Buying a motorcycle. In the guide

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1 Buying a motorcycle When you buy a new or second hand motorcycle from a trader, you enter into a legally binding contract. You are entitled to expect that the motorcycle is of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. An older motorcycle with high mileage may not be as good as a newer motorcycle with low mileage, but it should still be fit for use on the road and in a condition that reflects its age and price. Traders must not mislead consumers by using phrases such as 'sold as seen' or 'no refunds'. If you buy a motorcycle from a trader online, you have additional rights under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations You do not have the same legal rights if you buy a motorcycle from a private seller or from an auction. If the motorcycle is faulty, you have a short time after buying it to reject it for a full refund. You may have other remedies such as repair or replacement. You should write to the trader you bought it from, set out the details of your complaint and the remedy you are seeking and keep copies of all correspondence. As a last resort, you may need to consider taking court action. Bear in mind that used motorcycles may have some faults, but they should not be excessive. Fair wear and tear is not considered to be a fault. In the guide What should I consider? The law Private sales Internet sales Auctions Internet auctions Credit and other payment methods What's the best way to pay? Mileage Tax MOTs Insurance claims What else should I check? What if things go wrong? Ca38 07/15 1

2 What should I consider? You must ensure that you are the correct legal age to ride the type of motorcycle you want to ride. You can ride a moped (a motorcycle with a maximum design speed of 45kmh/28mph) from the age of 16. The requirements for a full licence are compulsory basic training (CBT), theory and practical tests. You can ride a motorcycle up to 125cc from the age of 17. The requirements for a full licence are also CBT, theory and practical tests. There are minimum age requirements in place if you want to ride motorcycles larger than 125cc and you must have had at least 2 years' experience on a less powerful motorcycle. If you are age 24 or over and have passed the CBT theory and practical you can obtain direct access under a category A licence to more powerful motorcycles - this age limit is reduced to 21 if you have had a category A2 licence for at least 2 years. Motorcycles ridden on the road must be 'type approved', which means compliant with construction regulations for use on the road, have road tax and if it is over 3 years old, have a valid MOT. They must also have lights, brakes and an exhaust which meet requirements and also carry a registration plate. To ride on the road, you must also have insurance. There is also a legal requirement to wear a protective helmet. It is also advisable to wear protective clothing and aids to make you more visible to other road users. The law When you buy a motorcycle from a trader you are making a legally binding contract. You have legal rights against the trader under the Sale of Goods Act The motorcycle should be: of a satisfactory quality - free from minor defects, safe and durable for a reasonable length of time. When assessing satisfactory quality you should take into account the price you paid for the motorcycle, its age, mileage and condition at the time of sale fit for its intended purpose or a purpose which you made known to the trader at the time of the sale - fit to be driven on the road as described - the motorcycle should correspond with any description applied to it. In some circumstances, the trader may be liable for any statement made by the manufacturer of the motorcycle 2

3 If the motorcycle is faulty, you are legally entitled to request one of the following remedies: a full refund compensation (damages) repair or replacement rescission or reduction in price You can find more information about these rights in the 'Buying goods - your rights' leaflet (http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/ca04_tcm pdf). The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prohibits commercial practices that are unfair to consumers. If a trader misleads you or engages in an aggressive commercial practice and you make a decision to purchase a motorcycle which you would not otherwise have done, the trader may be in breach of the regulations. For example, a trader may fail to inform you that the motorcycle has previously been accident damaged or may claim it is 'sold as seen' to avoid their responsibilities to you. If you have been misled, report it to Citizens Advice consumer service for investigation by trading standards. Guarantees and warranties given or sold by a trader are in addition to the statutory rights you have under the Sale of Goods Act If you enter a contract because a trader misled you or because the trader used an aggressive commercial practice, the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 give you rights to redress - the right to unwind the contract, the right to a discount and the right to damages. Please see our 'Misleading and aggressive practices - your right to redress' leaflet (http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/ca69_tcm pdf) for more information. Private sales The general rule is 'let the buyer beware' when you buy from a private individual, as you do not have the same protection that you do when buying from a trader. You have no right to expect that the motorcycle is of satisfactory quality or fit for its purpose, but there is a requirement that it should be 'as described'. For example, if an advertisement says 'low mileage, one previous owner', it must be correct. You should check the motorcycle thoroughly before you buy it. Whether you buy privately or from trader, you are entitled to expect that the motorcycle is roadworthy, unless you and the seller clearly agree it is bought for scrap or for spares and repair. You should be aware that a motorcycle sold with an MOT certificate does not guarantee that it is 3

