Best Practices for Selling a Used ATV

Lyle Ellerbee

As many of us know far too well, the job market is tough, and many of us are looking for some extra cash. If this is the case for you, or if you’re just looking to get some extra money for something new and shiny, you may be considering selling your ATV. It might hurt to let your baby go, but enthusiasts are often willing to shell out some serious cash for a nice used ATV. Notice the keyword there: nice! A beat up old thing will probably steer potential buyers away from the pictures alone. On top of that, knowledgeable buyers may very well ask to take a test run. Such knowledgeable buyers are probably the ones who will be willing to pay the most of top-quality equipment. With all of this in mind, you’ll want to make sure your ride is in the best shape possible before you start posting ads. Fortunately, following a few best practices will make this easy enough, while helping you to bring in as much money as possible.

General Upkeep

The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your used ATV is in prime functioning condition. Examine the frame for rust, as this could indicate a crack. Cracks can be fixed by some simple welding by a mechanic, and the repairs should be fairly inexpensive. Check CV joint boots for cracks and general wear and tear. Use a flashlight to look in the gas tank for rust, and check to see if the oil is contaminated (it’ll look thick and discolored if so). Check all of your tires for worn bearings by moving them from side to side, and replace them if necessary. Remove the seat, take the air box lid off, and make sure it’s clean and dry. Make sure that all front and rear sprockets are straight and uniform with no wear and tear, and test the breaks to see that they’re not sticking. Check the exhaust pipe and ensure that there’s a spark arrestor. Finally, make sure the tires are fairly fresh.

Remember: everyone who looks at your used ATV knows that it is… well, used. Anybody who’s looking for perfect quality will likely be willing to spend the money for a new one, so don’t worry too much about perfection. The key to everything above is to make sure that everything is in working order and to fix any damages to the structural integrity before selling it off. Not only is it common courtesy, but it will also ensure that an experienced rider won’t be put off by unnecessary wear and tear upon inspection.


Once your vehicle is structurally fit for sale, you’ll want to make it pretty for the pictures. First off, remove any stickers you’ve put on over the years. Buff out or repaint any scratches on the body and replace torn seat cushions or broken plastic. Give your used ATV a good wash, and oil chains and gears.

Once again, a good appearance is key. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. With the tips above, you should be able to get a good offer on your used ATV.

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