Personal Loans

Can I Get a Personal Loan for a Snowmobile or ATV?

You can get a personal loan for a winter or summer power sports vehicle, but you'll want to shop around for the best rates and terms.
A man in a bright blue snow suit is riding a snowmobile through snow-covered trees
Written by:
Chris Kissell
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified

Power sports vehicles make life more fun. ATVs, snowmobiles, Jet Skis and more help us get outside to enjoy the season, from summer to winter.

But none of these recreational vehicles can be classified as “cheap.” To buy one, you will need to spend anywhere from several hundred dollars to many thousands. Read on to learn more about how to finance power sports vehicles, including personal loans.

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What Are Power Sports Vehicles?

Power sports vehicles typically are defined as vehicles used for recreational racing and fun.

Instead of sitting inside an enclosed space — as you would in a car or boat — most recreational vehicles require you to sit on a seat, with the rest of your body exposed to the elements.

Three common types of power sports vehicles are:


Short for “all-terrain vehicle,” an ATV is designed to travel off-road. The driver sits on a saddle and uses handlebars to steer the vehicle.

There are two types:

  • Type 1. This is operated by a single driver and includes no passengers
  • Type 2. This includes a seat for a passenger

ATVs come in various sizes. They typically cost between $5,000 and $15,000 when purchased new.


A snowmobile is a motorized sled that allows the driver to travel over snow and ice. Skis in the front of the snowmobile help the driver direct the vehicle.

Most modern snowmobiles are designed to carry one person. Many areas conducive to snowmobile traffic create trails specifically designed for these vehicles.

A new snowmobile can easily cost $10,000 or more.

Jet Ski

Jet Ski is a trademarked name for a brand of personal watercraft, although the term often is used generically. Other examples of this type of watercraft include WaveRunner and Sea-Doo.

This type of watercraft allows you to travel fast over the surface of the water.

A new Jet Ski can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.


Mopeds are two-wheeled vehicles with step-through frames. They are typically defined as having a motor of 50 cubic centimeters (CC) or smaller. That generally means that their speed tops out at 40 mph.

The faster and more powerful a moped is, the more it is likely to cost. You can spend anywhere from $700 to $3,000 on a moped with a 50CC motor.

Electric Bicycle

An electric bicycle has a motor that assists when you pedal. That is a crucial difference from a moped, which propels you without pedaling. In the U.S., an electric bicycle is allowed to reach speeds of up to 20 mph.

Expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1,000 for an electric bike, although it is possible to spend far more on a high-end model.

Shop rates and find a lender for your power sports vehicle personal loan.

Should You Finance Your “Toy” With a Personal Loan?

The price of a power sports vehicle varies widely, depending on the type of vehicle you are buying, whether you buy new or used, and other factors. But for the most part, you should expect to spend at least $1,000, and possibly a lot more.

Some people will have enough money sitting around to purchase their recreational vehicle with cash. However, many others will need to find a way to finance their purchase.

If you need a loan to purchase your power sports vehicle, you can choose between a secured or unsecured loan.

Unsecured Loans

One option for financing your sports vehicle is an unsecured loan, such as using a credit card or personal loan.

With this type of loan, your power sports vehicle will not be at risk if you fail to make your payments.

However, your interest rate might be higher than if you use a secured loan and your repayment period might be shorter.

Still, personal loans may make sense for other buyers. For instance, if you’re purchasing your vehicle from a private party, a personal loan might make the whole process a lot easier. You can apply for your loan and make your purchase with the proceeds.

Also, you can do a little shopping around to find a great personal loan rate that is competitive with the rate you would get on a secured loan.

However, it’s important to have a good credit score and show your creditworthiness if you plan to apply for a personal loan, as the lender will weigh your credit score heavily when deciding which terms to give you.

Secured Loans

A secured loan uses the power sports vehicle itself as collateral.

Such power sports vehicle loans are similar to using an auto loan when buying a car. You typically can get this type of financing from the dealer that sells the vehicle, or from banks, credit unions, and other lenders. As with an auto loan, it’s important to shop around to make sure you get the best deal.

Many people will find that a secured loan is the way to go, as your interest rate is likely to be lower and you might have a longer period to pay off the loan.

Using a home equity line of credit to finance your purchase would be another example of a secured loan, as your house serves as the collateral.

Choosing Your Vehicle

With so many different power sports vehicles to choose from, it can be tough to know which one you should buy. If you are unsure about where to plunk down your money, it might help to try various options to see which one speaks to you.

For example, perhaps a friend has an electric bike you can try, or you can rent a Jet Ski and take it out for a spin.

You can buy a power sports vehicle at a dealer that specializes in these types of recreational vehicles. Sites such as Amazon and eBay also sell power sports vehicles.

As with a car, you are likely to save money by purchasing something used instead of new. However, as with a used car, you risk getting a power sports vehicle with mechanical issues and other problems when you buy used ones. By contrast, buying new gets you something in great shape that likely has a warranty.


How long do I have to pay off a personal loan?

Personal loan terms can range from two years to seven years.

What credit score do you need to get a snowmobile?

If you are financing the vehicle directly through the dealer, you will need to have good credit of at least 650. You may be able to get a personal loan with a credit score lower than 650, though your interest rate might be higher.

How can I save on a power sports vehicle?

Power sports vehicles range in price, but most purchases will require you to spend at least $1,000, and often much more. So, it’s important to establish a budget for your purchase.

If you covet a $5,000 Jet Ski but only have a few hundred dollars to spend, you might have to settle for getting your kicks on an electric bike instead, at least until you have more money to spend.

Buying used also can help make the purchase of a power sports vehicle more cost-efficient. However, as with buying a used car, you are taking on some additional risk when you buy used instead of new. Buying used always means you are buying into any pre-existing issues that the vehicle might have.

How do I insure my power sports vehicle?

Many insurance companies provide coverage to owners of power sports vehicles. Typically, you will get many of the same coverages you would get with an auto insurance policy, such as:

  • Liability
  • Collision and comprehensive
  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Where should I store my power sports vehicle?

Most power sports vehicles are expensive, so it pays to protect your investment by storing it properly. For the most part, you should treat your vehicle in much the same manner as you treat your car, housing it in a garage, shed, or other enclosure.