So you’ve seen a used ATV for sale that would be perfect for your kids.
Thing is, you want to make sure what you are buying is worth your money, your time and most importantly, is safe for your children, right?
Finding four wheelers for sale that are right for your children can be a bit of a tricky business, though if done right, buying a used ATV for kids is a great option, whether you are a first time buyer or you need to upgrade your kids existing ride.
Before you rush out and buy that ATV for sale at a bargain price – there are some very important things you need to know about buying used ATVs. These rules also apply to people looking for four wheelers for sale that suit adults also.
I’ve researched everything I could find online (and offline through my own experience) and compiled it into this comprehensive guide to help you understand the process and details of buying a used ATV the right way, and go through the following:
A Quick Guide to Kids ATVS
ATVs, Four Wheelers, Quad Bikes: they’re all the same thing. ATV stands for All-Terrain Vehicle, which means it is designed to traverse over any sort of territory from grassy knolls to sandy dunes and bumpy forest floor to offbeat mountain paths easily.
What defines an ATV is that they are purposely built for off road riding. They are not meant to be used on the regular road or highway. They come with four low-pressure tires and have a straddle seat and widespread handlebars for easy handling on rough terrain.
Usually, one person at a time rides an ATV, which means you should express to your kids that that is for safety reasons and is a rule that’s meant to be followed.
When it comes to kids ATVs things are a bit different.
The ATVs are made to be used by smaller bodies and fit their rider for the purpose of manoeuvrability.
These types of kids quads are also limited in their speed capabilities so you don’t need to worry about your children riding recklessly and flipping over anything at high speed. That’s great because we all know how kids can be!
Obviously when hunting for an ATV for sale, you need to know what you’re looking for. If you don’t already, head over to our ATV Buying guide which goes through everything you need to know about choosing the right ATV and loads more.
Why Buy A Used ATV For Kids?
Buying a used ATV has a lot of advantages and is a perfect way to introduce your Kids to the sport. Here’s why:
1) You Will Save Money
Let’s start with the obvious – costs.
A used ATV for sale is going to be cheaper than buying a new one, which is probably why you’re looking in the first place.
Some will worry about the risks involved (we’ll get to those soon), but to be honest buying a used ATV for kids is such a good idea – it just takes a little bit more work on your behalf, but it is worth it due to the amount of money you can save and spend on ATV gear, like helmets, gloves and other stuff etc.
2) The Used ATV Comes Fully Assembled
With brand new kids ATVs, some require a lot of assembly. Most are about 70% built when they are shipped, with you needing to bolt together the wheels, steering and seat etc.
Buying used four wheelers for sale saves you time – you don’t have to piece it together. Plus you can see the finished vehicle and inspect a working model, rather than individual parts.
You can also size your kids up against it to see if it’s going to be the right fit. And it’s ready to drive immediately.
3) It's Easy To Find Used Four Wheelers For Sale In Great Condition - For These 3 Reasons
Here’s what makes it a great idea when buying an ATV for sale which was used by Kids – most of them are in great condition, for many reasons.
They've Hardly Been Used
It isn’t unusual for a used kids ATV to be in almost perfect condition. This is due to parents buying their kids ATV without knowing exactly how interested they are in them – and the kids end up not using them at all.
Once an ATV has spent enough time in the garage gathering dust, parents get fed up and put them on the market.
Usually, you can get an excellent deal for a nearly brand new Kids 4 wheeler, as it is in mint condition if it hasn’t been ridden.
This also works in your favor if your kid doesn’t take to it – as you know, kids are picky and silly, so they don’t always take to things even if they’ve been begging for them. This means you can easily sell the ATV on for probably the same price you bought it for.
Kids Aren't Going To Wear Them Out
Now this does depend on the rider’s age and ability, so it’s an important question to ask.
If you have an ATV for sale that was ridden by a 10 year old with the speed limited to 10 mph for example, this gives you an idea that the engine hasn’t been worn out, the tyres are probably in good condition (easy to check those anyway) and any bumps would be minimal at such a low speed, so very unlikely the chasis or the bodywork is damaged (obviously check these too).
Kids Grow Fast
An ATV can become too small for the rider, so they need to upgrade to a larger and in most cases a more sophisticated model.
This means that ATVs for a small child are not going to be battered so much if it has only had one rider who’s only used it a few years and already outgrown it – especially if they’re a beginner. Kids grow fast, and you need the right size ATV for safety reasons.
