For obvious reasons, buying an ATV is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you must consider your needs to determine which is right for you or the person you’re gifting it to.

Regardless of the reason, if you’re going to invest in one of these fun rugged machines, there are many factors involved in the decision-making process.

The three biggest factors that you must consider are as follows:

1)) Purpose

2)) Budget

3)) Needs

No matter where you purchase your ATV, you should do plenty of research before you make a decision and be sure to get plenty of impartial advice.

Never let a salesperson in the showroom talk you into purchasing something you will regret because trying to recover from “Buyer’s Remorse” will drive you crazy.

Make sure you have a good idea of what you want, and what you need before you set foot in a showroom.

Depending on your purpose, budget, and needs, a used model might be fine or a new ATV from a dealership may be a better choice.

In the end, only you can make that judgment call.

However, I’m going to provide you with some solid tips to help you determine or at least narrow down your options.

Let’s dive in…

Determine the Purpose of the ATV

Your first consideration when buying an ATV is to determine your purpose for it.

Keep in mind that Purpose and Needs are synonymous, which means in order to establish your purpose, you have to determine your needs simultaneously.

One of the simplest ways to determine both your purpose and needs is to ask yourself a series of questions.


  • Do you need an ATV to help haul things around your property?
  • Do you plan to carry game in from the woods while hunting?
  • Will you use it for miscellaneous work purposes?
  • Are you planning to ride your ATV for fun?
  • Have you been debating whether or not to try ATV racing?

ATVs vary in size, style, and accessories so you will want to be sure you get one with all the features you need.

If you want an ATV for work purposes, you will want to get a strong heavy ATV that is suitable for hauling or carrying large loads.

You can get ATVs that have built-in racks for carrying equipment or game and that come with a hitch to hook up a wagon or trailer.

If you are purchasing an ATV for fun, you will probably not need all those features and would do well with a simpler model.

If you are thinking about racing with your ATV, you will want to get one that is light, powerful, and designed for speed.

The type of engine you want in your ATV is also decided by your purpose. For example; a 2-stroke engine takes a mix of oil and gas and is a better fit for riding for fun.

A 4-stroke engine is better suited as a workhorse. You will also have to decide which type of transmission you want, an automatic or manual.

ATVs with an automatic transmissions are easier to drive just like automatic cars.

If you have experience driving a manual transmission, you may prefer the control that a manual transmission offers.

You can also get a semi-automatic transmission, which is a cross between the two. You can get advice on which type is best for you from your ATV dealership or online.

Nowadays, you could even chat with ATV dealership support staff to get your most pressing questions answered.

You will also have to decide which type of starter you want. Some ATVs have an electric start, some have a kick start, and some have a pull start.

While this is not the most important factor in choosing an ATV, it can make a difference. If you prefer the ease of use, an electric push-button start would be better for you.

With a kick start, you have to push a lever with your foot located on the bottom of your ATV.

A pull start operates the same way as a lawnmower where you pull a cord to start your ATV.

You should do plenty of research before deciding and be sure to get an ATV that fits your needs.

The reason you are purchasing your ATV should be the deciding factor in which type you buy.

I encourage you not to take this lightly.

Determine Your Budget

Your second consideration should be to establish a budget and get an ATV that you can afford.

That should be an obvious consideration, but you’d be surprised at how many of us willingly overspend and blow our budgets, all because we want something bad enough.

You do not have to pay full price at a dealership, if you research what you need you can probably find it used in your area.

If you want a warranty or service after the sale, you should consider buying from a dealership, but always compare prices and know how much the model you want should cost.

If you are considering purchasing an ATV, you should be aware that they are a big investment.

Aside from the initial cost that can run from a few hundred dollars for an older used model to $5,000 or more, you also have to maintain your ATV just like you do for your car.

They require oil, and gas, and eventually, you will have to replace broken and worn parts.

If you are a beginner, you should start with an inexpensive simple model that will give you practice riding.

After you are comfortable, you can upgrade to a more advanced model. You will also need safety gear such as a helmet, gloves, and goggles.

Some accessories are not necessary for the casual rider such as winches unless you plan on using your ATV for work purposes.

Consider the Age and Size of the Rider

Your third consideration should be the age and size of the rider.

If you are buying an ATV for a youth or small adult, you will want to go with a smaller model for the best riding comfort and for safety reasons.

An average-sized adult should do fine with a larger model.

If you are buying an ATV for someone else, it is best to take him or her along to make sure the ATV you pick is suited to their size, it’s better to make sure it’s right than to surprise them with an ATV that is too big or too small and not comfortable.

Besides, I know that you don’t want to have to deal with the hassles of trying to exchange it.

Who needs that headache?

Simply take them along in order to guarantee the correct size, as this is critical to reducing the chances of injury.

Choose the Proper Type of Tires

You should also get the proper tires for your ATV when you purchase it.

If you are planning to ride in hilly, rough, and muddy terrain, you will want to get mud tires with deep tread that will help you to navigate this harsh type of terrain.

If you are going to ride around the flat ground or on trails, stock tires will suffice.

If you will be racing, you should get specially designed-racing tires as well.


There’s no denying that riding ATVs are extremely fun and exhilarating.

If you’ve never ridden an ATV before, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Ask any ATV rider how much they enjoy the adrenaline rush when moving at high speeds or the enjoyment they feel when riding through mud.

They’ll tell you, there’s no better natural high you can get.

Riding ATVs is a great hobby because not only is it fun to hit the trails, but the experience is totally therapeutic, which means you can hop on and almost instantly relieve stress and temporarily forget about any challenges or problems you may be having in your life.

It all begins by addressing the three biggest factors for why you’re considering purchasing an ATV, which are purpose, budget, and needs.

If you’re in the market for one of these rugged machines, then take your time to do your research.

Since ATVs are a serious investment that will cost you money initially to purchase as well as the ongoing cost to maintain.

Take your time, so that you will be 100% certain about the type and model you purchase.

Be safe and enjoy your ATV!

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