Is An ATV A Good Investment?

The world of off-road is exciting, and ATVs are the passport to an exhilarating off-road experience! With a wide variety of vehicles available in both the new and secondhand market, the choices for new and experienced riders is vast! And that is good news!

Unless collector’s items, cars, bikes, and ATVs all depreciate over time, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be terrific investments! Your choice of new or used and the brand you choose significantly influence what you can recover once you decide to sell.

But investment is not solely about how much you recover when you sell your asset. It’s also about how much enjoyment it’s brought you! Here are some insights into how to go about getting an excellent return for your ATV when the time comes to sell it.

Who Is The Rider?

The first question is, who is going to ride the ATV? If the quad is for you or your partner, then the choice of vehicle would be very different if it was for your kid, for example. Your level of investment in the purchase will first be determined by who will be using the ATV the most.

New or used ATV- Check your cash flow

Oil Baron Paul Getty had this to say on buying Vs. Leasing: “If it appreciates, buy it. If it depreciates, lease it.” Mr. Getty may not have experienced the pure thrill of ATVs before he made this statement! But, from a financial viewpoint, this statement is valid.

The first consideration here is your cash flow. If you’re running flush, then why not look at a new one? If you need to balance the purchase on a budget, then a used ATV would be better.

When buying an ATV, the first question is how you will use it, as this will directly impact your purchase choice. Bear in mind that you may need a trailer to move the ATV around, depending on where you live, and this may add a few more dollars to the cost.

If you are getting off-road and aren’t sure if it will bite you or take a nibble on your interest, then a secondhand ATV would be the best way to start. You can usually pick up a decent one with all the bells and whistles for a lot less than a new one.

A quick tip on buying secondhand ATVs- off-season demand is relatively low, and it’s a good idea to look at purchasing a used ATV around this time for some great deals!

Warranties and Cover-ups

A brand new ATV would cost about $10 000 depending on the brand, engine size, and other high-end options, while a used one goes for around $3500- $7000, which is a significantly lower chunk of cash layout.

New ATVs have a warranty, and any issues that may arise after purchase are covered. Buying a used ATV comes with the risk of the owner ‘covering up’ some mechanical or bodywork issues that you’ll only discover later on down the road.

Secondhand vehicles have some substantial benefits as well as they may also have had some add-ons done, and you can get your vehicle with everything you need to start your adventure!

Remember, when it comes to ATVs, functionality beats form!

Wear and Tear and Your Investment Return

If you’re planning on using the ATV to haul loads between the house and the river or lake, then splashing out on a new vehicle would probably not be the way to go. On the plus side, this type of usage would effectively reduce wear and tear and increase your resale value whether you buy new or used.

However, if you have spent some time riding with friends and plan to go hardcore off-road, a new ATV would be better.

Many quad riders find themselves riding the exact vehicle for a decade or more without ever looking to sell. While they may spend on upgrades and services to maintain the condition, they have found and are happy with their quad and its performance and never really look at reselling their ATV.

Service and Maintenance – Keeping the Value Going

The level of maintenance and consistency of service will have a measurable impact on your ATV’s resale value. You are far more likely to get a better price on resale if your ATV has been well looked after both mechanically cosmetically than if it seems like it’s about to fall apart at any second.

Whether you do the servicing yourself or take the quad to a professional, consistent quality servicing and maintenance of the bodywork, shocks, and other vital parts of the quad will ensure that you will get top dollar if you ever decide to sell it.

Upgrading Stock Parts VS New

Many riders that enjoy spending time in their garage on weekends and stripping down the ATV and then adding upgraded parts to improve performance would more likely look at used ATVs as they can determine whether this is a worthwhile purchase or not.

They can also easily see whether the ATV on offer has been looked after or pulled through its teeth and would require a hefty investment to restore to decent condition. This option may allow you to have a high-performance quad for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

New ATVs are ready to go off the floor, and if you’re not mechanically inclined, this may be the better option.

Your ATV Friends – A Great Source of Info

If you have friends who are into ATVs, then perhaps invite them to a barbecue for some subtle ‘intel-gathering.’ One of the primary sources of information for most people is their friends,  especially when they are looking to purchase anything they’re not directly familiar with.

Getting some opinions around brands, functions, and the new/used option from people who have more experience with ATVs can give you a great inside track on current trends, brands, prices, and other related topics.

This can save you a lot of frustration and time-wasting as they can point you in the right direction and connect you with the right people from the get-go.

ATV Depreciation Rates – The Good News!

A four-wheelers depreciation rate is slower than other vehicles, so as an investment, ATVs offer a better return than other vehicles. This bodes well for first-time buyers and experienced riders looking to acquire better and more costly ATVs and then recover a higher portion on resale.

Like its other two-wheel and four-wheel cousins, your ATV will begin to lose value the second it leaves the floor, or more accurately, from the first time you start it up! New ATVs with large engines of 400cc or higher will lose most of their value within year one.

Smaller engine ATVS of 250cc or less lose more value from year two onwards. So here is already a solution that will give you a way to ‘try out’ an ATV and then upgrade if you decide to continue or sell it and get a good portion of your cash back!

Buy a new smaller engine ATV, ride it for a year and if you decide that off-road isn’t for you, you can sell it and reduce your initial loss considerably.

There’s more to an ATV Investment Than Just Money

ATVs offer an experience like no other. The exhilaration, excitement, and pure adrenaline rush of high-speed trail riding, the mud, and the sheer pleasure of the sport are highly addictive.

The community and social interactions are great to connect with like-minded people and enjoy and share your passion.

Beyond the financial side, there is also a human investment. The social side, the camaraderie, and the development of friendships that may last for life are also invaluable measures of investment.

After all, is said and done, an ATV is a good investment with slower depreciation and good resale value.

Provided you follow some simple rules and advice when deciding on your brand and price level regardless of whether it will be pushed to its limits in adrenaline-fuelled off-road adventures or as an easy and fun way to get around the farm.

Louis Pretorius

As an amateur off-road enthusiast, I have always been drawn to outdoor adventure. I have decided to share all of my learning experiences with you as I dig a little deeper into my new-found passion and wonderful world of off-roading. My mission is to create the Ultimate Off-roading space on the internet in the process. Stay safe and happy Off-Roading!

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