Time to buy a new bike? If you are looking to purchase a second-hand motorbike, you may be concerned that it could have potential problems or defects just waiting to be uncovered.
Whilst buying any kind of second hand or used goods can never be 100% fail safe, there are ways to reduce the risk of potential future problems.
In this article we look at the safest ways to buy your next bike and how to protect yourself in the short term.
Table of Contents
Motorcycle Dealer Warranty
Buying a used motorcycle from a dealer may cost you a little bit more than a private sale, but in theory you are better protected should something go wrong with your bike.
Any reputable dealer will give a bike a thorough check over before they put it on the forecourt for sale. They will fix any issues that could affect the value and will usually offer their own warranty over and above your standard consumer rights.
If you find a problem with your second-hand motorbike soon after you’ve bought it – let’s say you hear a rattle from the engine which you’re worried about or it turns out not to be what you’d been told it was – you should be able to reject the motorcycle or scooter and get your money back.
If your used purchase was any time after 1st October 2015, you have 30 days to reject it and get a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act. If you are going down this path, you must stop using the motorcycle immediately, write a dated letter and post it, recorded delivery to the company you bought the bike from. Also make sure you call the dealer and make them aware of the issue as soon as you can. Document all correspondence.
Second Hand Motorbike Dealer Warranties
Different dealers will offer different levels of warranties. If you buy from a main dealer, you will usually pay a higher purchase price, but the bikes will have lower mileage and usually come with a 12-month warranty.
Independent traders can offer anything from a 30 day warranty to 6 months of cover.
Both main dealers and independents will usually offer customers the opportunity to purchase extended warranties for an additional cost. If you do consider taking them up on this, be sure to read what is and isn’t covered before you commit.
If you buy from the bloke down the pub, or through an advert in a trade magazine or online, you are not protected by a warranty. Use your gut and only buy a bike that has a full-service history as well as receipts for any work that has been undertaken by the owner prior to sale.
You will also need to see a current MOT certificate, and should make yourself familiar with any advisories that may cause you problems or expense later down the line.
Always ensure you HPI check the vehicle to make sure it isn’t recorded as stolen, damaged or on finance.
Additional Protection and Your Rights
If you buy from a dealer, there are also certain statutory remedies available to you if you have bought a bike that isn’t fit for purpose or as advertised.
Under the Consumer Rights Act (which replaced the Sale of Goods Act from 1 October 2015) a dealer must ensure that every bike is:
- In satisfactory condition (taking into account its age and mileage)
- Meet the description that you were given either in an advert or in a discussion prior to purchase and
- Be fit for purpose
If your bike does not meet with the above requirements you can claim against the used-bike dealer for breach of contract.
If your bike is not as described you can ask for a remedy which could be either that you hand the bike back in return for a refund, or the dealer pays for repairs.
Remember though, if you buy a bike that is not described as low mileage, great condition, excellent working order etc. – you are basically buying as seen and you have no right to remedy should it go wrong.
Dealers vs Private Sales – Which Is Best
If you want to feel reassured that there is assistant available to you after purchase, then a dealership sale would be best for you.
If you are looking for a bargain, and have the skills or the money to get a bike fixed at any time, then a private sale could save you money and if anything goes wrong, you know you can fix it. Most private sellers are honest and genuine, but no one can predict what might happen to the bike a mile down the road.
Questions or Comments?
If you’ve got a question about this article and you need a bit more guidance, drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you.
Likewise, if you’ve got something to add to this article or an experience you’d like to share, let’s hear it!
We love reading your comments and helping our readers.