Used ATVs: Your Ultimate Buying Guide

Buying a used ATV or UTV can be very challenging. The last thing you want to get for your money is a vehicle that doesn’t perform well. To help you enjoy one of the best days in off-road riders’ life, we’ve put together a few helpful tips on how to buy a used ATV and stay satisfied with your investment.

MAKE AN INSPECTION

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The easiest way to display any vehicle in all its glory is to clean the outside before you arrive. Don't be deceived by looks. The inside will tell you much more about the overall condition. Complete the inspection of the ATV you’re interested in using the check-list below. 

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ASK QUESTIONS

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The more you know, the less you stress. Be sure to prepare a list of questions for the seller such as:

1. How long has he owned the vehicle?
2. What maintenance was performed in the past?
3. Were there any customizations or modifications to the ATV?
4. How did the seller use his ATV?
5. How often did he ride? What type of terrain?
6. Where did he store the vehicle?
7. What is the reason for selling the ATV?

The answers to these questions will give you a clue to how well the vehicle has been kept and serviced. 

CHECK THE HISTORY

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When it comes to buying a used ATV, you need to know the history of the vehicle. Check out all the documentation the seller’s got. Don’t forget to request the maintenance records and accident reports. 

First, look for things such as large repairs after a crash. Second, find out whether the ATV had regular maintenance in the past or the seller failed to complete the important maintenance tasks. 

Finally, make sure the ATV is not stolen. Start with checking the key. It should be genuine with the printed name of the manufacturer. Another good sign of a legitimately-owned vehicle is an original operator’s manual that the seller may provide.

Inspect both the VIN and engine or chassis number for scratches, blurring, and any other damages. If the number is good, run it through the VIN-check database. For more confidence, consult an expert. 

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TAKE IT FOR A TEST DRIVE

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Even after all the research you’ve done and questions you’ve asked, nothing will tell you more about the vehicle than getting behind the wheel. 

Start the ATV and try to define whether it runs smoothly and all the buttons work properly. Listen to any unusual sounds and check if there is any smoke from the exhaust. Then drive around, testing all the gears and brakes. 

Test drive is your chance to get the first experience of how it will be to own this ATV in real life. So, push away any emotions and focus upon the quality and performance of the vehicle.

Takeaways

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You will never know in advance what you are getting on the used market. But with a little research mentioned above, you may avoid buying a lemon. If you’re still unsure, it never hurts to get a dealer or professional ATV mechanic to look over your potential purchase.  

Once you’ve found the ATV of your dreams and thoughtfully inspected it, it’s time to make a deal. Let it be a successful investment and the happy beginning of the new chapter in your off-road life!

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