What paperwork do I need when buying a used motorbike?
What paperwork do I need when buying a used motorbike?

What paperwork do I need when buying a used motorbike?


When buying a motorbike privately, there is some paperwork you need to ensure that you have sorted before you make the purchase. If you don’t do the following, then you could end up being unlawful or end up not being insured or taxed correctly. Below are all the relevant documents you will need when buying a used motorbike privately.

Driving license

When you go to purchase the motorbike, ensure that you bring your driving license along. This might be something that the seller wants to see and get a record off. It will prove to them that you are able to drive and also that you are who you say you are. It is always advised to keep this on your person when driving in case stopped by the authorities.


If you are wanting to drive the motorbike away after the purchase, you will need to ensure that you are insured. If you do not, then you will be driving unlawfully and if caught could face some serious consequences with the police. We recommend using Confused.com to find the best price for car insurance.

Vehicle tax

Vehicle tax will not transfer from the previous owner to you when you buy a used motorbike. Before you drive away with the motorbike you need to ensure it is taxed correctly. You can do this online on the government website, by post, or by calling the DVLA which has a 24/7 phone service. Once you have bought the motorbike the seller will provide you with a ‘new keeper’ slip. On this, you will need the 12-digit reference number to tax your motorbike.

Finance and payment documents

You need to make sure that you have all the relevant paperwork to make the payment. If you have taken out a loan for this vehicle, make sure you have the paperwork stored away safely so you can refer back to it whenever you need to. If you are looking for motorbike finance, you can apply quick and easily through CarFinance 247.

What information do I need from the seller?


Before you drive away after the purchase you need to ensure that you have collected the green V5 section slip from the seller. This will be proof that you are now the new keeper of the bike and should be kept safe for future use and for evidence. If the seller has lost the logbook, you are able to apply for a replacement by using the V62 form.

The seller’s details

Gather the details of the seller, including their name and address. You can then use this information to check that their details match the ones on the V5C logbook. If they do not that is not normal and should be questioned. If you don’t feel their reason is good enough or have any doubts, then do not go ahead with the purchase as this vehicle could have been stolen. If any other details you find on the V5C don’t match the motorbike you are buying including the Vehicle Identification Number and engine number, then you need to ask the seller why.

Service and MOT history

Be sure to ask for all the motorbike’s service history including MOTs. If the seller doesn’t have paperwork from all of the services that is not a problem. However you need to see information from the most recent MOT and find out when that occurred. Look at the last MOT to see how the bike faired in its last check. If there are a lot of advisories, then you need to understand that these will be added costs in the future. If there are recurring issues with the motorbike in its service history, you need to think about whether it is worth it to purchase a vehicle that might be faulty and therefore cost you a lot in the future. It is always worth purchasing a vehicle history check to see if the vehicle has any hidden history.

Receipt of purchase

Once the purchase has been made you need to ensure that you get a receipt with a copy for both you and the seller. This should contain information on the price of the sale, when it happened, the motorbike’s specifications, and details of both you and the seller. It should be signed by both of you and kept as proof of purchase and payment. This will help settle any disputes that may come up in the future.

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