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Looking to Get a Jet Ski? Here’s What You Need to Know

Looking to Get a Jet Ski? Here’s What You Need to Know

Buying your first jet ski?

It’s no secret that owning a jet ski can be an absolute blast. A combination of agility, speed and thrill is enough to get anyone’s adrenaline pumping. But with so many available options on the market, it can be tough to know which one to buy. This is especially true if you’re a first-time buyer and don’t know what you’re looking for. 

New or used? Which brand is the best? These are the sorts of questions you’re probably asking yourself. Well, fortunately for you, we here at Jacaranda Finance have drawn up a complete guide to buying a jet ski that’s right for you. 

Did you know – Kawasaki actually owns the term Jet Ski, having invented the term 40 years ago. The correct term for it is personal watercraft (PWC). However, the term expressed in all lower case letters (jet ski) has become a generic term for all personal watercrafts these days. 

Should I buy a new or used jet ski?

Whether you buy a new or used jet ski, is entirely up to you. Whichever you choose, you’ll need to do your research to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Here are some important things to consider when researching:

Used jet skis

Buying a used jet ski could be an ideal solution if you can’t afford to buy a new one. That, or you’re looking to save some extra coin. Here are some things you’ll want to look out for though: 

Engine hours

When inquiring about a PWC, the first thing you want to ask is how many hours a used jet ski has been operated. This is similar to mileage for a car or truck. Typically, jet skis operated for less than 50 hours tend to be in better shape than jet skis with 150 or more hours. The lifespan of a jet ski is a hotly debated topic. Some say they have a lifespan of 300 hours. However, it really comes down to how well the previous owner has taken care of it. 

Water test it! 

Never purchase a used jet ski without water testing it first, even when buying from a dealership. When running a water test, you want to make sure it takes off instantly. Also, it’s important to check the RPMs. You want to look for jet skis that have 7000 RPM’s at full throttle. 

Check for damages

Check for damages to see how well the jet ski has been kept by the previous owner. First thing you want to check are the seats. If the seats have any tears or just look in poor condition, it probably means the previous owner never really kept a cover on the watercraft. 

Additionally, another thing you can look for is rust, especially around the engine and pump. If the paint on the engine is flaking off, it’s probably best to avoid this jet ski. This is only because it won’t be long until you start to see some serious issues. 

New jet ski

Buying a new jet ski is probably the more preferable option for most people. However, price can be an issue for some people. Below we’ve provided a number of things to factor in your decision when purchasing a new jet ski.


Most people think a jet ski will cost around $5k. In reality, however, the average price of a jet ski is over $10k. But the cost to own a jet ski goes much further. There are a number of different costs that are associated with owning and maintaining a jet ski. You also have to take into account insurance costs, fuel, maintenance, and trailer costs. So if you’re thinking of purchasing a new jet ski, you can expect to pay $500 to $1,000 a year in ongoing costs. 


Two-seater jet skis are the most common type. However, you can also go for stand-up models which go incredibly fast. There are also three- and four-seater models that are capable of moving quickly. Yet, because of their size and high capacity, you’ll be sacrificing speed and agility. 

What jet ski brand should I buy?

When buying a jet ski, whether it be new or used, you should consider all three big brands. These are Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Kawasaki. These brands have the most extensive range of models and have been around for the longest. Below we’ve given a summary of each of these brands. 

Keep note, other brands like Honda and Polaris do exist, however, they’ve exited the industry. Therefore you won’t be able to buy brand new models in these two brands. 


Out of the 3 big players, Sea-Doo has the cheapest range of jet skis and is extremely popular among first-time buyers. Bear in mind, however, their lowest-priced- models require a number of add-ons so their overall cost will typically be higher than advertised. Although quite reliable, Sea-Doo jet skis are known to break down faster than a Yamaha or Kawasaki.


Yamaha jet skis or ‘Waverunners’ have built a reputation for being one of the more reliable options on the market. Fuel efficiency is also a tick for this brand. The fuel-efficient engines mean you can get ‘more bang for your buck’ in the long run. 

As if we could give this brand any more praise, but Yamaha Waverunners also have great safety features. Their RIDE technology (Reverse with Intuitive Deceleration Electronics) allows owners to turn their jet skis without accelerating.


Experienced riders and thrill-seekers are the perfect market for Kawasaki Jet Skis. This is because of their powerful engines and their models are some of the fastest available on the market. Luxurious features such as built-in speakers and heat-resistant seats put these PWC’s in a league of their own. 

Need a jet ski loan? 

If you think you’re ready to purchase a jet ski, but need a helping hand with the costs, Jacaranda can help. We offer affordable jet ski finance. You can apply for a loan up to $10,000 completely online. Just scroll up to the top of this page to begin your application. Once we’ve received your application we could deliver you an outcome in just 60 minutes. What’s even better, you could have the cash in your account the same day you apply! 

Got questions? Visit our FAQ page to find your answer. Or, you could get in touch with our customer service team for more info.

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Last updated: 19/08/2020, 10:00am

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