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6 Things to Know When Buying a Dune Buggy

6 Things to Know When Buying a Dune Buggy

Taking off-roading to the next level, dune buggies are fun side-by-sides that are meant to tackle tough terrains by tearing through the sand and mud. They were first used for recreation decades ago when serious hobbyists stripped down their vehicles to the frame and went for a ride. These four-wheelers have large tires for traction and are great for catching air, taking tight turns, and hitting high speeds. Since these vehicles are different from other off-roaders on the market, ATV Trader is sharing six things to know when buying a dune buggy.

1. Do Dune Buggy Research

There’s a lot to know before shopping for ATVs and UTVs, but you can start your search for a dune buggy by creating a wishlist of what you’re looking for in these adventurous vehicles. Set your budget, make yourself familiar with some of the top brands on the market, decide whether you want to buy new or used, compare listings, check prices, and finally communicate with a seller. Consider whether you’re looking for add-ons, accessories, new parts, or a trailer for towing your dune buggy. You will find more options if you expand your search nationwide, and some dealers may give you the option to have the dune buggy delivered right to you.

2. Know How You Will Use Your Dune Buggy

Different types of off-road vehicles serve a number of purposes when you take them for a ride, so when you’re researching while shopping, ask yourself how you will be using your dune buggy. Since they’re mostly used for recreation, figure out if you will be taking your dune buggy to the beach, desert, mountains, or woods. Keep in mind how much time you’re willing to set aside for a project to fix up your dune buggy. Many riders buy these vehicles with the intention of spending time fixing them up or making modifications since they undergo wear and tear through heavy use. 

3. Inspect the Dune Buggy

There are a number of advantages when you buy a used ATV or UTV, such as getting a great value and saving money versus buying new. If you decide to buy a used dune buggy, check the vehicle up close for any damage. Look at the chassis and suspension, see if you spot any cracks, dents, broken bolts, or a warped frame. Inspect the engine and gas tank for corrosion, see that all electrical components are functioning including the headlights, check the depth and wear on the tires, and walk around the dune buggy to see if there’s any rust. Ask the dealer questions about the condition of the buggy, and get a vehicle report that includes its VIN number and history of previous ownership.

4. Put Safety First

Exploring, rolling over the dunes, cruising at fast speeds—dune buggies promise action-packed sessions each time you ride. This also means you should put safety first and make yourself more familiar with these vehicles when researching different makes and models. Seat belts and roll cages are important, as are riding helmets to protect your noggin, and goggles for clear vision as you blast through the sand and mud. Make a checklist to ensure the dune buggy comes with the essentials, and know what gear you’ll have to buy when you create a budget. 

5. Test Drive the Dune Buggy

Dune buggies handle differently than other off-roaders. Before you buy, test drive the model you’re after to get a better idea of how the buggy runs. On a safe course, do a brake check, get a feel for the clutch and suspension, and see how comfortable it is when riding on rugged terrain. As a reminder, always drive cautiously at safe speeds and be careful on corners and turns. Ride in clear weather conditions with your headlights on and while wearing gear that can handle dirt and mud.

6. Check Dune Buggy Riding Laws

One more factor to take into account when buying a dune buggy: local riding laws. When you’re looking to purchase your dune buggy, consider what rules and regulations you have to follow in public places such as beaches, parks, or trails. You might have to travel further to a destination that permits dune buggies and other off-roaders. Know where it’s OK to ride your dune buggy before you take it out for a spin. You may end up spending more money transporting your vehicle, filling up on gasoline, and paying to ride.

Dune buggies are some of the best off-roading vehicles for adventures and joyrides. When it comes to buying, do your research to get a better idea of the vehicle you’re after. If you’re ready to start shopping for your next new or used ATV or UTV, be sure to see the nation’s largest inventory online at


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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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