If you’re buying an ATV for the first time, you may experience “buyer’s excitement” meaning you’re so excited about the potential purchase that you paid more for your ride than you probably should have. 

When buying an ATV, it’s not uncommon to negotiate upwards to 15% off MSRP in discounts. In today’s competitive market, dealers won’t be able to survive if they sold at MSRP prices. Look out for dealers who try to tack on extra documentation fees to make up the losses.

MSRP stands for “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” and it’s the price set by the manufacturer based on how much they think the ATV is worth and to standardize prices in different locations.

There are a couple of factors that play into the fee structure of ATVs and prices fluctuate at different times of the year.  In this post, we will discuss how ATV prices work and the things that you need to do to get the lowest possible price from your dealer. 

How Much Markup Do Dealers Put on an ATV?

Dealers need to make a profit off of their ATVs. This is pretty much a given and how business works. The markup on each ATV usually includes the costs of shipping from (manufacturer to dealer), overhead, salary and other fees required for business operation.

Typically, the markup for smaller, moderately priced ATVs are low and there isn’t much wiggle room for the dealer. The MSRP for these types of ATVs are usually priced at just a few hundred dollars above the cost for the dealer. Unless they are desperate to make a sale, they will most likely not come down in price for these kinds of units. 

Margins on smaller, less featured ATVs are usually between 5% to 7% making them a less attractive sale for the dealer in the first place. 

On the other hand, it’s much more reasonable to knock down the price of a higher end ATV, such as the Polaris Sportsman Touring 570 EPS. If you can negotiate a 10% discount on a $10,000 unit, you’ve saved yourself $1000.

For this reason, I always advise my readers to go for a higher end model anyway. There is potential to save more money and you get a better, more powerful ride to “show off”.

How You Can Negotiate With ATV Dealers

New ATV prices are negotiable and it’s pretty much expected. Dealers need to make sales to keep up with their monthly quotas and in some cases, they may even lose money on units just to make a sale. 

You just need to understand which pain points to push and how to set yourself up in the best possible position for negotiation. 

Here are some tips for negotiating with ATV Dealers:

Know What You’re Buying – We’ve already discussed how lower end models of ATVs don’t have much wiggle room in terms of price. This doesn’t mean you need to pay the ticket price, it just means it would be that much harder for you to get your deal. Instead, opt for a higher end model. The MSRP looks a little scarier here but you can almost always negotiate it down. 

Do note that some dealers may maintain their MSRP price or even push it higher on high demand and popular models. Chances are slim that you would be able to talk the price down on these units. 

Approach Multiple Dealers – Shop around and talk to multiple dealers that sell the ATV you want. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find them locally. Search online, for dealers in nearby cities and get a quote from all of them and then approach your local dealer with the quotes that are lower than theirs and see if they can match it. 

From experience, some dealers will try to put you off by telling you that their services are better which warrants the higher price. In such a case, don’t be pushy but show sincerity and seriousness for your intent to purchase. In some cases, the dealer may give you what you want to get the sale over with. 

Careful though, you don’t want to come off as an annoying customer. Be reasonable and if they still won’t give you what you want, then simply step out and deal with another dealer.

nice atvs

Focus on Out the Door (OTD) price – Some dealers may try to get you the deal you want only to recoup the cost in document and prep fees. 

For example, you may have successfully negotiated the price of your favorite ATV down $1000, only to find out in later stages that the dealer has tagged on document and preparation fees of $1200.

It’s important to realize that these fees may or may not be in control by your dealer. Instead of wasting time, make sure you begin the negotiation with the focus on a final OTD price. Doing it this way gives you confidence that the final price you settle on is the one you pay. 

Bring Your Own Financing – Don’t focus on payment terms or extending the length for your monthly payment. These create an opportunity for your dealer to hide terms and conditions in your purchase terms. 

Instead, meet with your bank and figure out a financing plan that works for you, then approach your dealer with the plan and see if they can beat it.   

Some dealers get kickbacks from financing banks which means they are not getting you the best deal possible if you get your financing done through them.  

MSRP is not Everything – Many people often forget that ATV dealers sell much more than just ATVs. They sell services, warranties, apparel and accessories. If you can’t get them to lower their price, try to negotiate for anything else that they can throw in as part of the deal. 

Some dealers may throw in freebies to help maintain their customer relations. Don’t be afraid to ask. You may be able to pick up a few hundred dollars worth of accessories that you otherwise would miss. 

Timing is Key – You have to know the best time of the year to buy your ATV. Most people think it’s the holidays like Christmas or special shopping days like Black Fridays. I’ve seen little to no price differences to ATV prices during these times. 

the absolute best time of the year to buy an ATV is right after the announcement of a newer model. 

The actual time depends on the model and brand that you’re after. After the announcement of a new model. Dealers are expecting to receive a new batch of ATVs which puts pressure on them to sell their old ones. 

As a buyer, this means you may be able to pick up a brand new ATV or lightly used floor model at a much steeper discount. You also have more room for negotiation to pack on extra accessories or other freebies that your dealer is trying to get rid of. 

Put a Refundable Deposit – During heated negotiations, one trick that your dealer use is to tell you that if you don’t act fast, your ATV might be taken by others. Although this might be true for popular models, it’s almost always a sales tactic. 

If at any point during the negotiation you want to take a step back and think about your finances or deal while having peace of mind that your ride will be available for you, put down a small refundable deposit. 

This way both you and the dealer can take a step back and breathe.