How To Finance Your ATV or UTV

How To Finance Your ATV or UTV

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How To Finance Your ATV or UTV

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Guest post by Mark Velicer of Walletoutdoors.com

If you find yourself gawking at the newest ATVs, like we do, it’s fun to think about driving the ultimate way to get around.  If you don’t want to put down a duffle bag of cash, then financing may be for you.

Why Buy An ATV or UTV?

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can provide great access to hunting and fishing spots you’d never otherwise get to.  There are also Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs), and either one can be called Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) or Recreational Off-road Vehicles (ROVs).  Especially UTVs (but also ATVs) can also be work horses, pulling and hauling whatever you need around your property or farm. Not only that, they can save wear and tear on your truck, which you can keep for when you really need it.  How about if we stick to one label, ATV to keep things simple.

Off-roads, the right ATV will get you out on epic adventures through back roads, mountains, forests, and stream-side.  For example, the extensive logging roads we enjoy in the mountains of Washington get us to alpine lakes for great trout fishing.  And they’re just fun to ride on.

In some places, ATV’s can be rented, for example at ATV tracks and recreation areas.  However, you’ll usually be limited in where you can take it, and you’ll only have it for a limited time.  Buying your own, on the other hand, makes for an adventure always ready to go.  Image result for atv in mountains

If the price tag is giving you sticker shock, consider a notch lower cost by giving up some features or power if you really don’t need it.  Then, look at financing options to make monthly payments instead of forking over a barn full of cash all at once. We want you to have fun without breaking the bank.  Since we are independent and don’t represent a manufacturer or lender, here are some objective tips, do’s and don’ts for financing your ATV.

How Much Do ATVs or UTVs Cost?

ATV’s come in a wide variety of specifications and cost.  Like any sport, you can start at an entry level basic model, or go all-in with power and extensive features.  Before even considering the price, you should first consider what size and features you want and need, for how you are going to use it. Just to get an idea, here is a range of popular ATVs, along with their (adult or full size) retail price in mid-2019:

  • Apollo Sniper 125cc – $800 – $1,400

  • TaoTao 250 Rhino Blue – $1,200 – $1,900

  • Gsi Monster X 550cc 4-Wheeler 4 x 4 – $5,000 – $5,500

  • Vitacci Monster 300, $5,000 – $5,500

  • BMS Motor Sniper T350 Sport UTV – $5,500 – $6,500

  • Big Horn 700cc 2 Speed 4×4 – $7,000 – $8,000

  • Crew 750 UTV 4×4 – $12,000 – $14,000

  • Intimidator Crew Cab UTV 750cc Kohler – $15,200 – $16,500

Pricing is a lot like buying a truck or a car – there’s a huge range that demands first defining what you want, and then finding the best value and deal you can.  The largest, fully-loaded ATVs have all the bells and whistles, including massive power and faster speed, more tank capacity, roll bars, and storage space. The most basic models, you’re basically just riding without many features.

Related Article:  “How Much Truck Should You Buy?”

Financing Options for ATVs

Once you’ve honed in on a couple finalist models and a range of prices you can live with, consider if you want to pay for it all now, or finance and pay it over time.  While it might be tempting to just assuming you’ll finance it (hey have fun how and pay later!), just remember you’ll be paying interest over time which increases your total cost to own the ATV.

If financing makes sense (and interest rates these days are still pretty low), taking out a loan or financing in some way will let you pay it off gradually.  If you are asking “how long can you finance an ATV?” the answer depends on what type of finance financing you obtain. Same thing if you are wondering what ATV finance rates are.  The types of financing you could consider are:

  • Dealer or retailer financing

  • Personal loans

  • Home equity loans

  • Credit cards

Dealer or Retailer Financing

Some dealers or retailers offer on-the-spot financing, such as Polaris ATV Finance or, Honda Finance ATV, or Suzuki ATV Finance.  These options are often dependent on the type of ATV you buy, because the dealer is usually promoting a deal the manufacturer is offering in order to sell more units.  For example, some dealers might offer 0% annualized percentage rate (APR) for six months, after which your interest rate will rise to almost always higher than 15% and sometimes as high as 30% depending on your credit and the terms they are offering.

