Imagine the thrill of exploring off-road trails, zipping through the woods, or conquering sand dunes on your very own all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Whether you prefer a three-wheeler or four-wheeler, as long as you’re safe, you’re always in for a good time.
ATVs have gained immense popularity among outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, freedom, and a bit of adrenaline. If you’re eager to join the ranks of ATV owners, it’s crucial to understand the various financing options available for your purchase. This guide will cover everything from factors to consider before applying for an ATV loan to tips for saving money on your ATV purchase.
While you can often rent an ATV, many people love buying their own, so it’s ready and waiting whenever they’re up for an adventure. Unfortunately, the high price of ATVs means that not everyone can afford them — at least not if they have to pay all at once.
How do ATV loans work?
ATV financing works much like financing an RV or a car. You can finance an ATV with a loan term of one to six years and pay off the cost of your ATV with affordable monthly payments plus interest. The exact specifics of your loan will depend on what type of ATV financing you choose.
Your ATV financing options include personal loans, credit unions, credit cards, and retailer financing, which we will cover below. On top of that, you also have the option to apply for an ATV loan at a bank or credit union.
How much do ATVs cost?
ATV loans provide a way to finance an ATV and pay it off over several months or years. But, before we dive into loans for ATVs, it’s crucial to discuss how much these recreational vehicles usually cost.
You may have done some research already, but if not, these stats can provide you with a general idea of how much you may need to borrow.
ATV Retail Prices
Here are some ATVs along with their retail price in 2023:
- Apollo Sniper 125cc ATV: $1,299
- Arctic Cat Alterra 600 XT: $9899
- Axis 750 Crew: $15,999
- Yamaha Grizzly EPS XT-R: $12,399
- Honda Pioneer 1000: $16,699
- Can-Am Maverick X3: $21,599
- Polaris RZR Pro XP: $24,599
As you can see, ATV pricing is a lot like pricing for automobiles — all over the place. Of course, you can buy larger, fully loaded ATVs with all the bells and whistles. But, you can also buy very basic models with fewer upgrades and less room.
ATVs with more power and the potential for higher speeds also tend to cost more, so make sure to think long and hard about what you want in an ATV and how much you want to spend.
ATV and UTV Financing Options
Once you know more about the type of ATV you want and your budget, it makes sense to shop around for ATV financing ahead of time. Here are some of the main ATV loan options, along with some details on their pros and cons and who they’re best for.
Personal loans are probably the most popular option for ATV or UTV financing because they are flexible and tend to come with affordable interest rates.
Most lenders let you borrow up to $35,000 with repayment timelines ranging from 12 months to 60 months. Your APR will depend on your credit history. Personal loans come with a fixed rate you can depend on, a fixed repayment schedule, and a fixed monthly payment.
- Enticing rates for individuals with a good or excellent credit score.
- With a fixed monthly payment and fixed repayment schedule, you’ll know exactly how much you owe each month as well as when your ATV loan will be paid off.
- Since they are unsecured, your ATV won’t be repossessed if you stop making monthly payments.
- It’s easy to shop around and compare ATV loan interest rates and loan terms online.
- If you have fair or poor credit, your personal loan may not come with a competitive interest rate.
- Some loans come with fees like an origination fee or application fee, although many lenders offer loans without any fees.
Personal Loans Are Best For:
- Consumers who want a fixed monthly payment and repayment schedule
- People with good credit scores who can qualify for the best interest rates
- Anyone who wants to get their financing in place before they shop for an ATV
Compare ATV Loans
Before taking out an ATV loan, you should compare your options. Here are some companies you can start your search with:
Loan Amount: $5,000 to $100,000
Loan Term: 3, 5, or 7 years
Minimum Credit Score: None (average is above 700)
SoFi is a unique online lender that uses its own underwriting process to provide competitive fixed and variable-rate loans.
This lender evaluates factors like education, current career, income, expenses, and financial history, instead of focusing solely on credit scores. Emphasis is placed on high-income potential in a growing job market sector, rather than a long credit history.
Loan Amount: $1,000 to $50,000
Loan Term: 3 to 5 years
Minimum Credit Score: 600
Upgrade is an online lending platform that offers affordable personal loans with fixed interest rates. They cater to individuals with fair to good credit profiles and consider factors like credit score, income, and employment when making loan decisions.
With a user-friendly application process and fast funding, Upgrade is a convenient option for those seeking ATV financing.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that provide loans and other financial services to their members. When it comes to ATV financing, many credit unions offer competitive rates and flexible terms tailored to the individual needs of their members.
Another unique feature is that some credit unions form partnerships with local dealerships, offering direct lending at the point of sale. This can simplify the loan application process and offer potential discounts to credit union members.
- Credit unions often offer lower interest rates than traditional banks and retail financing because they operate on a not-for-profit model.
- They provide personalized service, understanding their member’s financial situations and needs.
- Some credit unions offer additional benefits like extended warranties or discounts on related products and services.
- You must be a member of the credit union to access their financing options. This sometimes means meeting certain criteria or paying a nominal membership fee.
