ATV is the acronym for "All Terrain Vehicle." These vehicles fall into two main categories--utility ATVs, which are geared for work, and sport ATVs, which are designed for recreational purposes. In order to find a "cheap" ATV for sale, you must first know what a "good" price for your desired make and model really is. The website "ATV Trekker" reports ATV prices can start at $2,000 and climb thousands of dollars higher; this price is directly influenced by the added features you want in an ATV.
Doing your research
Learn about different features available on ATV models. Some decisions you'll have to make include choosing a two-wheel drive ATV or a four-wheel drive model; the 4WD option will typically cost you more (Reference 2). You'll also have to evaluate different models of ATV engines. According to ATV Trekker, the two main types are 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. 2-stroke engines are best-suited for racing ATVs; they come with more power, and hence, a higher price tag.
Consider safety once you've narrowed down your search. A 2008 study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission published on the Consumer Reports website (Reference 3) found that ATV deaths have been steadily rising over the past decade. Look for ATV models with added safety features that will keep riders safe such as anti-rollover technology.
Read online reviews of different makes and models. The website "ATV Connection" (Resource 1) publishes ATV reviews, as does Kelley Blue Book. This can give you an idea of what industry experts are saying about a particular style of ATV. Another way to gauge opinion from the people who know best--ATV riders and enthusiasts--is to visit online forums, such as the ones found at "ATV Magazine Online" (Resource 3) and "ATV Source."
Compare the cost. Kelley Blue Book has a section devoted to ATVs (you'll find it under its "Motorcycle" section). You'll be able to look up or compare the cost of specific ATV models; additionally, you can select between the new retail value or the trade-in price of that model (Reference 4). Keep in mind that a new vehicle will usually cost you more than a used ATV. This is an excellent way to know what you can expect to pay for an ATV before you hand over your cash in Section 2.
Finding and buying your ATV
Visit a local ATV dealer. Step 4 in Section 1 taught you how to learn what a "good" price is for the ATV model you want to buy. Now, that you know this dollar figure, you'll better be able to negotiate with a dealer for the rock-bottom price.
Look at the classified ads in your local newspaper. Again, keep in mind the dollar amount learned in Section 1 Step 4. The advantage of buying an ATV from a local seller is that you won't have to pay transportation costs to ship the ATV if you choose to purchase it.
Visit online classified pages. The website "ATV Classifieds" doesn't directly sell ATVs; it acts as an online marketplace for buyers and sellers to meet and interact. This website also allows you to narrow down your search to sellers in your particular state; this can help you avoid hefty delivery fees associated with purchasing an ATV from an out-of-state seller.
Contact a local ATV club, such as the ones listed on the "ATV Source" website (Resource 6). Club members may have the inside scoop on ATV sales in your area. They can also provide additional information on what the value of a given vehicle really is.
Remember that you might not be able to find an ATV in your price range in your area. Also remember that what Kelley Blue Book constitutes as "fair market value" may differ from location to location.
Always know who you're buying from. This is especially important if you're making a purchase online without seeing the ATV in person. Sometimes a cheap price can be an indicator of a scam. To protect yourself, contact your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau to see if any reports have been filed against your chosen seller.
- ATV Connection: Buying Your First ATV
- ATV Trekker: Before You Buy An ATV
- Consumer Reports: On Safety: ATV Casualties
- Kelley Blue Book: Motorcycles
- Kelley Blue Book: Car Reviews And News
- ATV Magazine Online: Forums
- ATV Source: Forums
- ATV Classifies: Browse By State
- ATV Source: ATV Clubs And Associations