Your Buyer's & Renter's Guide to Polaris Slingshots

Jan 26, 2024


polaris slingshot guide

If you’re looking to buy a Polaris Slingshot, there are a few things, if not a lot of things, to consider first. What model do you want, will you like how it drives, what are the license requirements and laws about them, can I use it in my daily commute, which model should I get, etc?  That’s why we’ve compiled everything you need in this Polaris Slingshot Guide.

What you’ll find in this guide:

  • What license do you need
  • Slingshot classification
  • Rental Requirements 
  • Can it be your daily driver?
  • Helmet laws
  • How much do they cost?
  • Can-Am Trikes vs. Polaris Slingshot
  • Which model is right for you?

Slingshot FAQ

What type of license do I need to ride a Slingshot?

You can currently ride or rent a Polaris Slingshot with a regular driver’s license in every state except Massachusetts, where you need a Class M.

Is a Slingshot a car or a motorcycle?

Slingshots are federally classified as three-wheeled motorcycles, but since most licensing and road laws come at a state level, it’s safe to clarify that most states consider Slingshots an “autocycle” or a “three-wheeled motor vehicle” rather than a motorcycle. This classification allows us to ride with a regular license in most states. Massachusetts still classifies Slingshots as three-wheeled motorcycles. 

What do I need to rent a Polaris Slingshot in the USA? 

  • Be 25+ years old
  • Hold at least a standard driver’s license (except in MA)
  • Wear a DOT-approved helmet in required states

Can a Polaris Slingshot be a daily driver?

Yes, you can technically use a Polaris Slingshot as your daily car, but there are a few considerations before making the plunge:

  • Weather Limitations: Being an open-air vehicle, it's less suited for bad weather, so if you live in a colder or rainy environment, you may be spending more days off the road than expected. It is important to note that Polaris did come out with a roof system, and the Slingshots do have heat/air conditioning. You can also purchase a mod elsewhere for a full enclosure, but it’ll cost you a few grand. 
  • Comfort and Practicality: It offers a unique driving experience but has limited storage and might be less comfortable for long commutes.
  • Safety: It has fewer safety features compared to a car, especially in terms of collision protection.
  • Legal Requirements: Ensure you meet your area's specific licensing and insurance requirements for a Slingshot.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Comparable to a small car.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular upkeep with specific maintenance needs.
  • Lifestyle Fit: Think about your daily requirements, like passenger space and cargo capacity.
  • Child Laws: Depending on your state, laws for children riding in autocycles differ. There is a minimum age requirement in many states, and no car seats/boosters are permitted. 

A Slingshot is an exciting vehicle, but it might offer a different practicality and all-weather comfort than a traditional car. I know someone who drives their Slingshot year-round as their daily vehicle and swears by its reliability- but it also has a lot to do with his lifestyle and location. 

Do you have to wear a helmet?

  • Most states classify autocycles with motorcycles when it comes to helmet laws. For states that require motorcycle helmets, it’s likely you’ll also need to wear a helmet when driving a Slingshot.
  • When renting a Slingshot, helmet requirements are dependent on not only your state’s laws but also the rental company’s. 

Current states that require DOT-approved helmets: AL, CA, CT, GA, LA, MD, MA, MS, NE, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, TN, VT, and WA

Polaris Slingshot Price Breakdown by Model

  • Slingshot S: Starts at $21,999 for the manual version and $23,849 for AutoDrive. 
  • Slingshot S with Technology Package 1: Starts at $24,849 for the manual and $26,699 for AutoDrive. 
  • Slingshot SL: Priced at $28,149 for manual and $29,999 for AutoDrive. 
  • Slingshot SLR: Begins at $31,149 for manual and $32,999 for AutoDrive. 
  • Slingshot R: Starts at $34,799 for manual and $36,949 for AutoDrive. 
  • Slingshot ROUSH® Edition: The top-end model starts at $38,149 for manual and $40,299 for AutoDrive.

Important to mention that a used Slingshot will cost you around $15-18k.

