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The Official Guide to the Jeep Wave


The topic of the Jeep Wave continues to entice hot debate among Jeep owners old and new and it's a debate that will never go away. Should you wave to the new Jeep JKs or not. Can you wave to build XJs? But on top of that, I've always wondered, "who waves first?" Who starts it? I have now discovered my answers in the definitive guide to respect for your Jeep Elders.

Now you can measure your own Jeep's place in the overall Jeep hierachy of waving. To see where you rate, keep reading...

Here's the starting point:


The Jeep Wave: An honor bestowed upon those drivers with the superior intelligence, taste, class, and discomfort tolerance to own the ultimate vehicle - the Jeep. Generally consists of vigorous side-to-side motion of one or both hands, but may be modified to suit circumstances and locally accepted etiquette. Examples of commonly accepted modifications:

  • Top off: One handed wave above windshield or outside body tub
  • Top off during blizzard: Shiver and nod, hands may remain frozen to steering wheel
  • Southern/rural locations: Raise fingers from steering wheel, nod

In keeping with this cardinal rule of Jeeping, categories have been established to account for each part of the equation.

These categories are:

  • The Jeep Waving Hierarchy: Based on the vehicle itself. Takes into account the nostalgia factor, the discomfort tolerance quotient, and the amount of owner dedication required to maintain the steed.
  • The Modifying Sub-categories: Based on what you do with your Jeep.
  • Equipment Adjustments: What you build.

General Rules:

1. All Jeepers are responsible for upholding the tradition of the Wave. Upon contact with a higher scoring Jeep, a Jeeper is required to initiate the Wave, and continue the Wave until:

  1. The Wave is returned
  2. The Wave is blatantly disregarded
  3. The higher scoring vehicle has passed by and is out of sight

2. All Jeepers are required to return the Wave, unless the initiating vehicle is clearly has a negative (below 0) score.

3. All Jeepers are encouraged, but not required, to return the Wave to negative balance vehicles, and take any opportunity presented to guide and mentor them about their responsibilities to their Jeeps in the hopes that they can correct the error of their ways.

4. When unsure of status or wave requirements of a particular encounter or unable to completely assess the other Jeep's score quickly enough to ensure that the proper Jeep Wave Etiquette rules are followed, immediately initiate wave.

"When in doubt, WHIP IT OUT!"


This was reprinted in part from the website.

To rate your own Jeep and see where it fits in the hierarchy of Jeep waves, check out:

And then post your score below. Can't wait to see who I should be bowing down to (and waving!)

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.


I've noticed many new jeep (2007+) drivers are somewhat unaware of this phenomenon... 
So I simply wave . . . They'll soon catch on.
Posted @ Monday, October 26, 2009 11:06 AM by JazzCatGuido
I fell in love with the YJ as a kid, bought my TJ as soon as I could and have recently upgraded to a 2009 4 door JK due to an expansion in family size. When debating your waving etiquette please remember that some of us JKer's are indeed real jeep owners who just couldn't live with anything less. I wave, have always waved, and I will always wave despite what some of my brothers and sisters may do.
Posted @ Monday, October 26, 2009 12:30 PM by 2009 Red Rubicon 4Door (Indianapolis)
scored a 33, but I have to argue. 0 for a 4 banger? That deserves at least 2. You have to work a little harder buts its worth telling everybody they wasted their mod money on those other 2 cylinders!
Posted @ Monday, October 26, 2009 6:26 PM by Craig
I agree with Craig. I have a 4 banger, but wheel with the other well and I get 22 mpg. Also, I am in Southern California and most Jeep drivers don't wave. I still wave.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:01 PM by Dick Winn
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