Utility terrain vehicles, or side-by-sides, are a lot of fun and a great way to dive into a new hobby. You can go off-roading on the weekend or compete in high-octane races with other fanatics. UTVs are enjoyable, but here are four things to consider before buying a UTV.
They’re Not Unbreakable
UTVs can withstand a lot of roughhousing. After all, that’s a big part of their charm and design. However, so many new buyers have an unfounded belief that their UTV can withstand anything and everything. If you notice your UTV is a bit jerky on start-up or has issues with the driveshaft, mishandling the machine is usually the culprit.
Mind the Hidden Costs
Side-by-sides rack up expenses that you might not consider when you first buy one. Of course, you have the cost of the UTV itself and everyday expenses like gas. You also need to change fluids regularly, like oil, and for safety reasons, keep an eye on parts like wheel bearings, drive belts, and brake pads.
And that’s just the essential maintenance. Additional costs include safety gear and other accessories, such as engine modifications to improve your UTV’s torque and horsepower.
UTV Primary Use
Just like with cars, there are many types of utility terrain vehicles. Some side-by-sides emphasize power to tow and move equipment off the road. There are also higher-power ones built for speed. You don’t buy a Porsche to haul lumber, so keep that in mind when looking for a UTV. If you want to use your UTV for a day of off-roading with your family, consider buying a model with four to six seats in it rather than the standard two-seater.
Another thing to consider before buying a UTV is that they’re loud. You might have a hard time enjoying a pleasant conversation on those family off-road drives.
Moving Your UTV Around
Unless you add in some specific modifications, UTVs typically aren’t street legal. Lacking these upgrades means you need a proper vehicle or trailer to transport it. Consider if you can move your side-by-side around before you pick one up or you may have trouble even getting it off the lot.
Utility terrain vehicles are full of possibilities for a hard day’s work or some high-octane recreation. Just remember to consider how you’ll use it and budget for potential costs that will come up before you start shopping.