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Buying from a dealer means you are given legal protection. Dealers are legally obliged to sell bikes of 'satisfactory quality', which basically means that apart from usual wear and tear, a used bike must be free from defects - except ones pointed out to you and those which should have been uncovered by an inspection (but only if one has been done) - and it must be in a roadworthy condition. The dealer must have legal title to the bike they are selling. And finally the dealer must describe the bike accurately, e.g. a bike cannot be advertised as having had one careful owner if it has actually had three.
When buying privately, as long as the bike is accurately described, you have no legal comeback if there are faults with the bike.
Reputable dealers should be members of a trade association, such as the Retail Motor Industry Federation or the Scottish Motor Trade Association, and be bound by its code of conduct.
If you are you are unhappy with the motorcycle you have purchased, return it to the dealer and, if he refuses to take action, you can contact one of the following organisations for advice:
This is usually the cheapest option, but it really is 'buyer beware' with a private sale.
The seller's only legal obligation is to describe the motorcycle accurately.
You need to watch out for unscrupulous sellers who may try to pretend to be a private seller to off-load sub-standard or stolen bikes.
But don't let this put you off. If you're sensible, and do all the right checks, a fantastic deal could be waiting for you.
next: Buying a motorcycle privately
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