4 currently roadworthy, only that at the time it was tested it met the required safety standards needed to gain the MOT certificate. You are also entitled to expect that the seller has 'good title' to the motorcycle. This means the person selling the motorcycle must own it. If you buy a motorcycle that you later find out is stolen, you do not have the legal right to keep it. You will have to try and get your money back from the seller. The Consumer Credit Act 1974 gives 'good title' to the innocent private purchaser of a motorcycle that later turns out to be subject to a claim by a finance provider. This means that if the previous owner sold the motorcycle to you when there was finance outstanding and you were unaware of this, the finance provider cannot repossess the motorcycle from you. Remember, this does not apply to motorcycles that have been stolen, or motorcycles that were subject to a lease or hire agreement. You should be aware that some traders pretend to be private sellers - by selling motorcycles at the roadside or via an advertisement - to avoid their legal obligations to consumers. If you come across a situation like this, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service for the case to be referred to trading standards. Internet sales If you decide to buy a motorcycle online from a trader, you have the same legal rights as if you bought it from an offline from a trader. You can expect the motorcycle to be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 give you additional rights because the contract you enter into is concluded at a distance and without face to face contact with the trader. Please see our 'Buying by internet, phone and mail order - distance contracts explained' leaflet (http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/ca68_tcm pdf) for more information. If you decide to buy a used motorcycle privately online, your rights are the same as those you have buying from a private seller in other ways, such as via a classified advertisement. Auctions Motor auctions are not considered consumer sales so most of the rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 will not apply. It is very important therefore that you check the motorcycle thoroughly before you bid on it. 4

5 The auction will have terms and conditions setting out the role of the auctioneer and the obligations of the buyer and seller. Check these terms and conditions carefully before you bid. You have the right to expect that the seller has the legal right to sell the motorcycle. If you think it might have been stolen, report it to the auctioneer. The auctioneer must accurately describe the motorcycle. Internet auctions Most internet auctions only provide the site for the auctions to be held and therefore, are not generally liable for the goods bought and sold privately. You should check the terms and conditions of the online auction for full details. You have fewer rights against private online sellers so research the seller carefully, for example check their feedback, before you go ahead and buy anything from them. You have the same legal rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 when you buy from a trader via an online auction as you do with any other purchase. Take note that your usual consumer rights cannot be excluded when buying from a trader through an online auction using 'buy it now. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 also apply to online auctions. You may have the right to cancel a contract to buy a motorcycle, regardless of whether it is sold by a trader through the auction or through 'buy it now'. Credit and other payment methods If you buy a motorcycle on hire purchase, you have the protection of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act The motorcycle should still be of satisfactory quality, fit for its purpose and as described but it is the finance provider, as owner, that is legally responsible to you as hirer. The normal rules on 'acceptance' (in other words loss of right to reject the motorcycle and seek refund) do not apply to hire-purchase or conditional sale agreements and therefore, you may only lose your right to reject if you are aware of problems with the motorcycle but continue to use it. This is a complicated area of law and you should seek advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service as soon as possible if you are looking to 'reject' a motorcycle under a hire purchase or conditional sale agreement. 5

6 If you paid for the motorcycle wholly or in part using a credit card or a finance agreement arranged for you by the trader, then you may be able to hold the finance provider 'equally liable' which means equally to blame for any 'breaches of contract' (such as selling faulty or misdescribed goods). You can also hold the finance provider equally liable if the trader misrepresented the motorcycle to you. These additional rights apply if the cost of the goods is below 30,000. If the cost of the motorcycle exceeds 30,000 and is less than 60,260, you may be able to claim against the finance company under section 75A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 if the finance was arranged specifically to buy that motorcycle. If you are unhappy with the finance provider's response, seek the advice of the Financial Ombudsman Service (http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/). Under the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, traders are banned from charging fees to consumers that are excessive for using payment methods such as credit and debit cards. The fees charged must reflect the actual cost to the trader of using that particular payment process. The regulations apply to most sales and service contracts but excludes some contracts, such as those for social and health services, certain financial services and food and drink delivered by regular roundspeople. A contract term relating to requirement to pay a fee is unenforceable against you to the extent of the excess charged. If you have paid an excessive fee, the excess must be repaid to you. If you believe a trader's fees are excessive report it to the Citizens Advice consumer service. What's the best way to pay? Motorcycles can be expensive and some people need to borrow money to help buy them. Look at what you can afford and remember you will have running costs to consider. Here are a few things to remember: most traders don't give credit themselves, they simply introduce you to finance providers who lend you the money in one way or another. always shop around to compare different deals available. if a trader offers you credit, you are entitled to pre-contract information. This means you'll get all the details about payments and interest rates in writing so that you can take it away and think about it. read the credit agreement carefully BEFORE you sign it - make sure you understand what you're getting into - if you're not sure, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. 6

