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Two people exchanging keys with motorcycle in the background

Image source: Adobe Stock

There’s plenty to consider when it comes to selling your bike. Do you still have all the paperwork? What condition is it in? How much is it worth? When it’s time to upgrade your vehicle, it’s important you follow all the right steps to make the most from your sale and handover the vehicle in its best shape. Whether you’re selling a moped to upgrade or simply want a new bike, read our handy checklist below.

First of all, are you really sure you want to sell it?

Before putting your bike up for sale, have a good think about the pros and cons of selling or keeping your bike. In a year or two, are you going to be sighing and saying to yourself, “Ah, I wish I’d never sold that bike”?

If you were to ask a number of different bikers, chances are most of them would recall a motorcycle that was once in their life that they wish they’d never, ever sold. Watch their eyes mist over as they recall that bike with fondness and regret.

Clean it up and check it out

Whoever is buying your bike is going to want it in the best condition possible. This means you might have to get your hands dirty and give your motorcycle a good scrub. There are multiple cleaning techniques for bikes, especially for removing rust – but don’t forget to give it a wax as well!

It’s also important to check over your vehicle to ensure everything works as it should. Your at-home service should include checking the oil, tyres, coolant, lights and electrics, as well as lubing and adjusting the chain. Finally, check that your motorcycle starts, as a dead battery won’t look good for potential buyers.


Blue MOT service sign on british road on cloudy rainy day

Image source: Adobe Stock

After you have checked the vehicle, you should consider getting an MOT – especially if it is due soon. Bikes without in-date MOTs may seem less valuable to potential buyers. An MOT can also detect issues with the bike that you can fix yourself or invest in paying a professional to do. Alternatively, if the repairs are not worth your time or money, you can advertise the bike with its issues clearly listed. This way you’re not deceiving your potential customers and can avoid any awkward follow up questions or disputes.


Collecting all the necessary paperwork makes selling a motorcycle far easier – a potential buyer is more likely to commit to the purchase if they have evidence of the bike’s history and status. Collate your service records, logbook, previous MOTs, receipts for any modifications and tax receipts.

You should also ensure you have the registration plate, frame, engine, and MOT certificate serial numbers. These can all provide peace of mind for your buyer, ensuring they can check if the bike has been registered as stolen, is linked to any finance owings and has had a genuine MOT.


The next stage is deciding how much your motorcycle is worth. Conduct some research to find out how much others are selling their similar bikes for. You can also use online forums and ask fellow bikers how much they think it’s worth or ask a trusted mechanic. Remember, the value of your vehicle will depend on the make, model, age, condition, mileage, modifications and accessories, such as alarms.

The sale

Two people shaking hands at the dealership

Image source: Adobe Stock

If you want to list your bike on a marketplace, you will need to set the price yourself and be prepared to haggle. If you take your bike to a dealership they will give you an offer, but it’s still important to value your motorbike yourself before you go, so you have a better idea as to whether they’re offering you a good deal.

You may find you make more money from a private sale, but it can take longer. If you’re after a quick deal or want to trade your bike in for a newer model, going to a dealership may be the best option.

Test ride

Buyers may want to test ride your vehicle to ensure all is working as advertised and see how it handles. However, it’s important to be sensible and not let someone ride off with your bike. You should think very carefully indeed before allowing someone to test ride your bike. If you’re tricked into handing over your bike to someone who rides away, never to be seen again, your insurance may not pay out. If you are going to allow a test ride, you could consider the below to minimise the risk.

Depending on your bike model and whether your prospective buyer has a full licence, you could ride pillion. If this is not possible or you’d prefer not to, you could ask for a substantial deposit before you let a stranger ride your bike. Additionally, you could ask for a reliable form of their ID, such as a passport or photocard driving licence, so if they do take your motorcycle, you can easily identify them to the police.

It’s also important for the buyer to be insured to ride your bike. You can check this by seeing their motorcycle insurance certificate.

The exchange

Two people exchanging keys with motorcycle in the background

Image source: Adobe Stock

To sell your bike, you must ensure you and your buyer have agreed on the terms of your sale, such as the price, payment method and proof of purchase. If you are expecting cash, make sure you communicate this with the buyer before they arrive. You could also opt to pay via a bank transfer – it’s best to watch them input the information to ensure they’re using your account details and sending the correct value.

Some buyers may ask for a receipt. Write down the details of the exchange, including the bike’s information, the value, the participants and the date, and write ‘sold as seen’ on the bottom along with a signature.

V5 log book

It’s crucial you give the buyer the ‘New Keeper’ section of your V5 log book and that you complete your V5C document to send back to the DVLA. This will be evidence of the change in registered owner and ensure that you are no longer held responsible for the bike’s road tax and MOT.

How you complete the document will depend on whether you sell privately or to a dealership. However, in both cases, the buyer will be required to fill out information and sign the document.

Update your insurer

The final step to selling your motorbike is to update your insurance provider that you are no longer owning or riding the bike. Whether you cancel your policy or update it for a new bike, your insurer must know, as you may be required to pay if the bike’s new owner gets in any road trouble.

Bikesure offers specialist motorbike insurance at low costs. Get a quote tailored for you.