4) You'll Get An Honest Review From The Seller
Ok now this does depend on whom you are buying the used ATV from (which I cover further down this article), but if you’ve found a Quad for sale from a decent person or dealer, then they’ll give you the lowdown and how it rides, how to maintain and operate it and anything you need to watch out for depending on the model.
If they don’t seem to know anything about it, it’s risky. Either have someone with you who knows their stuff, or avoid because you could be buying a piece of junk.
The Best Places To Find A Used ATV For Sale
Finding a used ATV for sale can involve a few separate options You can find private sellers online or in the newspaper, or even go to a dealership that specializes in used kids 4 wheelers to make your life a little simpler.
A private seller is the way a lot of people go when they want to save money because it just feels easier. With Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you will have plenty of options when it comes to finding something for sale online
Going to a local mechanic or dealer is a great step forward if there doesn’t seem to be any listings in your area from private sellers that match what you want. Assuming you have an idea of what you’re looking for that is, if not then a mechanic or a dealer can help point you in a better direction.
Mechanics or dealers can get an ATV in a trade or pick them up to work on, so you won’t have to worry about the wild issues you could have with one from a private seller. They know what they’re looking for when it comes to fixing things up, so you’re more likely to get a better product though it may be a bit pricier.
If you’re having trouble finding a dealer around you that have used ATVs then try contacting a local ATV riding club for the best advice, or even if any of them are selling. Your options can be endless.
The Risks of Buying A Used ATV - And How To Overcome Them
When you find a used ATV for sale, there are always risks involved.
These come down to 3 things to watch out for:
- Time Wasters.
- Getting ripped off.
- Buying a piece of junk.
However, if you follow these tips, you can make sure you don’t fall victim and get the right ATV for your kid.
- Time wasters – this is a bit of a loose term, but I’m sure you’ve come across them at some stage in life. Dealerships are usually ok due to the knowledge and experience they have with four wheelers for sale. It’s the private sellers you need to vet before you go see them, asking them questions regarding the ATV they are selling, such as the age and condition of the vehicle. If the seller doesn’t let you ride the bike and test it, avoid like the plague – something fishy is going on.
- Getting ripped off – the key here is to know what you are buying. Seen an ATV for sale that you like the look of? Find out how much it is brand new (I go into costs down the page). The price should be lower and based on the age and condition it is in. Also it’s worth mentioning Scammers – don’t wire money to anyone until you have the ATV. Buying a used ATV online from a private seller which you have not been to see physically is not a good idea.
- Buying a piece of junk – again, this is subjective to many factors, including age, condition, where it has been housed, how much it has been maintained etc.
My key bit advice before you go and look is get photos and possibly a video of it starting and being ridden around. We live in an age where this is easy to do with cell phones, so it shouldn’t be a problem. This will save you a wasted trip if you find out the thing doesn’t even start.
Also as mentioned before, when you are with the seller, ask to test it and have a look under the kids ATV. I go into what to look out for when inspecting a four wheeler for sale below.
What To Look Out For When Inspecting A Used ATV For Sale
There’s nothing more exciting than finding what you think is the perfect steal, but be sure to temper down your excitement in order to focus on the important details of the kids Quad that you may be about to buy.
Slow down and inspect the used ATV before committing to anything – not only are you looking to save some money, but this vehicle needs to be safe for your child. Don’t Cut Corners!
The below tips show you what you need to be looking at when inspecting a used kids ATV.
- Check the VIN number. This can seem like a silly thing to do on a used ATV for sale, but you definitely will want to know if you’re buying a stolen vehicle, so do a quick search just to see if it matches up properly.
- Is the vehicle washed? This is actually more relevant than you would think because if the used ATV it can mean that they are keeping it dirty in order to cover up a problem that would be more visible if it were clean. Also, wouldn’t you be sure to have your kids clean their expensive ATV regularly as part of the maintenance? Even if it isn’t meant to hide some sort of defect, it can still be a sign of not taking care of the ATV which will ultimately shorten its lifespan.
- Check for oil leaks. Yes, this is another obvious thing to look for when viewing four wheelers for sale, but you would be surprised at what people forget at the moment. Are you at the place it was stored? If you are, then be sure to examine where it is kept because there can be a tell-tale sign of an oil spot that can show you the issue, or even evidence of it being cleaned away.
