Why Are ATVs So Expensive? A Few Reasons Why

In ATV Setups by Kevin

Many new quad enthusiasts spend time looking at ATV videos and when they get tired of renting and are think buying their first quad, they are often shocked with the price. the truth is, ATVs can be a pricey acquisition.

ATV are expensive because they were (and still are) used for lodging fertilizer and carrying tools on a farm, and because of their price markup in the US market, especially when talking about high-end brands. They are also used to plow snow.

Even though nowadays ATVs are used for mostly recreational purposes, they are a useful tool you can find on most farms. their strengths as a utility vehicle raises up prices.

Many quad enthusiasts comment about the markup that new ATVs have in the US. an Alterra 500 can be had for hundreds of dollars cheaper in Europe or Australia compared to America.

So How Can You Buy An ATV And Not Break The Bank?

One of the most important things to keep in mind when making a new purchase is to shop around as much as possible.

There are some dealers which can be really helpful, trying to find you the ideal machine for your tastes, and there are others which will only see you as a giant money sign.

That’s why it’s beneficial to compare prices between dealerships to try to get the best deal possible.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you will rarely pay full MSRP for an ATV unless it’s a hot new model. there is always a rebate going on. and even after that, they can easily shave hundreds off MSRP just to keep you interested in the product.

Doing your due diligence, researching what you are going to buy, shopping around and trying to get discounts will easily save you a fortune.

But still, considering sales tax, insurance, the gas you are going to pay in the future, and extras you might want, a new off-road vehicle can be a pricey proposition for many.

Go the used route if you are looking for bigger savings

If you still find a new ATV to be a bit too costly, I would strongly recommend going the used route.

Especially for newer members of the community. buying a used 4wheeler can teach you the basics of riding the quad, doing maintenance of it and simply getting familiarized with it before moving up to something more premium.

Used quads can be quite good for youngsters too! especially if dealer quads are too big. they make for excellent learning machines.

Which Used ATV Is Best For People On A Budget? 


One of the brands I most recommend when trying to buy used is Honda. they have gained a reputation for solid, reliable operation, and can be quite affordable when compared to other brands.

they also retain a lot of value so that if in the future you want to change quads, it won’t hurt your wallet that much.

Hondas are usually simpler quads with a rougher suspension which makes them a great old school choice. the Honda TRX-250 is a classic choice when it comes to the used market.

The ATV that I first drove was a Honda so maybe I’m a bit biased, haha but they are great beginner quads. their suspension is a bit rougher than most so if you prefer a more comfortable ride go with something else!


Suzuki created the first 4 wheeled ATV on the 1983 and changed the game forever. before that, 3 wheeled ATVs were the only quads available which were certainly harder to use.

Suzuki sports ATVs like the LT250R Quadracer are quite fast and sporty. they are not as reliable as hondas but they offer some things that Honda doesn’t like a more ergonomic seating position, a more comfortable ride, and more power.

Depending on mileage and condition, Suzukis can be had for a fairly moderate price. their bearing and engines require more upkeep to maintain reliability.


Polaris ATVs are so beautiful. and I’m not talking about their new slingshot nor anything like that, but all their models have a very aesthetic appeal to them.

Polaris ATVs are known for their refinement and comfort. they are often found with goodies such as automatic transmissions and dual engage brakes, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you are looking for.

Polaris quads depreciate rather quickly though, but it can be a value buy if you find a well-maintained one. Some people don’t like the automatic transmission or the brakes because they prefer a more visceral model. But when it comes to sheer comfort and ease of use, Polaris is the way to go.

Tips for Saving money when buying an ATV

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want when it comes to pricing! do your research and visit other dealers in order to compare prices. make them compete for your business. I have even told them that I’m trying to look for the cheapest mid-size ATV and to tell me if you are willing to work with me on that. and as long as you are not lowballing them, you might be able to get a good deal.
  • If possible, ask for test drives. is the ride comfortable? is it too loud or quiet for your taste? not too fast for your liking? take your time and make sure nobody is rushing you.
  • If you are happy with the ATV, remember to choose a financing plan that won’t shoestring your wallet. there is no point in having a new shiny quad if you don’t have money for much else!
  • Once you buy it, enjoy! start slow since the engine is new, but as you rack up the first couple miles, start building up speed!


Many folks are surprised when they see the prices of these machines. they more expensive in America compared to Europe and beyond. their dual function as a farm tool also keeps prices high.

but like they say, you get what you pay for, and modern ATVs are really fast, comfortable, and a blast to ride on.

There is also the choice of buying used. like many of us would know, starting with a rugged Honda Rancher or similar is a great way of learning the ropes, all while reducing insurance and repair costs.

Many folks don’t realize the massive discounts that some dealers offer on stalled stock, that’s why it’s so important to shop around and know the vehicle you are trying to acquire.

I have heard stories of people getting thousands of dollars off MSRP simply because there is surplus stock on the dealer and salesmen have to move units so they practically give them away.

If the out of door pricing is too high and the financing options are not appealing to you, and buying used is not an option, simply pass on the purchase and wait a few months for a better deal. depending on where you live in, prices can peak in certain seasons, so waiting a few months can certainly save you a hundred dollars in the long run.