How To Buy A Good Used UTV?
Check this guide before you buy…
Story: Casey Cordeiro
You might be saying, “how do I know if I’m buying a good used UTV?” There are several things that can lead you in the right direction when you are looking on the used market, and we hope to give you some insight in this article.
Speaking from experience, I know that there are some stellar UTV deals in the used market, and not everyone can afford a brand new vehicle. Sure, it’s satisfying to be able to put the first mile on your own UTV, but it isn’t always necessary. Plus, buying a used UTV might give you the extra incentive to buy a new one next time around.
In the meantime, there are some things that you need to look out for before you make a used UTV purchase. So, let’s get into it…
When you look at a used unit, be sure to look at a couple things:
First, do your research – if you have a specific make and model in mind, research the forums and quality ratings on that particular model to see if buyers have run into issues with that model. Then, take that information with you if you end up looking at a used unit so you are informed before you make a purchase.
Outside condition – look at the plastics, wheels & tires, suspension components, and cage for wear and tear. Has the vehicle been rolled or abused? If you shake the vehicle from side to side, does it make any clanking noises or sound loose? These are things to look for.
Interior condition – seats, adjustable steering wheel, throttle and brake pedal feel, switches, etc… Make sure you do a thorough inspection. Take the seats out if you can and see if the owner regularly cleaned their vehicle. Look at the battery to make sure it is in good condition, too.
Electronics – go through the regular procedure of starting the vehicle, allowing it to warm up, and flipping on/off all accessories. Make sure the radiator fan automatically kicks on when the vehicle gets warm. Also, if the vehicle has accessories wired on it, is the wiring tidied up or a rat’s nest? If it’s tidied up, then you know that this owner took care of their UTV.
Oil Levels and fluid condition – look to see if all of the oil and fluid levels are where they should be. Also, don’t hesitate to smell the oil to see if it smells burnt at all. Color is key, too – you’ll be able to see if the oil was changed recently or not.
Grab the axles, gently wiggle them inside & out, side to side. Weird sounds and feels? Take note. Also, ask if the CV’s have ever been serviced? Finally, check the axle boots for cracks.
Look underneath – are the skid plates in tact? What about the metal braces, if you can see them? If anything is broken or bent, this could signal that the vehicle has been driven hard and abused over time.
Service records – ask for the service records or receipts for the do-it-yourselfers.
This isn’t a complete list of things to look over, but there are some must-check things on this list that will serve you as a good guideline for looking at a used UTV.
The next thing that you need to do is find a network of used UTVs to choose from. You can look for a used vehicle several ways, including but not limited to:
- Your local dealer, which might have a good selection – it really depends on the dealer. Make some calls to the closest dealers to you to see what they have in stock (if you have multiple dealers next to your home).
- Your local riding park – sometimes there are boards of “for sale” vehicles at your local riding area. These are great resources for people looking to buy a UTV that they have a bit of history on (you know where the machine has been ridden).
- Online Classifieds, including atvtrader.com, www.autotrader.com, ebay.com, and others. Many of these sites include many details. We would recommend to always take a look at the vehicle before you buy it, if you can. We have heard some great stories in sight-unseen buys, and we have also heard some terrible stories. It is kind of a luck-of-the-draw situation if you choose to buy a vehicle sight unseen.
Those are good places to start. At the end of the day, used machines can be phenomenal if you find a great one. Be picky in your search, know what you are looking for, and don’t be hesitant to ask questions! The more questions you ask, the more you will know about the vehicle.
We’ll see you on the trails!