a significant factor in its resale value. A vehicle’s model year refers to its generation, including the features and pricing it had when it went on the market. Most automakers, including Volkswagen, refresh their vehicles every year. For example, a manufacturer may revise the interior styling or add updated technology. Some years, car makers completely redesign a vehicle, giving it a facelift to make it more competitive with others in its class.
Since vehicles can change from year to year, some model years are considered better than others. For example, one model year may have better safety features and reliability ratings than another. In addition, outgoing model years can depreciate quickly once a new generation arrives on the lot. The model year can impact the depreciation and resale value of your Jetta.
What kind of vehicle you drive can affect how much you’ll get when you sell it. A vehicle’s body type, or body style, denotes its size, configuration, and classification. Common body types include sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, convertibles, sports cars, station wagons, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. In today’s market, SUVs and pickup trucks are in high demand, so they usually depreciate more slowly as a result. Small luxury cars usually have the fastest depreciation rate.
The VW Jetta is a compact sedan. In the early 2000s, it also came in a five-door wagon. Generally, sedans depreciate more quickly than larger SUVs and pickup trucks. However, if the market starts trending toward small, compact cars, the Jetta and other similar sedans may depreciate at a slower rate.
Like age, mileage is another factor you’re probably familiar with when it comes to resale value. High-mileage vehicles typically have more wear and tear, and they’re also more likely to need extensive maintenance or even advanced repairs. This can bring their value down.
The Federal Highway Administration estimates the average driver travels slightly over 1,000 miles each month. For this reason, we base our model on 12,000 miles of driving per year. If you put more miles on your Jetta each year, the vehicle may depreciate more quickly. However, if you drive less than that, your Jetta may hold its value for a longer period.
A vehicle’s condition refers to its mechanical performance and appearance. Routine maintenance can keep a vehicle in good condition with minimal wear and tear. For example, if you follow Volkswagen’s maintenance schedule for your Jetta and avoid major accidents, you may get more for the vehicle when you’re ready to sell it.
While regular maintenance is key for resale value, there may come a point when it’s not worth investing in the vehicle any longer. For example, if repairs and maintenance cost more than the vehicle’s total value, it may be better to sell the car and get a new one. You don’t want to continue to put money into a vehicle that won’t net you a positive return when you sell it.
For some people, color is the most important consideration when purchasing a vehicle. Turns out, color can affect a car’s resale value in the future. According to a study by iSeeCars, some colors depreciate at slower rates than others. The best colors for low depreciation are yellow, beige, orange, and green, while colors such as gold, brown, black, and silver tend to lose their value more quickly. If you want the highest possible value for your Jetta, consider purchasing one in a color that depreciates at a slower rate.
Other Costs of Volkswagen Jetta Ownership
The depreciation rate is important to consider when determining a vehicle’s cost of ownership, but it’s only one factor. Here are some other costs of owning a VW Jetta.
When determining your premium, a car insurance company will consider various factors, including the type of vehicle you drive. Insurers consider some cars to be less of a risk than others, especially if they have good safety and reliability ratings. In general, the VW Jetta is less expensive to insure than other cars. It costs about $134 per month to insure a Jetta. Comparatively, the national average cost of car insurance is $147 per month.
In addition to insurance, maintenance is another cost to consider when owning a vehicle. Regular maintenance can keep your Jetta running smoothly, which can improve its resale value. On average, it’s slightly more expensive to maintain a Jetta than other vehicles. Maintenance for a Jetta costs $748 per year. The average maintenance cost for all cars is $694 per year.
Maintenance costs can vary by model year, so take a look at our graph to see the average costs for your specific Jetta. Some model years may have higher maintenance costs. Specifically, these model years have various problems, including a high chance of mechanical failure, that make them more costly to maintain:
The Best Model Year To Buy a Volkswagen Jetta
Based on factors including price and reliability (but not depreciation), our choice for the best Volkswagen Jetta model years to buy are the 2011-2015, 2016-2018, 2019-2020, and 2021, but check out our article on the best and worst years of the Jetta to get the whole story.
These model years have many positives, including great reliability ratings, efficient fuel economy, and a low cost of ownership. While these models fall outside the depreciation sweet spot, they can still provide you with a good overall value for your purchase.
Buying a Volkswagen Jetta New vs. Used
|Years Since Purchased||Depreciated Value||With Inflation|
When purchasing a VW Jetta, it’s helpful to consider depreciation as you decide whether to buy new or used. If you buy a two-year used Jetta, it’s already accumulated $5,519 in depreciation at the time of purchase. Accounting for inflation, that makes it worth $17,278 today. In comparison, a brand-new Jetta will have a depreciated value of $18,391 in three years, with inflation factored, after losing nearly $5,000 of its value. By purchasing a used version, you’re letting the former driver lose that money over the first three years while getting a car that still has a high value.
Make sure you do your research when buying a used vehicle. You can access resources such as Kelley Blue Book to estimate the value of the car you’re considering to ensure you get a good price. Additionally, learn about the car’s insurance and maintenance expenses to determine the overall cost of ownership.
The data in this article applies to a base trim for the Volkswagen Jetta with standard options and equipment. If you purchase a higher trim or a model with advanced features, it may have a different value than what’s presented here. Additionally, other factors can influence the resale value of your specific Jetta. For example, the COVID-era chip shortage has recently impacted resale values. Other factors, such as where and how you sell the car, can also make a difference.
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
In general, Volkswagen Jettas hold their value well, but they depreciate more quickly than SUVs and pickup trucks. Many factors can determine the price you get for your Jetta when you sell it, including its age, mileage, condition, and color. In addition, the way you sell your vehicle can affect the price you get.
For example, if you have a black 2021 Volkswagen Jetta S with standard equipment in good condition, you will get about $18,001 for the car if you trade it in to a dealership. However, if you sell the same car privately, you can get $20,209 for it, according to Kelley Blue Book data.
It’s important to consider the whole picture when deciding which model year Jetta to buy. Depreciation is one factor, but you should also consider reliability, maintenance, and other ownership costs. Based on all factors, we recommend the following model years of the Jetta for their reliability ratings, low chance of repairs, and reasonable ownership costs:
Some model years have lower reliability scores, an increased chance of mechanical failure, and higher ownership costs. These are the model years we recommend avoiding, based on those factors:
Maintenance is normally the contributing factor to how long a vehicle lasts, but the Volkswagen Jetta doesn’t seem to get up too high in mileage. If you plan on it making it past 150,000 miles, regular maintenance is crucial. Based on our data, a high-mileage Volkswagen Jetta could be considered anything over 125,000 miles.
Older Volkswagen Jetta models (2001-2010) show an average mileage range between 75,000 and 162,500. The 2005 Jetta has one of the highest mileages in our surveys, but there are a couple that get more than 150,000 miles. If you decide to buy a Jetta with a lot of miles, the resale value is going to be cheaper, but you won’t have a lot of room to make repairs before the car is worth nothing.
If you want to avoid the most depreciation, buy a VW Jetta between 2004-2007. While these model years may have reliability issues, they’re the best option if you want to purchase a Jetta based on depreciation alone.
(2023). All Models. Volkswagen. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2023, from https://www.vw.com/en/models.html
(2023). Volkswagen. Consumer Reports. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/volkswagen/
(2023). Are Volkswagens Good and Reliable Cars? Mechanic Base. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2023, from https://mechanicbase.com/market/are-volkswagens-good-reliable-cars/
(2022). VW Jetta Generations. Autolist. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2023, from https://www.autolist.com/volkswagen-jetta/volkswagen-jetta-generations
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