Selling a Bike

Posted: 26 Oct 2011

View James Toseland's Top Tip Video for Selling a Bike

You’ve spent nearly all your time together – enjoyed long weekends, trips up to the coast and had your fair share of ups and downs. But, the relationship has run its course. It’s time to sell your bike. Whatever your reasons for selling, making the decision in the first place can be hard enough – particularly if your bike has become an important member of the family.

Get the basics right

Whether you’re looking to upgrade or just fancy riding something different though, the process for selling is just the same… Getting the basics right Like selling a car, your motorcycle will be more attractive to buyers if it’s taxed and has a valid MoT – no one wants to buy a bike and then have to folk out a couple of hundred quid for these necessities a few weeks down the line. If they’re close to expiring, get them renewed, but at the very least, you could get it serviced and have any minor cosmetic scratches or dents repaired. Clean it!

Make your bike stand out

Would you consider buying a dirty motorcycle? Your aim is to sell your bike for the highest price you can get for it. So, make your Honda CBR600 look its very best and stand out from all the other used Honda CBR600s out there. Do the lights work? Are all the levers and switches in tip-top condition? The chain should be adjusted, the tyres should be inflated to the right pressure and all fluid levels should be topped up too. These are all the maintenance jobs you should be on top of already, but making sure everything runs smoothly makes a big difference to a potential buyer.

V5 Registration document

You’ll also need to make sure you have the V5 registration document to hand, and if you’ve got one, a full service history with all related receipts and paperwork. If you bought the bike on finance, you’ll need to clear this too before selling privately. Before you list We all like to think our pride and joys are priceless, but realistically, they’re not. Most people are looking for a bargain – or at least value for money – so when listing your motorcycle for sale, make sure you get the balance right.

How much is your bike worth?

Use for example to get a good representation of how much it’s actually worth, or check the price of similar bikes in the press or online. Make sure you build in a small margin for bartering too... Be honest about any quirks your bike may have. You might not think that the buyer needs to know that it “clunks” a bit when you hit 40mph, but they’ll appreciate you telling them and you’ll ensure that there’s no comeback when they discover this later on when they’ve already parted with their cash. Let them have a test ride and see for themselves – but make sure they leave their car, wallet or kids as security!

Writing an Ad

Writing an ad you’re not trying to win any literary awards with your bike ad. Just stick to the facts: make and model; registration suffix; colour; mileage; MoT and tax; price…Check out other bike ads in the local paper to get an idea of the type of information a buyer is after. But, always include as many photographs as possible. Show the bike in its most favourable light as well as any relevant close-ups. Say goodbye… Make sure you get paid. If it’s a cheque, don’t part with the motorcycle until the funds have cleared, or take some kind of security to ensure the buyer doesn’t do a runner.

Get a signed contract

Create a contract and get the buyer to date and sign two copies. Once you’ve signed them too, and exchanged the money, keep one copy as proof of the purchase. Finally, let the DVLA know that the bike has changed hands by following the instructions on the V5 registration document.

Buy your new bike

When all this is done, your motorcycle is legally no longer yours. Chin up though, that brand new Ducati Diavel motorcycle you had your eye on is just around the corner…

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