How to buy a used motorbike safely
How to buy a used motorbike safely

How to buy a used motorbike safely

Buying a used motorbike can seem like quite a daunting task, however the process can be made a lot easier if you know everything you need to do beforehand and how to purchase it safely. Read our top tips on how to buy a motorbike safely below.

Do plenty of research

One of the most important parts of buying a motorbike is doing research first. This might be the most boring part of the process, but it will help you determine what you want from a motorbike and what models and makes you should be looking at. Take a look at different bikes specifications and see what ones will work for you. Once you know what you want to look for, find the used motorbikes that you are interested in and compare them against each other to help narrow down your choices.

Go out and view the motorbike in person

Before making any purchase it is important that you go and view the motorbike in person to check that you are happy with it and all the information you were given is correct. If possible, view the bike at the seller’s home. This will help you work out if the address matches the resgistered owners details and you will know where they live for any legal issues that might arise after the purchase. Try and avoid going to viewings alone for safety purposes. Always try and bring a family member or a friend. If you have someone who knows a lot about motorbikes, why not convince them to come along and check it out for you.

When you are viewing the motorbike, check for any damage or issues you didn’t know about. Inspect any storage space the bike might have to see if it is sufficient for you.

Ask more details about the motorbike

Be sure to ask the seller lots of question about the motorbike, including when it was last MOT’s, how often it has been serviced and whether there is any unseen damage etc. If the seller is unsure about this information and doesn’t know how to find out then it is best to avoid buying it, just in case it has been stolen or isn’t going to work to a manageable standard.

Check the document details

Ask to see the V5C logbook and check that the registered keeper’s address is the same as the address where you are viewing the motorbike. If the details do not match, then you will need to ask the seller why. Whatever the answer might be you might be at risk of buying a motorbike that has been stolen. You will need to make up your mind as to whether the seller is genuine, and you can trust them or not. You could ask to see their driver’s license to ensure they are who they say they are and take a picture of this so that you have it for your record. Ask the seller how long they have owned the vehicle and check the information against the V5C logbook.

Check the service records

As mentioned above it is important to see any service or MOT records they might have. These will give an indication of the condition the bike is in. If they don’t have all of the motorbikes servicing records then it doesn’t matter too much as long as you have the most recent MOT information. Here you will be able to see if it had any advisories on it that weren’t sorted out. This can give you an idea of what costs you could be facing at the next MOT. If there are a lot of expensive advisories, then you can negotiate the price in order to cover those prices in the future.

Go for a test drive

If after all of the above you are still happy with the motorbike and still wanting to buy it you need to go for a test drive. It might be that the seller isn’t happy with you going off on the bike alone just in case you don’t come back with it. If possible ask to go out together to avoid this uncertainty. Driving the motorbike will really allow you to get to know the bike and help you be sure that you want to buy it.

If you are able to take it for a test drive, try to drive it on multiple different roads to see what it is like on different terrains and under different conditions. Going for a test drive will allow you to find out whether you are comfortable driving the motorbike and will be happy with it in the future.

Before you go for a test drive make sure you are fully insured to test drive a motorbike on a public highway. You can save money by comparing motorbike insurance online or purchase temporary motorbike insurance if your looking for short term cover.

Do a vehicle history check

If you decide after all this that you still want the motorbike then you should do a proper vehicle history check to look into tax, MOT, insurance and other details. This will help you double check that it will be a legitimate purchase and the vehicle is worth the price.

Consider Finance

If you are thinking about taking out motorbike finance to pay for the vehicle, you will need to do some research into how much you can loan and what the repayment options will be. Set yourself a budget of how much you want to be repaying a month and stick to it.

Safely make the transaction

When actually making the payment you need to ensure that you are doing this safely and in a way that doesn’t make you vulnerable to fraud. You could ask to pay half before they give you the keys and half afterwards, so that they don’t just take your money and run. If possible, pay by a bank transfer so that you have evidence of the purchase. If they insist on you are paying in cash, then meet in a safe and secure place. Get a receipt for the purchase with details of both the motorbike and the seller on it.

Transfer of documents

Once payment has been made, the registered keeper has to send the V5C logbook off to the DVLA or go online and update who now owns the vehicle. It is best that you watch them do that where you are, so that you can’t be accused of stealing the motorbike and if you are stopped whilst driving home, you will be fully registered as the motorbike’s owner. As the new keeper of the motorbike, you should take home the green V5 section slip.

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Comments (1)



Brilliant timing! My brother-in-law has been looking at used motorbikes the past few weeks and I want to make sure he gets a solid deal. He has never owned one and it is a new hobby for him. My sister is not exactly pleased about this. I am going to share this information with him to help him out. 


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