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Legal Steps in Selling a Motorcycle in the UK

Selling your beloved motorcycle, which you’ve used for many years, can be a bit of a bittersweet moment. It almost feels like you’re letting go of something more than just a piece of equipment or vehicle but a part of yourself. The bright side of this is that you now get to buy a new motorbike that will then be your new travel companion.

While contemplating the feelings associated with selling a motorcycle is only natural, there’s something far more important to prepare for, which is the legal aspect of selling a motorcycle. Following the due process of selling doesn’t just protect you against any risks, but it also helps to sell your motorbike a lot faster since you’ll be seen as a legitimate seller. To make things easier, here’s a simple guide on some of the legal aspects involved when selling a motorcycle.

Prepare the Paperwork

The V5C is the single most important document you need to prepare when selling your motorbike. Through this form, you tell the DVLA that you are no longer the registered keeper of the motorcycle, and you’ll be informing them about the new keeper as well.

Selling to a Private Buyer

If you are selling your motorbike privately, you need to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) straight away by accomplishing the V5C section of your registration document.

  • Complete section 6 of the V5C.

  • Sign and date the declaration in section 8 along with the new keeper.

  • Fill in section 10 (V5C/2) and give it to the new keeper.

  • Keep a record of the new keeper’s name and address.

  • Tear off sections 1 to 8 (V5C) and send them to the DVLA.

Selling to a Motor Trader

If you happen to choose to sell it to a motor trader, the process is a little different. You still need to accomplish your V5C documentation, but with some differences on which section to fill in.

  • Fill in section 9 of the V5C and send it to the DVLA.

  • Give the rest of the V5C to the motor trader.

It is important to remember that it is your responsibility to accomplish the section 9 portion of the V5C and send it to the DVLA, not the motor trader. Even if the motor trader happens to offer that they’d be processing the paperwork, you should insist on doing it yourself. If, by any chance, you gave the entire V5C document to the motor trader, you need to immediately send a signed letter to the DVLA saying you passed the vehicle to the motor trader, including the specific date. Include the trader’s details and contact information.

Update Your Insurer Immediately

Now that you know how to sell a motorbike and you’ve completed the sale, notify your insurer as soon as possible. You either need to update your policy or cancel it altogether. Failing to do this will still make you liable for the motorbike. This means you’ll be forced to pay costs if the new owner happens to be uninsured and involved in an accident.


Selling a motorbike is simple enough, but you need to take extra precautions when looking for a buyer and processing the documents. By law, it is your responsibility to tell the DVLA that there will be a change of keeper for the motorbike. Just stick to the process and be patient so that you can get a good deal with your motorcycle without any problems.

If you’re looking for a motor trader to give you the best deals, trust only WeBuyMotorbikes. We are the UK’s leading independent motorbike dealer. We buy used motorcycles of all makes and models and in any condition. Contact us today and get a hassle-free valuation!

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