Every day we see Jeep owners wave at each other on the road. On a first guess, you may think it’s a coincident but think again! Not many know about the secret confraternity Jeep owners belong to.

Hasn’t any one ever told you about the Jeep Wave?

If you’re wondering what the jeep wave is then continue reading to learn more about its unspoken rule and its benefit!

In the Jeep world, the Jeep wave rule is a long tradition upheld by Jeep owners whenever they drive past each other. But officially, the Jeep Wave is a customer loyalty program that provides premium benefits and special offers to eligible Jeep customers.

It’s said that the Wave tradition dates back to WWII and while there’s a message behind the wave, only true Jeep Legends know why Jeep drivers do it

In this article, we’ll get to know about the jeep wave and how it all began.

Is there a secret Jeep Wave?

Jeeps are rugged off-road vehicles that are ideal for camping and exploration. They’re equally adaptable and can be used to hauling stuff, running errands or regular in city drive.

Do you own a Jeep or are you thinking about getting one? Then you’ve most likely heard of the Jeep wave, either as a friendly gesture or as a Jeep-sponsored VIP program.

It’s no surprise that there is a pleasant wave from one Jeep owner to another. After all, you’re complimenting each other on their excellent automobile choices! The Jeep wave, however, goes beyond a friendly hello, as seen with bike or motorcycle riders.

Having a Jeep is like being a member of a top-secret organization. When you buy a Jeep, you’re not just buying a car; you’re buying an experience and joining a community. Also, when you own a Jeep, every other jeep owner seems to be your friend for no other reason than the fact that you all drive Jeeps.

If you own a Jeep, it’s very important you know how and when to do the Jeep Wave, as well as who should wave first. It’s a culture that you don’t wanna break.

What is the Jeep Wave

The Jeep wave is a gesture of camaraderie and respect for a fellow Jeep driver. If another Jeep driver waves at you, you should wave back, regardless of which Jeep model they are driving or which Jeep model you are driving.

The official name for the Jeep hand wave is “the Jeep Wave.” and everyone who owns a Jeep can certainly do the Jeep hand wave.

The Jeep Wave History and Origin

Most Jeep lovers will agree that for as long as Jeeps have been, there has been an unspoken rule among drivers. For die-hard Jeep fanatics, the Jeep Wave is an honor and a reminder of the believe they uphold.

So, how where did the Jeep Wave originate?

While the Jeep wave has been a very old practice, there are 3 popular stories surrounding its origin.

1. Stories from the war

Jeeps were frequently spotted on the front lines of World War II transporting supplies, confidential mail, and wounded soldiers to safety.

It is believed that the Jeep Wave began as a tool to distinguish between allies and enemies, or as a simple greeting from one soldier to another.

Additionally, during the war, the wave was a way to salute a passing officer without completing the full military salute. This way, if an enemy spy was spying on the passing Jeep, they wouldn’t be able to identify that a high-ranking official was present.

2. Stories after the war

Between 1946 to 1964, the Jeep Station Wagon became the first mass-market all steel SUV designed and built as passengers vehicle. The wagon, being the first SUV with 4WD was a huge success and became popular among civilians

After the war, many of our beloved heroes wanted to acquire their own Jeeps, possibly out of nostalgia for the fantastic driving they gave.

And when they passed by other Jeep owners, they were almost always fellow veterans. As a result, doing the Jeep Wave was another way for them to distinguish each other in the civilian world.

3. Respect for a brilliant choice

Lastly, there’s another version of the story that says, the Jeep wave was designed to help Jeepers appreciate one another’s common interests and hobbies.

Come rain come sunshine, a Jeep is always a fine choice; after the war, the vehicle became increasingly popular as people began to use it for leisure purposes. So, this story might just happen to be true.

Jeep Wave Rule

Rules for Jeep Wave are sometimes regionally dependent, and there are a few variations. You could either raise a waving hand or keep your hand on the steering wheel, rising four fingers and extending your thumb without moving your hand farther.

Only two fingers may protrude from the steering wheel in other areas. Sometimes, one or two fingers are used with a nod in some areas.

What Jeeps can do the Jeep Wave? The Jeep Wave began with drivers of the CJ, YJ, TJ, and JK vehicles and so it’s not just for Wranglers. Over the years, it has expanded to include all Jeep drivers.

There is a “Jeep hierarchy” in which a couple of factors will determine who will initiate the Jeep hand wave. But frankly speaking, most people really don’t pay attention to those things, they just simply wave in acknowledgement.


1. As a Jeep owners, you’re obligated to carry on the wave’s tradition.

2. You need to understand the Jeep hierarchy

3. Jeep owners are required to return the Wave.

The Jeep Wave Hierarchy

The Jeep Wave is more than just a wave, as you might expect!

Hierarchy is the factor that decides which driver initiates the Wave as a show of respect to the other driver. The position of your Jeep in the hierarchy is determined by these three factors;

1. The Vehicle

CJs are at the top of the class hierarchy, with TJs, YJs, and Cherokees at the bottom and JKs in the middle.

2. Appearance and Condition

The dirtier and more open your Jeep is when the top is off, the higher your ranking; cleaner and newer Jeeps rank lower.

3. Addons and Modifications

Jeeps with off-road modifications such as bigger wheels and tires, lifts, aftermarket bumpers, body armor, and other modifications rate higher than standard Jeeps with no modifications.

