How to sell your motorbike

Motorbike auction at BCA

Selling your motorbike can be a difficult experience. Not only do you need to spruce your bike up, you also need to find somewhere to list it, find a suitable buyer and make sure you get a suitable price.

But it doesn’t need to be that difficult.

We’ve put together a checklist and some tips to help you sell your motorbike without the headaches.

Get it cleaned

The old adage tells us not to judge a book by its cover but alas, we do, all the time, so if this particular looking book has wheels encrusted with chain lube, oil and muck, it will affect the price.

A thorough clean of your bike will give potential buyers less to point at and less fuel for their haggling.

MOT and Service

A full-year’s MOT is a good sign that your bike has been well looked after and is in good working order. If an MOT is due soon, say within a month, it’s worth getting it done early. You’ll be able to recover the money spent on an MOT.

A service is another good identifier of a bike that’s been looked after – particularly if you have all your receipts on hand too.

While you do have to fork out for MOTs and Services, they are good bargaining tools when it comes to the hard sell – especially when your service book is fully up to date and the receipt pile is getting high. Vehicle checks are also useful however they can cost as much as £150.
washing scooter outdoors

Further Preparation

You will be judged as much as your bike by prospective buyers. If you come across as knowledgeable you’re more likely to get your asking price. If you appear a bit clueless, the buyer may not trust what you’re saying and that will be reflected in their offer, if you get one.

It’s important that you can show receipts, discuss mileage and tell them a bit about the bike, so scrub up on your bike’s history including services, previous owners, MOT performance, mileage and fuel economy.

You should also have all the relevant paperwork to hand including your service book, MOT records, your vehicle’s handbook and the V5C form. Being able to inform any prospective buyers on the insurance costs of your bike should also help, too, especially if you’ve got a cheap insurance premium from The Bike Insurer.


Everybody wants as much money as possible when they are selling a bike however it’s important that your wallet doesn’t rule your head when pricing your motorbike.

Be realistic and use third party sources to determine the cost of your vehicle. There are lots of services available online that will make estimates as to the cost of your motorbike however they cannot factor in scratches, bumps or mileage.

You should alter the asking price of your bike depending on its condition, mileage, age and the price of similar bikes on the market – don’t pluck a figure from thin air.

Advertising your motorbike

washing scooter outdoorsThere are lots of places that you can sell your motorbike, whether that’s privately or to a dealer.

You will get less money from a dealer however they are much easier to sell to, something that is sometimes important if you are trying to sell quick if you have your eye on a new motorbike.

Selling privately will normally get you more money however you need to find a shop window to advertise your car in. Bike clubs and forums are often free but listing websites like eBay, AutoTrader and Gumtree will take a fee when you list your bike.

Shop around and see which website or listing option suits you best.


Haggling can be awkward but if you’re selling your motorbike you will have to do it. Don’t be afraid to stick to your asking price but remember, dropping £50 below the asking price might be worthwhile if you want to get rid of your motorbike.

How should I receive payment?

Cash up front is ideal, particularly if the buyer wants to take the bike there and then. If the buyer wants to pay by cheque or bank transfer, make sure the money has been received into your account before you allow them to take the motorbike away.


Always provide a receipt of purchase, even if it’s just written on a piece of paper. Include the price agreed and the details of the motorbike on the receipt. Also sign, date and end the receipt with ‘Sold as Seen’.


When you’ve agreed on the price and the deal is done, make sure the V5C form is complete. You must make sure that the buyer and you have completed the right parts of the V5C form and that it is sent to the DVLA in Swansea.

If you do not complete the V5C and inform the DVLA that it has changed owners, you can be liable for the vehicle despite not owning it.

Similarly, you must inform your insurer if you are no longer using your motorbike – you can either update your policy or cancel it however you will be charged either way, depending on your policy and insurer.

Next page: What to do when you sell your motorbike?