How to Sell Your Scooter in 2019
When it comes to selling your scooter, you need to get your priorities straight. Getting the best price should be top of that list. There will come a time when you need to sell your beloved scooter. Lots of scooter users move on to a cruiser or an adventure bike. You may even be looking to upgrade to another scooter model. Whatever the reason, at WeBuyAnyBike, we have you covered.
Mopeds and scooters are a common form of transport for many in Britain. Lots of scooter riders use their bikes for commuting. Delivery drivers and couriers all rely on the humble scooter. These are the proven and reliable workhorses of the motorcycling world. Low costs, cheap insurance and comfortable handling, keep mopeds and scooters popular.
This guide will help you get the best price for your scooter in 2019, from preparing the bike for sale, to getting quotes from local dealers, to making sure the paperwork is in order for when you sell. There are some things it's essential to check before you can complete a sale. Taking care to follow these steps will make selling your scooter easy.
Table of Contents
- How to start: Gathering your Paperwork
- Scooter Mechanical Checkovers
- Cleaning your scooter before the sale
- Estimating scooter value
- Getting quotes from local dealers
- Listing your scooter privately
- Comparison of classified ad sites for scooters 2019
- How to properly deal with private buyers
- How to sell your scooter to WeBuyAnyBike
- Handover once you've sold your scooter
How to Start: Gathering your Paperwork
Before you start the process of selling your moped, gather your paperwork. If you bought the bike new, check the documents the dealer gave you. If you purchased it second hand, it might be a bit more of a challenge - check your drawers, kitchen cabinets and filing. Think about where you may have stashed the paperwork when you bought the bike. You'd be surprised where these things can turn up!
Don't worry if you can't find everything on this list. While not necessary for the sale, having the paperwork with your bike can be a trust signal to the buyers. It can help give the impression that your vehicle has been looked after, and generally scooters with complete paperwork will get sold quicker. Full history may even increase the value of the bike.
Paperwork to gather before the sale:
Owner's manual. The next owner will want to see this with the bike. The operation of most scooters is very similar, but some things do differ. A good example is how to open the under-seat storage, being one of the things that new riders sometimes get caught out on. The owners manual will also list service intervals for the scooter. If the buyer plans to service it themselves, manuals come in handy, especially for older bikes.
Top tip. What if you don't have an owner's manual? It can be worth investing in a third-party manual like a Hayne's book. You can then include this in the sale, which can be an inexpensive way to increase buyer confidence - especially if you manage to find one second-hand.
- Service book. Most mopeds will come with a service book from the manufacturer. When you take the scooter for a service, the garage will put a stamp in the book. Full manufacturer service history can add almost a quarter of the value of a used vehicle. If you've not had the bike serviced at a main dealer, you should still have stamps. If you don't have any stamps in the book, ask the buyer if they want to take it. The presence of a service book will give the buyer confidence. They may want to add future service history to it.
- Service and MOT receipts. Take any service receipts or MOT receipts you have and put them in the pack with the other paperwork. These will help the new buyer trace the scooter's service history. Service receipts can give a better picture to the new owner than stamps alone because any work performed is listed in-depth on the receipt. MOT receipts will come in handy too, even though you can now view them online. Original receipts show that the MOTs were carried out at a reputable garage. Any advisories on the document will also show which parts need to be serviced or replaced.
- V5 document. Make sure you have the current V5 for the motorbike. The V5 is also known as the log book. You will have received this from the DVLA in the post. This document shows which person is responsible for taxing the scooter. Remember, the log book isn't proof of ownership, but you'll need it later. If you don't have one, you should apply for the V5 document in your name. You can do this by post or over the phone, and there is a small fee. It's best to do this in good time before the sale. The V5 will be needed later during the handover.
It's a good idea to put all your paperwork in a plastic wallet or ring binder. The new owner will need to keep and these documents safe and keeping them together will smooth the handover. It's also a good habit to get into so you don't lose anything. For your next bike, store the manual, service book and log book in the same place.
