New Car Appreciation?

Everyone knows the moment you drive a car off a new dealer lot, you just cost yourself over $10,000 in depreciation. That rule has been true as long as I can remember.

Now, something else seems to be happening. Fueled by the post pandemic/stimulus money and car shortage, the Jeep Wrangler that I bought last year seems to have appreciatied at significant rate!

As you can see from the chart below., The Jeep that I paid $41,500 for last June is up to about $58K. That’s more than a 35% increase!

I’ve enjoyed the Jeep a great deal, but friends are saying, “you should sell it!”. If, for no other reason, than to say you made money driving a new car for a year! It’s not my daily driver, so I don’t need to immediately replace it with another premium-priced vehicle.

I’m not sure what will happen to prices once the ‘chip shortage’ issues are over. Will used car prices suddenly crash, or will it take the auto manufacturers a couple years to catch up their production?

What would you do? Is the value of your vehicles up so dramatically?

Image Credit: (c) MrFireStation.com

14 thoughts on “New Car Appreciation?

  1. Just sold our wrangler for more than we bought it for 2 years ago. Like you, it is our third car, so no urgent need to immediately replace it. We’ve ordered a new one that could take 6 months to come in, but wanted to get maximum value out of the one we had. We also learned what we wanted to do differently in the next wrangler so win win.

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    1. The Wranglers seem to be particularly in demand, aren’t they? I like the one I have, but am not sure if I want to go through the effort to replace it – even though it would be fun to optimize the options the way you are.

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  2. Don’t sell for the sake of making money, unless the thrill of gain beats the fun of driving. When I was 17, I paid $1 for a Chevrolet BelAir that didn’t work. My friends and I rolled it to my backyard. We pretended we knew how to fix it for a couple weeks until my mom made me sell it. I found a guy willing to pay $25 and haul it away. He fixed it up and drove it in a demolition derby. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap. So unless I get a 2500% gain by selling my current car, I’m just falling short compared to my first.

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    1. An extra $15K isn’t going to change my lifestyle, or even our fleet of vehicles, in a significant way. It would be fun to make some money on a car for a change, but I’d also like to try out different types of vehicles on a rotating basis. This Jeep is my first go at that. I figured I’d keep it for 3 years – not sure if I want to pull the plug early.

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  3. Sell sell sell!

    Being able to walk away with extra money in your pocket seems like a win to me. Of course it is a personal decision if you get more enjoyment out of owning and driving your jeep keep it.

    A couple of other factors might make this window disappear, improving supply chains, the rising gas prices lowering demand, and the improvements in electric options.

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    1. If I did sell, I’d be immediately looking for something else. An EV would be a pretty interesting thing to try. There are a lot of new models coming out now, beyond just Tesla.

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    2. At this stage of financial life, I could care less about what my condo or vehicles are worth. They fit our lifestyle, who cares about appreciation or depreciation. If you like it, keep it. If you don’t need it and are neutral on it, sell it. You have other major possible large purchases such as as Florida winter getaway, does that impact your decision?

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      1. The money is really immaterial to our lifestyle or other decisions. It might be fun to start shopping for ‘what’s next’ and sell it when I find that next toy!

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  4. Strange times indeed!

    I bought a 3 yr old fully loaded Ford F150 with the EcoBoost/Turbo 7 cylinder engine in 2018. It had 27k miles at the time I bought it, and now has just over 68k miles on it. The dealership that sold it to me has contacted me multiple times over the past year, offering over $10k more than I paid for it three and a half years ago! …It’s a crazy upside down world right now.

    By the way, I didn’t sell it. #1-It’s (hands down) been the best truck that I’ve ever owned. #2-An equivalent new version of it is $70k-$80k now. #3- A used version is obviously at least $10k more than I paid years ago!

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  5. I had a friend at the University of Wisconsin who bought lightly used cars that he would resell within six months to a year. His goal was to break even on the cars in terms of depreciation and never have to put any money into maintenance. You seem to like cars, so you might enjoy doing this.

    His strategy was buying smart and selling to someone who couldn’t delay gratification.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t think I was buying smart when I got this Jeep, but it turned out that way! I bought a ‘Jeep’ ball cap today, so I guess I’ll keep it awhile longer!

      Liked by 1 person

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