Complete guide to buying your first ATV


Looking for a real adventure from an off-road vehicle? Whether you’re looking to seriously race or just have some fun with friends, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) can really deliver.

Also known as quad bikes or light utility vehicles, ATVs are designed for the rider to travel on low-pressure tires with handlebars for easy handling. With an array of ATVs for sale on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choice when it comes to purchasing your first one. Check out our complete guide to buying your first ATV below.

Decide on used or new

Depending on your riding experience and budget, you may find yourself asking, used or new? While there are pros and cons to both options, a lot of it comes down to your experience as a rider. If you are a complete beginner, purchasing a used ATV means you won’t have to worry about scratches and bumps that can easily occur while learning to ride.

There’s also the price to consider, with used ATVs being considerably cheaper than new ones. Often people get into the sport and then quickly move on to another hobby, so there are possibilities where the term ‘used’ may mean the bike is in perfect condition. If you are a serious and experienced bike rider however and have the budget for a shiny, new toy, then getting a brand new bike is a favoured option.

Determine how many seats you need

Perhaps you’re a serious motorcycle rider who only wants a different bike for your own racing, or riding an ATV is a new hobby that you want to enjoy with some friends and have some fun. Whatever the case may be, choosing how many seats will be a factor when purchasing your first ATV. Some ATVs on the market can now seat up to six people due to their stretched bodies. However, with more people, comes more stuff, so make sure that you do your research if your ATV needs ample storage for your passengers.

Selecting ATV power

Just like the brand selection, there is a wide range of options when it comes to ATV speed and power. A more seasoned rider may be looking for that ‘adrenaline’ option and opt for a higher speed model when getting their first ATV, but a beginner rider needs to be vigilant about buying an ATV that has too much power for their skill set.

Going above 250cc can be dangerous for a novice driver and you will run the risk of injury occurring.  If you are a beginner, it’s best practice to learn on a lower-powered engine first and build up your skill level. Then as your confidence and experience grow, you can gradually move to a faster model down the road. It’s also worth noting that a lower powered electric ATV is more environmentally friendly than higher speed, motorised models.

Think about handling and control

Handling features can vary depending on the manufacturer and how they are designed. Similar to ATV power, when you’re first starting to ride, the easier the handling, the easier it will be to learn. Your first few rides as a beginner can be overwhelming, the last thing you’ll want is to get frustrated with a bike you can’t control. Smaller bikes with light features will have easier steering and make the learning process much more enjoyable. Again, as your riding skills grow, so too can your options for purchasing an ATV with more advanced handling in the future.

Research ATV brands

Like motorcycles, there is an abundance of ATV brands, models and features to choose from. When searching for your first ATV, the brand name is something that you’ll want to research as each one will offer different features. Again, depending on your riding experience and your price point, certain brands will be more suitable than others. It’s best to check vehicle reviews and speak to an experienced ATV retailer or a motorcycle superstore who can help you make the right decision.

Consider the riding terrain

Although these bikes are literally named ‘all-terrain vehicles’, it’s still good to think about what type of ground your bike will be ridden on most often. Establishing this will ensure that your bike performs to the best of its ability and you and your passengers have the optimal riding experience.

Due to enhanced tracking capabilities, bikes with four-wheel drive are more suitable for surfaces like high hills or deep mud tracks. But if you plan on predominantly using your ATV for trails and fields, then a two-wheel drive is a good choice. There is also clutch and power steering considerations that need to be taken into account and will have an impact on your final choice of ATV. The team at Peter Stevens can help guide you through the different bike options available for your choice of terrain.

Ready to buy your first ATV? We have a huge range of ATVs for sale at our motorcycle superstore. Visit for more information.

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BSV Staff

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