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SHOULD YOU KEEP YOUR SLED OR BUY NEW?

SHOULD YOU KEEP YOUR SLED OR BUY NEW?

Although there's no single firm answer to the above question, you may be wondering what you should do with the new season quickly approaching.

There are a number of considerations.

First, if you've owned your sled for a while and still have a love relationship with it, you might give serious thought to keeping it. For example, if you've owned the same sled for three to five years, ride less than 2,000-miles a year and perform regular maintenance on it, it might be financially feasible to just keep it. If you're one of those types, it becomes more of an emotional issue than a financial one.

However, if you lean toward the practical side, in the back of your mind you're asking yourself: "This sled is going to need a new track soon" (replacement cost hundreds of $) or "This engine is approaching 10-grand and it is going to need clutch work and a fresh top end" (cost: thousands of dollars).

The fact is, even with these renovations needed, if your sled looks good and runs decently, it will likely sell in the same price range as one that's been completely overhauled.

Besides, the right buyer may pay you competitive bucks for it and still get a couple of cost-free years riding without spending anything (especially true with 4-strokes).

On the other hand, buying a new sled might be a better option, even from a financial perspective. Given the old sled will generate a sale price within the market value of it, you may be able to negotiate a solid price on a leftover model at a dealer and apply the cash from the sale of your old sled to score a rockin’ deal.

The same dealer might even want your old sled as a trade and that usually works out pretty good from a sales tax perspective.

The benefit of buying a new or non-current snowmobile is you'll be getting more updated technology, great reliability and, best of all, a warranty.

Yes, you'll be spending more cash than you would with the fix-up, but you'll have something squeaky-new and that's usually a very satisfying experience.

Last thought: There's a declining scale of what your used sled is worth and an optimum time to trade it in. For instance, after three years it may have depreciated almost as much as it's going to for the next three.

Trading at the optimum time means the sled has a lot more appeal to a used-sled buyer and will give you much more buying power with a new one. Be sure to carefully check the internet to find comparables of what your old sled is worth.