Scooter Mechanical Checkovers
When selling your scooter, carry out a complete mechanical check over. You don't have to be a mechanic. These checks don't require any specialist equipment or knowledge. It's all about getting to know your bike before you sell. Even if you ride it every day, you can benefit from taking a closer look. This way, when you get quotes for your bike, you'll find negotiating easier. When you know the bike, you can make an informed sale. Without this confidence, dealers might think they can get one over on you. A common tactic is to point out a fault to knock you off guard. Checking things over before they do will put you one step ahead.
"The number one rule for a successful sale: Know your Bike."
Every used bike has at least one fault. The reality is that things wear out with use. You can discover where the problems will develop even before they do. Follow the checklist below and allow around 10 minutes. Make a note of anything you find. If there is something you want to get looked at by an expert, it will help to have a record.
The five-point mechanical check for scooters
- Tyres, the first thing most dealers will check. Tyre condition is a good indicator of how well the bike has been looked after. Take a look for any splits or squaring first, then check the grooves. If your moped is up to 50cc, the grooves should be "clearly visible" to be road legal. Otherwise, you'll want to check for any tyre tread indicators. The indicators will stand in the groove at a depth of 3-5mm. If the indicator is flush with the groove, your tyres need replacing. If you're coming to sell the bike with worn-out tyres, lots of dealers will try to negotiate you down on the price. In this case, it may be worth just putting a cheap set on to avoid the haggling.
- Brakes. You'll need to check if your brakes are on the way out since it can be an expensive fix. Take it for a quick road test. Listen for a grinding or screeching noise whenever you brake. Any out of place sounds like this can mean excessive wear on the pads, and it's something a dealer will pick up on. Warped or rusted discs are a common problem with brakes on mopeds. You can check for this with a quick visual inspection of the brake discs. Some executive scooters or maxi-scooters come with ABS. Check if the ABS ring is in good condition and if the ABS light is on. However, ABS is not commonly fitted on bikes with an engine size below 125cc.
- Oil. Make sure there is sufficient oil in the vehicle. When cold, unscrew the dipstick from the engine and read the level. For your bike, you can check the minimums in your owner's manual. It's a quick win to top up the oil before you take it to be appraised by a dealer.
- Chain. Common faults with the chain on motorbikes can develop with heavy use, including excessive slack. Check the chain tightness with your fingers; it should have some slight play but not too much. Check the chain and sprocket for rust. If you have any handy, give it a quick spray down with some chain lubricant. Taking the time to add some oil or WD40 will give the impression that the chain has been well looked after, even if surface rust is visible.
- Running and starting. You'll be asked to start the vehicle for appraisal. If it doesn't start, be honest before you take it in. The battery should have enough charge to start the engine straight away. If the starter doesn't engage when you turn the ignition, charge the battery before you try again. If this doesn't work, you may have a dead battery. It's always worth putting in a new battery before the sale. The engine should turn over quickly and kick in the first time. Use your ears, listen to the engine note. Give the revs a quick blast and leave it to idle so you can listen for any lumpy running, which could indicate a problem with the carburettor or the spark plugs.
Cleaning your scooter before the sale
Presenting your scooter in a clean condition will give the buyer a better impression of the bike overall. Contrary to the common saying, you can in fact polish a turd. Even if your moped is a rusted and blown-out non-runner, it's worth putting in a little elbow grease. First impressions count, and clean bikes wring a bit more out of the buyer. Take 15 minutes to clean the scooter, and you may find yourself with an extra hundred pounds or two in your pocket.
Quick tips for cleaning your scooter:
- Fairings and bodywork. If your bike has plastic fairings, you can use a damp cloth and some warm soapy water to remove any dirt or insects. If you have a pressure washer, it's worth using that to save time, but it isn't necessary. Take special care around any decals or stickers as you may inadvertently wash these off. Be careful with corrosive chemicals that may be too abrasive for the paintwork. Tyres can also benefit from a light clean with water.
