Jeeps are some of the most popular vehicles in America, and it’s easy to see why. Their extensive lineup of outdoorsy, “Go Anywhere. Do Anything” SUVs can rule the road or the trails with ease. Best of all, Jeeps are affordable vehicles that are always priced competitively, even if you’re on a budget. This is especially true if you shop used. But before you ask yourself, “Where’s the best used Jeep dealer near me?” consider which model may be best for you.
The Jeep lineup includes the classic trailblazing Wrangler, which has the undeniably Jeep exterior, as well as the popular Grand Cherokee, a balanced SUV that’s accumulated more awards than any other SUV on the planet. The Compass is designed for comfort, roomy interiors, and everyday versatility, meaning that it’s the perfect family vehicle, while the Renegade is engineered for safety and durability on tough trails, so it’s perfect for thrilling off-road drives. Not sure what you’re looking for? Talk to the service team at your nearby Jeep dealer, who can help you find the right model, trim, and year that meets the must-haves on your shopping list.
However, some people may be hesitant to shop used, fearing that their investment will be essentially worthless down the road. But did you know that Jeeps maintain their value better than just about any other vehicle, even if you buy used? For a myriad of reasons, which we’ll lay out below, Jeeps stay valuable longer than just about any competing vehicle brand.
Depreciation: The Opposite of Interest
Then a car depreciates, or loses value, the difference between its purchase value––its MSRP as estimated by the auto maker––and its potential resale value increases. Therefore, you get less back from reselling the car than you initially paid for it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid this. Even if you pay for upgrades, a fresh coat of paint, and the occasional detailing job, you aren’t going to make a used car better than a new one.
But of course, if you’re using a vehicle on a regular basis, one can assume that you’re getting your value out of it. So you couldn’t sell it back to someone for its original price, as if you got nothing from it. One of the only possible exceptions is when some auto dealers offer a generous return policy, giving you up to 72 hours or a low mileage limit to drive a vehicle back to the lot and say, “Thanks but no thanks.” The other exception would be if you purchased a classic or rare model.
Thankfully, there are some categories of vehicles that don’t depreciate as quickly as others, nor as low. Shop for a used car, and you’ll enjoy a solid-quality vehicle that doesn’t do the terrible value-sink that a new car does. New vehicles are as valuable (and costly) as they are because you’re paying for its zero mileage, lack of previous ownership, and fresh-from-the-factory appeal––not to mention that new car smell (which, by the way, is replicated when used cars are put up for resale). So once you drive a new car off the auto lot, its value plummets. The car valuation experts at Carfax estimate that a brand-new car can lose up to 40% of its purchase value in its first year of ownership!
On the other hand, used cars don’t have that sparkly new feature or virgin powertrain of new cars, so there’s less to lose once you reuse a vehicle. So not only do you pay less up front for a vehicle like a used Jeep, you lose less over time, and its eventual resale value represents a larger percentage of its initial purchase price (when compared to a new car). This is especially true if you shop Certified Pre-Owned; these refurbished and gently used vehicles seem practically new and come with an excellent warranty straight from the automaker themselves. Certified Pre-Owned cars are usually pricier than other used vehicles, but they may offer an even bigger return when you eventually trade it in.
How Jeep Owners Win
There are a few factors that fight depreciation and help a car retain its value, and it’s in these nifty tricks that Jeep owners come out on top. First is demand. When a car is perceived to be “in-demand,” auto brands and their dealerships have taken note of a certain trend. SUVs like Jeeps are incredibly popular in the American market, likely because of their versatility, mass appeal, and balanced features.
Therefore, even a used Jeep will be more attractive to a potential buyer than a sedan, van, or pickup truck would. For this reason, a dealership will offer you an excellent resale value when eventually you trade it in. Simply put, an auto dealership knows how easy it is to re-sell a used Jeep, so they’ll gladly take it off your hands for a good price.
Then there’s maintenance–and this may be the most important factor. Vehicles retain more value if they’re well-maintained because appropriately serviced vehicles almost always last longer–and they perform better, too. Get regular oil changes, make sure your tires are filled and rotated on a regular basis and take your vehicle in for service as soon as possible when you notice strange behavior. The occasional wash and detailing service wouldn’t hurt, either.
Thankfully, a good Jeep dealership can take care of all of the above for you, especially if you buy a Certified Pre-Owned Jeep, which will likely come with a vehicle warranty and service plan. Yes, it’s true: you pay more for service at a dealership than you would at any old greasy garage, but consider this an investment in your vehicle. The superior service, use of appropriate parts/fluids for your vehicle, and mastery of your vehicle make––all of which you can get at a Jeep dealership’s automotive service center––are key to excellent vehicle maintenance. Keep up your Jeep, and you’ll definitely reap the rewards on trade-in day.
Finally, there’s branding. Luxury cars often retain their value fairly well because the conspicuous consumption of a luxury car gives you a certain reputation boost. Even an old Mercedes-Benz, for instance, will still have some clout because of its undeniable luxury. However, shopping luxury also comes at a much higher purchase cost than non-luxury brands like Jeep.
Also, Jeep does something special. It ages like fine wine, and branding has something to do with that. You see, Jeep has advertised itself as the most rugged, outdoorsy, adventurous, and youthful of the SUV market. Poll the public about which SUV brand is synonymous with the off-road, and Jeep will likely come out on top.
This means that even a used Jeep has a certain charm. So what if you get the occasional scratch, dent, or mud splash on your all-terrain SUV? That just means that you’re using it to its full potential. An adventurous Jeep aficionado will gladly take a well-worn Jeep off your hands, and this adds up to great resale value for you.
If you’re going to invest in a used vehicle, put your money where it’s safe and invest in a Jeep. Best of all, it doesn’t take much of an investment to buy-in. For how well they maintain their value, Jeeps are highly affordable––especially if you buy used or Certified Pre-Owned.
Just remember that the safest place to find a used Jeep is at your local Jeep dealership. Private sales offer no guarantee of quality, much less longevity. Plus, when you shop at your local dealership, you can explore a wide inventory of used Jeeps, like the Compass with its ample safety technology––no matter which edition you find––or a Wrangler outfitted with a total off-road package. Not only will you love the vehicle that you take home, but you’ll also love getting a good chunk of this investment back in the future when you inevitably upgrade to something new.