Image result for atv dealership

Some ATVs are even sold with an accompanying credit card that in addition to an interest rate promotion, gives you discounts or points on fuel and ATV related purchases.  Buyer beware however, because usually the higher interest rate will apply to these purchases as well if you don’t pay them off before the special deal (lower interest rate for a limited time) expires.  To sum it up:

When to use dealer financing:
  • If financing enables a special promotion such as lower price or 0% interest rate for a period of time.

  • You prefer the convenience of applying for financing as you shop.

  • It doesn’t concern you that your ATV will be used as collateral (in the event of non-payment they’ll repossess the ATV from you) .

  • When you don’t qualify for other lower interest forms of financing, or if you want to ATV finance bad credit.

Advantages of dealer financing:
  • Convenient to get done right at the dealership, such as Honda ATV finance.

  • You may be able to get 0% APR or other promotional deal for a limited time (typically 6 months or less), giving you time to make payments without interest (or even pay it off).

  • Some retailers offer financing through multiple lenders, giving you options to finance ATV.

  • You may still be able to get financing, even with bad credit (in part because you commit the ATV as collateral), meaning this may be a fall back form of financing if you don’t qualify for the other types we discuss below.

Disadvantages of dealer financing:
  • The brand and model of the ATV you want might not come with attractive financing as another brand.  So, you can be stuck with a tradeoff – get the exact ATV you want, or get the better financing?

  • Most often carries a high interest rate, even if you get a promotional low or even 0% interest rate for a few months.

  • Your ATV is usually used as collateral, and therefore could be repossessed if you don’t keep up with payments.

  • Interest rates for those with poor credit can be not only high, but outrageously high.  So, don’t sign up unless you are confident you can pay it back, and don’t have access to other loan types.

Personal Loans

Personal loans are a form of financing you can apply for independent of whether you are planning on using it for an ATV or something else.  Once you’ve qualified for a personal loan, you can then choose to use it for an ATV or for other purchases, because they have flexible terms and usually have more affordable interest rates than dealer financing. Image result for personal loans

The terms of your personal loan – not to mention if you qualify for one – will depend a great deal on your credit history.  Personal loans may range from several thousand to typically no more than $30,000 unless you have a long and excellent credit track record.  Repayment timelines tend to range from 1 to 5 years. Interest rate is determined by your creditworthiness.

While your APR will depend on your creditworthiness, personal loans come with a fixed interest rate you can depend on, a fixed repayment schedule, and a fixed monthly payment.  Other than dealers, there aren’t many ATV finance companies that offer ATV-specific loans, and you can probably get a better rate with a personal or home equity loan in any case.

When to use personal loans:
  • If you prefer a fixed monthly payment, and well defined repayment schedule

  • For good credit that qualifies you for the best rates

  • To get your financing all buttoned down before you shop for an ATV, so you know the terms and don’t get into negotiations or a higher rate with the dealer.

  • Can be useful for a finance used ATV, not just new.

Advantages of personal loans:
  • Can have very attractive interest rates if you have good credit.

  • Convenient to compare loans and terms online from different lenders.

  • With a fixed payment amount and repayment schedule, you have certainty in the amount you owe and when it will be paid off.

  • As an unsecured loan, you won’t lose your ATV to repossession if you don’t make your payments (however you can expect it will affect your credit score).

  • If you qualify for a loan greater than the cost of your ATV, you can extend your good credit to other constructive uses.

Disadvantages of personal loans:
  • You may not get a competitive interest rate if your credit rating is fair or poor (but it still is likely to be better than dealer financing which is also subject to a credit check).

  • You may need to invest up front in origination or application fees, though some lenders may offer personal loans without upfront fees (usually for a slightly higher interest rate).