- Address any surface rust. While it won't be possible to remove all rust, you will be able to make an improvement. Rust and corrosion often develop on the brake disks, levers, and on the frame. The best way to take care of light rust is to use a fine dish scourer. Light soapy water will suffice, avoid any corrosive chemicals. Be careful not to get any oil or lubricants on your brake discs.
- Polish. It's not necessary to polish the bike, but buffing and waxing will bring out the best in your motorbike. It's worth investing in some light spray-on Cherry Silicone. Apply it to the seat, grips, or other rubber surfaces (not the tyres), giving the bike that extra sparkle for the buyer.
Estimating scooter value: what do you want?
It's crucial to go into any negotiation with a proper understanding of what you want from the bike. And make no mistake, there will be a negotiation whether you sell your bike to a private buyer or a dealer. Getting ready for this before you get put on the spot will help you stand your ground and make sure you won't be walking away disappointed.
The first thing you need to work out is how much you'd be happy to take for the bike. Everybody has a figure in mind, so before you proceed, you should write that number down. Try not to think too much about your bills or savings goals here, since you could introduce a little bias into your decision-making process. You know how much you paid for the bike, and you know how long you've had it. Take this into account, and you know how much of a loss you can take on it. So factor all this in and come up with a number.
Once you've established how much you'd be comfortable with, it's time to do a little bit of research. You need to know whether your figure is reasonable, based on other scooters for sale. It's quite easy for anybody to find out their scooter valuation, all you need is a computer and a smartphone and about 15 minutes.
Finding other scooters for sale
Your first port of call should be Bike Trader, this is the UK's biggest bike marketplace, and you're sure to find several models listed here of a similar age and variant to your moped.
Use the dropdowns on the left-hand side of the search window to find models similar to yours. Match the make and variant exactly. Then, for the year select both one year before and one year after your bike's year of manufacture. Ensure the range of your search is set to nationwide, this should bring up plenty of scooters for sale similar to yours.
You'll find motorbikes for sale from both dealers and private sellers; you should take both sorts into account. Once you've located a few similar to yours, you can start your calculations.
Traders will usually work to a margin of £750 - £1000. If you subtract that from the value of the scooter you've found online, you'll get a ballpark figure. With a little leeway, this is an offer you can expect for your bike.
If you want to get another sample, you can repeat this process with eBay and Gumtree.
Coming up with a reasonable scooter valuation
It's the case that anything is only worth what somebody else is going to pay for it. Compare the figure you've come up with from your research to the value you've written down previously. Most people overestimate the value of their scooter, so the market value you've researched is likely way less than your original figure.
Now you've got an idea of what your scooter is worth you can move forward with the rest of the sales process with this information. Making sure you won't be disappointed with what a dealer can offer you, and making an informed sale is a big part of this process. You may even decide you would rather keep it. In any case, it pays to do your research.
Getting quotes from local dealers
Now you've ascertained what your moped is worth it's a great idea to visit a few local dealers to see what you can get. Even if you end up selling your moped to us, or selling it privately, the experience of going to a dealer and engaging in negotiation with them can be a valuable learning experience.
Where to go and what to expect
You can quite easily use Google maps to search for motorcycle dealers in your local area. You should get a list of around 3-5 dealers you can comfortably visit in a day. Try to pick a day when you can allow plenty of time for the travel and time spent at the dealers.
If you play your cards right, you can even end up getting free coffees and food from the dealers. Many motorbike shops these days have cafes! Try to ride to the dealerships on your scooter so that they can see it. If you have to go in the car, take some pictures of your scooter on your phone. Many traders will be apprehensive in giving a scooter valuation without seeing the bike first.
Getting the most for your scooter in negotiation
If you've followed our guide this far, it's time to recall that number you researched. When the trader asks you what you want for the bike, you should start negotiating by telling them this value, plus a little more (depending on how cheeky you're feeling on the day!). The dealer will already know what they can offer you and their goal will be to talk you down a few hundred quid.
