Which ATV Has The Best Resale Value? We Go Through The Choices

In ATV Setups by Kevin

Which ATV Has The Best Resale Value?

Buying a new ATV can be quite expensive. one of the things that buyers must consider when choosing what to get for you or your kids is the resale value of the quad. like I pointed out in that other article, ATVs sold in America are quite a bit pricier than in other parts of the world so it makes sense that you get something that will retain it’s value well. and many of the people that are buying their first quad always ask me about which is the quad that retains the most value over the years. and the answer is always the same.

The ATV brand that holds the most value over the years is Honda. it’s no secret that Honda ATVs have one of the best resale values in the industry. this is primarily because of proven reliability and wide availability of parts. Honda ATVs have always been really popular because of this. anybody looking to save some money over the long term should buy Honda, period.

These little monsters are able to withstand an unbelievable amount of abuse and rough operation, without sacrificing power or costing a fortune to initially purchase. so as long as you keep up with the maintenance and don’t manhandle them too frequently, Honda ATVs will keep their value very well. and this applies for all of their quads and UTVs, especially their best-selling model, the TRX250.

The first quad that I bought was a used 1986 Honda ATC250 3 wheeler and it was a well maintained zippy little ride. I originally bought it for 1000$ back in 2005 and when it was time to get rid of it I managed to get 800 bucks which is great considering the abuse it sustained over the years. I didn’t really know that much about ATV brands back then, so I didn’t care that much about brand reputation. without realizing it, I bought myself a winner.

So What Drives Up ATV Resale Prices?

  • The condition of the ATV makes a world of difference. In an ideal world, all quads should have scheduled maintenance to check for any parts that need upkeep. other periodical stuff like doing an oil change is important in order to maintain the residual value of the ride. I usually change the oil of my TRX every 3 months if I’m using it heavily. depending on the owner, a high mileage 4-wheeler might be in good working order or it might be a piece of junk, and so will be resale value. if you are shopping for a used quad, asking about scheduled maintenance is a good idea to make sure that you are not overpaying for a crappy, beat up machine.
  • Special or limited edition ATVs command a premium. Through the years brands come up with special race-ready models that are typically are limited to a small number of quads. models like the Sportsman XP 1000 LE are very expensive, but they certainly will keep most of their value over the years since it’s such a desired model.
  • Other models that keep their value well are well-modified quads built by enthusiasts. just installing a few mods such as exhaust systems, carburetor work, suspension changes, etc.. will improve the performance of the quad and the resale value as well. and likewise, if you are trying to sell your 4-wheeler, talking about the aftermarket mods installed has is a good idea so that you can negotiate prices with the seller.
  • Local interest in ATVs or outdoor activities. Where you live can make a big difference in resale value. some states have a bigger outdoor scene than others. there are even some states that allow operation of ATV in the streets (with mods).

From what I have seen, west coast and midwest states are generally more interested in ATVs, dirt biking, and skateboarding. that means more people wants to ride quads, that means more demand, and ultimately that reflects in the ATV resale values. prices in Utah will be much higher than in New York simply because there’s more interest in offroading there.

So Which Brands Have The Best Resale Values?

  • Honda. If you have gone trail riding you have probably seen a lot of old scrappy hondas ripping through trails. that is because they are often the best choice for people on a budget, which is most of us. sturdy and reliable, no wonder why they retain their value so well. is your main ATV broken? no problem, the Honda is there waiting for you. do you want to buy something for your kids but aren’t sure if they are gonna keep riding long term? get a Honda for them! you can just sell it for most of your money back if your kids lose interest in it.
  • Polaris. Another very popular brand, Polaris resale values mainly depend on the model you are looking to purchase. there are some scramblers that hold their value really well and others not as much. I bought a new 2013 Trailblazer 330 and sold it a year ago for about 60% of the original MSRP. So if taken good care of they can command a hefty price in the used market. not everybody will have the same luck though. my brother in law bought a Polaris Sportsman because he liked the suspension and also for utility purposes but he wasn’t taking care of the machine so when it was time to sell the value had sharply dropped so he decided to stay with it.
  • Can-Am. Can-Am ATVs are some of the most luxurious in the business. most of their models are very fast, they have a very comfortable ride, and also they are also excellent off-roaders, with one of the best ground clearances in the business. Can-Am quads have a very distinctive and stylish design, they are definitely the best looking quads by far the. however, Can-Am lags a bit behind when it comes to resale value, especially when compared to the 2 brands that I mentioned earlier. these quads are for an offroading market and so asking prices can vary a lot. the parts are a bit harder to find because there aren’t a lot of these and so they depreciate rather quickly.

Tips To Make Your ATV Retain Value

  • Perform maintenance every 3 months. Having a service schedule on your ATV might be a bit time consuming or might cost a few extra bucks. but it will certainly pay off in the long run. all engines collect grime and carbon deposits as time goes on, so it’s a great idea to perform some preventive servicing or at least use some products clean up the cylinder’s insides. doing this semi-regularly will definitely maintain your machine’s resale value in the long run.
  • Install new wheels and tires. This can make a world of difference, both in performance and in resale value. buying a new set of wheels not only make your ride look as if it’s a new model but if combined with a suspension lift, it can also be very useful in harsher offroad conditions. aftermarket wheels is another option to increase the resale value of your 4-wheeler.
  • Clean and restore the plastic trim. I’m are not saying you need to make the protective plastics look like when it was new, but adding some protective coating and trying to fix any obvious big scratches can make a night and day difference. it makes your ATV look like it didn’t take too much of a beating. if the scratch is too noticeable, then painting the plastic can be an alternative.
  • Clean and restore your quad’s headlights. If your particular ATV or UTV features headlights, riding at night is going to be easier, and more importantly much safer. however, after a few months, headlights usually get cloudy and yellow which makes your ATV look older than it is, thus lowering resale values. thankfully, there are several ways to make the headlight look as clear as a new one. One way is using toothpaste to clean the insides and outsides of the glass. another is using clearcoat and sandpaper to grit off the haziness. this video explains the process.
  • Know what you have. As much as you want to increase the value of your quad, an obscure ATV model might not be worth much. websites like nadaguides.com can help you compare prices so that you know the real value of your quad and can ask for something more realistic.


Riding ATVs is an expensive hobby. depending on what you are looking for, a new quad might cost thousands of dollars when you factor in the insurance, gas, and taxes. that’s why it’s important to keep in mind the resale value when buying a 4-wheeler. nobody wants to spend 5000$ on a quad, and then after 2 years sell it for a measly 1500$ after mostly light use. because of this, The brand that I most recommend if you are looking for good resale value is Honda. not only are their ATVs are really fun, but they also have a good reputation coming from the car industry and hold their value really well.

One of the best ways to maintain the value of your quad is doing regular maintenance work on your bike. changing the quad’s oil often, avoiding thrashing the quad, and keeping it in good shape in general is paramount if you are looking to sell it in the future. if you have an ATV right now and want to sell it soon, taking care of the fenders and cleaning the headlights can really make it look more premium and increase residual values.

After that, make sure you know the general asking price of the quad. going on Craigslist and checking out equivalent models in your area might be helpful you avoid selling your quad for than what it’s really worth.