A guide to purchasing a UTV in today’s economy

Spotting a farmer driving across fields in the Ozarks in a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV), is as commonplace as seeing a cowboy on horseback in the wide, open ranges of the West. UTVs have gained popularity through the years as a farmer’s sidekick to haul feed, tools and equipment as well as to meet other agricultural needs.

If producers are in the market to replace their current UTV or to add one to their operation for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind while shopping. First, decide what the UTV will be utilized for on the farm. “We need to find out what they need to use it for before we start to narrow down what they may want to buy,” Richard Mawhiney, Hobbytime Motorsports General Manager, Bolivar, Mo., explained. 

Before purchasing a UTV, experts suggest conducting online research to determine which UTV is the best fit. “As always, I recommend everyone to look online and check out reviews and places like, TractorHouse.com, to see what is for sale because that is usually a good sign of what people are trying to get rid of,” Darrin Langston, S&H Farm Supply Powersports Service Writer, in Lockwood, Mo., said. 

Currently, one of the biggest challenges facing consumers and dealers is product availability. 

UTV dealers are extremely low on inventory. “Right now, is unprecedented times,” Mawhiney stated. “The big challenge for them and us right now, is to actually get them on a machine they may need or want.” The scarcity of inventory limits the number of models buyers have to test drive and visually inspect. 

Additionally, farmers looking to purchase a UTV in 2021 for tax purposes may have a difficult time getting one quickly. It could take two months or much longer to receive an order from the manufacturer. 

Langston recommends farmers, who want to get a UTV as soon as possible, purchase UTVS made in the United States. “If you can find one you like that is made domestically, then the supply chain issue doesn’t seem to be as bad or there is no issue at all,” Langston said.

When looking at UTVs to purchase, one of the first things to determine is the size of the machine needed. Consider what might be hauled in or pulled by the vehicle. A UTV that will be utilized for heavy duty work should be equipped with a bigger bed and towing capacity. Depending on the use, horsepower and torque can be an important consideration. 

Next, decide if the UTV will be left open or enclosed. For example, will it have a roof, rear panel, windshield or doors? Not all models are configured to allow for the UTV to be properly enclosed. 

Before heading to the dealer to purchase a UTV – set a budget. Similar to many pricey purchases, the cost of a UTV varies significantly based on the model, size and number of add-ons. 

How fast a UTV will drive fluctuates between models. If a farmer drives the UTV between properties or farms that are several miles from one another, then the mph may be an important consideration. Some models may have a maximum speed of 25 mph, others may top out at 50 mph. A UTV that runs on diesel typically has a lower maximum mph.

If buyers plan to use the UTV on their farm, then they can catch a bit of a tax break. “A lot of people don’t realize that a UTV can be classified as an agricultural vehicle,” Mawhiney explained. “As long as you are using it for agricultural purposes it is just like a tractor. So, there is not sales tax on a UTV.” 

Once buyers make their purchase, experts recommend they follow a maintenance schedule for the vehicle. Proper maintenance pays off in the long run.


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