It's important to stand your ground, and let them know that you're visiting a few different dealerships that day. They might really want the bike, and hence bid you more. For example, they may have a customer who would be interested in your scooter. They may even offer above and beyond what you've originally planned to take. In which case you should shake their hand and tell them it's a deal! Most of the time, however, selling a scooter is a waiting game.
Listing your scooter privately
After you've visited some local dealerships, you should have an even better idea of what your scooter is worth. It may be the case that a dealer was able to meet or even exceed your expectations, in which case you'll find you're one of the lucky ones! In most cases, a dealer will not be able to meet you at the figure you have in mind. You can't blame them for this. They do have to make money on the bike at the end of the day. As we mentioned before they usually work towards a profit margin in their vehicles of £750-£1000.
If you're looking to maximise the returns on your bike then, you should consider listing privately. Remember, this method of selling your motorbike is not without its difficulties. You could find that your ad is languishing in the classifieds and the phone isn't ringing. You won't be the only person getting frustrated with trying to conduct a private sale. Even if you do generate interest with your ad, you'll more than likely find that interested buyers are like needles in a haystack. Selling a bike privately is like being on a merry-go-round with tyre kickers and messers.
How to make a private listing that really sells your scooter
To maximise the chances of executing a successful sale for your scooter, you need to ensure that the ads you're posting are set up for success. To do this, you'll have to put a little effort in to make sure that you're posting a successful listing right from the start. The good news is that this isn't complicated, and anybody can achieve an effective listing with a little added effort and forethought. The tools you need are already right there in your pocket, with the camera on your smartphone more than sufficient to create a listing for a bike for sale that will help to promote your vehicle online.
Here are some quick tips we can recommend to make sure your private listing is optimised and is communicating the right message to potential buyers.
- Add 12 pictures minimum: AutoTrader's new seller guidelines recommend 12 images minimum for listings. Give your bike a thorough walk around, making sure to take in the moped from every angle. Get some detailed closeups of your scooter, featuring the wheels and the engine casing. And when it comes to any damage or blemishes, it's always best to be honest in the pictures instead of trying to hide things. When a buyer comes round to view the bike in person, he's going to see the damage anyway, and will probably walk away if your motorcycle has any surprises. To avoid wasting your time and theirs, make sure your pictures show the bike in a genuine light.
- Add a video: Videos in listings give your buyers a perspective on the scooter that they can't get otherwise. With the majority of consumers today making their buying decisions online, and with online video quickly becoming the most significant form of internet traffic, it will help to have a video in your listing. Give the bike a quick walk around, and if you feel confident enough to do so, talk the buyers round the bike and point out anything worthy of note.
- Write a good description: While you're not trying to be Shakespeare, adding 300 words minimum to your listing will help buyers when they're evaluating whether your bike will be a good purchase or not. Describe your bike honestly, and if you're looking for inspiration, check other listings on AutoTrader to see how other people are doing it. Make sure to let people know if your vehicle has service history, and go into detail about how you used the bike, whether it was stored outside, and why you've decided to sell
Finding serious buyers for your scooter online
Undoubtedly when you put your listing up, if the price is right, you'll be receiving phone calls from members of the public asking for more information about the moped and whether they can come and arrange a viewing. You'll find, however, that the majority of people want to waste your time, and this is an unfortunate consequence of selling your scooter online. You'll need to make sure that you qualify each person before you arrange a viewing, just asking them why they are buying and whether they are a serious buyer will help you in this.
Comparison of classified ad sites for scooters 2019
With most people today deciding to buy vehicles online, there are many options available for sellers as well. If you're in the situation where you need to decide which classified ad site to choose so you can sell your bike, there are in fact, so many options it can quickly become overwhelming. We've assembled some of the most popular sites so you can make a more informed decision before you invest the time in making a listing for your scooter.
Bike Trader is the bike section of AutoTrader, which is by far Britain's leading destination for both private and trade sellers when they are listing vehicles. AutoTrader started as a paper magazine, a common feature in newsagents for years, but they switched from the paper version in 2013 to focus exclusively on the website.
