Tips When Buying a Used UTV

Buying a Used UTV

Being an off-road fan, finding the right used UTV for sports or utility can be tough. Utility Terrain Vehicles or UTVs’ market has changed dynamically over the last few years with technological advancements.

Many manufactures have emerged created an influx of UTV, and many sales platforms such as e-Commerce websites have come up to sell these products. This has caused a reduction in the quality of these UTVs, making finding the right UTV to suit your needs even harder.

Finding the right machine at the right price can be a bit tough. This article aims to guide buyers of UTVs when buying them, it ensures quality is met at the right price. Used UTVs are great to purchase as they are cheap and take care of your pocket.

However, it is always good to ensure that they are in good condition before purchasing to ensure that they match the price.

Below are some tips when buying a used UTV.

  • Test Drive.
  • Look out for the deceptive seller.
  • Check the engine oil.
  • Check the coolant.
  • Check gas.
  • Check the Driveline.
  • Inspect the frame.
  • Research or use purchase help.
  • Check the maintenance and overall appearance.

Also check out our article on how many miles a UTV will last.

Take a Test Drive

It is important to inspect the UTV before considering a purchase. This inspect will involve a test drive to check the performance of the machine.

Always lookout for the 6 Ss; starting, smoke, slippage, speed, stability, and stopping. You consider the machine perfect for purchase when it achieves the 6 Ss.

Starting the UTV is the first step in inspecting. When you turn the key on, the engine should burst to life immediately. Failure to observe this means the engine has a problem or the battery is dead. This should raise an alarm, and it is not recommended that you purchase the UTV.

Smoke is the second thing on the inspect list. Once the engine has come to life, smoke emitted shows the condition of the vehicle. A lot of smoke means a problem with fuel combustion, meaning that the engine has a problem. unless you intend to spend a lot of time fixing damages on the UTV, it is advisable to choose a UTV with less smoke emission.

Slippage is an important feature to look out for during the test drive. The CVT belt should be intact, and any slippage means that it needs a replacement. However, clutching could be an issue here, and it is wise to check it out. Ensure that clutching is not damaged before purchasing. On an automatic transmission, a slipping clutch is something to stay clear of because it means a big drain to your wallet if you choose to buy the UTV.

Speed is also an important factor to look for during purchase. The advertised speed should match the standard speed. The standard speed of a UTV is 80MPH or 136 km/h. Speed indicates that the engines are well and functioning at full capacity. Consider buying a vehicle with the right speed. Read more about the top speed on different models.

Stability is crucial during the test drive. Before considering a purchase, check if the SxS doesn’t feel right, the driving alignment is right, and the vehicle moves straight and in control. Failure to adhere to these features means the suspension or steering is not working right, and needs some fixing, Stay clear of any unaligned UTV during purchase.

Stopping is the final area of inspection during the test drive. Ensure that you check if the brakes are working properly. Although they are not entirely expensive to fix, it is important to ensure you buy the right UTV for the right price, and this means checking out the braking system to ensure it is good. The braking should be smooth and quick. If there’s vibrations in the steering wheel when breaking it tells you that the breaking discs probably needs to be replaced.

Look out for Deceptive Sellers

When buying a used UTV, ensure that you know that you are in control of the entire transaction.

A majority of UTV sellers are not honest about the condition of the machine. It is always your responsibility to ask as many questions as you wish and request a test drive.

Do not hesitate to ask any question that is needed or request for the service historical documentation of the UTV or its hour meter to check the mileage. Sellers tend to hide such sensitive information to gain on the prices. Ensure that you look keenly to flush out a deceptive seller.

Conduct an Oil Check

Always conduct an oil check before considering a purchase of a UTV. Use a dipstick to check the level and condition of the engine oil. The condition of the engine oil speaks a lot about the engine itself, for example: Good but smelly oil means engine problems.

Also, the oil filter should be well maintained. Otherwise, it should raise some alarms.

Conduct a Coolant Check

Before buying a used UTV, ensure that you check the condition and color of the coolant. Any color other than green and orange should raise alarms.

Ensure that you look out for any dilution of the coolant. Diluted coolant damages the engine. In addition, check if the coolant has any particles in it as particles indicate upcoming troubles. The coolant should not be water in aluminum engines as this will cause corrosion.

Conduct Gas Check

Open the gas tank and sniff the gas. Rancid gasoline smell projects to the carburetor overhauls or fuel injection overhauls. Gasoline smell can be one way to get the price on the UTV lowered if the smell is not that of a deal-breaker.

Check the Driveline’s Solidity

UTV is 4x4vehicles, and this implies that they have axles and CV boots. They always take a lot of beating and wear from more lift being loaded into the UTV. Ensure that before purchase you inspect the front and rear differential CV boots, and their four spindles. Torn or cracked axles require replacement.

Ensure that you listen out for grinding noises during the test drive and ask as many questions as you wish to ensure the vehicle is in the right condition.

Inspect the Frame

It is essential to check the frame to ensure it is in the right condition before buying a UTV. Any cracks or bends on the frame indicate more trouble than you may think. Crashes are easy to conceal nowadays with plastics and body panels.

The frame tells a lot about the machine so ensure that you keenly inspect the vehicle for cracks or bends.

In addition, the frame should be free of rust. Rust indicates overstressing and poor maintenance of the vehicle, and this could point even to more trouble with the machine.

Research and Use Purchase Help

Before entering a deal and a subsequent transaction, ensure that you conduct deep research into UTVs. Get to know the ins and outs on the areas to check before transacting any money.

Read books, search the internet, watch YouTube videos or even better, use some purchase help if you are new to UTV vocabulary. Get a friend you can trust from a mechanic shop or one who knows more about UTV to accompany you during the initial inspection. Let them take a test drive and inform you on what you should buy or stay away from.

It is better to pay some money to them and let them guide you during your purchase rather than let yourself get ripped off.

Conduct an Overall and Maintenance Check

First impressions matter, and in the world of UTVs, a well-maintained vehicle is something everyone wants to possess. Ensure that you conduct an overall check to see how the vehicle has been maintained by the owner.

Stay clear of any vehicle that has problems with the frame, engine, driveline or any other parts. Ensure that your utility vehicle is in the right conditions before transacting any money.


In addition, after establishing that the overall maintenance of the vehicle is good, and you consider buying the vehicle, check for minor wears, that are not deal-breakers to get a fair price for the vehicle. Ensure that you look for areas such as worn-out tires to get a discount on the price. Worn out rear tires but good front tire shows the owner might loves doing smoky burnouts.

Simple things give you the bargaining power and ensure that you pay the right price for the right machine.

Check the registration details of the vehicle before conducting any purchase

Before buying a used UTV, ensure that you are familiar with the registration requirements of your locality. Check with the owner to ensure that the vehicle is registered properly with the authorities.

Ensure that you inspect the paperwork thoroughly and to avoid future inconveniences with the authorities.


When purchasing a used Utility-terrain Vehicle (UTV), it is important to look at the details keenly to ensure that you pay the right price for a quality machine.

Ensure that the machine is in good shape, from the frame to the engine, to the transmitter. Ensure everything is working properly to avoid unnecessary costs of maintenance after purchase. To confirm all this, conduct a test drive, check the engine and inspect the frame.

Ensure that you ask questions and request for the registration details of the vehicle. All this will save you a lot of trouble during and after the purchase.