Buying a new two-wheeler has become expensive over the last couple of years, mainly driven by new safety and vehicle insurance regulations, stringent emission norms, and a high GST rate. At the same time, two-wheelers are indispensable as they offer excellent last-mile connectivity at an affordable cost.
A great way to overcome this dilemma is buying a second-hand two-wheeler. The market for pre-owned bikes in India is quite robust with both organized and individual sellers to choose from. However, what’s even more important is choosing the right second-hand two-wheeler.
Here are 5 important checks that you should consider when evaluating any used two-wheeler purchase.
Make/Model of the Two-Wheeler
The make and the model of a two-wheeler determine its price, an important factor when buying second-hand. A successful model from a well-known brand generally commands a higher price than one from a lesser-known brand. So, choose a make and model combination that fits your budget.
Another reason why this check is important is spare part availability. Although Indian law requires every manufacturer to provide spares for 15 years after a vehicle’s discontinuation, you might still face availability issues for certain older models.
If your bike is put out of action because of this, the very purpose of buying used and saving money over a new one is defeated. So, pick a make and model with good spare part availability.
The biggest risk with buying a used two-wheeler is that it’s… used. Regular usage involves wear and tear, possibly leading to a hefty repair and part replacement bill after you bring the bike home. That’ll be made only worse if the bike has physical damage,
To avoid this, check the two-wheeler against these common fault areas,
- Oil leaks (engine, suspension, brakes)
- Rust (fuel tank, engine, wheels, chassis, brakes, suspension)
- Dents and scratches
- Condition of handle, levers, pedals, crash guard, grab rail, other accessories etc.
- Tyre wear
While a physical condition check tells you about the bike’s health at the time of buying, it doesn’t give a full enough picture of how the owner rode and maintained it. For all you know, the owner could have touched up the bike’s physical faults to make the sale.
There are two ways around this trickery – riding the bike and checking its service record. While the former is self-explanatory, the latter involves checking the bike’s service record at the official service centre. This record will have details of the bike’s service and parts replacement history.
Clear Title and RTO Details
The title (ownership details) of the second-hand bike you’re interested in has to be as transparent as water. So, make sure the person you’re dealing with has their name on the bike’s registration certificate and if you’re dealing with an intermediary, confirm the details with the original owner.
While at it, check the number of owners the bike has had (as it influences the price), if it’s under finance/hypothecation, and if its chassis number matches with the one mentioned in the registration certificate. You can also verify these details on your local RTO’s website by entering the bike’s registration number.
After the physical and title checks come clean, the final check comprises checking the bike’s PUC and insurance validity. The latter is particularly important as you cannot transfer the bike’s ownership to your name without valid insurance.
But if the insurance is invalid and the bike passes all the other checks, you can buy a bike insurance policy in the previous owner’s name and transfer it to your name after the bike’s ownership is transferred. Nowadays, an insurer like Bajaj Allianz offers these services completely online and through WhatsApp as well.
Don’t let the lack of insurance get in the way of getting the right used bike for your needs. Just make sure it clears all the checks mentioned above. This way, you’ll be buying a second-hand two-wheeler that offers much better value for your money than a new one.