The cost of a snowmobile depends on if you buy it new or used. The average new sled can cost you $10,000 or more, while a decent used one is typically in the $2,000-8,000 range.
My name is Chaz, and I’m a snowmobile enthusiast with decades of experience riding and working on all types of snow machines. I’ve purchased both new and used options over the years and have a good sense of what different models cost.
In this article, I’ll break down the differences in price between snowmobiles and the various factors that can help you spot a good value.
Before you get out your wallet, read everything below!
Table of Contents
New or Used?
When you are pricing out the cost of a snowmobile, you’re going to see a wide range of prices. Just like when you buy a car, you can buy either brand new or go with a used machine.
I usually purchase used sleds, and that’s because they are more affordable. Budget is a deciding factor for many riders, and buying used will save you money.
Don’t get me wrong; a new snowmobile is always exciting – if you can afford it.
New Snowmobile: Pros and Cons
A new snowmobile is going to be more expensive. If you want a good quality machine from a top brand, you’re going to need to spend $10,000-15,000. The Ski-Doo Expedition is a popular sled and comes in just under that $10k mark when purchased new.
If you have the money to spend, going with a new model can be a great way to go. You’ll have a brand new winter toy and can trust that it’s in good mechanical shape because it’s coming directly from the manufacturer or the showroom floor.
New snowmobiles will be more expensive, for sure. This is the biggest con, by far.
But you can get a loan for one which will allow you to make payments on it over a couple of years. New purchases also often come with warranties that will help cover maintenance and repairs as well.
Use Snowmobiles: Pros and Cons
Most of my friends purchase their snowmobiles used. A used machine can be a lot cheaper than a brand new one. The same model with a few miles on it, purchased from a private party, will be significantly less expensive than from the dealer.
And if you want a deal, you can go with an older model sled that might be well-used but will be more affordable. There’s nothing wrong with buying a used snowmobile if you know what you are purchasing.
You always run the risk of buying something with mechanical issues, and paying more than the sled is actually worth. You also can’t usually get a loan for a used snowmobile, so you’ll have to have all of the money on hand to make the purchase.
Still, I’ve spent $1500 on a used Polaris that lasted for over a decade and have seen other riders spend nearly 10X that and not get the same reliability.
What to Look for When Buying a Snowmobile
Regardless of if you buy a new or used sled, you need to make sure you are getting the right machine for your needs. And you always want to make sure you get what you pay for.
A brand new snowmobile might cost more upfront, but you won’t have many immediate mechanical costs, especially if it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. That’s always something to look for when buying new.
Make sure that the machine has the features you want or need. You might want a particular engine size or a heated seat. You can be picky if you’re buying new but might have to make compromises when buying used.
When you purchase a used machine, you take more risk. I always start up the engine and take it out for a test drive before handing any money over. Make sure to ask the previous owner about maintenance history and upkeep too.
If a sled has not been taken care of by its owner, it could very possibly be a lemon that won’t be worth your time and your money. If you don’t know much about the mechanical side, try to bring a friend who does along when you buy.
Another tip I always recommend when buying a snowmobile, or just about anything, is to haggle! This is especially important when buying used because you can almost always talk the owner down in price.
Here are a few questions people ask when looking at how much a snowmobile is.
What is the cheapest snowmobile?
Youth sleds are usually the cheapest option. They have a smaller-sized engine, typically in the 120-200cc range. These will cost you around $3,000 brand new. The cheapest adult snowmobiles also have smaller engines (200cc) and cost $4-5,000.
What is the most expensive snowmobile?
The most expensive snowmobile that I’m currently aware of is the Arctic Cat ZR Thundercat. It comes in just under $18,000 and is a beast of a machine. I’m sure it’s incredible and claims to be the fastest production snowmobile in the world. I’ve never ridden it.
Is it worth buying a snowmobile?
If you love snowmobiling and want to be able to get out on the trails as much as possible, buying one is certainly worth it. If you are a casual rider or someone who just wants to try it out, renting or borrowing a sled might be a better way to go.
The Bottom Line
Buying a snowmobile is exciting for any rider. If you’re itching to get your hands on a new sled, expect to spend around $10,000. But if you don’t have the cash, there are used options out there for about $3,000 or less.
When you have your own sled, you can speed around the trails whenever you want as long as there is snow, of course. No matter how much you spend or what type of sled you buy, always make sure it’s in good mechanical shape before dishing out the cash.
How much did you spend on your last snowmobile? Did you buy new or used? Let me know in the comments below.About Chaz Wyland