Tips for Buying a New ATV

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is one of the best ways for people to traverse tough terrain and haul hunting gear. If you're planning on buying one, have an honest conversation with yourself about your riding skills and how you'll be using your ATV before you visit an ATV dealer.

Manufacturers pack plenty of power, convenience - like power steering - and thrills into machines that satisfy a user's need for speed. They like to highlight the horsepower of an engine, but you should focus on buying a machine that meets your needs and won't break your budget. For example, if you're looking specifically for a hunting rig, an ATV that runs quietly and smoothly might be more useful than a super-fast machine.

Seek out the advice of buddies who have ATVs and use them for similar purposes. Do research online to find out which models users prefer, and why. Then visit a dealer who sells ATVs from multiple manufacturers. Talk with a salesperson about your driving abilities, how you'll be using your ATV, and what you hope to get out of it.

After selecting a few potential candidates, ask the salesperson if the dealer allows test drives before buying. Most dealers will have selected days when customers can try out the latest models.

After you have whittled down your selection to two or three models, do some more research to find the best price. Like buying a car, shopping around can save you big bucks. If you'll need a loan to buy an ATV, get pre-qualified before you look at the latest models.

Stay within your budget. Keep in mind that when buying an ATV, you'll also need a good helmet, goggles, trailer and other riding gear. Depending on what you're using your machine for, you may also need to purchase a gun holder, winch or other attachments. Factor all of this into your budget before you buy your dream machine.

Finally, if the salesperson is pressuring you into buying, walk away. You'll find a similar deal somewhere else, and avoid the nightmare of buyer's remorse.