The popularity of the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in the United States is astonishing. From its introduction in the 1960s, off-roading has become a cultural phenomenon. Prized by both motorcycle and off-road enthusiasts, the diminutive vehicle recently crossed over to the mainstream. How do we know?
According to research, there are an estimated 10.5 million registered ATV owners in America. That’s more than twice as many owners as there were in 2001! Those numbers make the humble ATV nearly as common as the motorcycle, a vehicle with a much longer, more illustrious history in America. Why is it taking off?
Although accidents have happened, because they have more wheels and more stability, all-terrain models should be safer than motorcycles. As long as they are driven responsibly, the risk that they will flip is quite minimal. In fact, three and four-wheel versions can handle nearly any road surface with ease, making them far more flexible than most other off-road vehicles. As such, they are one of the most enjoyable conveyances for novice and experienced drivers alike.
New Vs. Used ATV
It might surprise you to learn that all-terrain models can be quite pricey. Many first-time buyers mistakenly assume they’ll be about the same price as a dirt bike when the average one costs about $7,000. But because there is growing market for these off-road dynamos, many used ATVs are available at affordable prices.
Although new vehicles are almost always preferable, there are many reasons you might consider a secondhand model. The first and most obvious one is the price. Just like automobiles, pre-owned three and four-wheelers depreciate at a rapid rate. Most lose about half their value in the first three years of ownership. That is not to say all of these models are in saleable condition.
Where To Buy
Since they are often driven on challenging surfaces, such as hills, trails, and unpaved paths, all-terrain models are at greater risk of experiencing wear and tear than regular road vehicles. As such, it can be challenging to find one in good condition, especially in the private market. Private sellers may not have the experience or expertise to identify and fix little mechanical issues that could cause significant problems in the future. For the new buyer, that could mean paying full price for a used ATV that only has a little life left in it. That is why we strongly suggest you buy from a reputable dealer.
Although buying from a dealer is not as safe as purchasing a three or four-wheeler brand new, it’s the next best thing. Why? Because dealers typically test and repair the secondhand models they buy before offering them for sale. This allows them to ask for a bit more than the private seller because it gives buyers more confidence.