Jan 11, 2020

All About ATV Depreciation and Resale Value

Trail Boss

Parting ways with your used four-wheeler can be tough; agreeing to a low resale value can be even tougher.

It’s a good thing used ATV values have stayed pretty consistent over the years!

Perhaps the hardest pill for vehicle owners to swallow is pouring a hefty sum of cash into a brand-new vehicle and not seeing a substantial return when it’s time to sell. Thankfully, a four-wheeler’s depreciation rate is slower than most, making ATVs and UTVs an ideal anytime investment! Let’s delve into ATV depreciation a little more, shall we?

When do ATVs begin depreciating?

Just like its two-wheeled cousin, a brand-new ATV begins to depreciate the minute it leaves the lot (technically the moment you press the throttle lever). Brand-new ATVs with larger engines (400cc or greater) lose the most value in the first year, while ATVs with smaller engines (250cc or less) depreciate most during the first 2-3 years.  

Should I buy brand-new?

It’s difficult to say what the ‘average’ new ATV values at, but you can expect to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000, and even more if you want all the bells and whistles (in fact, I know someone who spent over $20K on a brand-new ATV). The question is, do you want to spend that amount on a new vehicle when its slightly senior sibling can get the job done just as well?

I belong to a forum of ATV riders, and the general feeling is “If it still runs like a charm, why buy new?” In this forum, I discovered that several of my fellow ATV enthusiasts have been riding their four-wheelers for upwards of 15+ years, some for as long as three decades!

If you’re a beginner ATV rider, though, you might be thinking, “Newer looks cooler.” Fortunately, beginners, function outranks form as far as ATVs and UTVs go, so you don’t have to worry about your four-wheeled ride losing popularity points with your friends because it isn’t ‘pretty’ enough.

Plus, this type of vehicle is fairly easy to modify, so it’s still possible to give your used ATV the look you want. However, if there’s a chance you’ll trade in your ATV at some point, keep the aftermarket modifications to a minimum since stock vehicles are generally what buyers prefer.

What’s the average trade-in value of used ATVs?

According to ATVTrader.com, the average cost of a used four-wheeler is in the $3,500 to $7,000 range, and that’s for the top makes (imagine the possibilities of brands that are lesser known!). My advice? Buy ATVs that are at least a few years old, and wait until the off-season to do it when demand is low.


What is the value of my ATV?

If you’re interested in selling or trading a used ATV, your first inclination might be to defer to KBB ATV values. But if you remember from Is Kelley Blue Book Accurate? The Truth Behind KBB, KBB resale values are not reliable indicators of a used vehicle’s worth since they don’t take into account live-market trends. Enter RumbleOn.

Using sophisticated technology and the information you send us, RumbleOn will make you a FREE cash offer based on the live-market data our specialists collect. If setting up a private sale is more in your wheelhouse, though, NADAguides publishes used ATV values that can serve as a guide in your negotiations, not a bargaining chip.

What factors affect ATV depreciation and ATV values?


ATV values have stayed pretty consistent over the years, but depreciation is still inevitable. After the first few years of ownership, for example, mileage and condition begin affecting the resale value of ATVs. So, if you’re a mud freak and your quad has seen its fair share of ruts and mud holes, you’ll want to approach an interested buyer with a little more humility than, say, someone who used their ATV to haul equipment up and down a paved driveway on the weekends.

If you’ve maintained your vehicle properly, you may get a respectable return when you trade ATVs. If not, you can try to restore the ATV (i.e. install new wheels and tires, seal or repaint the plastic trim, etc.), but don’t expect a worthwhile offer if the vehicle looks like it’s hanging on by a thread.

Which ATV brands will get me the top ATV trade-in value when it’s time to sell?

WhileATVMan reminds us that we should all “embrace the benefits of each of the different brands,” others will advise you to set your sights on the top makes: Honda, Yamaha, Polaris, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. The more prolific a brand is in its vehicle production, the easier it will be for future riders to modify and maintain their used ATV. This, in turn, generates demand for certain brands, and where demand is high, so is resale value.

Already have a used ATV to ride this summer? Check out Off-Road Riding: The Best ATV Trails by Region on The Mudslinger blog for your next off-road adventure!

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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