Tips to Buying a Used ATV

Used ATV

Buying a brand new ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) could set you back over $10,000.

That can be a sting on many household budgets. However, you don’t have to look too far to find a great ATV, at an affordable price.

Where To Buy?

The most logically first place to look for a used ATV is from ATV dealer, preferably a local one to you so you don’t have to drive too far. Buying from a dealer gives you some piece of mind with regards to the quality, potential warranty, and condition of the ATV.

However, buying a used ATV from a dealer also means that you have to contend with the sales tactics that go along with dealers, who ultimately want you to buy something that may not be in your price range, or may pressure you into buying a new ATV. Remember to know your budget, and stick to your budget.

You may have luck finding a used ATV on Craigslist from a private party, but without a warranty, your ATV might conk out before you even get it out for your first run in the sun.

Do your homework as to the style, brand and engine size you want and when you buy through a dealer make sure to get a warranty; if the ATV conks out on the first lap you’ll at least be covered through the dealer. provides an excellent Dealer Locator which includes reviews.

Take It For a Spin

A visual inspection of a used ATV can tell you some things about the vehicle, but not everything. A test ride at a dealership is more discovering how comfortable the vehicle feels for you. Reputable dealers typically diagnose and fix any potential mechanical issues to a vehicle before they even list the ATV for sale.

If you decide to purchase an ATV from a private party, be sure to fully test out the ATV by taking a test ride, and have a certified ATV mechanic take a look at the mechanics of the vehicle, unless you are well-versed around 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines.

Be sure to ask the seller questions. Do you sense any shady about them or their answers? How forthcoming do they seem? If you’re new to owning an ATV or are not deeply versed in engines and parts, make sure to bring a knowledgeable friend to help inspect the vehicle. If you don’t know anyone and want to protect yourself from potential red flags, ask about taking the ATV to a mechanic.

Most private party sellers should be fine with a mechanic inspecting the ATV, but don’t necessarily expect them to be okay with you hauling their property to a local shop. The seller doesn’t know anything about you, so they’ll probably want to set up to meet and arrive with the ATV at whatever shop you’ve chosen.

Make the Purchase

Buying a used ATV is just like buying a used car. Don’t expect to hand over some cash or a check, load your new purchase and be on your way. You want paperwork for your records.

Make sure to get a Bill of Sale or some type of receipt that explains the purchase, lists the VIN of the ATV and the term “Paid in Full” is clearly identified. This protects both you and the seller.

Once the ATV is legally in your hands the previous owner is no longer liable for the vehicle, and you will have proof of who the rightful owner is if by chance you’ve dealt with a con artist who might claim he’s the rightful owner of the ATV.

If you need help financing your ATV purchase, be sure to contact us today.

One response to “Tips to Buying a Used ATV”

  1. Pointing out that the first place to look for a used ATV is from an ATV dealer is something I’ll tell my brother so he can buy a good ATV for his new hobby. I’ll also be sure to tell him that he should fully test out the ATV by taking a test ride as you suggest so that he’ll get a good deal. Since you did mention that buying a used ATV is just like buying a used car, I’ll tell him to be prepared to sign documents and things the dealer will ask of him when he goes to one this July.

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