Buying an ATV is not cheap, which is why many ATV owners see purchasing such a vehicle as a big decision. Fortunately, unlike other vehicles, ATVs do not depreciate in value as quickly as you might expect. This is good news for anyone weighing up the pros and cons of buying a brand new ATV.

However, there are a lot of things to consider when buying an ATV, so it’s normal to ask yourself questions like: Does it make more sense to buy new or buy a second-hand ATV? What is the depreciation rate likely to be on your new vehicle? How easy will it be to resell it once you have had enough with it or are ready to upgrade?

To help you understand the ins and outs of the price and value of buying an ATV, we have created this handy guide with everything you need to know about ATV depreciation rates and resale value.

 

What makes ATVs so expensive?

ATVs are an expensive piece of equipment because of all of the high-quality parts that are used to make up the vehicle. On average you can expect to pay anywhere between $6,000 to $10,000 for a good quality All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).

Although often used for recreational purposes, ATVs are most often employed for hard work. For example, many farmers or individuals working in hostile weather environments require ATVs to carry out their jobs. ATVs are made of extremely durable materials for this purpose. Their prices regularly increase as they are utility vehicles that need to live up to a certain standard of production.

It is also true that people are willing to pay these prices. Manufacturers continue to charge high prices as it means higher profit for them. For that reason, it’s unlikely that the high prices of ATVs are going to change any time soon.

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What is the depreciation life of an ATV?

The depreciation life of an ATV begins as soon as it has been sold and most ATVs depreciate the most during their first few years. As the years go on, your ATV will likely be depreciating less per year but will continue to depreciate regardless.

The depreciation life of an ATV will also depend on the type of brand you buy from. Vehicles that come from a more popular brand where the parts are plentiful and more easily accessible will depreciate less from year to year compared to other brands so you will lose less money in the long term.

 

How much does an ATV depreciate each year?

Below is a breakdown of the rate of depreciation for ATVs over the first three years. We have examples for both a small ATV and a mid-size ATV to highlight how ATV depreciation values can differ.


Smaller 100cc ATV:

Year after it’s purchased

Depreciation

Year 1

27%

Year 2

25%

Year 3

15%


Midsize 400-500cc ATV:

Year after it’s purchased

Depreciation

Year 1

23%

Year 2

15%

Year 3

10%


These charts illustrate how an ATV can depreciate over its lifetime, starting with larger yearly depreciation, which slowly drops per year as the years go by.

 

Do ATVs hold their value?

ATVs do not hold their value from the point of purchase, as they depreciate in the first couple of years as any motorized vehicle. However, once these initial years have passed, they are unlikely to drop in value anymore. You would not necessarily list an ATV in an asset class as it is too risky and is more likely to depreciate than hold its value or increase its value.

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Is it worth buying a new ATV?

Buying a new ATV is worth it if you are planning on keeping it since the second you start driving the vehicle it will begin to lose value. It is always possible to buy second-hand ATVs that run just as smoothly as a brand new one.

Keeping in mind that most people modify their ATVs to have them function better for the purposes they need, sometimes second-hand deals can come with additional accessories. For example,  larger tires, air filters, skid plates, or lift kits are popular modifications that you might be able to find with a second-hand ATV. However, this means that the manufacturer's warranty is void, and that you must verify that all the pieces are working properly.

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What’s the average trade-in value of used ATVs?

While brand new ATVs are around $10,000, used ATVs can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $7,000, allowing you to make significant savings. If you have an ATV that you would like to trade in, or you wish to see if a vehicle you are interested in is appropriately valued, experts can perform an evaluation.

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Where to look for a used ATV or UTV

There are a few different places where you can look for a used ATV or UTV. Think of the similar methods that you would use to look for used cars, and they will probably be applicable to look for used ATVs too. Facebook Marketplace is a great way to see if there are any ATVs for sale in your local area.

As most of us already have a Facebook account, browsing Facebook Marketplace is easy and not at all time consuming. You can open the app when sitting watching TV, and stumble across the perfect second-hand vehicle. One of the best things about Facebook Marketplace is that you can set alerts when new ATVs are listed, so you won’t miss an opportunity.

Similar to Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist is another great place to find ATVs at a reasonable price. While it is not as convenient as Facebook Marketplace, it is a popular method of finding second-hand ATVs so it is worth a look. If you want to buy from a more specialized site, there are plenty of second-hand ATV websites out there where you can look for the perfect vehicle. For example, ATV Classifieds and ATVtrader are websites that can get you in touch with ATV sellers with whom you can negotiate and bargain.

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Tips for getting a good deal on an ATV

Here are tips to get a good deal on an ATV:

  • Shop around
  • Timing
  • Negotiate

If you are looking to buy a second-hand ATV, there are tips and tricks that you should keep in mind in order to get a great deal on an ATV. The luxury you have when buying second-hand is that you can barter and look for specific things that might help bring the price down. This is an advantage you do not get when buying a new ATV. 

Shop around

The first thing that you need to know is that it is important to shop around. Unless you have been offered an amazing deal, you should never buy the first vehicle you see at the first place you visit, as there are better deals out there. 

By shopping around at first, you can see what the general pricing trends look like, and this is the knowledge you can use to haggle with other sellers and dealers. It will also help you to identify your best buying options.

Timing

Getting the best deal on an ATV is all about timing. If you do not need to buy your ATV right now, you should wait until the optimum time of year to buy your ATV. When buying a second-hand ATV, it is best to wait just before the next model is about to be released as people will be looking to sell what they now consider old models to upgrade.

This also works when buying never before used ATVs from dealerships, as they will slash the prices of these old models to make room to sell the new expensive models. You can therefore end up getting a great deal on a never before used ATV, so make sure you time your purchase perfectly!

Negotiate

Do not be afraid to negotiate. Many buyers go to sellers and dealers and take their prices at face value, do not fall into this trap. Most of the time, if they are selling their ATV or UTV, they want it gone, so you are in a good position to negotiate and act as if you are doing them a favor by taking it off their hands.

The best negotiators know what they want, know the market, and inspect the vehicle they are planning to buy. Simply by knowing the ATV depreciation value and ATV resale value you can bring down the price in many situations.

For example, a $10,000 bike that is two years old that is listed at $9,000 has depreciated in value far more than $1,000. You can make the case to the seller and bring the price down with that knowledge. You should never be afraid to negotiate!

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February 16, 2022 — Eric St-Cyr