ATV and UTV Mileage Guide: What is high and low mileage?


If you are in the market for a second hand off-road vehicle, there are a few factors that you need to take into consideration. You can use my extensive guide to check mileage on ATVs and UTVs so that you can easily weave through candidates and find the perfect model.

5000 miles is considered high mileage for an ATV or UTV. On the other hand, 1000 miles is labeled as low mileage for ATVs and side by sides. The sweet spot to buy a second-hand ATV or UTV is 2000 miles because, in general, people ride around 1000 per year. So, the off-road vehicle will be like new.

Mileage is an important factor to consider when buying a new ATV or UTV, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. There are other factors to take into consideration like the type of terrain that it was used on and if the owner rides aggressively. Keep reading to find out more.

What’s High Mileage for an ATV?

While there are varying opinions on this matter, most off-roaders will agree that anything above 5000 miles is considered high mileage on ATVs. Nonetheless, there are often instances when a quad with higher mileage is more reliable than one with low miles. This is because the riding style and maintenance performed by the previous owner have a crucial effect on the longevity of the ATV.

The real secret to determining the value of an ATV beyond mileage is doing your research and requesting a test ride. Since this is a longtime investment, you have every right to ask questions about the vehicle before making a decision. Any honest off-roader will understand the importance of this background check and will answer promptly with whatever details you need to know.

If you find that the seller is reticent or even annoyed by your questions, then I suggest you move on. There are plenty of dishonest people out there and if you are not an experienced rider or even better, a mechanic, you might be tricked into paying more than the quad is worth.

Make sure to ask about how the ATV was used and what maintenance has the previous owner performed on it. Their riding style can say more about the condition of the vehicle than anything else.

If they say that they used the 4-wheeler in competitions or on muddy terrain, then even a number as low as 2000 miles can be considered “high mileage.” In this case, you need to make sure the seller has cleaned the quad thoroughly and no mud is trapped under the frame. Mud can be the enemy of important parts, such as your engine.

On the other hand, if the seller says that they used the ATV for casual riding and they have done preventive maintenance, this probably means that the vehicle is in good shape even after a few more thousand miles. In a situation like this, it is safe to purchase a quad with more than 5000 miles, especially if the price offer is enticing. However, make sure to take a test ride and even request records of maintenance checks for reassurance.

All this being said, I am guessing you want to use your new 4-wheeler for years to come. Even though mileage is not the only purchasing factor you should take into consideration, it is still be telling of how much maintenance you will do in the future. For this reason, I would not bet my money on a used quad with more than 7500 miles. After all, the average life span of a quad is 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

I also wrote a guide that shows how to determine high mileage when buying a used dirt bike. You can use some of tips that I highlight to make sure you are getting the best ATV or UTV for the money.

What is Low Mileage on an ATV?

Generally speaking, an ATV with 1000 miles or under is considered to have low mileage. This usually suggests that the quad has been used for a year or so and did not require much maintenance. This is the ideal situation for buying a new off-road vehicle, especially if the previous owner did not rough up the quad through mud and water frequently.

Albeit, that can be a false assumption. Whenever I see low mileage on ATVs, I make sure to check the year of the model as well. For instance, if the quad has 500 miles but it is a 2010 model, I ask myself why.

How did the seller use this quad before? Where has been the quad stored in all of those years of light usage? Has the previous owner kept up with maintenance even when they did not use the ATV? Is it possible that the odometer has been tampered with?

All of these questions are valid points of concern when looking at an older ATV with low mileage. As previously mentioned, make sure to ask the seller about the history of the 4-wheeler. A positive explanation in this situation is that the owner only used it for farm work and kept in a garage during winters. Not only that, but they took it into the shop regularly for maintenance checks. Then, it is worth taking it for a test ride to see how it performs on the trail.

Is 200 hours a lot for an ATV?

In most cases, 200 hours of usage for an ATV is not too much. If the previous owner is a casual rider without a “need for speed,” then this is an offer worth checking out. The best course of action here is to compare the number of hours to the mileage, as well as the reported use. All of these elements together can give you an overview of the ATV history.

In case the seller is an adventurer that likes to ride at high speeds, you might find that the mileage of the quad actually reaches around 6000 miles or more. As previously stated, if you cannot confirm frequent maintenance checks, this is most likely a deal-breaker.

I think it is important to note that some ATV models do not have odometers available and hours of usage is the only information that you can get. This is when you rely on the information that the owner provides. If they are road runners, then you can assume an average speed of 25-30mph, while for farm work and snow plowing it can be as low as 10mph.

