In this work the electrical and structural properties of AlGaN/GaN heterostructures grown onto 8°-off-axis 4H-SiC epilayers were investigated. A morphological and structural analysis of the samples showed the presence of “V-shaped” near-surface defects in the AlGaN layer, with a preferential orientation along the miscut direction [11-20]. In the presence of these defects an anisotropy of the current-voltage characteristics of high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs), fabricated with two different orientations, was observed. The sheet carrier density ns and the channel mobility n were determined from the device characteristics. The results were discussed considering the possible implications for AlGaN/GaN HEMT technology.