- Are all the fluids full? Another way to see if it has been maintained is checking to see how the fluids are and whether they’re topped off and the last time it has had an oil change. This is also another way to see how well it has been treated through its time with the current owner. The motor oil also should not smell burnt or be too dark.
- How do the seat and fender look? It’s not abnormal to find tears in the seat or some damage to the plastic casing or accessories, but if certain parts are damaged or broken they can be pricey to replace, so make sure you keep that in mind.
- Look between frame and skid plate. Yes, even if the kids 4 wheeler has been washed, you should still examine all of its nooks and crannies. This is because you could find evidence of where this ATV has been used and see if it matches up with what the private seller has told you. It’s also just good to know for sure what it may have been through, so you know best how to handle its wear and tear as you go forward.
- Check for Rust and Cracks. Most Kids ATV frames are made from aluminum, so rust is never a problem here. However, cracks are still an issue, so you really have to look closely – they’ll appear as black or very dark silver lines. The steel parts on a Kids ATV are usually coated or treated to prevent any rust, but again, check – if there is rust, it means it is likely damaged.
- Check the airbox. The airbox cover is located beneath the seat and if you take off the air filter you can look at the air intake area. Dirt and water and other bits of trash in the filer would be a sign that you could find the same stuff in the motor.
- Examine the CV boots. Seeing how these have been treated and how they are looking overall can tell you if you are going to be shoveling money into repairs or not, so make sure they aren’t looking too gritty or gutted. Check all the boots to make sure there isn’t any grease over them because this could indicate a leak. This could ultimately end in axle failure.
- Check the Wheels. If you can, bring a pump Jack along or ask if the seller has one when you’re going to see four wheelers for sale.
This is because once you lift up the weight of the frame from the used kids ATV you can better examine the wheels. It gives you the chance to turn them and shake them from side to side or up and down to see if there are problems in the bearings. This can save you more time and money in the long run, because if they are loose or squeaking then you know it isn’t worth your time or money. You could even see wheels hanging loosely or flopping over.
How To Get A Good Deal When Buying An ATV For Sale
These are some tips on how to get the most out of your cash when buying a used ATV – some I picked up on myself and others I heard from fellow riders.
Patience is a virtue – if you can’t find the best deal at the moment on the ATV you definitely want (or you’re after a different color), wait. Kids used ATVs are always arriving in the marketplace, so don’t think you’ll miss out. Find the right one.
Winter is coming – the off season for ATVs is usually the winter. If it’s cold, icy or snowing, it’s too dangerous to ride. Also with the holidays coming up, finances can be tight for private sellers and if their kid hasn’t taken to their ATV, parents are more willing to sell it quickly to get some cash for the coming Xmas . This means ATVs will be cheaper this time of year, so this is when you want to buy and four wheelers for sale.
Bring Cash – Money talks, especially when presenting it to the seller. It’s actually a useful technique in bargaining – if the seller has named their price, haggling the cost down whilst holding a wad of money is very easy. Plus if they could get that money today minus a few bucks, it is more beneficial for them (and you).
Playing the competition – another technique that works is the fear of loss. It’s always a good idea to mention at the start of negotiations that you’ve already seen an ATV for sale at a lower price from another seller and you want to compare. This will likely make the seller you’re visiting to be competitive and flexible from their original pricing, including dealers – not just private sellers.
Freebies – Whether it’s a private seller or dealer, usually you can get some freebies thrown in – you just need to ask! Gloves, visors, maintenance equipment or other accessories that the seller is no longer going use can be thrown in as a sweetener – just don’t buy used helmets, which I explain why here. Dealers will usually have an offer on when selling a kids ATV with a helmet, but it’s always worth asking for more.
How Much Should You Pay For A Used ATV?
This is the main question – after you’ve read everything above and considered all the variables, how much should you pay for a used ATV for sale?
Less than brand new.
If that isn’t a satisfactory answer, then I’ll suggest no more than 70% of the original cost – for me personally.
Again, this is based on a ton of factors you have to work out when viewing four wheelers for sale, such as the condition, where it has been stored, how often it was maintained, how often it was ridden, where it was ridden.
Summary For Buying A Used ATV
Always make sure you can visit, view and test the ATV yourself.
Inspect the ATV thoroughly for damage, wear and tear – your kid will be riding this after all – you want them to be safe.
Pay in cash at the end of the sale once you have the kids ATV, never before.
If you would prefer to buy a new ATV or need more information on kids ATVs in general, check out our complete parents buying guide to kids ATVs here.