The ATV is a completely different vehicle than the UTV. These provide different riding experiences, have different purposes, and they require unique insurance policies. ATV vs UTV – What Makes Them Different?

Close-up tail view of atv quad


While it may be fun to customize your ATV or UTV, before doing this, it is important to find out which one of these should be purchased. Keep reading to learn more about each of these and how to make the most of any riding experience. 

What is ATV‘s

A simple definition used for an ATV or all-terrain vehicle is a vehicle that offers a straddle seat, handlebar steering, and the ability to move through all types of terrains and conditions. While there are all types of ATV modifications and customizations, at the base, each ATV will share the same three features. Keep reading to learn more about what an ATV is and what it has to offer.

Today’s ATVs are designed with three or four wheels. The tires are kept at a lower pressure than standard UTV or car tires.

Proper care of your ATV or UTV is a must if you want your vehicle to last you years. Dust and corrosion is the leading cause of issues in all-terrain vehicles. We have found that a high-quality four wheeler cover can prolong the life of your vehicle for years. Whether you’re storing it indoors or outdoors a cover will help you keep your all-terrain vehicle starting up every time you go to use it.

Another important consideration is steering. The driver or operator of an ATV uses handlebars to turn the vehicle.

With an ATV, the driver and passengers will sit in a straddle position. Usually, an ATV is designed for a single rider; however, there are others that can carry the operator, along with one passenger.

It is important to note that ATVs are not considered one-size-fits-all. This means that the right size needs to be purchased based on who will be driving it. When an ATV is operated correctly and safely, they offer a nimble and fun mode of transportation through all types of terrain conditions.

Most ATVs are going to come with something called a thumb throttle. This means that the throttle is controlled by the thumbs. These also control acceleration. While it may be possible to modify the ATV to feature a twist throttle, this can be complicated. However, many people find this more convenient, as acceleration is done by twisting the handle or throttle.

What is the Difference Between ATV and UTV

Because of the unpredictability of the terrain that ATVs are used on, a twist throttle can make it more dangerous and difficult to fully control the vehicle. For example, if the ATV rider leans forward and they accidentally twist the throttle when they are going downhill, then the vehicle may speed up quickly. This is going to result in the rider being thrown forward and sometimes completely off the vehicle. Also, the vehicle may roll, or it could fall on the rider and any passengers.

To brake, the operators can use the foot pedal or the brake handle. What they use is dependent on the type of ATV they ride.

Most ATVs do not come with the safety equipment as a part of the standard vehicle. There are some that have roll bars that are strong pipes that create a cage structure around the driver and passenger to provide protection if the vehicle happens to roll.

In most cases, ATVs are used as a type of fast transportation for traveling over rough ground. When planning to purchase an ATV, a potential buyer should account for all the potential costs that go along with the needed safety gear and insurance.

Close-up tail view of utv

What is UTV’s

Let’s break down the ATV vs UTV question. A UTV or Utility Terrain Vehicle is designed and used more commonly for work purposes than for recreation. These are large and powerful vehicles that can seat the passengers beside one another. It is also designed with plenty of storage space. A UTV is commonly used to haul supplies and locations in an area where using a truck would be impossible or impractical.

Similar to a traditional car, a UTV has four wheels, which is a standard wheelbase. However, they may be designed with additional wheels if the UTV is being used for a specialty purpose. Unlike an ATV, which uses a handlebar for steering, the UTV is steered with a steering wheel, like a passenger vehicle.

Usually, a UTV will be able to safely hold between two and four passengers. In this vehicle, the passengers will sit right beside one another. This is why the vehicle is often referred to as a side-by-side. Sometimes, the UTV will also be called an SXS. This is all a reference to the way people sit in it.

The UTV is much faster and more powerful than an ATV; however, they are not as nimble or easy to steer. The maximum speed that they will go is between 25 miles per hour and 50 miles per hour. Foot pedals are used for acceleration and braking on the UTV.

ATV vs UTV – What Makes Them Different?

 Modern UTVs are designed with occupant restraints, or seatbelts, as standard features. There is also the option to include a roll bar or windshield. And if you’re going on road trips, installing a UTV soundbar is a great approach to maximize the available space.. Also, most UTVs are designed with many more safety features than ATVs. It is common for a UTV to have a cabin. It is very similar to what is seen on a golf cart; however, it is possible to have fully enclosed cabins.

With a UTV a user will get a lot of storage space. Usually, these are used on farms for things like hauling supplies, hay, and feed. While this is true, they are also becoming more popular in non-agricultural communities. They are commonly used at schools, where they can be used for moving sports equipment, water jugs, and more for athletes.

Thanks to the available modifications for the UTV, it is now a popular choice for moving items in multiple industries. The versatility and customizability offered by UTVs come at a price. These are usually much more expensive than the ATVs, especially with the available modifications.

Choosing between ATVs and UTVs

If someone is trying to choose between a UTV or an ATV, reviewing the information here is highly recommended. This is going to pay off and help ensure that the right decision is made based on a person’s needs and budget.

Be sure to keep all the information here in mind to make the right decision regarding of a UTV or ATV should be purchased. Let know you thoughts on ATV vs UTV?