If you’ve got a love for the water and want a new toy to buzz about on, you can’t have much more fun than on a jet ski! Jet skis, just like autos, depreciate the moment they’re used so purchasing a slightly used jet ski is a better investment than purchasing brand new. You can save thousands if you know just a few tips when looking to buy a used jet ski. But, beware, these motorcycles of the sea can be trashed by previous owners, so here are some tips and tricks to know before you pay top dollar for that pleasure craft.
1. Check the current hours recorded on the jet ski engine. Jet skis, unlike land vehicles, record hours on the engine instead of mileage. A good jet ski should have less than 100 hours on the engine although maintenance plays a large part in the purchase price too.
2. Ask to view any and all maintenance records. Jet skis should be maintained twice a year in the spring and winter. Just like a car, oil must be changed and the seals lubricated, so make sure you've got the paperwork proving the jet ski was maintained. If the seller says that he’s maintained the ski himself and doesn’t have records to back the work up, ask about his experiences. If you get a feeling there’s some deception being done, run, do not walk away from the deal.
3. Ask about previous owners and their riding habits on the jet ski. Purchasing a used jet ski from an older couple who used it as a dinghy just to get to shore means that the ski was probably used in a more responsible manner than a 17 year old who jumped waves.
4. Check the value of the jet ski on Kelley Blue Book. Do some internet research and check the power sports section of Kelly Blue Book for both the private seller value and the retail value for the used jet ski. This will give you a rough idea of what the ski is worth. But remember, that the hours on the engine play a large part in the price of the used jet ski – the least number of hours, the higher the price.
5. Always bargain for the Jet Ski trailer. A jet ski is not transportable without a trailer and trailers are usually a cheap investment. Always ask that the trailer be thrown in for free and check the hook up to your car to make sure that the lights all work before you drive off with your new jet ski.
6. Purchase your jet ski in the off season. You’ll do much better with pricing if you look for a used jet ski during winter months.