The Differences Between An ATV And UTV And How To Transport Them

ATVs are "all-terrain vehicles." You probably already know that, but did you know about UTVs? These are the hottest vehicles to hit the market. UTV stands for "utility-terrain vehicle." There are some significant differences between these two types of vehicles, as well as differences in how to transport them.


ATVs, or "four-wheelers," have been around a long time. They were originally developed for farmers to pull heavy loads around the farm when the farmers did not want to use the tractors to do the job. Eventually, these "muscle motorcycles on four wheels" became recreational vehicles, with every teenage boy begging for one.

You could drive it almost anywhere, except on public roads, and they could fly through brush, woods, and over hills with their giant, fat, wide-set tires. They have no hoods and are open to the air, with the controls set on the handles, dash, and sometimes under the footrests. 


UTVs look like a cross between an ATV and a golf-cart-gone-rebel. They have the same fat tires for all-terrain accessibility, except that they are more like jeeps than motorbikes. The top hoods have roll bars you can grab in case you hit a bump too fast and tip the UTV over. Additionally, UTVs are "road-ready," which means most cities and states that allow golf carts on the roads will also allow UTVs (something you definitely cannot do with an ATV). You can also cover the top of the UTV with its tarp-like hood to keep rain out as you roll along (although the doorless aspect may mean that you still get a little wet.)

How to Transport These Vehicles

ATVs have ATV trailers, which should be used any time you want to take an ATV on the open road. If you attempt to ride your ATV on the open road in a state where this is not legal, you will get busted by the police (eventually). A UTV has its own specific type of trailer as well.

UTV trailers can haul ATVs and UTVs (just not together). Some ATV trailers may be sturdy enough for a UTV trailer, but because UTV trailers are heavier, you need to check the weight restrictions on the trailer first. Of course, if you are in an area that allows UTVs on the road, you can just drive the UTV to wherever you want to go and skip the trailer, so long as your destination still allows UTVs on the road as well.