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Most articles about ATV financing don’t mention home equity loans, but we do for the distinct advantages they can offer.   Just be aware of the terms of your loan, to make sure that this type of purchase is OK with your lender. For some, a Home Equity loan is restricted to certain types of expenditures, such as improvements to your home.  Other lenders however are much less constraining, and once you qualify, you have complete discretion over what you use the loan for – almost like a personal loan just secured against your home.

Image result for home equity line of credit

When to use a home equity line:
  • If you already have one, with the right amount of credit capacity.

  • If you have other financing needs, and purchasing an ATV fits with with those (typically a home equity loan would be larger than you need to finance an ATV).

  • You want a back up credit line available for the future, even if all you are planning on financing today is your ATV.

Advantages of home equity loans:
  • You may already have one.

  • If you want additional credit capacity than you need for an ATV.

  • If you are already financing other things through a HELOC and can include the ATV with it.

  • They typically come with lower rates than other financing.

    • Can be useful for financing a used ATV, not just new.

Disadvantages of home equity loans:
  • Interest rates are typically variable, so even if you start low, it could rise over time and increase your interest costs.

  • They are secured against your home, not the ATV or anything else.  So if you default on your payments, you can actually put your home at risk.

  • They have a direct bearing on your credit rating.

Credit CardsImage result for generic credit card

There’s a reason we put this one last, but it is definitely still an option for ATV finance.  Credit cards are usually more expensive than other options, because the interest rate is currently over 17-18%.  However, credit cards may be viable if you have a lower rate due to your excellent credit, or if you can get a special offer such as 0% APR for a limited time, in affect a free short-term loan.

When to use credit cards:
  • You have great credit and a low interest rate (e.g. under 9-10%).

  • You can get a super low or 0% APR on purchases – but pay it off before that limited time offer expires.

  • You can absorb the interest rate but prefer having some flexibility in how much you pay each month.

  • You don’t have any other options, and are  confident you can pay it off without spending too much on interest.

Advantages of credit cards:
  • Flexibility in monthly payment amount.

  • You could completely pay off your ATV in 6-15 months without any interest, if you quality for a limited time 0% APR offer.

  • This type of financing is easy to do your homework and apply for online (though not always easy to quality for).

  • Well suited for financing smaller purchases, such as finance ATV tires or other gear you need for your ATV.

Disadvantages of credit cards:
  • Unless you can get a very low or even 0% APR offer, most credit cards will cost you a lot more in interest than other types of financing.

  • If you don’t pay off the ATV after the introductory offer is over (usually 6-12 months, sometimes longer), your interest rate will escalate (as high as 25%) and cost you a lot more in interest.

  • Because you have flexibility in how much you pay, if you only paid the minimum every month, it would take you up to 5 years to pay off, with a lot of interest.

Bottom Line

Image result for atv

There are plenty of ways to finance an ATV.  Just like any other purchase such as a vehicle, a loan or credit line or card can help you obtain your ATV sooner than saving up for it.  If you finance it responsibly, you can enjoy itwhile paying it off. Like any loan, however, be careful that you don’t take on more than you can pay back.  And of course, do your homework beforehand, and read the fine print to make sure you get the best offer possible. Check out an ATV finance calculator online to estimate your payment.  Be sure not to buy on the spot, because the decision you make today will affect how much you make in payments for years to come. Again, using a finance ATV calculator can really help nail down how much your payment will be, so you can determine if it fits within your monthly budget.  If you make a smart choice, and understand the financing well before taking the plunge, you’ll have a blast with the ATV with no regrets.

About WalletOutdoors.com

We want you to spend more time outdoors.  We love the outdoors, can’t get enough of it.  “Huntin,’ fishin,’ and lovin’ every day” is one of our absolute favorite theme songs.  Thing is, getting outdoors takes time, effort……and money.

Managing your money well means more quality time outdoors. No matter why you are outdoors, managing your money well makes a huge difference.  From better gear to new destinations.  From sleeping comfortably under the stars knowing your finances are in good shape, to being on a path to stop the 9-5 work grind earlier – yes even retire early and enjoy even more time outdoors.

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