Pros and Cons of Buying Used ATVs: An In-Depth Guide

Investing in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be a thrilling decision for outdoor enthusiasts, but it also requires careful thought. Particularly, the choice between buying a new or used ATV can significantly impact your budget, the features you get, and your overall ATV experience.

Deciding Between an ATVs and UTV

Before we delve into the pros and cons of buying used ATVs, it's important to distinguish between ATVs and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs). ATVs are ideal for solo riding, off-road trails, and making quick turns, offering an efficient way to get around outdoors. On the other hand, UTVs, also known as side-by-sides, are larger and more powerful, designed for specialized work rather than recreation.

Why Consider Buying Used ATVs?

Cost and Financing

Purchasing a used ATV can be a cost-effective choice. Used ATVs are generally less expensive than their new counterparts, leaving room for negotiation on the price. This affordability can make the dream of owning an ATV more attainable, especially when coupled with options like ATV loans. There are some fantastic options for quad financing both in-person and online. However, one should bear in mind that used ATVs might require more in repairs over time.

ATV Service and Condition

The condition of a used ATV is a crucial aspect to consider before purchasing. Like buying a used car, looking into the ATVs mainenance history for potential problems is a must. Check the tires for cracks, evaluate the shocks for damage or leaks, look at the engine for leaks, check the brake pads for wear, and watch out for loose or unstable tires. If you're new to ATVs, consider taking along a knowledgeable friend or family member to help with the inspection. Also, keep in mind where your new-to-you rig may be stored and ensure you plan to take the proper provisions if you plan to store your ATV outdoors.

Potential Drawbacks of Buying Used ATVs

No Warranty and Potential for More Repairs

While a new ATV comes with a warranty, used ATVs typically do not, which means any repairs will come out of your pocket. The risk of needing repairs can be higher with a used ATV, especially if it was not well-maintained by the previous owner.

Limited Features

Used ATVs might not have all the modern features available in new models. If certain features are important to you, such as roll bars or advanced headlights, you may need to add them to a used ATV at an additional cost. Alternatively, you might need to search longer to find a used ATV that meets all your requirements.

Experience Level

For those new to ATV riding, buying a new ATV may be the safer choice. New ATVs are in the best condition and won't come with potential problems that a used vehicle might, even if it's been well maintained​.

Whether to buy a new or used ATV depends on your individual needs, preferences, and budget. Make sure to research thoroughly, know the value of the ATV you want, look into an ATV loan if it could help ease the cost burden, and keep in mind the ATV service it may require. Also, ensure you have proper licensing and insurance for your ATV​. For more information on this, we cover ATV regulations in Western Canada in a previous blog post.

Further reading:

Quad Buyers Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Right ATV

Side by Side & ATV Buyers Guide 2023

ATV Financing Tips: Your Guide to Loan Options for Quads and Side-by-sides