When passing a Jeep with a higher ranking in the hierarchy, the Jeep driver must commence the Wave and keep it going until it is returned, ignored, or the other driver has past.

The Jeep Wave Style

So, how do you do the Jeep Wave?

Well, there are a few different Jeep Wave types that have gained popularity over the years, and which one you choose is ultimately a personal choice. Here are some of the Jeep Waves’ most unique styles:

  • In a peace sign gesture, two fingers extended from the steering wheel.
    From the steering wheel, one finger raised up.
  • While keeping your palm against the wheel, extend all of your fingers away from the steering wheel.
  • A hand extending out the window
  • A “hang loose” hand gesture extended out the window.

What does the Jeep wave mean?

The wave trend has a long history and is growing in popularity every day, for this reason, the question on a lot of lips is “why does the Jeep wave exist and what does it mean”.

In a nutshell, Jeep owners do the Jeep Wave to pay their respects to other Jeep owners. Regardless of how diverse, it’s safe to assume that other Jeep owners will immediately recognize and respond to what you’re doing.

What is the Jeep Wave program

How do you like the sound of free oil changes and tire rotations? Or how about a free rental car while your Jeep is being repaired or serviced? I’m sure you’re already wondering, what is the jeep wave program and how long is it?

Officially, Jeep Wave® is an extensive membership program that includes a variety of interesting features and bonuses designed to provide Jeep owners with the highest level of care and devoted 24/7 assistance. When a person buys or leases a Jeep Brand car, they are enrolled in a 24-month Jeep Wave subscription.

Starting with the 2021 model year, all Jeep vehicles will be automatically enrolled in the Jeep Wave program. Only a few automobiles from the 2016 to 2020 model years are automatically registered in the program:

  • Wrangler – all trim levels
  • Gladiator – all trim levels
  • Grand Cherokee – standard on Overland, Trailhawk, High Altitude, Summit, SRT and Trackhawk
  • Compass – standard on Trailhawk
  • Cherokee – standard on Overland and Trailhawk
  • Renegade – standard on Trailhawk and DesertHawk

Jeep Wave program cost

Jeep Wave is all about providing excellent customer service and rewarding you with beneficial perks you’ll enjoy. When it comes to worry-free maintenance and customer service, Jeep Wave has your back.

If you own a Jeep model from 2015 or earlier, you can still join the Jeep Wave program for an annual charge. After the initial 24-month free period, you can renew your Jeep Wave membership. An yearly membership costs $150.

Jeep Wave benefits

Maintenance is easier and less expensive with the Jeep Wave Program. For example, throughout your period of Jeep Wave membership, you’ll get free oil changes and tire rotations on your Jeep, as well as a free first-day vehicle rental allowance if your Jeep needs service or repair. What is included in the jeep wave program?

What does Jeep Wave get you?

Whether the Jeep Wave’s war background is factual or merely a romantic fairy tale, owning a Jeep now includes the Jeep Wave.

For owning or leasing a Jeep, the Jeep Wave program offers you with amazing bonuses and privileges just as a way of saying “thank you” and “you’re special.”

1. You’ll get special Treatments at Jeep Brand Events

There are various Jeep brand events across the United States, and if you attend any of them, you’ll get special treatment.

2. Access to no-cost same-day rented vehicles

You’ll also get access to no-cost same-day rented vehicles for the day if you’re getting your car serviced. 

That simply means that, if the vehicle is to be repaired for any same-day mechanical repair or maintenance service that excludes bodywork, the First Day Rental Allowance gives a $35.00 car rental allowance. Overnight rentals are not eligible for First Day Rental.

3. Interruption protection cover

If certain terms and conditions are met, in the case of unforeseen circumstances and your car breaks down while you’re traveling, the program will pay up to $1,000 per event for lodging, meals, and emergency transportation (taxi, bus, or airline) for you and your family.

This renewable, refundable, non-transferable membership and service program adds to the increasing network of Jeep brand lovers.

The Jeep Owners Community

Whether you wish to attend the events offered by Jeep’s official Jeep Wave program or not, owning a Jeep makes you a part of a family, and community that are kindred spirits.  Beyond the obvious commercial benefits, there are also other community opportunities.

Jeep communities are basically clubs of Jeep owners and Enthusiasts, anyone who adores the brand can join (even if you don’t own a Jeep). You get to even use the Jeep wave stickers!

Different clubs host gatherings, camping, vehicle exhibitions, and even group drives on off-road terrain where you can have fun and learn new skills.

Like every legendary Jeep lover, you should always show your love by either hanging a forever-wave jeep flag, wearing a Jeep Wave Hoodie, or using the jeep wave tire cover.

If you don’t have any of those, you’re definitely missing out. We’ve listed some of the Jeep Wave merchandise in our fast growing community of SUV lovers. Can’t wait to have you there.

Closing the curtain

Jeep drivers aren’t the only ones that wave to one another. There have been accounts of other vehicles imitating “the wave.” Driving instructors, drivers of Mini Coopers, Porsches, classic cars and Harley Davidsons are among those who share the waves. However, there can be only one Jeep Wave.

Next time when you spot another Jeep driving in your direction, you know what to do and what it means. Now, go live up to the tradition of the Jeep Wave rule!

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About the Author

Larry Cruise


I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at any car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.

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