What is Good Mileage for a UTV?

Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i

Similar to the mileage on ATVs, good mileage for a UTV would be around 1000 to 2000 miles. Of course, the lower the mileage, the better, but this almost always means an increase in price as well. I would go as far as to say that you can easily buy a UTV with 3000 to 4000 miles on it, as long as you are getting a good price deal. Since side by sides are more expensive than quads, purchasing a vehicle with higher mileage might be a good decision budget-wise.

The main difference between ATVs and UTVs when looking at mileage is that with the latter, you can guess the usage style better. While ATVs can be both sport and utility types, side by sides are obviously mostly used for work.

Even if the previous owner has used the SxS recreationally, these off-road vehicles are built for comfort and lower speed. Therefore, you can safely assume that it did not go through the same stress that a racing ATV sees daily. When it comes to high mileage, anything that is more than 5000 is considered high mileage for a UTV.

This fact does not cancel out the importance of previous maintenance. Make sure to still ask about oil changes, coolant changes, and even previous work done to the parts. During your test drive, I would advise caution with checking the engine oil and coolant yourself, as well as taking a close look at the frame and suspensions on your possible purchase. Ultimately, there is no such as thing as too much diligence.

What is the Average Mileage per Year on a UTV?

Casual riders will make around 500 to 1500 mile so their side by side each year. While ATV owners use their vehicles to go on long trails, UTVs are generally used on a daily basis. Since side by sides are a useful tool to use on the farm or worksite, they will rack up low miles every day reaching approximately the same number of miles in a year as a sport ATV.

As with all average values in the off-road community, take this information with a grain of salt. Some people might consider 500 miles their yearly average, while others reach upwards of 2000. The truth is that usage style says the most about mileage and hours on a UTV.

If you are looking at a premium model such as a Can-Am, you might find that the previous owner only uses it occasionally to ride comfortably around their property. This can mean much lower average miles. The point I am making here (and throughout this whole guide) is that you need to take the complete picture into consideration. What could be average mileage for a Honda Pioneer is different than for a Polaris RZR.

What is the Range of a UTV?

On average, the range of a UTV with a full tank of fuel is of 200 miles. This number is based on the average tank size of a UTV which is around 10 gallons, but you can easily calculate the value based on the model you are interested in.  For instance, a 2022 Can-Am Commander XT has exactly 10 gallons of fuel capacity, while a 2021 Kawasaki Teryx 4 only has 7.9 gallons available. An example of a UTV with a larger tank is the John Deere XUV865E, which can hold up 11.2 gallons of fuel.

The other average value that is taken into consideration is MPG (miles per gallon), also referred to as fuel economy. Multiple sources say that a UTV has a fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon, which seems fairly true based on my own experience. While terrain, speed, and engine power all have a role in the value of this variable, it is still pretty likely that you can go 150 miles without refilling your fuel.

Is 1500 Hours a Lot for a UTV?

Although UTVs are expected to have more usage hours than an ATV, 1500 hours is still a lot.  Considering that 100 hours per year is the agreed average use for a side by side, 1500 hours implies 15 years of usage. Even if the model is newer, that still means it has gone under the “stress” of 15 years of regular use.

I would go as far as to say that 600 hours is high usage for someone that wants plenty of time to enjoy a second hand UTV. The more the SxS was used, the more maintenance it will require in future years too. Even if the previous owner has been excellent about timely oil and air filter changes, you still need to be cautious about high hours on a UTV.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of those hours are spent idling, especially considering how UTVs are usually utilized. Long periods of idling are even more damaging to a machine, so be sure to check the mileage of the UTV when making a decision. Divide the miles by the number of hours, and if the result is much lower than 10mph, then I would stay away.

All in all, it is clear that 1500 hours is a lot for a UTV. The only situation in which I would buy a used side by side with these many hours of usage is if I intended to ride it for only one or two years. If you are a mechanic or you have a mechanic friend, make sure to make a thorough investigation of the UTV’s condition.

Final Words

Mileage is a key indicator of the value of a used ATV or UTV which can help you easily filter out the offers online. However, this indicator needs to be supplemented with other vital information such as hours of usage, riding style, maintenance checks, and overall history of the vehicle. Last but not least, the ultimate way to check that the quad or SxS is in good condition is by doing a test ride. Checking the engine oil, coolant, and air filters of the vehicle is always a good idea before taking the plunge and buying the ATV or UTV.

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at bobtheatvguy@gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

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