From the May/June 2011 issue of ATV Rider Magazine
So you’ve taken the plunge and finally decided it’s time to pull the trigger and buck up for that new ride you’ve been drooling about forever. Since you’ve invested so much energy thinking about how badass you’re going to look on your new wheels and, ultimately, how much your bros will be jealous of you, hopefully you’ve invested the same amount of thought into what you’re getting yourself into first. We’ve heard many inexperienced purchasers inquire, How hard can buying a quad be? and It’s pretty much like buying a car, right? If that sounds like the little voice inside your helmet, do us a favor and ask the closest person you can find to sucker punch you in the eye! Buying a quad is a major purchase. But having a plethora of information at your disposal to help steer you in the right direction can mean the difference between scoring a killer deal or getting screwed.
The first question a prospective buyer should be asking himself is, How am I going to use my new machine? The way we see it, you have three choices: a sport quad, a utility quad or a side-by-side (SxS). If you’re into trail riding and performance, in 2011 you’re not limited to relying on a sport quad to quench your need for speed. The reason is that many of the utility quad and SxS choices on the market are also incredibly fun and sporty. Most utility quads and SxSs can work the farm all week long, then head toward the path less traveled on the weekends. We’ve talked to many ATV enthusiasts who thought they wanted a sport quad but who after careful consideration recognized that a sporty utility quad, which can handle a snowplow during the winter, or a SxS, which makes it easier to include the family, can make your dream ride a much easier sell to the wife!
With your new ride picked out and family approved, the next step is getting the best deal. We combed the edge of the Earth and miraculously uncovered a powersports dealer willing to give us the inside scoop on how to get the best deal on a new ATV or SxS. It took some coaxing, blackmailing and a little threatening, but he finally broke. After coughing up the goods and delivering this top-secret information, he immediately entered the Witness Protection Program rather than spend the rest of his career as an outcast. Here’s what he had to say.
The easiest way to get the best deal is to shop around. Use every method possible and don’t be afraid to make dealerships fight for your business. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and your local dealership is wearing Milk-Bone underwear.
Don’t let dealerships convince you they’re losing money on a deal. They don’t do that! The factories have dealer holdback. What this essentially means is, in addition to the profits a dealer makes on the machines, it also receives a payment from the manufacturers based on the sales for a particular month. Some volume dealerships rely on this to keep the doors open.
Be aware of fees when comparing pricing. Some dealerships will charge customers freight/setup or dealer prep fees. It’s important to understand what that fee actually is and compare apples to apples when shopping around. Essentially, a setup fee allows the dealership to advertise the selling price of a unit at a lower price than the actual selling price. Shady dealerships might try to sneak that price in only when you get to the paperwork. If that happens and they refuse to remove it, pull the plug on the deal and go elsewhere.
Does service matter to you? If you buy a machine out of the area to save a few bucks and then expect the local dealership to jump through hoops on service issues, think again. The dealer is obligated to work on it, but they don’t have to hug you on the way through the door or give you preferential treatment. They reserve this for their loyal customers!