Buying an ATV

By Joanne Lemna  | 
Mar 9, 2016 12:33:06 PM

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In the market for adventure? Then look no further than an all-terrain vehicle. For many, riding an ATV on back roads and on Canada’s vast network of wilderness trails is nothing more than pure thrills and excitement. It’s a chance to explore nature, have some fun, and still make it back in time for dinner.

Pick the Right ATV for You

Just like motorcycles and cars, ATVs come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and utilities. For example, if you're planning on doing a lot of off-roading through swampy land, consider getting an amphibious model. If you're more into speed, consider a sports model. For anyone who wants a truly rugged off-road model, go with a classic. There's a choice between a four-wheeler, side-by-side (which lets a passenger sit up front with the driver), six-wheeler, dune buggy, or even a sand rail. For more information on the different styles and models, check out this handy guide from ATV Trader.

Side-by-side models are generally the easiest to handle. They have a higher centre of gravity, making these ATVs easier to manoeuvre, which makes it easier for novices who are still learning how to negotiate the rugged trails. They're also better at hauling gear and cargo, which is great if you're wanting to transport things in and out of the backcountry. They also often come with weather protection in the form of roofs and windshields. But these models also tend to be bigger and wider, which limits them on where they can go.

Once you figure out what type of ATV you want, you'll probably want to do some research on brands and models. The internet is a good resource, as is your local ATV club - this is also a good place to find sellers for used ATVs.

Buying an ATV

If you're buying new, you'll likely get your ATV from a dealer. They're also the most risk-free place to buy used, although you should always check reviews and be aware of prices before you head in.

You can also get used ATVs from private sellers. While this is often a cheaper option, be aware that you won't be getting your money back if there are any issues and there isn't an option to get a warranty. If you're not knowledgeable enough, perhaps try to bring someone along who can help you make a good purchasing decision. Taking it to a mechanic is also a good idea.

Make sure you shop around and try out different brands and models. You might fall in love with one only to miss out on a model that's even better. Alternatively, your favourite on paper may be disappointing in person, while your second choice turns out to be the one for you.

Make sure you get a bill of sale that lists the VIN and has "paid in full" written clearly somewhere. This is to protect both you and the seller.

Protect Your ATV

In Alberta, ATV drivers are not allowed on public roads for any reason. It can be tempting to skip getting speciality insurance that protects your vehicle. Some drivers assume that simply adding the ATV to their home or car insurance is enough. While these policies may cover a portion of the loss or damages associated with your ATV, quite often this coverage is insufficient or may not be included at all. This means your ATV could be under-insured.

A speciality ATV policy will protect your ATV and ensure you're covered for damages and losses. You'll work with experienced, knowledgeable brokers who understand ATVs and will be able to find you the right coverage for an affordable price. Considering how expensive ATVs can be, it's a good idea to consider a stand-alone speciality policy. Contact a broker to find out if this coverage is right for you.

Don't take another off-road trip without the peace of mind of ATV insurance - coverage that protects you, your ATV, and anyone that's injured or any property that's damaged while operating your ATV.

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