One of the most important things to look for in a used ATV is what purpose it will be serving for you. If you want a basic ATV for trail riding or heading out to the dunes for the weekend you may want to find a used ATV with fewer options. The basic ATV will cost a lot less than the models that are decked out with all the options. The ATV with four wheel drive and all the options may be what you need if you plan on riding for long periods of time over rough terrain. Getting your supplies to your favorite hunting or fishing grounds may take an ATV with racks for guns and supplies and possibly a hitch for a small trailer. If you plan on doing any riding at night you may want to look for a model that has factory lighting such as head, tail, and brake lights. Most used ATV’s have a lot of life left in them and are a great value compared to newer ATV’s. You will want to have information on what the previous owner of the ATV used it for. If it was used for recreational riding on the weekends or days off work it may not have been used that much. If it was a work horse on a farm or ranch the ATV may have a lot of hours on the engine along with hauling heavy loads day after day. If the machine was worked very hard it may be selling for a lower price and will be great if you do not plan on using it all that much. If you want to spend more money you may be able to find a used ATV with some of the factory warranty remaining.
When looking over the used ATV make sure to get the one that will fit your size and has plenty of horse power for the chores it will need to perform. Some of the things you may want to look for are damage to the frame or suspension. Look at the handle bars and upper parts of the ATV to see if it has been rolled over. Check the frame for modifications that may have weakened the frame in any way. If you are purchasing the ATV from a private seller ask to have the ATV inspected at a dealership. Try to find a used ATV in the same brand as the nearest dealer so you will not have to travel far for parts and service if needed. If you get the chance run the ATV and look for leaks in the exhaust system or any fluid leaks. If the ATV has been taken care of and has had a good maintenance program it will last for a long time and will have saved you some money.
If there are going to be multiple riders try to look for an ATV that everyone will be able to handle and ride safely. Also you may want make sure none of the safety equipment has been modified or bypassed. Automatic kill switches, brakes, hand guards etc.