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How to buy the best lawn tractor

Buying a lawn tractor

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Buying a lawn tractor

Should you buy your ride-on mower from a garden-machinery dealer, a DIY store, or online? Find out in this expert guide.


The British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA), the trade association for garden-machinery dealers, recommends buying from a reputable dealer or source, and ensuring that machines are correctly installed and are supplied with an operator’s manual. Machines should also be ‘CE’ marked and come complete with a European Certificate of Conformity.

Anyone employing a gardener to use a machine should be aware that they have a responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act to make sure equipment is fit for purpose, and to provide appropriate training in the use of it.

Garden-machinery dealers

As these mowers are such an investment, a dealership is a good place to start when it comes to buying one. Staff are trained to have excellent product knowledge and can give practical advice on what type of machine will suit your conditions.

You’ll find a good range of mowers in stock, so you can try before you buy.

Be aware that most dealers focus on certain brands, so shop around. Many brands are sold only through dealers, as they like the higher levels of customer service associated with them.

Once you’ve decided which model to buy, most dealers will deliver your mower and explain how to use it. They should offer further support over the years, and service your mower as required. Some also offer trade-ins if you’d like to sell your mower.

DIY stores

These are more useful if you know exactly which model you want, as the staff generally don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the market. Stock tends to be limited to smaller, cheaper models. You should check what provision the store has made for after-sales service and warranty cover.

Online garden-machinery dealers

Some dealers and manufacturers sell mowers online as well as in store, although you’ll even find general websites such as Tesco Direct offering a few models for sale. Some manufacturers allow you to buy online, and the mower is then delivered by your local dealer. The internet is useful for researching what’s available and comparing prices, although you’ll probably want to visit a dealership before you buy to see the models in the flesh.