15 insurances when purchasing Chinese made UTVs

Chinese made UTVs


A slight departure from our regular scheduling but variety is the spice of life, after all, so here’s a rundown of some tips to consider when buying UTVs… or anything from China for that matter.

  1. Verify EPA and CARB: Verify EPA and CARB First and foremost, request the EPA document if buying direct. They all say they either have it or it will be issued within 30 days. We recommend requesting a copy. We’re aware of companies that have been promising EPA for 9 months. Also be aware of receiving an EPA document for a vehicle other than the one you’re inquiring about.


  1. Delivery Time: If you’re going to buy from China or any wholesaler, you should find out about availability. Are the machines in stock or 45 days out? Being in stock is nice, but there are also shipping advantages if ordering factory direct, providing everything else is in line. If ordering factory direct, you can avoid unnecessary costs from the port of entry to the distributors warehouse before being shipped a third time to your store. You can do this with the machines, but your source for spare parts better be stocked well and on hand.


  1. Shipping Cost: If you’re ordering FOB China, be sure you are clear on all the fees you will need to pay. Generally, regardless of how much homework you do, you will miss this one by a few hundred dollars, especially if the factory you are buying from doesn’t get the original paperwork generated right away. Once you have wired your final payment, start badgering your wholesaler for all paperwork. Every day your machines sit at the port while waiting for China or a wholesaler to get their paperwork in line costs you money.


  1. Spare Parts: The biggest drawback to purchasing anything from a China manufacturer is the availability of replacement parts. China factories, China brokers, US wholesalers and dealers will all say that this is no problem and that they have parts in stock. Do yourself a favour. Before spending $5,000 on a UTV, try buying a front left shock or wheel bearing to ensure your parts are readily available


  1. Dealer Agreement: Probably the one thing Chinese manufacturers do that hurts them the most is that they will sell to anyone. The extent of their written agreement is an invoice for deposit and final payment. They do not have any rules and consequently end up selling to you, the guy across the street, the consumer who gets a few buddies together to order in wholesale quantities and worst of all, the opportunist that puts them on eBay for $300.00 above cost. Once the price point is ruined, no one wants to buy them and everyone involved with the machine loses.


  1. Request the Warranty Agreement: China has no such Warranty Agreement, for the most part. The US Wholesalers can make up their own in which case the minute you drive the thing, you have just voided the warranty and the eBay guy or little dealers offer no warranty at all. The end results are that the customers who get conned into buying gets taken advantage of in the end and wage an internet attack on the machine and if you’re selling it, you will have a hard time explaining all the negative stuff away.


  1. Replacement Parts Price List : If you are going to consider selling the Chinese made UTV’s, you will want to view the price list for replacement parts first. No sense in buying a bunch of machines only to find out that the parts are outrageously priced. If they can produce a parts list at all it would be surprising, but price gouging for those parts is common practice among many.


  1. Verify Dealer License: Before making a purchase as a dealer or consumer, verify if the dealer has a License.


  1. Money Back Guarantee: If you are purchasing a sample as a dealer, ask if they offer a money back guarantee


  1. Ask about Locking Differential: There are many companies making UTV’s that we are aware of and only a few have a true locking differential. Maybe 4 wheel drive but not a locking differential. Big disadvantage.


  1. Ask about Plastic or Fiberglass: Ask if the unit comes with fibreglass hood and fenders or plastic like Yamaha or Polaris. Fibreglass moulds cost about 5K overseas. Injected plastic moulds cost closer to 200K. Plastic is durable and resistant to damage


  1. Factory Recall Agreement: Ask about notification and policy for factory recall items. In most cases there isn’t one.


  1. Assembly Directions: Ask to see the assembly manual or a working repair manual. Again, this is something that is very rare. If you need a part, it is virtually impossible to find a part number or be able to explain what part you need if it’s anything other than a shock or carburettor. The bigger problem is that the factories keep changing their suppliers and never notify the dealers so you will never know what part to order.


  1. Gauges in Metric or Imperial: Ask if the gauges are metric or not.


  1. Everything in Writing: Finally, most of the people and companies affected by these suggestions are good salesmen and fast talkers. They will have a compelling answer to most of your questions, but it is our experience that you shouldn’t do anything without seeing everything first hand and getting it all in writing.

March 24, 2016


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