Quads, also known as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or four-wheelers, are powerful and versatile machines that allow you to traverse a wide range of terrains. Buying a quad for sale can be an exciting but challenging experience with so many options. This comprehensive guide will provide expert insights to help you find the ideal quad for your needs and budget.
Introduction to Quads for Sale
Quads emerged in the 1970s as recreational vehicles but have since expanded into intense racing competitions and indispensable utility vehicles for farmers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts. As their popularity grew, so did the variety of available models.
Today, youth models are designed for beginner riders, mid-sized utility and sport models capable of light-duty hauling and trail riding, and high-powered sports models built for racing, dunes, and mudding. Prices range from under $1,000 for youth and entry-level models to $15,000+ for specialized racing quads.
When searching for a quad for sale, carefully consider where and how you plan to ride to choose the appropriate size, engine configuration, and features. This guide will walk you through the key factors to weigh when buying a quad:
The quad market is often divided into categories based on size, engine power, and intended use:
- Engine size: 50cc to 110cc
- Rider size: Designed for kids ages 6-11
- Usage: Learning to ride under adult supervision; ideal for trails and flat terrain
- Engine size: 70cc to 400cc
- Rider size: Teens and small adults
- Usage: Trail riding and light utility use
- Engine size: 400cc to 700cc
- Rider size: Average-sized adults
- Usage: Dune riding, mudding, motocross and racing
- Engine size: 700cc to 1000cc
- Rider size: Experienced adult riders
- Usage: High-speed desert and dunes; professional racing
- Engine size: 300cc to 700cc
- Rider size: Any size capable rider
- Usage: Farm work, hunting, heavy hauling and towing
Remember your size, skill level, and how you plan to use the quad. A youth model may be tempting for the lower cost, but it will need more power and capabilities than an adult rider. Conversely, a large racing quad would be risky for a beginner to control.
While specific features vary across ATV models, there are some universal factors to consider:
- Engine size – Measured in cc or cubic centimeters, the engine size determines the quad’s horsepower and torque. More cc’s equates to more speed and hauling capacity.
- Drive type – Most quads are either 2WD or 4WD. 4WD improves traction and is better for rugged terrain, while 2WD models are lighter and more nimble.
- Transmission – Options include automatic, manual, and semi-automatic transmissions. Automatic is easiest for beginners, while manual transmissions allow experienced riders to control gearing.
- Suspension – Independent rear suspension improves ride comfort and traction. Wider tires and shocks with more travel also absorb bumps better.
- Additional features – Look for power steering, locking differentials, winches, storage racks, and hitches to enhance utility use. Sport models offer grippy tires and rim and body protection.
Matching the quad’s capabilities with your needs and skill level is crucial to choosing the suitable model. Work with a trusted dealership to test drive different options in your budget to find the best fit.
The advantages and disadvantages of buying new versus used quads include:
- Latest designs, technology, and safety features
- Warranty protects against early repairs
- Customize with preferred colors and options
- There is no unknown history of previous damage or neglect
- A much higher purchase price
- Higher depreciation when new models are released
- I may need to wait for delivery after ordering
- Significant cost savings over new
- Often available immediately
- A more comprehensive selection of models and brands
- Ability to buy higher-end models for less
- No factory warranty protection
- Potential for undiscovered mechanical issues
- Unknown past use and accidents
- Limited options to customize
If opting for use, have a mechanic inspect it before purchase and ask for maintenance records. Many dealers also offer certified pre-owned quads that undergo inspections and include a warranty.
The best places to buy new and used quads include:
- Local ATV dealerships – Offer test rides, assistance choosing the suitable model, financing options, parts/service departments, and sometimes demo model sales.
- Private sellers – Usually the cheapest way to buy used but higher risk than dealers. Inspect thoroughly before purchasing.
- Auctions – Bid on quads sold by dealers, distributors, and owners. It allows access to a vast selection, but models sell as-is.
- Classified ads – Scour sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and ATV Trader for locals selling their quads. Arrange an in-person inspection before exchanging money.
- Online retailers – There is a large selection of new models available for home delivery from sites like ATV.com and QuadCrazy.com. Limited ability to test drive and high shipping fees.
Shopping local dealerships and classified ads are intelligent ways to find quality used quads while supporting community businesses. Always test drive and thoroughly inspect any used ATV before making an offer.
Quad prices vary immensely based on the model’s size, capabilities, and condition. The most crucial pricing factors include:
- Engine size – More engine CCs mean more speed and power. Larger engines command higher prices.
- Brand – Respected brands like Honda, Yamaha, Polaris, and Can-Am cost more for their reputation and quality.
- Age and usage – Newer and lower-mileage quads have higher values. Modifications also increase used prices.
- Condition – Quads with damage, worn parts, and neglected maintenance sell for less. Storing indoors helps the condition.
- Additional features – Options like power steering, aluminum wheels, tow hitches, and winches boost value.
- Local demand – Prices fluctuate based on the number of buyers searching for your area’s specific make and model.
Setting a reasonable budget and sticking to it is vital when browsing tempting high-end quads for sale. Focus on condition over accessories you can add later to find the best value.
What size quad is best for a beginner adult rider?
Beginners should start with a mid-range 400cc to 500cc quad. This gives you enough power for trail riding without being overly challenging to control as a new rider.
Like new models, many banks and dealers offer financing for used quads. Rates are higher for used vehicles.
Prices range widely but expect to spend $4,000-$8,000 for a quality mid-sized recreational quad from a leading brand like Honda or Yamaha.
Riding quads can be challenging initially, but take it slow and practice starting and stopping in open areas. Enroll in a hands-on training class if available in your area. Always wear safety gear while learning.
Key questions include why they’re selling, how they used the quad, recent repairs and maintenance, any accidents or damage, and whether they have service records to provide.
Financing Options for Quad Purchases
Very few buyers can afford to pay cash for a quality new or used quad. Financing brings ownership into reach through manageable monthly payments. Ways to finance an ATV purchase include:
- Loans from banks and credit unions – offer competitive rates and flexible terms; approval is based on credit scores.
- Dealer financing – Many ATV dealers partner with lenders to offer on-site financing with instant decisions. Rates may be higher.
- Manufacturer promotions – Special low-rate offers directly through brands like Polaris, Can-Am, or Honda. Great for those with good credit.
- Rent-to-own – Make payments over 12-24 months, then own the quad: higher overall costs but immediate ownership.
- Home equity loans – Leverage available equity in your home if you have sufficient equity. Offers tax-deductible interest.
- Personal loans from family/friends – Avoid high interest by borrowing from people you know. Set clear terms for re-payment.
Secure pre-approval from your lender before visiting dealerships so you know what you can afford. Carefully read all financing terms before signing to avoid surprises.
Purchasing the right quad for sale is an exciting experience, provided you define your needs, research options extensively, and test models that fit your budget. Focusing on condition over the year or accessories provides the best value. Consider financing ahead of time if needed to gain access to quality quads you’ll enjoy for years.
Connect with local dealerships and private sellers in your area to browse a wide selection of new and used models. Inspect and test drive any used ATVs before making an offer or commitment. With an understanding of the various types available, features, pricing, and financing options, you’ll soon be exploring trails and backroads on the perfect quad!