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Considering a Second-hand Bike? Perform These Important Checks

By Vikas Chandra Das
28 September 2022, 12:47 PM

You can settle for a second-hand bike if you are on a tight budget or want a simple mode of transportation for your children or for regular use. This guide will help you determine and work on the fundamental factors you must consider before investing in a used bike. Whether new or second-hand – investing in a two-wheeler is surely an asset built for you. You simply need to do your homework well and buy a second-hand two-wheeler that is in good shape.

A very important question arises about the insurance of your second-hand bike. We all understand that as mandated by Indian law, third-party liability insurance for any vehicle on the road is mandatory. So, the first thing is to ensure that your new purchase's bike insurance plan is transferred in your name after the ownership has been gained. If the used bike comes without valid insurance, then you must immediately purchase one from a credible insurer to avoid legal hassles and to financially protect your bike from damages and losses.

Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Bike

The following things should be considered when buying a used bike:

1. The Source of Your Second-hand Bike

Today, you can purchase a second-hand bike from several online and offline sources. You can approach used two-wheeler showrooms, get the most suitable offer on online portals, find an advertisement in the newspaper or simply purchase it from someone you know. You must try out different bikes and judge the suitability of the two-wheeler based on your requirements.

2. Identify the Purpose

A second-hand bike may come with additional charges like repair, inspection, maintenance, fuel costs, and bike insurance online premiums and renewals. You must identify your objective before you make the purchase. It is not wise to make a heavy investment on a used bike if in the same budget, or by adding a little more, you can get a new two-wheeler.

If you plan to commute daily, consider buying a used bike that will give you good mileage and require less maintenance. If you're buying a bike for special purposes, then settle for one that offers you a powerful, high-revving engine.

3. Check the Existing Bike Insurance Online Plan

It is imperative to check the existing two-wheeler online insurance plan that the used bike has. Also, check the insurer's details, the claims that have been granted, or the NCB that has been earned. The onus of the insurance lies on you as the new owner. So if there is a need to renew it, or in the absence of a valid bike insurance online plan, you must do your research and get the best two-wheeler insurance online plan for your second-hand bike.

4. Do Your Research Well on the Available Two-wheeler Pptions

When you have successfully identified the goal of purchasing your bike, you need to do in-depth research on the available options. Check different retailers, the age of the motorcycle, and other specifications. You can also get a second opinion from a two-wheeler specialist before you make the purchase. You may receive various prices offered by different retailers, so buy the perfect bike only after doing your homework well.

5. Inspect Your Bike Thoroughly

Be sure to thoroughly inspect the bike or have it inspected by a professional mechanic before you purchase. Look for any scratch, dent, or damage. You can judge it by the appearance and know if the bike has been appropriately used. It is very important to check the bike in the daylight.

6. Check the VIN - The Vehicle Identification Number

VIN is a unique standard number that acts as a legal identification number of the bike. It is engraved on the part of the neck of the frame of the two-wheeler. Make sure the same number appears on the registration certificate.

7. Price and Negotiation

After you are satisfied with the technical and mechanical checks and paperwork, you must negotiate the price of the second-hand two-wheeler after considering depreciation and wear of the price. Any problems or costs incurred after purchase should be deducted from the offer price. Once you've agreed on a price and are happy with the transaction, it's time to sign the paperwork and make the payment.

8. Always Take a Test Ride and Check the Service Book

A test ride helps you evaluate the overall performance. Check the two-wheeler service book and ensure that there are no gaps in the maintenance record. It is ideal if the seller has a service or maintenance booklet for the two-wheeler so that you know how much still needs to be done.

Read more - Simple Guide to Buying Insurance for a Second-hand Bike in India


When buying a used bike, be vigilant and conduct all the recommended checks as mentioned above. Make sure you have all the necessary documents required for the transfer of ownership of the bike. You must get an apt bike insurance policy for your two-wheeler, whether you decide to buy a new bike or a used one. 

Read more - 5 Tips for Buying a Second-hand Bike


1. Do I need to buy a new bike insurance online plan for my second-hand bike?

If your used bike is not covered by bike insurance, you will need to obtain it yourself, as it is a legal requirement. You can buy a comprehensive insurance policy that gives you maximum coverage with bespoke add-ons. You can purchase a new bike insurance online plan after researching various policies to find the best one for your bike.

2. What are the documents that are required for the purchase of a second-hand bike?

You will need the following documents:

  • Registration certificate
  • Tax certificate
  • Valid bike insurance online policy – transferred in your name
  • PUC certificate
  • Full-service history
  • Two-wheeler model manual
  • RTO forms - 28, 29, 30

3. While conducting checks on the second-hand bike, what mechanical checks should be performed?

Important mechanical checks that should be conducted on the second-hand bike are:

  • Any oil-leaks
  • Rust
  • Scratch marks
  • Accidentally damaged two-wheeler
  • Check engine
  • Spark plug
  • Air cleaner
  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Clutch
  • Gears

4. What is the correct procedure for transferring ownership of a two-wheeler?

The appropriate procedure is:

Step 1 – You must apply for a change of ownership to the two-wheeler registration RTO. The seller of the two-wheeler should do this in the event of a sale.

Step 2 - It is mandatory that all necessary documents, such as RC, tax receipts, emissions test, insurance, three passport photos, and proof of the seller's address, along with forms 29 and 30, are presented to the Transport Directorate.

Step 3 - Finally, the sale or transfer of the two-wheeler must be notified to the relevant RTO within a certain period.

Step 4 - Intra-state transfers of ownership must be reported within two weeks, and out-of-state transfers must be done within 45 days.

5. What is the correct procedure for transferring ownership of two-wheeler insurance?

The appropriate procedure is:

Step 1 - Within 15 days of the transfer of ownership, the owner should request the transfer of insurance.

Step 2 - Carry the necessary documents with you, such as the RC, details of the bike insurance policy, along with the required vehicle details, date of transfer of ownership, dealer name, and premium paid.

Step 3 - The owner's personal information should be submitted along with records of personal identification such as Aadhar card, licence, PAN card, or other forms of identification for record-keeping of the insurance transfer. The transfer of the name on the policy will be done after that.

Step 4 – The owner of the two-wheeler must present a civil liability insurance policy at the time of the transfer.

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