Purchasing a Sand Rail or Dune Buggy on eBay: How to Find Your Next Ride

Whether you want something to take on vacation with you or you live by the coast and want an enjoyable way to get around over sandy terrain, a new or used dune buggy or sand rail might just be what you're looking for. You may not have realized it, but you can find vehicles on eBay, including dune buggies for sale. Below, we'll cover what to look for to ensure you get the right vehicle for you.

Dune buggy or sand rail: which is right for you?

If you run a search on eBay, you likely will see both dune buggies and sand rails listed together. Many people see a small vehicle designed to traverse sand and immediately think it's a dune buggy. However, there are some very important differences between the two.

A dune buggy is a vehicle that has large tires designed for traveling on sand. It usually has no roof and has a motor in the back. Many dune buggies are made from existing motor vehicles. A VW bug is a common model for turning into a dune buggy. A sand rail, on the other hand, is a more bare-bones model: Its frame is usually made of metal tubes, and it usually doesn't resemble a regular car.

Suggestions for evaluating dune buggies and sand rails for sale

If you've been looking for a dune buggy, you may have noticed that aesthetic appeal can influence the price significantly. After all, some of these vehicles are made from classic cars. And since most dune buggies are custom-built, the uniqueness factor is a draw for many buyers.

Sand rails are usually built from scratch. But some are more car-like than others -- it's usually a good idea to make sure the one you're looking at has lights and secure seats.

That said, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Does it have a title? Certain states require these vehicles to have a title and license plates while others do not. It's a good idea to check local laws before you buy.
  • What's the transmission like? Make sure the vehicle you choose has a transmission you're comfortable working with.
  • What about gas mileage? These vehicles are designed to be lighter than a regular car while still being high-powered. But just like with any vehicle purchase, checking on gas mileage is always smart.
  • How many will it seat? If you find a sand rail for sale, chances are good that it seats two. If you have a family or a lot of friends who may want to ride, dune buggies may offer more seating.
Should you make sure it's street legal?

You may notice that a listing for a VW dune buggy for sale mentions it is street legal. Having a street-legal vehicle may be beneficial. However, if you intend to tow the vehicle to off-road areas and then use it, you may not need it to be street legal.