Cost to Rent a Slingshot for a Day

Depending on your location, Slingshot rental prices may vary. On average, after taxes, fees, and insurance, you can expect to pay $150-350 a day on average to rent a Polaris Slingshot

Can-Am Trikes vs. Polaris Slingshot 

can am trike vs slingshot; polaris slingshot guide

Choosing between Can-Am's trike models and the Polaris Slingshot really comes down to personal preference and intended use. The Can-Am Ryker, starting at $9,599, is a good choice for new or budget-conscious riders, offering a dynamic and accessible riding experience ideal for urban adventures. The Can-Am Spyder, on the other hand, starting at $22,099, is tailored for comfort and stability, making it perfect for long-distance touring with its advanced features and better fuel economy. Both models, with their motorcycle-like feel, cater to those who enjoy traditional biking.

The Polaris Slingshot, starting at $21,999, offers a distinctly sporty driving experience. It features a high-revving engine and car-like controls, including a steering wheel and pedals, making it agile and responsive, especially in tight corners. The Slingshot stands out for those seeking an exhilarating ride and is convenient since it usually requires just a standard driver's license to operate in most states. 

While it may not be as fuel-efficient and can be costlier to maintain, its unique appeal lies in its blend of motorcycle thrill and car-like handling. Your choice should consider factors like your riding experience, the need for passenger space, and your interest in customizing your vehicle.

For a more detailed overview of Can-Am’s Spyder and Ryker models versus the Polaris Slingshot, click HERE

Which Polaris Slingshot Should I Buy?

polaris slingshot models; which polaris slingshot should i buy; slingshot guide

  • Slingshot S: Think of this as your entry ticket into the Slingshot world. It's the most wallet-friendly and a great pick if you're just getting started or if simplicity is your thing. It's got enough pep to give you a taste of what Slingshot is all about without overwhelming you.
  • Slingshot SL: Stepping it up a notch, the SL brings more to the table. It's like the S model but with some nice extras – better wheels and a cooler audio system. If you're after a bit more than the basics but not looking to go all out, the SL sits in that sweet spot.
  • Slingshot SLR: Now we're getting into the enthusiast territory. The SLR packs more punch and throws in some style points too, like its unique paint and lighting. It's for those who love a bit more zest in their ride and want their vehicle to stand out.
  • Slingshot R: This one's the big player. Top of the performance line, the R model is all about maxing out on power and features. If you're the type who wants the best in performance and tech, and you're okay with a higher price tag, the R is where it's at.
  • Slingshot ROUSH Edition: The crème de la crème of Slingshots. It's not just a vehicle; it's a statement. Exclusive styling and high-end components – this is for those who want a showstopper and are willing to pay for the privilege.

So, what to consider? Think about how much you're willing to spend, how you plan to use it (casual cruising, daily commuting, or something more adrenaline-pumping), and what features matter most to you. And, of course, there's no substitute for getting behind the wheel. Visit a dealer, take a test drive, and see which is right for you. Each one offers something unique, and the best choice comes down to what speaks to you and your lifestyle.

You can even test drive a Slingshot with Riders Share. After all, it takes a few days to understand how a vehicle drives, and will help you prevent any buyer's remorse. 


From understanding the license requirements (yep, a regular driver's license works in most places, except good ol' Massachusetts) to figuring out if it's more of a car or a motorcycle (spoiler: it's kind of both, but legally, it's an autocycle), we went over a lot today.

If you're considering renting one, remember you need to be over 25 and follow the helmet laws of your state. And hey, if you're considering making a Slingshot your daily ride, that's totally doable. Just keep in mind the weather factor, comfort levels, and safety aspects. It's not your typical car, but it sure has its perks, like being an absolute blast to drive.

Now, about the models and prices – they range from the S model starting at $21,999 to the top-tier ROUSH Edition at $40,299. If you're looking for something used, you might find a deal around $15-18k. Renting for a day? Expect to shell out about $150-350.

The Can-Am Trikes and Polaris Slingshot debate is really about personal taste and what you want from your ride. Can-Am's got the Ryker and Spyder for different riding experiences, while the Slingshot is all about that sporty, adrenaline-pumping drive.

So, which Slingshot to buy? If you're new to this or watching your budget, the S model is a great start. Want something a bit fancier? Go for the SL. For the enthusiasts, the SLR is where it's at with its extra power and style. Chasing the ultimate in performance and tech? The R model's calling your name. And if you want to go all out, the ROUSH Edition is your dream ride.

polaris slingshot guide to buying and renting