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How Much Does A Dune Buggy Cost? Buying Vs Building

How Much Does A Dune Buggy Cost? Buying Vs Building

The late Spring and summer weather is a call to outdoor adventure. Recreational vehicles, such as a dune buggy, allow some of the best adventures on unpaved terrain.

A small off-road dune buggy will cost around $1800 to $3000 to purchase and about $1200 to $2000 to build yourself. An average sized, street legal, dune buggy will cost from $5,000 up to $30,000 depending on condition and around $5,000 to build yourself.

Like any recreational vehicle or equipment, the dune buggy can cost money and time. Whether to buy or build a dune buggy depends on a combination of factors. Below is an overview of what is involved in building a dune buggy and how it compares to buying one, in terms of price.

What Affects the Costs of a Dune Buggy

There are several factors that affect the costs of a dune buggy:

  • Intended use
  • Brand
  • Customization
  • Types and quality of parts
  • New vs. used
  • Demand and availability

The intended use of the dune buggy decides other factors. There are different things to consider, even when dune buggies are mostly used for recreational purposes. Riding a dune buggy on a beach is different from off-roading in the backwoods of the countryside.

The modifications and fixes that are needed will depend on the intended use of the dune buggy, though most dune buggies are driven, recreationally, on unpaved roads.

Another factor that affects the cost of dune buggies is the brand. An iconic and influential brand, such as Meyers Manx, can range from $9,000 to as much as $450,000 (for an original, classic model source:

The cost depends on the availability and condition of the desired model. With that said, the price of a dune buggy model fluctuates.

Customization can contribute to the costs of building a maintaining a dune buggy. Some customizations, such as a paint-job, are cosmetic. Others, such as swapping out for a higher-powered engine, can cost

Here’s a cool video showing what it takes to get a dune buggy running:

This is where we got our Offroad Go Kart Buggy for the kids off Amazon. We went with the Trailmaster buggy but they also have smaller karts and all electric options with great reviews.

How much to build a dune buggy

DIY dune buggy kits can cost at least $2,000  and will typically include a chassis and a body frame. Other key parts such as the engine and transmission will have to be bought separately. Shipping and customization will bump up the price range for the DIY dune buggy.

Other essential components that are needed include the engine, transmission, wheels and tires, steering, and safety equipment.  The wheels and tires alone will require special tools and hardware and, in total, can cost hundreds of dollars.

Ready-made engines can cost up to $4,000, but online retailers sell engine kits for as low as $800. Plus, engine parts can be bought separately.

In addition to basic components, there are other cost considerations before undertaking a dune buggy building project. Other costs include tools and workspace.

Must-have tools and equipment for the ultimate DIY dune buggy include:

  • A high-power welding machine.
  • Strong clamps
  • Magnets
  • Workbench

These tools are necessary if components are being built from scratch.  A high-powered welder from a big-box home improvement store cost anywhere between $2k and $9k. A more budget-friendly option is renting the equipment for a period of time. This depends on the length of the DIY project.

The costs of building a dune buggy add up over time. There are many factors that contribute to the overall cost of building a dune buggy, such as quality of the components, kits, equipment, and length of time of the project.

Building a dune buggy that is street-legal will cost more money and time. To ensure compliance, it is important to look at local and state laws regarding dune buggies. Some states, such as Texas, have started revoking licenses and registrations for dune buggies.

The cost of building a dune buggy from scratch or buying the parts separately can be as high as $13,000..

How much does a VW dune buggy cost?

If building a dune buggy is not a possibility, because of time constraints or lack of space and equipment, buying one is an alternative. The price range for a standard dune buggy is $3,000 to $15,000.

A classic VW dune buggy from the 1960’s can cost around $16,000 (and as much as $30,000!), depending on the seller. When it comes to the classic models, the mileage and condition affect the costs. 

These are just average prices. It is possible to find a VW dune buggy that costs less than $3,000, particularly a used one with mileage.

The VW dune buggy is one of the most popular and recognizable brands out there. The classic models are affordable, relative to newer models. The latest model, the Volkswagen ID Buggy, has a base a price of $30,000. (source:

Budget-Friendly Dune Buggy Options

If buying a complete dune buggy or building one is cost and time prohibitive, there are budget friendly options available.

One of the budget friendly options is to buy a used dune buggy locally. There are online marketplaces that can give local listings of used vehicles. Some sellers allow potential buyers to make an offer on the price.

Another budget friendly choice is to rent a dune buggy. There are recreational or adventure sports locations that rent out dune buggies. An off-roading packet costs around $300 a day for 2 passengers. Other locations rent out dune buggies for as low as $99.

Renting is a great choice if buying or building a dune buggy is too much of a commitment. It is great option for one-off adventures.

Opting for a cheap, yet popular brand is one of the best ways to keep the costs down. The Razor dune buggy costs around $400. A higher tier brand, such as Taotao, costs around $2,000.

But an off-roading or sand dune enthusiast may want more power out of these vehicles. Another budget-friendly choice is buying a fixer-upper that is in acceptable condition. The costs of revamping a used dune buggy will depend on the parts that need to be replaced.

This is where we got our Offroad Go Kart Buggy for the kids off Amazon. We went with the Trailmaster buggy but they also have smaller karts and all electric options with great reviews.


The decision to buy or build a dune buggy depends on a variety of factors. Two of the most important factors are budget and time.

Building a dune buggy from scratch requires workspace, the right equipment, and time. Buying a dune buggy can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars (for the cheapest brands) to $16,000.

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