- Credit union loan promotions might be limited in number and duration. Once a promotion ends, the rates might revert to standard ones which could be higher.
- While credit unions do have partnerships with dealers, they might not be affiliated with every ATV retailer. So, if you’re keen on a particular brand or dealership, the credit union financing might not be available.
Credit Unions Are Best For:
- Individuals who are already members of a credit union or those willing to become members for better financing rates.
- Those who prioritize a personalized approach to financing and value community-based financial services.
- Riders who might be looking for not just a loan, but a financial institution that can offer advice, other banking services, and potential discounts through partnerships.
Credit cards offer a financing alternative, although they could be more expensive than other options since the average credit card APR is currently over 17%. Since some credit cards offer 0% APR on purchases for a limited time. However, you may be able to use a credit card as a free short-term loan.
- If you can qualify for a credit card that offers zero interest on purchases, you could pay your ATV off without any interest for up to 15 months.
- Some credit cards offer low introductory rates.
- Credit cards are easy to research and apply for online.
- Outside of cards that offer 0% APR for a limited time, most credit cards come with higher interest rates than a personal loan.
- Even if you do get 0% APR for a limited time, your interest rate will reset once the introductory period is over.
- Credit cards only require you to make a minimum payment, and this could leave you paying off your ATV for a long time if you don’t have the discipline to pay more.
Credit Cards Are Best For:
- Anyone who could qualify for a card that offers 0% APR on purchases and pay their ATV off during their introductory offer
- Someone who has a credit card with a low APR
- People who want some flexibility in terms of how much they pay toward their ATV loan each month
Some retailers offer special loans or credit cards you can use to finance your ATV. These options are typically based on the manufacturer you buy an ATV from and special promotions they have in place. For example, at the time of this writing, Yamaha is currently offering 0% APR for six months. However, your interest rate will reset between 15.99% and 23.99% after your offer ends.
Polaris also offers a Visa credit card that comes with 0% APR for six months *this offer has expired*, 2x points on Polaris and gas station purchases, and 1x points on everything else you buy. Once again, however, the interest rate surges considerably higher once the six months are over.
- Retailer financing is convenient to use when you apply for financing at the ATV dealership.
- You may be able to get 0% APR for a limited time.
- Some ATV dealers may work with several lenders, giving you the option to shop around for the best deal.
- While you may avoid interest for a few months, retailer financing tends to come with high rates.
- If you rely on a certain type of retailer financing, this may prevent you from shopping among other ATV brands for a better deal.
- If you use retailer financing to pay for your ATV, the ATV is considered collateral. This means it could be repossessed if you stop making payments.
Retailer Financing Is Best For:
- Someone who wants to apply for ATV financing while they shop
- Anyone who doesn’t mind the fact their ATV will be used as collateral for their ATV loan
- People who may be able to benefit from special promotions their dealership offers if they use retailer financing
Bad Credit ATV Loans
Is it possible to buy an ATV with no credit or bad credit? Absolutely. Bad credit ATV loans come with higher rates and may require a down payment. However, it’s still possible to get a personal loan or ATV financing through a retailer, even with a bad credit score.
Factors to Consider Before Applying for an ATV Loan
Assess Your Financial Situation
Before diving into ATV loans and financing options, it’s essential to evaluate your personal financial situation. Key factors include:
- Credit score: Your credit score plays a significant role in determining whether you’ll be approved for a loan and what interest rates you’ll be offered. Be aware of your credit score and work on improving it if necessary.
- Debt-to-income ratio: Lenders often look at your debt-to-income ratio to assess your ability to handle monthly payments. Aim for a low ratio to increase your chances of being approved.
- Savings and emergency fund: Ensure you have a solid savings account and emergency fund in place before taking on additional debt.
Determine the Type of ATV Needed
To choose the right financing option, consider the type of ATV you need. Key factors include:
- Recreation or work: Determine whether you need an ATV for recreational use or work purposes. This will impact your ATV financing needs and budget.
- New or used: Consider whether you want a new or used vehicle, as this will affect the ATV cost and financing options.
- Brand preferences: If you have specific brand preferences, research the prices and financing offers available from various ATV dealers.
Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership
When budgeting for your ATV purchase, remember to account for the following expenses:
- Purchase price: This includes the ATV’s base price, optional features, and taxes. You can use an ATV loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments.
- Insurance: ATV insurance can vary depending on the coverage you need and your location.
- Maintenance and repairs: Regular maintenance and potential repairs should be factored into your budget.
- Gear and accessories: Budget for safety gear, storage, and other ATV accessories.
- Registration and taxes: Don’t forget to include registration fees and taxes in your total cost of ownership.
The right ATV loan could help you responsibly finance your new recreational vehicle without having to wait until you have the entire purchase price saved in cash. Before you borrow money, however, make sure to compare loan options and read the fine print.
While an ATV loan could help you get the ATV you want within a matter of days, you may be making monthly payments for years. So make sure you understand how your loan works before you commit, and you’ll be glad you did.