Your financing options for that new off-road vehicle.
Anyone who’s ridden an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) knows that there’s nothing like tearing through trails on a quad. For a lot of people, that sense of freedom is worth the thousands of dollars a 4×4 costs. But if you don’t have that kind of cash lying around, you’re going to need some financing. We take you through your options to help you get off the road.
How do ATV loans work?
ATV loans are typically term loans, where you pay off the cost of your vehicle in installments plus interest and fees. Typically, these installments come in monthly repayments spread out over one and five years. Depending on where you apply, you might get the money upfront to spend on a new ATV or get the ATV directly from the dealer.
Some manufacturers offer credit cards that you can use to pay for your new vehicle. Here, you get access to a credit limit and pay off only what you spend with a minimum monthly payment. These often come with promotional introductory APRs, where you don’t have to pay interest for the first few months.
Some lenders don’t ask for any collateral, while others require you to secure your loan with your ATV. Secured auto loans can be less expensive, since it’s less risky for the dealer. But you could end up losing your vehicle if you can’t pay back the loan.
Compare providers for ATV loans
What are my ATV financing options?
There are two main options when it comes to financing a powersport vehicle: Financing through a dealership and personal loans. Let’s take a look at how they compare.
Getting financing directly from your ATV dealer or manufacturer is a popular way to pay for a new vehicle. Here, you’re required to use your vehicle as collateral. Some dealers offer financing directly from the manufacturer, which allows them to offer promotions like rebates or 0% interest for the first six months or a year on credit cards — often strategies for moving some of the less-popular models.
Many dealers offer financing through a third-party lender — like a bank or credit union. These can sometimes be less costly than manufacturer financing, but you might have a difficult time qualifying for a competitive loan if you don’t have excellent credit. Some offer “buy here pay here” options for bad-credit borrowers, which don’t involve a credit check but can come with higher rates and hidden fees or unnecessary add-ons.
Don’t want to risk losing your vehicle? Taking out an unsecured personal loan is another option. You can apply for these online or through your local bank or credit union. Online lenders tend to get you your funds faster and don’t have strict credit requirements like many banks.
While some lenders have restrictions on how you can use your funds, most don’t have any policies about recreational vehicles. Like with dealership financing, you’ll need good or excellent credit and a steady income to get approved for the most competitive rates and higher amounts.
Some personal loan providers also offer ATV financing, which works more like borrowing from a dealership. Here, you’ll need to know the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the estimated cost. These loans tend to be secured.
Before you buy a new ATV, consider whether you want a new or used vehicle. New ATVs can be more expensive, but don’t require as much upkeep in the beginning. They can come with lower APRs when you finance, and you don’t risk having hidden damaged parts that could set you back. However, you could end up having to pay for major repairs on an already-expensive vehicle if it gets totaled. Used ATVs are generally much cheaper. Rather than paying thousands of dollars, it’s possible to find used ATVs for less than $300. While rates might be higher, you’ll still end up paying less — or you might not even need to get a loan to cover the upfront cost. This means that if you damage your vehicle, it’s less of a big deal. It could also be a good option for first-timers who don’t know how much they’re actually going to take it out. But there’s a chance you’ll need to replace some parts and spend some serious time in the garage.
Used vs. new ATVs
Before you buy a new ATV, consider whether you want a new or used vehicle. New ATVs can be more expensive, but don’t require as much upkeep in the beginning. They can come with lower APRs when you finance, and you don’t risk having hidden damaged parts that could set you back. However, you could end up having to pay for major repairs on an already-expensive vehicle if it gets totaled.
Used ATVs are generally much cheaper. Rather than paying thousands of dollars, it’s possible to find used ATVs for less than $300. While rates might be higher, you’ll still end up paying less — or you might not even need to get a loan to cover the upfront cost. This means that if you damage your vehicle, it’s less of a big deal. It could also be a good option for first-timers who don’t know how much they’re actually going to take it out. But there’s a chance you’ll need to replace some parts and spend some serious time in the garage.
Rates to expect on an ATV loan
The easiest way to compare the cost of an ATV loan is to look at the APR, which is the interest and fees expressed as a percentage. Rates can vary depending on a number of factors like how much you want to borrow, your credit score, your income and your current debt. Typically, the higher your credit and lower your debt-to-income ratio, the more competitive loan you’ll qualify for. Here’s how some of the top brands compare in July 2018:
|Yamaha||15.99% to 23.99% plus offer|
|Textron||Starting at 2.9% to 20.9%|
|Polaris||Starting at 2.99%|
|Honda||Starting at 3.49%|
|Arctic Cat||Starting at 2.9% for 2017 models, 5.9% for 2018 models|
ATV financing calculator
Got a vehicle in mind? Use this calculator to figure out how much your monthly repayment will cost with different loan terms and rates.
