Whether you are looking to buy an ATV for yourself, your kids, or another member of your close circle, you are likely looking to find the best deal around. Though a deal is not limited to the lowest price and can include other perks, the price is obviously an important component. You might be wondering if ATV prices are fixed or variable depending on when you buy them.
The best time to buy an ATV is in the late fall or early winter. This will be when riding an ATV is no longer in season, but before demand increases in preparation for the next season. Look for deals when restocking is taking place, for example, after the release of a new model or before the summer.
Keep in mind that buying an ATV at a good price has a lot to do with the location that you and the ATV dealership are in as this will affect the climate, cost of living, demand, and other points of negotiation. Be sure to keep your eye out for sales, and be open to different models to get the best price. Continue reading to learn more about when ATV prices drop and the best time to buy an ATV.
When is the Best Time of Year to Buy an ATV?
Buying an ATV from an ATV dealership is similar to buying a boat or a car- the prices are negotiable, but it takes education and persistence in finding the best deal. One component that will dramatically change your likelihood of buying an ATV at a good price is the season in which you are buying it.
The time of year- especially in seasonal climates where the summers are generally warm- affects buying and selling patterns dramatically.
The best time of year to buy an ATV is in the late fall or early winter. Adhering to the principle of supply and demand, the late fall is when most ATVs are no longer able to be ridden (as snowfall and cold weather commence), so demand goes down.
Additionally, dealerships are generally restocking before the holidays and the new year, so you can take advantage of overstocking.
Though, try to remember that these are generalities that might vary based on the area in which you live. For example, if you live in a climate that is snowy or cold for more than 75% of the year, then the seasonality of ATV sales might not change that much, and you might not be able to negotiate as well as you would like to.
In contrast, if you live in a climate that is warm for the majority of the year, then the opposite situation could occur where ATV sales are always booming, and you might be out of luck in getting a good deal.
Consider, though, that much of this has to do with the dealership’s success and the particular salesman that you are working with, as these variables will transform your experience, too.
To help you get a more clear picture of why buying an ATV in the late fall to early winter is going to be your best shot at the best prices, we have broken down the various seasonal components that will affect ATV prices.
Keep in mind, though, that these are generalities that might not apply to buying an ATV in your particular area or climate.
Buying an ATV in the Fall
Choosing to buy an ATV in the latter portion of the fall is going to be one of the best times to find low prices on ATVs. As summer is the peak ATV riding (and buying) season, you will find that fall is when everything really begins to die down.
This means that fewer people are attempting to purchase ATVs in the fall, so the demand decreases. Thus, you will be left with a higher supply and have the potential for more success in negotiating a deal.
In the fall, most people are going to be preparing their ATVs for the winter and finding storage locations for their vehicles. Additionally, parents will not be as frequently pestered by their children attempting to get an ATV to ride along with their friends in the summer.
Along with this, the fall is before the holiday season hits, so you can get in before the temporary peak in ATV sales during the holidays (as parents give these to their children as presents).
During the fall, you are going to be able to be one of the fewer people attempting to purchase an ATV. In this case, you will have an advantage when speaking with a salesman.
Not only will you be able to negotiate a better deal because of their need to sell you what is on their floor, but you will also have a wider window to shop as the demand continues to stay lower for this period.
Finally, shopping for an ATV during the fall will have its advantages as dealerships are attempting to restock for the next year.
As they try to move different (older) models off of their floor, you might benefit from their urgency to clear house. This can mean that you benefit from a lower price in the ATV model that you are hunting for, or a lower price in a range of models anyways.
Though, with seasonal purchases, it is important to remember that the dealer is still going to try to get a quality purchase from you and will not simply toss you their ATV.
You need to go into the dealership with knowledge on the ATV model you are attempting to purchase, or at least know enough about varying models and the price you are sticking with so that you can make a good purchase on an ATV if you are not picky about the model.
Do keep in mind, though, that purchasing an ATV in the fall or winter might mean that you need to include costs for storage.
Though many people store their ATVs in a garage or other facility that they already own, this is not possible for some people. And, while you can leave your ATV outside during the winter, this is not going to be the best or most protective option for your vehicle- especially in climates with particularly rough winters.
Buying an ATV in the Winter
Another option that probably comes in second for the best season to buy an ATV is the winter. If you live in a climate that experiences cold winters and warm summers, then winter is not going to be the time that most ATVs will be ridden.
Of course, this excludes ATVs that are particularly purchased for their ability to navigate the snow- but that is not exactly what we are focusing on here.
If you are aiming to buy an ATV (that does not bode well in the snow), and are willing to wait until the off-season, then buying an ATV in the winter can have its many advantages. Keep in mind, though, that the early winter and the later winter can have varying pros and cons, so it is important to keep an open mind as well as to keep open eyes for deals in your area.
In the winter, similar to in the fall, ATVs are not as frequently ridden or purchased which means that the principle of supply and demand again goes into effect reaping positive consequences for you.
With fewer riders and fewer people hunting for ATVs, salesmen might be more willing to cut you a deal on the ATV of your preference- or they will at least try to meet you at your price range respectively.
This might be more difficult if you live in an area that has very long winters. For example, here’s a quick video of a group that goes winter riding in Canada.
