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Essential Points to Remember Before, During and After Buying a Used Bike

By Juhi Walia
14 October 2022, 11:02 AM

According to a survey done in 2019, two-wheelers constitute around 75% of all vehicles on Indian roads. Though that may seem like a huge number, this statistic is logical because they are far cheaper than cars, and in many places where public transport is not that reliable, bikes often are the only mode of transport possible. Now, even though they may seem affordable, for many of us it’s a huge hit to our bank accounts. So, looking at second-hand bikes as an option is the next step, and very often people luck out with well-maintained machines. Often, it is also advised that completely new riders purchase a used bike along with a bike insurance policy, as they can get confidence in it before upgrading their bike and investing more money. Now, how do you trust that the used bike you’re looking at will last you for a few years at least? Here are certain things you can do as a buyer to get a good deal out of your used bike. 

Before Choosing the Bike

1. Type of Bike

You have arrived at the decision of buying a used bike. Whether you’ve ridden a two-wheeler before or not, you would have noticed that there are so many different types of bikes on the road, and you’re confused about what type to get. Which one you should get depends completely on your purpose for buying it. For example, if you want to use a bike for daily commute in a crowded city, you should think of getting a scooter or a low-end bike. However, if you want to go on long-duration road trips, then a sports bike would be the better option. Additionally, you should look at which motorcycles are the best fit for your height and size.

2. Where Can I Find Used Bikes?

You have the option of buying either directly from a private seller, or from reputed dealers. There are pros and cons for both options. There are several reputed companies who sell verified motorcycles secondhand online.

Read more - Consider These Key Parameters Before Buying a Bike

After You Have Narrowed Down the Available Options

1. Visual Check

This is the most important part. When you have decided on a few options, it is time to thoroughly inspect the bike to evaluate its current condition. If you are a beginner at bike riding, then get an experienced friend or family member, or even better, a mechanic to help you check the bike out. Also, you should carry out this inspection in broad daylight. Make a note of all the scratches as well as rust marks. Check the condition of the battery by using the self-start system, and by putting on the lights and using the horn. Inspect the engine and clutch by revving the bike. The handlebar and the alignment should also be in good condition. 

2. Test Ride

Take the bike out for a spin to get a feel of how it functions. If you think there is something even slightly wrong, follow your gut instinct and continue to your next option.

After You Have Chosen Your Favourite Two-wheeler

1. Make Sure the Papers are in Order

When you’re buying a second-hand bike, you want to ensure that all the correct papers are also handed over to you. This includes:

2. Negotiate the Price

After looking at the condition of the vehicle and asking the owner details about the last servicing, you are in a good position to negotiate the price of the secondhand bike. You should know the Insured Declared Value (IDV), i.e., the current market price of the two-wheeler and what is the age of the bike. If it is not in a very good condition, but you still want to buy it, you can convince the owner to give you a better deal, because you will have to spend on its repair even after buying the bike. Additionally, find out whether there have been any previous claims made to the bike insurance company. This would also hike up premium for the following year, and you will have to take that cost into account.

3. Start the Process of Transfer of Ownership & Insurance Policy

According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), if you are buying a used bike within the state, you have to apply for transfer of ownership at the registered RTO within 14 days of the physical transfer of the bike. And if it’s out of state, this process has to occur within 45 days.

After you have completed the official transfer of the two-wheeler ownership, within 14 days you have to apply for transfer of the bike insurance policy via the insurance company through their official website. These days the process has become easy because everything can be done online. You will have to submit the required documents to the insurer and they will handle the rest for you.


Riding a motorcycle without proper documents like, bike insurance policy, registration, driving licence is illegal in India. Therefore, always remember to do your research and look at sources which are verified and vouched for. If you keep all these tips in mind, you can rest assured that the process of buying a used bike will be stress-free. You are finally ready to experience the pleasure of riding your motorcycle!

Read more -


1. Can I cancel the current insurance policy and buy a new one?

Yes, absolutely. If you’re not satisfied with the coverage of the current policy of the used bike, then you have a plethora of policy options to choose from online. Make sure to keep the coverage continuous as it is illegal to ride a vehicle without a bike insurance policy.

2. Is the premium on my insurance policy going to be higher for a used bike?

The premium depends on a variety of factors, such as the IDV (Insured Declared Value), if there’s been a prior claim to the insurer, the age of the bike, etc. Simply transfer of ownership doesn’t affect the premium.

3. Can I use my previously accrued No Claim Bonus (NCB) on the new policy?

The NCB in bike insurance is awarded to the policyholder, and not to a bike. Therefore, if you owned another bike and bike insurance policy earlier, on which you accrued NCB over the years, and you sold it, then you can transfer the NCB to the new insurance policy of the used bike. All you have to do is apply for an NCB transfer certificate from your previous insurer.

4. What are the documents required to transfer the insurance policy to the new owner?

  • Registration certificate
  • Original insurance policy document
  • Ownership transfer document
  • Forms 28, 29 and 30
  • No objection certificate from the previous owner
  • Original sales invoice
  • Valid driver’s licence with address proof and passport size photos of buyer
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