7 Mileage If you are buying from a trader, check to see if there is a disclaimer stating that the mileage is not guaranteed and so cannot be relied on. It should be 'bold, precise and compelling' and effectively brought to your attention. If there is no disclaimer, it could be argued that the trader is stating that the mileage is correct and you can rely on it. It then becomes part of the contract and the description of the motorcycle. You should always ask the trader for specific information on the motorcycle's mileage regardless of whether it is disclaimed or not. It can be difficult to prove a motorcycle has been 'clocked', so the golden rule is to walk away if you are not satisfied. There are organisations that will provide you with information on a motorcycle for a fee - check online for details. If you believe the mileage has been altered on a motorcycle you have bought contact the Citizens Advice consumer service for the case to be referred to trading standards. Tax When you buy a vehicle the tax cannot be transferred with it - you will need to buy new tax before you can drive it away. You should notify DVLA when you sell your vehicle and you will get a refund on the remaining full months' tax - it cannot be transferred with the vehicle as part of the sale. For more information visit (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/vehicle-tax-changes). MOTs An MOT certificate simply confirms that the motorcycle passed the test on the day it was submitted. It only covers the specific tests required and does not provide an absolute guarantee of the general quality of the motorcycle. If you have a problem with an MOT, contact the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which enforces the law relating to these tests (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-andvehicle-standards-agency). Insurance claims Selling a motorcycle that has been classified as a category C or D write off without making this clear to the consumer may be a misleading action or omission under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.and you should report this to the Citizens Advice consumer service for your case to be referred to trading standards. It is advisable to ask the trader whether the motorcycle has been in any accidents before the sale. 7

8 What else should I check? Make sure all the documents are in order - ask to see service records, repair bills, inspection reports, handbooks, etc. Read all the documents carefully and check the details against the motorcycle. Remember, a registration document is not proof of ownership - it records who the registered keeper is, or was, for legal purposes. What if things go wrong? If you have bought a motorcycle from a trader, which turns out to be faulty or you think it has been misdescribed, you need to take action straight away. Approach the trader to discuss your complaint and ask to see the owner, manager or a senior member of staff. Explain the problem clearly, take any supporting documentation with you and state which remedy (refund, replacement, repair, compensation) you are seeking. Confirm your complaint in writing and keep copies of your letters or s. Contact the finance provider if you bought the motorcycle on credit or hire purchase. If you bought your motorcycle from a trader online check the website from which you bought it for details of how to report a complaint. Remember that you have additional rights under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations If the motorcycle is faulty or misdescribed and you have the right to reject it, the trader should arrange the collection at their own expense. You may, however, be prepared to negotiate on a replacement motorcycle or to have it repaired. The trader may agree if they trade some distance away to have repairs done locally to you at their expense. If attempts to resolve the problem fail, you could consider using an alternative dispute resolution scheme. Check to see if the trader is a member of a trade association that has such a scheme. The Retail Motor Industry Federation runs a National Conciliation Service (http://www.rmif.co.uk/) at 2nd Floor, Chestnut Field House, Chestnut Field, Rugby, CV21 2PA, tel As a last resort, you may need to consider taking court action. You should write and notify the trader and finance provider (if there is one) of your intentions. Most claims up to 10,000 can be settled using the small claims procedure in the county court and you can obtain further 8

9 information from your local county court or online (https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money). Used motorcycles may have some faults, but they should not be excessive. Fair wear and tear is not considered to be a fault. See also our leaflet 'Used motor vehicles - consumer rights' (http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/ca01_tcm pdf). For further information please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, which provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on Relevant legislation Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/13/contents) Consumer Credit Act 1974 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/39/contents) Sale of Goods Act 1979 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/54/contents) Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/3045/contents/made) Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/1277/contents/made) Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/3110/contents/made) Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/contents/made) Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/870/contents/made) Where can I get further help? This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. For further information, please contact Citizens Advice. The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on

10 If you are a business, contact us by any of the following methods: Derbyshire Trading Standards Service Chatsworth Hall Chesterfield Road Matlock Derbyshire DE4 3FW Telephone: Call Derbyshire Fax: Website: We want everyone to be able to understand us. On request, we will arrange: Language interpreters, including for sign language Translation of written materials into other languages Materials in large print, on tape or in Braille. Trading Standards Institute To ensure that you are looking at the most up-to-date version of this leaflet, please visit our website at or telephone us on

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