Bike Trader

How to sell a bike

News image With over 250,000 users every day, Bike Trader is a great place to sell your bike. But before you get the camera, there are a few things you need to do...


Preparing your bike for sale

Putting a little effort into getting your bike ready for viewing will make selling it easier and help you get the top price.

• Wash and polish it so that it shines like new
• Don’t forget the wheels and discs
• Clean and re-lube the chain
• Degrease the swingarm – old chain lube looks a mess
• Do an oil change and fill the gas tank
• Make sure all the lights work
• Get a new MoT if there isn’t long to run on the old one
• Have all paperwork ready, including old invoices, in a neat folder


Pricing your bike

You’ve probably got an idea how much you want for your bike but be realistic. Use our turbocharged search engine to see what private sellers and the trade are asking for bikes similar to yours

• Mileage, condition, service history and age all affect value
• Private sellers can’t expect to get the same as a dealer, so don’t pitch your bike at showroom prices if you are in a hurry to sell


Writing your ad

Your advert is your shop window, so use it well. Make sure you shout about the good points, but don’t stretch the truth – it will waste your time and prospective buyers.

• Take your photos on a sunny day, with an uncluttered background
• Try to avoid jargon in your ad. Be honest
• Make and model: Not just Honda VFR but Honda VFR800 Fi
• Engine capacity: Is that a 600 or 1200 Bandit?
• MoT and tax: T&T - if it’s got a full year, say so
• Mileage: It’s the first thing they’ll ask if you forget
• Number of owners: Say if it’s very few
• Warranty: Any left from the manufacturer’s warranty?
• Extras: Luggage, heated grips, alarm, Scottoiler
• Service record: Add FDSH for a full dealer service history
• Price: £4,950 sounds a lot less than £5,000
• Home town: Who wants to travel 400 miles to see a Honda?
• Phone: Home and mobile numbers


Dealing with buyers

Be patient and polite. Buyers will want to know all about the bike so make sure you know how many owners it has had, when it was last serviced, and why it has been such a good bike.

• Think carefully before giving a caller ‘first refusal’ because you could be left high and dry
• Don’t give out unnecessary information over the phone, and make appointments during daylight hours
• Let the potential buyer look the bike over and ask you questions. Point out the best bits
• If the caller wants a test ride, tell them to bring proof of identity, their driving licence and insurance certificat


The test ride

You are not obliged to give one, but would you buy a bike without trying it first?

• Check their ID, licence and insurance
• Point out a good test route
• Show them how much petrol is in the tank
• Tell them that you expect them back in less than 20 minutes
• Make sure you keep their documents and the keys to their vehicle until they return



Everybody expects to haggle, so be prepared to accept a small reduction in your asking price with good grace. After all, you added a bit extra just so you could knock it off. If they won’t meet your bottom price, tell them that they can’t have it.
But be reasonable – accepting £100 less will save you having to re-advertise and arrange more viewings.  


Handling the money

Cash is ideal for smaller transactions; a banker’s draft is the thing for larger amounts. Personal or business cheques take at least three working days to clear. Check with your bank that the money is in your account before you hand over the bike. Make sure you confirm with the bank that you can ‘draw funds’ against a cheque as this means the money is in your account.



Your V5C logbook is your bike’s passport. Don’t give it to a buyer, or let a buyer take a copy until the sale is complete. You must fill out the slip at the bottom of the V5C log book and send it off to DVLA at Swansea, informing them of the change of owner. That covers you if the new owner is nicked for speeding or not taxing the bike.

• Give the top part of the V5 to the new owner.
• They will also need the MoT certificate for bikes over three years old, handbook and service book, and a receipt the bike, stating date, amount paid, make, model and registration, and both your names and addresses.
• Now you can start searching Bike Trader for your next ride – but read the section on How to buy a bike first.

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