- The largest audience, with nearly 2000 mopeds and scooters for sale as of September 2019
- Good support, with lots of articles available online for how to sell your bike
- The listings are optimised for bikes, with helpful icons to show the browser the engine size and year of the bike, and good attention is given to video
- It's expensive, costing £29.95 upfront for a 3-week advert for a bike over £1000
eBay was launched in 1995 and will be familiar to most online shoppers by now as the premier destination for online auctions. The turnover of used vehicles on eBay is high and especially of scooters and mopeds, so there's a good chance your listing on eBay will generate a lot of interest.
- eBay is the only site in this list to provide an online auction format. With an auction, you can drum up more bidders by initially pricing it lower, and you can watch as the sale price ticks up. You might even make more than your original estimation of your scooter's value if the bids overtake the reserve.
- You only pay when the auction ends, and even then the fee is likely to be less than AutoTrader's
- The listings can look quite dull unless you have a good knowledge of HTML code to customise them
- They charge to add more photos
- PayPal fees, the default payment method, are quite high
How to properly deal with private buyers
One of the most significant issues, when you're selling privately, is that you'll have to deal with the enquiries yourself. This can become a particular problem when you are receiving lots of questions from buyers who don't turn out to be seriously interested. It can take a little bit of time to learn how to manage these buyers properly, and it's perhaps the disadvantage that puts most people off when they're coming to sell their scooter.
Some quick tips for dealing with private buyers for your scooter are:
- Speak to them on the phone first, find out why they are buying. A serious buyer will always be able to tell you a little bit of a story about what they're looking for, and why they're looking to buy
- Only invite them to view the bike once you are sure they want to buy, you don't want tyre kickers turning up to your house to waste your time
Security when selling your scooter privately
With motorbike crime on the rise in the UK, it's prudent that you take some measures to ensure that your bike won't be stolen, or you won't be putting your family or property at risk. Remember, when you're selling your scooter privately you'll be inviting members of the public round to your house, so don't give any potential criminals an excuse to take advantage of your hospitality.
When the prospects show up, wheel the bike out to the front of your house to show them around it. Don't let them in the garage and don't let them see the inside of your home. You may give any criminals a chance to inspect your security measures. It's especially important to store the moped inside when you have it listed for sale and to secure the moped with a heavy chain.
How to sell your scooter to WeBuyAnyBike
If the process of selling your scooter above looks daunting, you won't be alone. Most people find it challenging to come to terms with selling their moped or scooter, and with so many pitfalls when it comes to selling a dealer or selling privately, you may instead decide to partner with a trusted company to proceed with the sale.
We are a family-owned and operated business that has been helping owners get the best value for their bikes for over 15 years. We've invested heavily in making the process as easy as possible, and our friendly staff are available over the phone to help.
Handover once you've sold your scooter
Once you've sold your scooter, you may be left wondering how to transfer the ownership of the bike to the new buyer. You've come this far, and the transfer is quite easy. You'll need to make sure that you have your V5 document in your name. You will fill in the new keeper's details on section 6, and both the next and original owner (you) should countersign on section 8 at the bottom of the form. Then you should fill in and tear off the new keeper's supplement on the second page, and give this to your buyer. It will be the new keeper's responsibility to send this off to the DVLA so they can be issued with a V5 in their name.
In regards to the road tax, it will be the new keeper's responsibility to ensure the vehicle is taxed. If there is some tax left on the bike it unfortunately isn't transferrable. The new keeper can tax the bike by going online to the government's website, and they can even make the payment online. However, this will not be your responsibility as the previous owner, so at best you can advise your customer. It will be up to them to ensure the road tax gets paid.
With more options today than ever before, you may feel a little overwhelmed and unsure where to start. We hope this guide has given you a little reassurance.
If you have anything to add, please get in touch. Did this guide help you? Would you like some help in selling your scooter? We want to hear about it.