When considering early winter, you will likely see that ATV sales have gone down for local or smaller dealerships. You can use this to your advantage to encourage and bargain for a good deal. However, you will also want to try to get in before the holidays when sales can temporarily surge as parents try to buy the perfect ATV gift for their children.
If you wait until later in the winter, then you might also find that you are at an advantage. Once the new year has commenced, and before springtime rolls around, many dealerships are restocking with new year releases.
This means that the “old” versions- even if they were just released within the last year- are going to be of less value and therefore sell for a lower price.
You might even find that the dealership you are working with has lots of stock on its floor that it is looking to push out as the dealership awaits the release of a new model. Keep your eyes out for when your favorite ATV manufacturers release a new model as this will drive ATV enthusiasts (and those who know very little about ATVs, too) to the “shiny, new model” and leave the “old” and “less exciting” model in the past.
Thus, you can enter the picture and seek out an “older” product that will serve your needs- and your budget- just fine.
Again, consider that the costs of storage for your ATV during the winter might add on to the overall cost of your vehicle depending on your particular situation.
If you do not have a place to store your vehicle and are looking to place it indoors, you will need to consider this in the overall cost. All in all, the off-season is still probably going to be your best bet for purchasing an ATV.
Buying an ATV in the Spring
When considering buying an ATV as you prepare for the warm summer months, you should know that others might be in the same place that you are. This means that prices will begin to rise, though they will not be at their peak as they will be in just a few short months.
This makes buying an ATV in the spring slightly more ideal than in the summer, but less ideal than in the fall or winter months.
Of course, buying an ATV in the spring can still get you a few good deals, and you can still use the powers of negotiation and research to get the price to drop by working with a motivated salesman who is willing to work with you.
This comes with some skill and dedication to the process, though, so be sure that you are willing to put in the work that this takes if you are hoping for a reduced overall cost.
Along those lines, it is important to remember that the final cost is not only about the cost of the ATV itself. You will need to pay for taxes, titles, and tags for your vehicle as well as other routine maintenance and gear. With this, you will be making additional purchases that you can toss into the overall cost that you pay to the dealership.
This means that if your MSRP price and the final price that the dealership is asking you to pay for the ATV (and perks) is over what you are willing to pay, then you still have some room for negotiation.
For example, consider that you can work a deal with a salesman to try to include some routine maintenance for your ATV in the overall cost. Or, perhaps you can persuade the salesman at the dealership to at least toss in some cool gear to keep you safe on the trails.
With either of the above options (and more), you will be able to at least get a better overall price on your ATV. So, even if the price that you are paying is more than you might pay in the fall or winter, you can still make this worth your while.
One thing to keep in mind with buying an ATV in the spring, though, is that there might be a brief period before the celebration of Easter occurs that you will find a temporary sale in your favorite models.
This occurs as the restocking finalizes in the dealership as they prepare for the upcoming booming season of the summer. So, if you are looking for the prices to drop and are willing to make a quick move, then buying in the spring around Easter can be a good bet- especially if you have already missed the fall and winter off-season.
Buying an ATV in the Summer
Now that your engines are roaring and you are looking to make an ATV purchase, many people will also be along the same thought process. This is when the principle of supply and demand no longer works in your favor.
Buying an ATV in the summer is going to be the most difficult time for you to find a deal, though you can still implore many of the skills mentioned above for negotiating an ATV price.
However, in the summer, ATV sales are at their highest. People are engaging in their longtime favorite hobby/sport of ATV riding, and ATVs are being used during the summer months for work on the farm. This means that while you are attempting to bargain for a good deal on an ATV, so is everyone else.
Particularly, most parents who are inexperienced with ATV use and are simply attempting to keep their children busy and out of their hair in the summer will attempt to purchase an ATV during the peak riding season.
More often than not, this means that you will likely not find the best deal on an ATV during the summer.
Trying to stay positive, though, you might discover that there are a few minor advantages to purchasing an ATV in the summer. Since sales are already high, some dealerships might be running good rates on financing, though some people prefer cash.
Along with this, you may find that some riders are attempting to upgrade their ATV which means you might be able to buy a used one off of somebody for a good price.
Keep in mind, though, that if you are buying a previously-owned ATV from someone who is upgrading their model (or otherwise has reasons to be selling you their ATV), you need to ensure a few factors to keep yourself safe.
- You will need to have the VIN inspected to ensure that the vehicle is not stolen
- Have the ATV inspected to ensure that you are not paying for junk
- Get all necessary paperwork (like a bill of sale) finalized for safekeeping
Check out our ATV Bill of Sale article to get a free bill of sale print out that you can use.
This will ensure that you and your vehicle are protected from scams and bad purchases when choosing to buy an ATV from a previous owner rather than a dealership (which is totally fine, by the way).
Here’s a quick video showing you some things to look for when buying a used ATV:
Either way, choosing to purchase an ATV in the summer is likely not going to be the best option for your budget, though this does not mean that it should never be done. Obviously, most people are choosing this season to buy their ATVs or the demand would not be so high. So, you are not alone in this search for your (or your child’s) new ATV.
Just remember, that if the overall purchase is ultimately worth it to you or your children, then it will be worth the investment.
You can use a variety of tips and tricks to purchase an ATV even if the prices are at their seasonal highest. Keep a positive mindset and know what you are and are not willing to negotiate such as the price, model, or another factor that is important to you.
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