How to compare ATV loans
There are four main factors you should consider when comparing ATV loans: eligibility, APR, term length and loan amounts. With in-house financing, most dealerships work with multiple lenders and have options for all credit types. They’ll also finance the total cost of your vehicle, so compare APRs and length of terms to determine your best deal.
Most in-house ATV loans come with 36- to 60-month terms. Unsecured personal loans often come with a wider range of terms from 12 to 72 months. A longer term can give you lower monthly repayments, but you’ll end up paying more in interest. A shorter term might save you on your total loan cost, but it’ll up your monthly repayments. To get the best of both worlds, use our calculator to find the shortest term length you can afford.
4 tips for comparing ATV loans
- Make sure you’re eligible first. While many dealers have options for all credit types, there’s a chance your credit score or income type just doesn’t fit the bill. Ask about eligibility requirements before anything else so you don’t waste your time.
- Request quotes. Many manufacturers only advertise the lowest possible rate on their websites, which only the most creditworthy borrowers can actually qualify for. But many manufacturers and online lenders allow you to apply to prequalify to get an estimate of the rates and loan amounts you can expect with no effect on your credit score.
- Compare APRs with the same term lengths. The longer your loan term, the more you pay in interest. That 2.9% APR might not be as much of a savings as you thought if it comes with a longer term than higher-APR shorter-term offers.
- Ask questions. Personal loans aren’t as regulated as, say credit cards, so you might not be able to find all of the information online. Go directly to the source if you have any questions by calling the customer service line, shooting an email or using your lender’s live chat feature to get answers to any area that’s unclear.
Warnings to watch out for
Want to make sure your lender is legit? Watch out for these red flags when looking for ATV financing:
- Guarantees. No lender can guarantee that you’ll get approved for a loan. If you come across one that does, there’s a chance it’s a scam.
- No credit check loans. Often these loans come with even higher rates than you would get if you’d had a credit check.
- Upfront payments. Most ATV loans generally don’t come with a down payment. Any lender asking for money before you get your funds could be running a scam, especially if they’re in the form of gift cards or money orders.
ATV loan rates by credit score
A lot of factors go into the types of rates and terms you might qualify for, though your credit score is typically the most important. Here are the APRs you might expect depending on your credit rating.
|Credit type||Credit score||strong>Typical APR|
Lower credit can also affect which loan terms you qualify for. Generally, you’ll need to have at least good credit to qualify for longer terms. Fair and poor credit applicants can sometimes find long-term options, but with high interest rates that can make the loan incredibly expensive if you don’t pay it off early.
Can I get an ATV loan with bad credit?
You can, but it won’t be cheap. That’s because lenders typically consider customers with bad credit to be high-risk borrowers. Some have credit cut-offs, meaning that you won’t be able to qualify. If you do qualify, expect a rate around 20% or higher.
Many dealerships for top manufacturers offer financing for lower-credit customers through Roadrunner Financial. These typically come with APRs ranging from 2.9% to 20.9% — competitive for that credit range — but require a down payment of up to 20%. Terms range between 6 and 72 months.
If you’ve had trouble getting approved in the past, it might be tempting to go with a lender that promises no credit check. However, at best these can be highly expensive loans, and at worst, scams.
Top ATV brands to consider
Check out how these top ATV brands compare.
|Brand||Cost for 2017–2018 models||Series||Types of financing available|
|Yamaha||$2,099–$10,899||Raptor, YFZ, Grizzly, Kodiak||Yamaha credit card|
|Textron||$2,999–$9,999||Alterra, Mudpro||Installment loans through Sheffield Financial and Roadrunner Financial, Yard Card credit card|
|Polaris||$2,099–$27,499||Polaris ACE, General, Ranger, RZR, Scrambler, Sportsman, Youth||Installment loans through Sheffield Financial, Synchrony Financial and Performance Finance; Polaris Visa Card credit card|
|Honda||$3,049–$16,699||FourTrax, TRX, Pioneer||Term loans through Honda Financial Services, Honda Powersports credit card|
|Arctic Cat||$2,999–$12,999||Alterra, 150, DVX, XT, Mudpro, 500, VLX, XC, TBX||Term loans through Sheffield Financial, Freedomroad Financial and Roadrunner Financial|
3 common types of ATVs
- Sports ATV. These quads are designed for fun. They’re faster, lighter and can absorb shock better than their counterparts. They’re also typically less expensive.
- Utility ATV. When you’re hauling cargo through rough terrain, a utility ATV is what you’re looking for. It can handle a heavier load and is typically more stable than a sports ATV.
- Side-by-side. Also known as SxS or UTV, these vehicles let you bring another person or carry a heavier load than a utility ATV.
Between in-house financing and personal loans, you’ve got lots of options to choose from when it comes to paying for a new or used ATV. Dealership financing might be easier, but you have less options to explore — and you could find more competitive rates elsewhere. Get started on your search by checking out our personal loans guide to learn more about how they work and compare lenders.
Frequently asked questions
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